Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Busy days

Hey peeps,

Here's the deal.

Big D is in town.

You know, Grandpa D?

My Dad!


It's his first time here to Houston, so we have loads to see and do! Yesterday after I picked him up from the airport, I treated him to lunch. He loved his first taste of Texas barbeque! Then we drove around parts of the 'burbs so he could see the area. We even toured a GORGEOUS model home. A *little* out of my price range... like $500,000 out.. whatever! A girl can dream, right?

Today we'll explore some more, possibly going out to the Gulf to checkout the Battleship Texas. And tomorrow we're headed out to San Antonio. My Dad has always wanted to see the Alamo, so we're making a LOOOoonnNNG day trip of it. 3 hours there, 3 hours back- with an 8 month old. Wish me luck!

Oh, so because of this... I probably won't be around very much this week.

This and also because something else has happened...

I walked into Aidan's bedroom over the weekend and saw this.

My life is officially over.

He only looks sweet and innocent! This little man is a TROUBLE MAKER!

The little guy not only pulls himself up in his crib... He crawls ALL OVER the house and tries to pull himself up on various things.

Chairs, the open dishwasher, the refrigerator... Even the dogs!

I'm counting the days until he can walk... Uh oh!

Enjoy your week! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Fourteen

{Day Fourteen}

{A Picture I Love}

Aidan and Mama taking a self-portrait at the Zoo. Aren't we silly?

Check out the 30 Day Challenge @ Katie's Journey.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Thirteen

{Day Thirteen}


Lucky for you all I have 101 goals that you can view right here. Or else go to the tabs at the top of the page to view my 101 in 1001.

Besides those goals that I hope to accomplish I'd also like to...

*be a fair, honest, fun, interesting, encouraging and positive role model, mother, friend, partner, daughter, sister and mentor for others in my life.
* finally finish up my Bachelor's degree.
* have atleast one more child.
* live abroad.
* develop a stronger relationship with God.

And I'm sure there are many more... that was just the tip of the iceberg!

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Twelve

{Day Twelve}

{What I Believe}

I believe...

that my son is a wonderful miracle from God.
in soulmates.
that love at first sight really exists.
Pepsi is better than Coke.
there are angels watching over us.
that we all only have one life and that we should enjoy each and every moment of it.

What do you believe?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Eleven

{Day Eleven}

{Favorite TV Shows}

Let's see... In all honesty I don't watch much TV these days. But, I always try to make time for..

The Biggest Loser and Parenthood. LOVE, love, LOoOOooVE those two shows. :)

Some that I try to watch, but can't always find the time..

30 Rock
The Office

Other shows I love, but are no longer with us.. :(

Sex and the City (although I have the box set)
Friends (yep, have that box set, too!)

And some other shows from WAaaaYY back when...

Laverne and Shirley
Happy Days
The Monkees (you know it!)
Salute Your Shorts
Pete & Pete
The Wonder Years
Punky Brewster
Saved by the Bell

And probably one of my all-time FAVORITE shows. Please, do not judge me. Please.

Full House

I can hear you laughing, ya know!

I know it's super corny, but it brings back so many childhood memories for me! My sisters and I used to LIVE for T.G.I.F. on Friday nights so that we could watch this show. And come on, John Stamos was super hot, even with a mullet!

Check out Katie's blog to see if anybody else likes some of my shows!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Ten

{Day Ten}

{Something I'm Afraid Of}

Not feeling fulfilled with my life. I think that's why I've changed majors so many times in school. Why I feel the itch to move even though I'm content where I am. I always feel that I may miss out on something. Or that I may be happier being somewhere or doing something else.

When Jason was offered his promotion here in Houston, I jumped at the chance to relocate. I was getting tired of Ohio. The long winters, the overcast skies, the poor economy and just the regular day-to-day stuff was starting to take its toll on me. Now here we are in Houston. We have been living here for a little over 2 years and have been in our new home down here for a little over one. I'm all ready wanting to move. Isn't it ridiculous?

There are just some many places I want to live. So many things I want to experience. And I feel like if I don't do it now, then I never will. Jason and I always talk about living abroad and raising our children in a different country. I think it would be fantastic. What a way to really experience life! On the other hand, I all ready miss my family living here in Houston and I know I'd see them even less if we lived overseas. But, honestly, I'd be okay with that. It'd be worth it for the experience.

I also really want to be successful at whatever career path it is I ultimately end up choosing. I don't want to be stuck in a job that I dislike. I want to be happy about going to work each day and excited about what I will accomplish. But, I can honestly say that being a Mom is by far the most fulfilling job I have ever had. I never dreamed I would love being a stay at home mom as much as I do. And I will be perfectly content in this position for another 6 years. Of that, I am sure.

So, who knows... perhaps Texas Life will become British Life someday in the not so distant future!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Nine

{Day Nine}

{A Picture of my Friends}

Here are some of my good friends....

Rhea and Caitriona. Two ladies whom I met at work. Rhea left a month after I took my maternity leave to be a SAHM. We get together once a week with the kiddos to chat and let the little ones play together. She is a wonderful confidant and the person whom I can vent to about anything that's troubling me. Caitriona is leaving the clinic at the end of the month to pursue a new career. She is a bit of a spaz and so fun to be around. Her stories always make me laugh. I am so glad that I have kept in touch with these lovely ladies!

Ohhh Holly. How I miss you! She's probably my best gal pal down here in Houston, but is currently in MinnesOOoota on a contract job. She'll be back at the end of the month. I'm SOO excited to see her! Holly lived with Jason and I for about 6 months and we became extremely close during that time. I love this girl like a sister! :)

The lovely ladies in our Mommas group. I don't know what I'd do without their support, advice and friendship. They have kept me sane during these baby months when I've felt alone and stressed. I'm excited to get to know all of them better and I hope that our babies grow up to be good friends.

Ed. Oh, Ed! We have been friends for over 10 years. He is literally one of the family. Ed has been joining us for holidays for years. We invite him to all family affairs, from birthday parties to baptisms and he even showed up at my baby shower (as the only guy... but he took photos, so really he was the photographer!) I love him like a brother. We've gotten into all kinds of funny trouble over the years and have tons of stories and inside jokes. I miss this guy!

And finally, Jennifer. I consider her my best friend, along with my sister Elizabeth. Even though we only see each other twice a year when I'm up in Ohio, she is a great comfort to me. I know I can always confide in her and give her the truth about how I'm feeling. She is a strong, intelligent and talented woman and I'm proud to call her my friend. :)

Check out Katie's blog for more on this topic.

Monday, October 18, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Eight

{Day Eight}

{A Place I've Traveled To}

I like to think that I'm a fairly well traveled gal. At least when it comes to the United States. Out of the country my travels have not taken me farther than the Bahamas and parts of Canada.

I really had to think about where I wanted to write about today, but one trip in particular keeps popping into my head. Here's a little background info leading up to that special weekend...

In September of 2006 Jason and I adopted our first dog. We had been wanting a dog for awhile, but had were living in an apartment and couldn't justify keeping a big dog confined to our tiny living quarters. A month earlier we purchased our first home, which included a fenced in yard. We were ready for our dog! We searched for quite sometime, as we had a particular breed in mind. A boxer. Seriously the best family dog, ever!

Finally we found... Diego!

We adopted him from a rescue about 2 hours from our home. He had been caught wandering the streets and wasn't in great shape. Whomever had owned him prior had mistreated him and he had the scars to prove it. He had a collar imbedded so badly around his neck that the rescue had to have it surgically removed. There were also burn marks from cigars and cigarettes all over his body. But, he was the sweetest dog imaginable. He only wanted to be loved. And his loyalty was unwavering.

It seemed our beloved dog was going to be plauged by illness. He had eye problems that required visits to a veterinary opthomologist ($) and then one day he fell down the stairs. We rushed him to the doctor and discovered that he had geriatric vestibular syndrome. Which is basically vertigo in older pets. We had been told by the rescue that he was between 3 and 5 years old, turns out he was atleast 7 years old. A younger dog would not have gotten vestibular syndrome. In case you don't know, a Boxer's lifespan is usually 7-10 years. It's because they are the number one breed to contract cancer and tumors. Things weren't looking too great for Diego.

His vestibular syndrome caused him to have a constant head tilt. It didn't bother him or us, so we just let it be. Then one day the following August, just before his 1 year adoption anniversary with us, I found a tiny little bump on his neck. We took him in to have him checked out. Radiographs discovered that he had lymphoma. And it had all ready spread to lungs and brain. A tumor the size of a softball was growing inside his neck and was wrapped around his jugular. To have it surgically removed would be out of the question. We were devastated. The doctor didn't recommend chemotherapy, as it wouldn't help his quality of life much or give him much longer with us. So Jason and I decided to take Diego on a vacation. He was still acting like his regular self, so we wanted to go quickly before he took a turn for the worse.

Enter one of the best trips of my life. A visit to the Hocking Hills in central Ohio. I've been before, but this trip was special because we had Diego with us.

It was perfect. We rented a sweet little cabin across from Lake Logan.

We went on multiple hikes everyday to see the different parks that the area has to offer. Diego hiked to his heart's content. We also took him for a splash in the lake and our evenings were spent around a campfire or snuggled up inside spending as much time as we could with our special boy.

Within two months his health began to decline rapidly. The doctor had given him about 3 weeks to live, but miraculously Diego made it 9 weeks. He was miserable and had no life left in him. The decision was ultimately ours. Eventually his tumor would become so massive that he would asphyxiate or else we could have him euthanized. We chose the latter. It was one of the hardest days of my life. Mainly because Diego loved going to the vet. He walked in there with a wag in his step, not knowing it was the last place he'd ever see.

We had our beloved boy for a little over a year. We now have two more dogs, and although we love them dearly, they will never compare to our special Diego.

Check out the 30 Day Challenge at Katie's blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Seven

{Day Seven}

{My Favorite Movies}

Oh lordy, lordy! I kind of have a "thing" for movies... As in I'm obsessed! So is Jason. We easily own over 200 DVD's. It's sick people. We can't stay away from those darn sales at Blockbuster. You know the ones... 4 DVD's for like 20 bucks!

Can you say awesome?!

I don't even know where I'd begin to list favorites.. but let's see here... perhaps I can do a favorite for different categories..

* The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Sci-Fi/nerd movie)
* Love Actually (Christmas movie)
* Gone with the Wind (Classic)
* Bridget Jones' Diary (Chick flick)
* The Departed (Action)
* The Big Lebowski (Can I count this as my favorite bowling movie?)
* Hook (Kid's movie)
* Newsies (Musical)
* Pride and Prejudice- the BBC version with Colin Firth. Yes please! (Made for Television)
* The Little Mermaid (Disney movie)

Now the hardest for me is probably gonna be my favorite comedy. This is one of my favorite genres. Mostly because it's what I watch these days since I can just put one in and not think or really focus on the movie. Because it's just funny. And that's what I need after spending all day with a baby. who's teething. and fussy. and just wants to be held. yep.

I'm gonna say....

* Anchorman/Talladega Nights/40-Year Old Virgin/Zoolander/Old School/Wedding Crashers/Knocked Up

Yup... that's ONE movie. I swear. Haven't you heard of it?

Find more movies here. :)

Happy Sunday! Go Texans!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Six

{Day Six}

{A Picture of Something that Makes me Happy}

Well, this little man always manages to put a smile on MY face!

Check out Katie's blog for some more happy pictures!

Friday, October 15, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Five

{Day Five}

{My Siblings}

You may remember this picture from a Wordless Wednesday post I did back in May. But, if you don't, here it is again.

I absolutely LOVE this picture of all of us. It's not too often that we are all together these days. Yes, everybody still lives in Ohio. Except me. But, we all have our own lives, children, marriages, school, work and things going on.

And no, you are seeing it incorrectly. There are seven of us. That's a lot of kids! And NO I do NOT want seven of my own. Never. NEVER! I still have no idea how my parents managed.

Things were not always roses and rainbows growing up, but I feel it made me a better person in the end. You have to learn to share, compromise, and fend for yourself at a young age. I was very self-sufficient by the time I was in second grade. I made my own lunch, did my own laundry, had daily and weekly chore lists that needed to be completed and learned how to do things for myself. Of course my parents loved us, but with seven kids, it was just easier to teach us how to do things for ourselves. And I'm happy for it.

I can't stand it when I see mothers who do EVERYTHING for their children. How are they learning anything if you finish their homework for them, brush their teeth and wipe their butt?! I mean seriously people. Admit it. You know somebody whose mother treated them that way. Come on. I KNOW you do! You should love your children, but you are not their maid and/or servant; you do not need to wait on them hand and foot as if they are incompetent of doing things themselves.

Okay, rant done. With that being said. I love my siblings. Things were sometimes rough growing up. We had our disagreements. And it definitely didn't help that I was super bossy and somewhat of a bully. On the flip side, I always had somebody to play with! And we had a blast swimming in the lake in our yard, playing at the park down the street and challenging our Dad 5 to 1 at softball! Now that we are older, I really cherish the special relationships that I have built with each and every one of them.

I miss living so close by and being able to see them whenever I want. But that makes our time together so much more special now that we only see each other a few times a year. And as you can see, when we do get together, we have a lot of fun! We are all pretty loud, outgoing and enjoy having fun! It's a blast when you put us all in the same room. Oh, and a little chaotic!

Two of them hold an extra special place in my heart.

My sister Elizabeth and I are 18 months apart. She's older. We were a grade apart in school, so we wound up having a lot of the same friends. Especially in High School. I don't think that we became really GOOD friends until then. We talk every single day. I was her Maid of Honor when she got married 5 1/2 years ago. She means the world to me. We've gone on trips together and tell each other everything. It's nice to have somebody to vent to, who really gets me and doesn't judge my decisions. We also call each other "Lady". We don't use our first names. Weird, yes, it is. But, that's just what we do! :)

The other is my brother, Dennis. He is 14 years older than me and we never really became connected until I was about 18. He lived about 2 hours away from my college and I would make a point to drive up to see him as often as I could. Those times meant so much to me. Before that I really only saw him on weekends or special occasions. And our whole family would be around, so we didn't have any one on one time. He is a wonderful brother who is always looking after me. We are similar in so many ways: our love of music, movies, books, and having a good time. He is SOO much fun to be around. Before we moved down to Texas we went to a different city every year for 3 years for St. Patty's Day. It was a BLAST! We also went to NYC to celebrate his 40th birthday "in style." I can't tell you how much fun it was! I really miss seeing him, but it helps that we talk on the phone quite often. Also, how can I not love the person who introduced me to Jimmy Buffet?
To this day I will see pictures of all seven of us and I can't believe that all of us are siblings!

And, for the record there is 1 boy and 6 girls. Our ages? 42, 39, 30, 28, 27, 25 and 23. My Mom had the last 5 of us in 7 years. What WAS she thinking?! (If you happen to see an Asian in there, don't worry, your eyes are correct. My oldest sister is adopted. But that's another story for another day!)

Check out Katie's blog for some more sibling love.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Four

{Day Four}

{My Parents}

Are wonderful. They have been married for 43 years. Yes, 43 years! Pretty darn awesome, considering most marriages end in divorce these days. And considering they survived raising seven children!

With my nephew a few years ago.

When I was younger I was always my Dad's favorite. He treated me as a second son, since my brother is 14 years older than me and headed off to college when I was just 4 years old. I helped my dad "work" on his Model-A Ford and accompanied him to drag races and Indy car races for most of my childhood.

My Mom and I butted heads for years. Years. We have similar personality traits that caused us to disagree rather often. (Read between the lines folks: We are both stubborn, control freaks who don't want to admit we're wrong and aren't afraid to give our opinion to others, whether they want to hear it or not!) But, once I moved out of the house things seemed to simmer down and now it's not uncommon for me to talk to her on the phone everyday.

I love my parents so much and appreciate all the things that they have given me and my siblings in life. We never needed anything. And were always encouraged to try new things. They wanted us to try out different sports, dance classes, languages, food, you name it, so that we could figure out what we wanted to do and like on our own.

They also instilled in me a love of history and travel that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Since my Dad worked so hard to support us all, we did not see him much during the school year. But, every summer we would go on fantastic cross-country vacations. Our trips took us from Cape Cod to San Francisco to Disney World to Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore and everywhere in between. I will never forget all of our wonderful adventures!

Thanks Mom and Dad for making me into the woman I am today. And for helping me to become the Mother and role model that I want to be for my son. :)

Check out Katie's blog for more posts.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Three

{Day Three}

{My First Love}

Oy vay!

My first puppy-love. The "I-will-die-if-we-dont-talk-on-the-phone-every-night-even-if-we-have-nothing-to-say-to-each-other-since-we-spent-all-day-at-school-together-so-I-just-want-to-listen-to-you-breathe" love was in high school. Was it real love? Well I certainly thought it was at the time. But now? I'm not so sure. It was a special time in my life. A time I won't forget. But I don't think he is really my first love. Ya know? (That and the fact I could never bring myself to admit he was, considering that today he is a pot-smoking hippie who can't get enough of the GOP. That's a little bit of an oxymoron, no? Gotta love "reconnecting" with people on facebook!)

There have been LOTS of boyfriends in my life. Many, many. They come, they go. There are fights, some drama, make ups, break ups. But none of those boyfriends, those relationships I forged with them, were constant. Eventually they weren't good enough. And occasionally, I wasn't good enough. We didn't fit. Things just weren't meant to be. Sometimes it was heartbreaking, I was an emotional wreck. Other times I just accepted it. Because I know deep in my heart that things weren't meant to be. We weren't meant to be together.

They were all trials. I was practicing until I found my one true love. In a bar. While I was attending my friend's bachelorette party. And perhaps there was some vodka involved. Just maybe.

But, we met. I knew immediately. I actually told my sister that I knew I had to go find him again after we had first talked. That I had a feeling he was the one for me. Spooky, eh? And my hunch was right. Doesn't women's intuition rock?!

So, here we are 5 1/2 years, 1 baby, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 houses and 1400 miles away from where it all began. Happy as can be. Two peas in a this wonderful pod called life.

And I couldn't be any happier.

One of my favorite pictures of Jason, with our nephew Brandon. Taken at our going away party right before we moved to Texas.

Check out Katie's blog for more first love posts.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day Two

{Day Two}

{The Meaning Behind My Blog Name}

Well, I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Texas Life. I live in Texas, this blog is about my life. :)

I started the blog to keep our family and friends back in Ohio up to date on what was going on down here. Then, I became pregnant and it morphed into a pregnancy blog.

Now that I have Aidan it's an update on his development into a little man. I also write about our home, crafts, food, trips we take, myself and whatever else happens to be on my mind.

It's interesting to see how my blog has changed over time. When I was pregnant and for the first few months after Aidan was born I was all about the other "mommy" blogs, like MckMama, My Little Life and Our Mommyhood.

But, now I find myself gravitating towards blogs focusing on decorating and peoples homes... Such as, The Nester, Honey We're Home, The Inspired Room and Tatertots and Jello. I love all of their ideas and now that I have this whole "mommy" thing under control, I think it's time to work on my house. To make it a wonderful home for family! But, what I love about these "decorating" blogs is that they are written by Moms. So they can relate to their readers and know how to design on a budget!

So, if you are a follower of mine, you may see that my blog may change course every once and awhile. Afterall, interests change, people change and everything changes.

And with those changes, come changes to my Texas Life.

Follow with others on their 30 Day Blog Challenge over at Katie's Journey.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kraftmaid Design Your Style Contest

Hey all,

Just thought I'd share with a little contest Kraftmaid is hosting. I'm sure my chance of winning are pretty slim, so I'll let you in on all the details!

Head over to Kraftmaid and create your own design board of what your perfect kitchen would be like. The just enter their contest. Easy peasy. And who knows, maybe one of you (but I hope ME!) will win a $50,000 kitchen makeover from Kraftmaid!

Good luck!

I am not being compensated by Kraftmaid in anyway. I don't know anybody who works for them. I just really want a new kitchen. Like bad. And I thought you might want one too. Who doesn't?


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