Friday, December 23, 2011

A New Twist on Texas Caviar

It seems this time of year dips are plentiful. And I'm always looking for a new one to spice up the old regulars.
Might I add, I am in no way on any sort of a diet during this holiday eating frenzy, but it is nice to have a "go-to" that's sans the mayo and cream cheese. Try this for an easy, fresh and colorful addition to your dip extravaganzas.

Feta Black Bean Dip
1/4 cup of sugar (I use slightly less)
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of Whole Kernel Corn
1 small can (11 oz) of white shoepeg or chipotle corn
1/3 bunch of scallions, chopped
1/3 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 tub of crumbled feta cheese

Whisk sugar, vinegar and oil in a large bowl. Add the black beans, corn, scallions, cilantro and feta and mix well. Chill until serving time. Serve with tortilla chips.



Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Cards

This is what the office looks like. Christmas cards, envelopes, return address labels, markers and trash.

This year I've decided to address my Christmas cards myself. In years past I have used computer labels, which leaves zero personalization from me. Not that addressing the cards myself is all that personal, but at least it allows me a moment to actually think about the family in which I'm mailing the card.

I read about great tradition I want to share with you. Take one Christmas card each night and pray for that family as you say your dinner-time prayers. Continue this throughout the year. As for this family, we're going to try it! Send me your Christmas card...I love receiving them, and it will get ya one extra prayer!



Monday, November 21, 2011

First Birthday Party!

We had a birthday for a Lady Bug. And everyone had a good time. Although by my pictures you wouldn't know anyone else was here. But rest assured there were cousins and besties and aunts and uncles and aunties and barbecue and birthday cake and lots of good cheer. There was even a bounce house we borrowed from our cousin Henry. A big time was had by all.

Aunty Mere even bought the birthday girl a Lady Bug backpack! It was a day to remember!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Life is starting to move very quickly. So fast, in fact, that I think my child looks bigger every day. I'm not exaggerating. She's a full-fledged big girl. The baby stage is gone. Long gone, actually. It's really starting to scare me. That to say, this blog is sometimes the last thing on my to-do list, and it just flat-out gets neglected. I'm sorry. I guess if I were making sponsorship money maybe I would make it a priority. So, hopefully you come here to check on new pictures and see what's happening and you're not too terribly disappointed when nothing has been updated. I'm slowing getting organized for a birthday party post. It's only 8 weeks late.

The thing that weighs heavily on me today is the loss of a pregnancy or better suited the loss of a baby. I have had four very close people to me lose a baby in the last few months. One of which was very newly pregnant and three were very far along. Although the ones that are farther along certainly face challenges and grief that others don't, but I think from the first night you lay in bed and know you're pregnant losing that baby would be beyond painful.

These aren't friends of friends, facebook friends or people I know through blogs. These are all people that are near and dear to me. Real life people. One I've known my whole life, and two I have known for close to 25 years and the third for close to a decade. The constant question is always "WHY". Why do these women have to face this tragedy? Why do they have to explain to their older children that the baby died and is going to heaven and not home to live with their family? Why them and not the crack addict that hasn't taken care of her body or have means to take care of a child?

I always end up chalking it up to "the bigger plan". That's all my brain can work with. There's no explanation for adversity in life, other than it's all apart of the path that God has made for you. Although sometimes I think that answer just sucks. That word isn't the nicest of words or very lady-like, and I'm sure my mom isn't thrilled with that selection but there's not a lot of options in this case. It sucks. It's a shitty hand.

It scares me. Selfishly, it scares me for the thought of another pregnancy and healthy child. When will my luck run dry? That's certainly not the way I should view it, but when you look at statistics, at what point are you the next one up? I need the faith that if it's my lot in life then it is. I will handle it and grow and learn and move forward. But I'd kick and scream the whole way.

I once heard that fear is a waste of time. If I spent the number of hours praying that I do fearing something bad will happen I would be in a much better place. I'm trying to absorb that. I've lost more sleep worrying about a child that I'm not pregnant with. That is just flat silly. I guess if we knew it all and mastered it all then the time here would be expired.

So I leave you today without pictures, but to ask you to do something for me. I don't normally ask this of people and am a bit private about this section of my life, but I ask you to pray. I ask you to pray for my loved ones that they find comfort in knowing that sometimes there is no answer to the why. Pray that they find peace in events that have happened in their life. And pray they can find positive in a horrible situation and share their story with others for whom they can help. One of my friends that I'm talking about said yesterday, we find comfort in comforting others. And I think that is absolutely true. Thank God for your friends, your family and your healthy babies. We can't do it alone.

I also have a couple of grandmothers that are close to my heart that are very sick. Pray for them too. Pray that their families find peace and comfort in their special memories and lots of wonderful years of wisdom that they were able to share. If you've made it to being a grandmother and great-grandmother I think it's safe to say "job well done!" And for that let's all hope there is a big reward on the flip-side.....something in a pearly, golden gate!

I hope to be back very soon with more uplifting, happy and joyous posts!


Monday, October 17, 2011


I've been away. Not like to the South of France away, but in general away. We've had a couple of parties and a couple dozen illnesses around here. I owe you all tons of great pictures from some FUN times this fall. I'll get it together...maybe by spring.

In happier news...THE TEXAS RANGERS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!! How cool is that? Pretty cool when you're from Arlington, Texas and you have super fond memories of the Rangers starting from the time you can remember. I've watched a million games on tv, I've been to quite a lot at both stadiums, a friend of mine's dad was the team doctor when we were kids (that was cool), and I can still hear the sound of the announcers on the radio. My dad would always have the Ranger game on while out in the garage or tooling around town after a Saturday barbecue lunch. It's just nostalgic for me. I hope they can clinch it this year. I have high hopes!

When I was born my name was entered into a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship presented by Danny Darwin, a pitcher for the Rangers. Believe it or not, I won for the month of March. And 18 years later when I was leaving for college I went to the Rangers' business office and collected my money. Pretty good deal, I'd say.

But, now that it's 30 years later, I think the best part of the whole deal is this photo. There's so much about it that I love. I love my dad's rockin outfit. And my brother's cleats and the fact that he's so super stoked we're standing on the field and he has no clue it's not all for him. And the fact that my mom has a 6 month old and she's lookin so skinny. And that my brother and I have kids that look an awfully lot like us today. And in total vein, I love that my name is as big as Dallas on the scoreboard. I'm so glad this picture has made many moves and survived the shuffle. It's a precious little keepsake that I hope to always have.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm no Betty Crocker...

...and certainly don't claim to be, that's for sure. I struggle over dinner quite often. The use of a crock-pot seems so 1972, but I tell works. And is a life saver. Especially with a 12 month old that likes to be right under my feet in the kitchen. Oh, and have I mentioned we STILL DON'T HAVE CABINET LOCKS? That makes for a really fun game when your hands are germ soaked with raw meat and you need to drag your kiddo out of the chemicals cabinet.
(Husband, have I made my case yet??)

I checked out a recipe that I snagged from Pinterest. I didn't have high hopes because again, it was crock pot-ish and seemed far from my mom's original Beef Stroganoff recipe.

As embarrassing as it is, I have two of these big boys. Shhhhh, don't tell.

A little side story...the week after we got home from our honeymoon I was eager beaver to become Julia Childs. What could possibly be so hard about working a full-time job, traveling a good bit and making a delightful dinner to be served with candle light on all of our new dinnerware? Well, a lot actually. I make my trip to the store to whip-up momma love's Beef Stroganoff and serve with an appetizer, salad, dessert and wine. I don't think we ate dinner that night until about 10:30 pm, it wasn't worth a damn and it cost me somewhere around $100 and we didn't so much as get a half gallon of milk within the trip. I decided very quickly that my brother got the cooking knack and I should stick to something else...not sure what, but something.

Back to the crock potter.

Some of the ingredients...add from list below

Crock-Pot Beef Stroganoff
2 lbs. stew meat (salt and pepper it)
1-8oz. cream cheese
2 cans Golden Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup water (don't be so serious, just filled up a soup can 3/4 of the way full)
Garlic Powder (few dashes)
Worcestershire Sauce (Maybe 4-5 tablespoons. I'm not sure you could actually get too much.)
1 large yellow onion diced

Combine all ingredients minus the cream cheese and meat. Stir mixture together in the crock-pot and then add meat. Let cook on low for 6-7 hours (recipe I read said 8 hours, I assume so that if you're leaving for a day at the office it will be ready when you return. My meat was fork tender when I checked it at 5 hours. So make fitting to your schedule). Let cream cheese come to room temperature and cut into cubes and add to crock pot in the last 15 minutes.
Serve with egg noodles.

COST: $7.75 for main course.
We have at least another night's full dinner and probably then some. Add in a salad and/or side veggies and that's a meal under $10 for 2 nights.

My husband will eat anything. I don't think he's ever complained about a single, poorly produced meal I've put out there. But, speaking for myself...I'm a tough critic. My mom ruined me as a child. She's good, real good in the kitchen. I will say, this was pretty darn tasty. It was a legit comfort food meal that didn't cost a ton and didn't take a day of slaving in the kitchen. Check it out.

We even had time for this when dad got home. I would say that's success.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guess who turned ONE!

My little angel cake! We had a BIG day of celebrating! I only got a little weepy for a short time. Mainly, thinking about my dad not being here to see this little sweet pea grow-up. But moving on from depressing far as the actual event of my baby turning one, I was rather cheery about it. We celebrated! We made new traditions, and we felt accomplished. We were excited that we made it this far. There were days we could hardly keep our eyes open and hadn't showered or brushed our teeth in too long to admit. But, things are looking up! We have this deal down (most of the time!). The first six months were a blur, the last six months have been so much fun. And every day since has been even more so. Seeing Julia grow and her personality shine is the most beautiful thing.

Birthday Eve started with breakfast and ice cream!

And then it was onto the real show. The day began with balloons! Lots and lots of balloons! And throughout the day more and more bouquets of them arrived, along with cards, gifts, cookie was unlike any other day! It was lots of fun!!

And then we spied a new buggy! In the last 48 hours I have learned we will be taking LOTS of rides in the new car.

The amount of excitement here was beyond words...such a fun morning!

OBSESSED with the new wheels!

And then we ate pancakes!

All dolled up for the special day and visit to the aquarium!

I think there was a nightmare around 5:30 am about this guy!

Seeing this little girl standing up-right with shoes and a dress on never gets old. I can't believe she's so big!

Ready for some lunchies!

After dinner there was cake!

LOVE the cake!

And VERY sad when dad took it away.

But then mom came to the rescue.

And dad made it even better with a swim in the tub.

And after the tot went to bed that night mom and dad celebrated the year! What better night to pull out the china and reminisce? Do you spy the photobook I made? Clinton hadn't viewed it yet...he was waiting for her birthday. He's like that...doesn't want to spoil anything too early.

And the next day after school the buggy was STILL fun!!

What a day and what a year! Thank you all for walking this journey...I hope for many, many more fun and exciting years ahead.