Thursday, October 29, 2020

Currently: Tech-Less

 Current Book

WW2 historical fiction? Anyone surprised?

Current Song

Jason Derulo Colors - a jazzercise lunge routine that is SO hard!
But the song is so awesome!

Current TV Show

I need to finish season 3 before season 4 starts in a few weeks!

Current Podcast/Audiobook

Just started this, and it's so interesting!

Current Drink

Brent and I just finished a 24 hour fast, so I'm having coffee, yum!

Current Food

Well, I haven't eaten in 24 hours, but I am already thinking about Halloween candy!

Current Outfit

It's cold in Texas! I added a sweater to my workout uniform. {grin}
[Photo courtesy of Drew's iPad]

Current Celebrity Crush

I am SO excited for the Saved by the Bell reboot!

Current Mood

I am SO frustrated about my phone situation. It is still not resolved. Sigh.

Current Anticipation

We have some fun plans for Halloween. We aren't trick or treating, but we've made plans with our neighborhood crew for some fun activities!

Current Wishlist

I've started working on Christmas lists! I have usually started buying by this point, so I feel behind, but I've put together some good lists for the kids.

Don't ask me what I want...I just got scolded to slow down my own buying haha.

Current Film

I'm intrigued by this! Allison, want to come over?

Current Picture

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Time I Destroyed my iPhone

 In February, I dropped my phone and cracked the screen. Not fun but not the end of the world. My phone is a company phone, and you can get 1 replacement a year, so I was able to go into the office and get a phone from the used inventory of phones. Easy peasy.

Then in March {during the early days of quarantine}, Trent dropped my phone on a Pokemon Go walk...and REALLY broke the screen. I was super annoyed, but I couldn't really be mad at him, since I'd just replaced it because I broke it. BUT it also meant I wasn't eligible for a replacement for another year.

For the last 7 months, I have just used my busted phone. I said as long as I could read, which I could...with just a little difficulty, I would be ok. Then my brother-in-law told me how he was able to change his phone screen himself when he accidentally drove over it with a golf cart. I thought it sounded a lot better to spend $20 on a screen and replace it myself than either a) continuing to use a broken phone or b) spending hundreds of dollars to pay someone else.

I ordered the replacement screen, and on Sunday, my sister and I very slowly took apart my phone. We watched a YouTube video and followed it step-by-step. It was relatively easy to take it apart, except for some screws that would NOT come out. Some screws took us 30 minutes to get out. After 2.5 hours, when it was time to go home, we had my phone apart and were about halfway through putting it back together.

At home, I continued working on it for another hour and finally got it all put back together! I felt so proud of myself...until it wouldn't turn on. Womp, womp. Brent found a video about this exact situation, but none of the fixes they offered worked, and I was NOT about to take it apart again.

Monday I took it to a repair place and found wasn't salvageable. NOOOOO! I was so upset. I now have to buy a new phone {with my own money, instead of getting it from my company} when I could have waited just 3 more months to get a new one. 

Moral of the story: don't listen to your brother-in-law!

Now I'm off to shop for a new iPhone. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Five on Friday


I like supporting local bookstores, but sometimes they don't have what I need when I need it, and I end up turning to Amazon. Well, I just found out about where you can order books online AND support an indie bookstore. You select a bookstore, and a % of the proceeds goes to that indie store!


Grace & Lace shirts!

I hate shopping for winter clothes, but I got some cute tops finally!
I absolutely love Grace & Lace and am excited for some new stuff!
*Didn't plan on posting these pics online so my apologies for RBF*


I got a haircut!

I cut off about 8 inches of my hair!!!
It was SO long and unhealthy, and it feels amazing!


Trent's braces

This little snaggletooth is about to get braces!
When we went to the dentist last week {cavities for Drew and Trent, sigh},
we took pictures for an orthodontist consultation.
After getting details from the orthodontist, Brent talked to Trent about timing - 
we didn't want to rush him if he wanted to wait a little while,
but he commented that so many of his friends/classmates have them
that he'd rather get them now and be done before high school.
Holy cow... how is he old enough for braces?!?!


Someone got promoted

We turned Paige around to forward-facing!
My plan was to turn her around at 4, 
but I was trying to bribe her to be happy on the way to school.
It isn't working, ha, but she sure looks cute!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Blog Friends Book Club

So. Get ready for a new level of nerdiness from your girl...

I've started a virtual book club with some friends I met through blogging.

Pausing for you to get your laughs out... Okay!

I had this idea because for a few months Natasha, Emily, and I have had a virtual zoom happy hour. Natasha came up with the idea early in quarantine - so many people were doing zoom happy hours with work, family, friends, etc. so why not us? Brent doesn't really understand the lure of blogging {or really any social media}, so he thought I was a little nuts for wanting to virtually hangout with people I had never met, but it made perfect sense to me and sounded super fun! I genuinely consider both Emily and Natasha to be my friends and have had a blast on our monthly HHs.

THEN...I started thinking about the fact that Natasha, Emily, and Erika {who I HAVE met in person-and so has Natasha-which Brent also found super strange, ha} are where I immediately go for a book recommendation. And an idea was born...

When I approached the ladies, they all very enthusiastically said yes! Erika and Emily didn't know each other before connecting, but I think given Natasha and I were both vouching for each of them, they didn't mind. ;) Natasha chose our book, and we picked a date, and we were in business!

In perfect form, I got a surprise happy treat in the mail from my friend, Kathryn, the day of our first meeting, so of course, I had to wear my new shirt to our first virtual book club!

Now I've been in a book club for 8 years, and I don't think I've ever attended a meeting where everyone read the book. I also think my in-person book club usually spends maybe 30 minutes talking about the book. NOT the case with The Blog Friends Book Club {to be dubbed BFBC going forward}. Not only did all of us read the book, we had very enthusiastic discussion about the book for the majority of our 2.5 hour zoom. Natasha certainly picked a winner for our first meeting - we discussed women's reproductive rights {including but not limited to abortion and contraception}, adoption, post-partum depression/anxiety, motherhood, parenting roles, and so many other things. 


If any of those topics sound interesting to you {without being too triggering}, this was an excellent book! I will, of course, share more of my thoughts on my monthly book review!

We have decided to meet monthly, which is so exciting because my in-person BC sometimes has months between meetings, and we will rotate each month who picks the book. For November, it's ME!!! I feel a lot of pressure after the home run Natasha picked.

And it didn't happen if I didn't take a picture.
This was when my computer was acting up so my camera wouldn't work, ugh.

I had an amazing time and can't wait to talk next month!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Life Lately

There have been a lot of fun things happening in our household the last week, so let's look at life lately, shall we?

Friday, as I mentioned, was mine and Brent's anniversary. Well, it's also my BFF's birthday. The last few years we've been able to have a day date and we both really look forward to it. This year we had breakfast together and got massages - it was heavenly. Super annoyed that I forgot to get a picture of us together, ugh. 

And while Kristen and I didn't take a picture, you can see her hand ha!

All the fooooooood! Quite possibly the best pancakes I've ever had, yum.

Then Friday night, Brent and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. We went to a local restaurant we both really like, and there was a bit of a wait, so we sat by the bar and had a drink, and Brent watched the Astros play and I read my book. It reminded me a lot of our honeymoon because the Astros were in the playoffs that year as well, so Brent would watch the games in our hotel room {in French, ha} while I read. It's good to see that fundamentally we haven't changed much, huh?

With our masks down because drinks, duh.

More yummy food.

Happy anniversary, my love!

When I start talking about book club a little too much..,

Saturday Trent had flag football {he LOVES playing, and it makes me so happy to see him happy}. Then we hung out with Kelly and her kids.

When your neighbors are also your besties...

Sunday was a very impressive day of activity for me. Kelly and I usually run once on the weekends. Lately it's been Sunday due to various Saturday sports for our boys. So Sunday we ran 3.5 miles {well, I ran 3.5 miles and she ran 5 ha}. Then later in the day I had an event at jazzercise that was another hour of cardio! 

The funny thing was the weather on Saturday would have been perfect for this event - it was in the 70s and cloudy. Sunday however was 90 and HOT, and we danced for breast cancer awareness {a PINK out party} OUTSIDE. So hot!

My girls had so much fun with the owner's daughter!

Jell-O shots were MUCH needed at the end!

Drew LOVES Sam, the owner

My most active day since having an Apple watch! I burned almost 1,400 calories.

Then, to add to the excitement of a fun weekend, on Monday, my cousin, Hagan, came to town. Her youngest {of 3 boys} is 4.5 and had some doctors appointments in town {they live in Ft. Worth}, and she stayed with us Monday night. I haven't seen her in FOREVER and haven't even met Jackson! The kids LOVED her and Jackson, my parents came over, and we had a great night. We vowed to start making get-togethers a NECESSITY.

Paige and Jackson had a blast swinging.

Note to self: Don't wait until 11:30 to take pictures!

The kids had all of last week off for Fall Break {such a cruel joke after getting them back in live school barely 2 weeks ago}, and Paige was STRUGGLING to go back to school. So I decided to turn her carseat around forward-facing a few months early {4 was my original plan}, and that has definitely helped her excitement level for getting in the car.

Look at that big girl!

What did I tell y'all? It's definitely been a fun few days!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Anniversary Post

Today is mine and Brent's 16th anniversary! Instead of sharing pictures of our wedding like I do just about every year, I am sharing details of our wedding WITH pictures! You're welcome!

And thanks to Natasha {as usual} for providing the template for this post.

Engaged - February 27, 2004

Brent and I had been talking about marriage for a long time. Once we both had jobs after graduation, I was READY. Brent and I went to a jeweler in Houston, TX and designed my engagement ring, so it was definitely not a surprise. I asked him to please just not throw the box at me when he got the ring ha. 

I ended up being on an out-of-town audit in Kansas for a big chunk of February. I left on a Monday and didn't come back until the following Friday {February 27}. That is the longest I've stayed in a hotel in my life! I drove myself to the airport and had my car in long-term parking. When I landed back in Austin Friday night, all I wished for was someone to help me with my luggage and walk me to my car WAYYYYY in the back of the parking lot. As I went down the escalator, I was super confused because Brent was standing at the bottom with a sign saying my name. I couldn't believe he came to help me with all my stuff!!! And then he turned the sign around, and it said 'Will you marry me?' What a surprise!

We took engagement pictures in the spring in the park by my parents' house where the kids all still play now!

Bridal photos - September 2004 - I don't think this is a Southern thing to do, but maybe it is? I loved getting to take bridal portraits because it was a chance to put on my gown, get my hair and makeup fixed, and go play dress-up! I loved my dress then and still love it now! The back had a double French bustle that was my absolute favorite detail. We took these pictures in one of the biggest parks in Austin, Zilker Park.

Married - October 16, 2004 - I wanted to get married as quickly as possible, and not quite 7 months from our engagement, we did! We originally tried for September 25 but couldn't get both the church and church hall for that date.

Location - S.S. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Granger, TX - We got married in the same church my parents and my mom's parents were married in. I have always been a sucker for tradition, and I have always loved this church. The difficult part was this church is in the middle of nowhere, so there were no good options for a reception. We ended up using the church hall...which looks like a church hall connected to a 100+ year old church in a small country town in Texas, ha.

Weather - It was a perfect fall day in Texas! Sunny, blue skies, warm but not too hot. Gorgeous!

Number of guests - I don't remember exactly, but it was several hundred - somewhere between 300 and 400. My parents and Brent's parents paid for the wedding, so it was largely extended family and a lot of their friends.

Colors - Light pink, dark pink, a little bit of white and silver {For any Steel Magnolias fans out there, we had a lot of fun calling  my colors 'blush and bashful' in a very thick accent.}

A good shot of the bridesmaid dresses {pale pink} with their bouquets {light and dark pink roses}

Flowers - Roses - We ordered 1,000 light pink, dark pink, and white roses from Sam's, and I made all of the wedding bouquets with my bridesmaids a few days before the wedding. We also decorated for the reception the day before the wedding and used a TON of flowers in the church hall. We hired a florist to make the boutonnieres for the guys and to decorate the church for the ceremony.

One of my cousins filling vases for the tables at the reception

A close-up of some of the roses/bouquets

Readings - I always felt like Catholic services were unoriginal and always chose the same readings. Then when we got married I understood why - you only get so many choices ha! We did the very traditional 'Love is patient, love is kind' reading as one of them.

Hymn - I didn't want any singers during the wedding. We had all traditional music played on the church organ. I honestly couldn't remember any of the names of the songs, so I pulled out my program. Do any of these song names sound familiar? Ode to Joy, Cannon in D, Bridal Chorus, or The Wedding March? Ha!

Other Music - For the reception, we had a DJ. I didn't want to hire a band to sing covers of all the songs we wanted to hear plus a DJ is cheaper!

Meal - We had a beer and BBQ reception - this is a very traditional Texas wedding reception ha.

First Dance - I'm not really sure where the tradition started {German? Czech? Both?} but at weddings in Texas, a lot of times the first dance is led into by The Grand March. Everyone pairs up, and you do a follow-the-leader type dance around the dance floor, and at the end you have formed a circle around the bride and groom for their first dance.

Lined up and ready to dance!

For our first dance, Brent and I danced to a song called 'There's No Way' by Alabama. The lyrics are really beautiful and all these years later, I still love it! The music video is a real gem from the 80s, so it's fun to watch on YouTube as well. {grin}

Bridal Party - Our bridal party was ridiculous - we had 9 bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was my fault because I had my sister, 4 cousins, and 4 friends. My sister was my Matron-of-Honor. Brent's groomsmen were an assortment of his brother, some of his cousins and my cousins, and friends. He had 2 Best Men - his childhood/high school best friend and his college best friend, both named John.

One of my favorite pictures, I love the view of the church, you can see the back of my dress, you can see all the altar flowers, and our wedding party!

Honeymoon - We went to Turks & Caicos for our honeymoon and were there 6 days and 5 nights. We had a great time but were also ready to come home and start our life together! One piece of advice I always give people is to NOT fly out first thing Sunday morning for your honeymoon and SLEEP IN. We were exhausted at the start, ha.

Best Memories - The whole day was magical, and all these years later remains one of my best memories.

One thing I have never blogged about is my 'something borrowed'. My mom and dad are especially close to my dad's cousin's daughter, Kyle. Kyle's mom, Cherie, was a lot older than my dad, so he is closer in age to her kids. She has lived in NY her whole live and lived in Brooklyn for years and worked in one of the World Trade towers {not THE towers, but in the complex}. She saw the 2 towers fall and spent an entire day trying to walk home without being able to contact her family or friends. Needless to say, it was quite an ordeal. She bought herself some gorgeous Emerald-cut diamond earrings {1 carat EACH} and called them her 'I survived 9/11' earrings. The day of my wedding she surprised me and let me wear them for my something borrowed! I felt super special haha.

Also, I can't end a post about our wedding without talking about our cakes. I love wedding cake and really enjoyed designing ours and thought they turned out beautiful. [Well, I wouldn't call Brent's beautiful, but it sure was tasty.] I think this is becoming more widespread, but we had a traditional wedding cake plus a groom's cake.

Brent's grooms cake was a 3-foot-long chocolate Miller Lite beer bottle.
All these years later, still his favorite beer. {grin}

What was also funny is even though Brent's cake looks huge, it really didn't make that many servings, so we had a whole sheet cake {a typical birthday cake you buy at the grocery store is 1/4 sheet cake} in the kitchen...that everyone forgot about, so when the night ended, my parents had to take it home. The teachers at the high school got to enjoy some cake the next week!

Enjoying the topper on our 1-year anniversary

Regrets (if any) - I don't know if I'd say I have any true regrets, just things I'd change given it's been almost 20 years since our wedding. I've always been annoyed that we didn't realize when putting together my bouquet that there was a line of hot pink flowers - you can only see it in certain pictures, but it's always bothered me. I also kind of wish I'd worn my hair differently - it seems so stiff and formal, but I also know that if it'd been down I would have been stressed about it looking bad in pictures... That's about it, ha.

This was a fun post to write and take a trip down memory lane. I pulled out my box of wedding stuff and was looking through it, and the girls looked at our wedding album too!

Happy anniversary, honey! Here's to a WHOLE BUNCH MORE!