Monday, December 08, 2008

Jack Loves Christmas

The highlight of Jack's year is putting up Christmas decorations! I know that sounds silly, but honestly, he can sniff out the box with his stocking in it, and he knows exactly which stocking is his. It's all we can do to keep him from tearing into it all season. I've heard things falling over on the fireplace a few times, and it's usually Jack knocking over the Nutcracker in hopes that he can just get a quick sniff (or the occasional bite) out of his stocking. Harley could care less about Christmas. In fact, she is scared of all the decorations and just hides out in our bedroom while we decorate...except for this one picture where I forced her to sit on the hearth. She looks so happy, doesn't she? What a Scrooge! She's getting a lump of coal in her stocking. How can Jack's excitement not get you in the Christmas spirit?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bah Humbug, Mr. Grinch!

I made the mistake of sending out one of those getting-to-know-you questionnaires via email last week, but this one was different...It was about Christmas, which was FUN! I also made the mistake of saying that Ryan would be the least likely to reply, so he proved me wrong in a BIG way. Enjoy this post from my husband, Ryan (aka: the Grinch). His answers are far more hilarious than anything I'd ever write. And although highly exaggerated, they are unfortunately mostly true.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, of course! I love all the trash all over the living room from newly opened presents, the dogs love to play in it, and I never grow out of the fun of ripping into a new present. I haven't yet understood the point of politely separating the tape from the paper paying careful detail not to let the tape remove the part of the design of the wrapping paper, then folding the paper back up nicely and offering it back to the gift giver. What is that??? Like I'm going to buy the exact same size present next year. As the gift giver I guess I'll just say, "Fine, give me the present back so I'll give it to you again next year." We grow up arguing with our family members all our life, and all of a sudden you want to show a nice gesture by giving me your trash back. It's yours. It's part of the gift. Have fun shredding it, and when you are done, throw it away yourself. What I also love about wrapping paper is how Sarah always wants to rewrap all the presents I wrap bacause they are ugly. I give it my best, but arts and crafts were never my thing. It is funny watching her squirm as the looks at the present I just wrapped and placed under the tree. So yes, wapping paper is better than the over-priced bags where no one cares if the tissue paper matches the color of the bag, and for whatever reason, causes an extra 10 minutes of indecisive shopping at an over crowded Walmart.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial tree is a money and time saver. You can use it many years and it is pre-lit (possibly the greatest gift to financially broke, Christmas decorating husbands). Sure, a real tree might smell good at first, but after a week or two, your house smells like rotten lumber and old sap. If you truly enjoy the new tree smell, your wife is probably going to buy all the Christmas themed potpourri in the store anyway, so you are going to get it regardless.

3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever Sarah and I can do it together because I have made two wonderful career choices in a row that give us the emotional rollercoaster of never knowing if I will be around for the holidays. By the wonderful grace of God I have never missed a Christmas and only missed one Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? New Year's Day, and thank you for reminding me. Can't wait to redecorate the entire house while being hungover.
5. Do you like eggnog? Love Jim Jones eggnog.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Pool table when I was in high school.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Every woman in my family. Sarah usually does all the buying unless I am in town and we go shopping together. When that happens, I usually throw a monkey wrench in the process by speaking. I am amazed how wrong I always am, and I am reminded how I can never pick a shirt for someone that looks good or matches anything. Christmas shopping is always a self esteem booster.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Sarah...when I have a detailed list.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I think we have one for each religion known to man.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Sarah mails them. This is after Sarah plays dress-up with me and we spend the whole afternoon trying to take the perfect picture with two dogs that have not behaved all year and for some amazing reason won't at the time of the picture. From June until the time of the Christmas card picture is very stressful because the foremost thought in "our" minds is deciding what is the perfect setting for our Christmas card picture. There have been tears involved, things thrown, and yelling at dogs in the past. But when you get our card, know that we wear clothes like that all the time, it was "taken in the moment", and we are really that happy in the picture.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Grandmother gifts are always great. One year I received pastel striped socks that had individual sleeves for my toes. That was special.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Vacation. It speaks so many truths.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When Sarah tells me to.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? nope
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sweet potatoes with lots of goo, too many pies, and some sort of unidentifiable salad or casserole as to not offend anyone.
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, what kind person wouldn't do that?
17. Favorite Christmas song? "All I Want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus"

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Used to travel and enjoy the fun of trying to see every family member across Texas in a two week whirlwind right before being deployed to a far off forsaken area of our peace loving world. Now that we are back in Texas, traveling is nothing. I'll never take having family close for granted.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Comit, Cupid, Vixin, Blazer, Lazer, Taser, and Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star, and I love spending the 5 minutes it takes trying to get the thing to balance just right followed by analyzing it the rest of the evening to make sure it's perfect, then straightening it at least once a day during the holiday season because it somehow manages to move over a 24 hour period.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas day. Christmas Eve is spent staying up as late as possible staring at all the decorations enjoying the moment of the best night of the year while also realizing that taking all of them down is approaching by the hour. Take the good with the bad.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Getting out the Christmas decorations and realizing that you have somehow accumulated enough decorations to decorate the Dallas Galleria. Then the thought hits you that you will manage to replace all the knicknacks in your house and put your regular ones away and in about a month and a half, you will do it all again. It's like moving twice. Then you get to put up the outside lights in the cold drizzily weather while trying to remember how you strategically plugged in all the lights to certain sockets as to not blow fuzes. You know this because last year you blew about 17 fuzes trying to get them to work, and each time you drive up to Home Depot you give serious thought to buying stock in 3 amp fuzes and selling after the holiday season.

23. Favorite thing? Finishing all the decorating.

24. What theme or color are you using? Are you kidding??? I would assume red and green.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey and dressing. Don't forget the sweet potatoes with the goo.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A reliable short-term memory (it doesn't have to be perfect, but some consistency would be nice), the Dallas Cowboys to start having fun again and to get a new owner, a new job, and to sell all the Christmas decorations that we have that are "out of style" and make a profit on them.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Anyone who needs to vent.

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? Most males.

As you can probably tell, we've had Christmas decorating on the brain because we'll be gone the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is our usual time to decorate. You'll also be happy to know that we did manage to get it done without killing each other. Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and an even Happier Christmas Decorating!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween Bugs Me (with updated pictures)

This year my dogs were very "buggy" in their ladybug and bumblebee costumes. I'm sure they were cursing me in doggy language, but it was worth it! Jack wouldn't move if I put the antenna cap on his head, but as soon as I took it off, he was strutting his costume VERY proudly. Harley is basically too stupid to know that she looks ridiculous, so she's easy. They were the hit of our church Trunk-or-Treat, and were definitely on stimulation overload by the end of the night. Trying to keep them from eating all of the dropped pieces of candy was interesting. We went trick-or-treating on Friday night with my neice, but I don't have pictures from that yet. I'll post them when I get them. Jack met a dauschaund dressed as a hot dog and Harley encountered a ballerina shih-tzu. So funny!

These pictures were before the alterations I made. Yes, I altered my dog's Halloween costumes with velcro and duct tape.

Jack with a fellow bumblebee, and Harley with a sister ladybug!

This is from Friday night trick-or-treating with my neice and in-laws in Flower Mound. I couldn't believe some of the decorations in that was more than Christmas!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Baby Born & A Bun in the Oven

Not my bun in the oven...sorry to disappoint. Here's a tribute to 2 super cute baby that I've met, and the other that I'll meet in January!

First, our good friends Jenn & Scott had their little girl, London Mackenzie, when we were in town for my high school reunion. Because London's blood sugar levels were having some trouble, we were the first visitors (other than family) that actually got to see the baby! She had to spend the first day or so in the back where people couldn't OOH and AAH over her, and let me tell you...she is definitely worth OOH-ing and AAH-ing over. What a little cutie! Jenn was a rock star with her birth story...yet another saga to make me think twice about just keeping the 2 dogs I have for kids and calling it a day. Just kidding...Don't worry. Here's the little "pretty in pink" herself.

Look at those eyes!

Last weekend I got to celebrate Andrea and Baby Madelyn at her shower. It was fun to see all the cute girly things and visit with old friends. Too bad Andrea doesn't even look pregnant except for this little tummy poking cute!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friends are Friends Forever...

I'm a couple of weeks late posting this, but I'll regret it if I don't. What a great weekend we had at the Cooper Class of '98 10 Year Reunion! There was such a great turnout, and the whole weekend was filled with laughing at old memories and making new ones. When I was in high school, 10 years seemed SO far's hard to believe it's already come and gone! Things have definitely changed, but I love how familiar everything still feels. It was refreshing to catch up with old friends and see that we can still pick up right where we left off. Here are some "Then and Now" pictures to laugh at...

THEN- This picture was taken at our last CHS football game (Thanksgiving weekend '97) when we lost in the playoffs to Flower Mound Marcus (alma mater of my future-husband,--little did I know!)

NOW- And here we are at the CHS vs. Hereford game 10 years later!

THEN- Typical Friday night with all the girls back in high school...

NOW- Hanging out at Thompson & Brent's on Friday night after the game!

THEN- Our Gang...guys & a sleepover in high school. Was that allowed?!?
NOW- Our Gang all grown up...

THEN- All dolled up for Winter Formal '98...

NOW- And all dolled up for our 10 year high school reunion dinner...

I was nearly date-less, but Ryan showed up just in the nick of time! I was so happy to see him after a LONG month!

Some things never change...

High school flames...going strong!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

How Do You Get Gasoline Out of Car Carpet?

That's the question I've been "Googling" for the past 2 days because yes, I managed to spill a 1/2 gallon of gasoline in the passenger floorboard of my car on Saturday morning. I know...Why did I have a gas can in my front floorboard anyway? Because my sweet brother offered to mow my yard on Saturday, and I told him that I would make sure the lawnmower had gas first. Of course it was empty, so I took the only gas can I could find in the garage, and went to fill it up. Little did I realize (until it tipped over) that the cap was cracked. I can list all of the things that officially DO NOT get gasoline out of car matter what Google tells me:

1. Baking soda
2. Coffee grounds
3. Febreeze
4. Shampooing the carpet and shopvac-ing it
5. Shampooing the carpet and shopvac-ing it again
6. Shampooing the carpet and shopvac-ing it one more time...
7. An excessive amount of perfume
8. Leaving all of the windows open for the smell to evaporate
9. Pet enzyme spray (this actually might've helped a little bit)
10. Vinegar
11. Setting a cake pan with vanilla extract in the flooorboard. (This one I'm still trying...and I'm hopeful!)
12. Prayer

I guess I'll do the only thing I can do, which is to take advantage of this "high" I'm on from all of the fumes. WOO HOO!!!!!! If anyone has any other ideas, I'll obviously try anything.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Randomness (Revised)...

I have a good excuse for not blogging this computer has been crashing. But, thanks to my new favorite person "Scott the Computer Guy", he saved all of my pictures and music before my Dell bit the dust. Nothing that important has been going on, so it's not like I've had much to blog about anyway, but here are some random things that have been going on:

1. I was in charge of a really big event at church last week, so work has been SUPER busy, but it's slowing down a bit now. I found myself looking for something to do on Thursday, which was the best feeling in the world!

2. Ryan has been gone for 2 weeks now, and it may be another 2-3 weeks before he comes home. He worked 98 hours last week alone, so the diving industry is definitely buzzing with all of the hurricane damage down in the Gulf. I'm just hoping he's home in time for my 10 year reunion!

3. I've been watching a lot of old movies lately. I go through phases like this, where I get addicted to a certain actor/actress from back in the day. Last time, it was Cary Grant movies, so I watched just about every one ever made. Lately, it's been Doris Day. I wish people still dressed like her. I think I lived in the wrong era!

4. I've officially started Christmas shopping, which is earlier than I think I've ever started before. I found a STEAL on a gift though, and I'm so excited about it!

5. I spent last Friday with my BFF Brittney just shopping around and enjoying girl time. I didn't plan on buying anything, but when I found a great deal on a Coach purse at the outlet, I couldn't resist, and definitely justified it in my mind as to why I "deserved" it. We attempted to see the hot air balloon festival in Plano, but it was pretty much over for the night. I also got to be Quinn's date for dinner, which was great because he is SUPER handsome! I can't believe how much he's talking and how smart he is! Brittney has our lone picture on her camera, so if she'll send it to me, I'll post it. We definitely need to have days like that more often. I treasure them so much! To see ridiculously embarassing pictures of us from back in the day, click here. You won't be disappointed!

6. Jack (my dog) has started biting my jeans at the ankles every time he can tell I'm about to leave. It's kindof funny, but I'm beginning to get annoyed. I don't know how to break him of this! This is also Jack's new favorite way to sleep...backwards on the armrest of our recliner! Isn't he cute?!

And here's Ryan torturing Harley. She's too stupid to know that she doesn't have to stay there.

And here are the 4 of us before a wedding in Abilene a couple of weeks ago...

Sunday, September 07, 2008


"Sixers" is the name of Ryan's & my new Guitar Hero band in honor of our 6th anniversary. If you read my previous post, you know that Ryan had to leave at 4a.m. Thursday morning for the Gulf, so he's missing our anniversary today. Well, he found out that he was leaving at work on Wednesday, and when I got home after church Wednesday night I found the new Aerosmith version of Guitar Hero on the kitchen island with a "Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad" note from Jack & Harley. I thought it was very sweet of the dogs to go buy us an anniversary present, and seeing as how we completely ignore them while we play Guitar Hero, I was shocked that they chose to get that for us. They're so thoughtful! Anyway, we usually try to somewhat follow the traditional anniversary gift lists for anniversaries, and 6 years is supposed to be candy or iron. We decided that playing "heavy metal" on Guitar Hero counts as "iron", so that's our justification. Ryan truly knows the way to my heart!

We spent last weekend enjoying Fort Worth, which is something we should really do more often since we live here! We went to the Kimbell Art Museum to see the Impressionists exhibit, and I was blown away. I love art museums, but they're not necessarily Ryan's thing. He was totally into it though, and enjoyed it just as much as I did. I'm a huge fan of a lot of the artists whose work was on display--Cezanne, Monet, VanGogh, Pisarro...but I was THRILLED when I saw that the hugest painting on display was Gustave Caillebotte's "Paris Street, Rainy Day" of my very favorites! I think I like it because the couple looking across the street not paying attention is probably about to get whacked by that guy's umbrella coming toward just makes me laugh.

After that, we had sandwiches from Baker Bros (YUM) & went to the Botanical Gardens. It was actually not a billion degrees outside that day, so the weather was perfect. I was surprised how much was in bloom this late in the summer, especially with how hot it has been, but it was actually prettier than I had ever seen it! Here are some of my favorite pictures from our day...

You can see the bee's wings!!

The next night, we went to see our friend, Luke, in the musical "Tommy" at Dallas Theater Center. It's all music from The Who, and the cast and the band did a great job, but it was probably the strangest, most confusing show I have ever seen...and REALLY loud. I heard that they were handing out earplugs on the previous nights, but I guess we missed them. Ryan thinks that if they had handed out illegal drugs on the way into the show, he might have understood it better. I might agree. It was fun, nonetheless, and was a nice ending to our weekend of culture. :)

The best part of the weekend was getting to spend it with this guy.

Ryan is definitely my perfect match. As much time as we spend apart, it is great that we enjoy each other so much when we are together. Here's to another 6 years!!