Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Have a safe evening tonight and have a great 2010! Signing off until the new year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm Dreaming of....

A White Christmas! We actually got one, too! I know it is technically Christmas Eve and not the actual day, but it counts in my book. Being from Texas, this is about as close as we are ever going to get!

We had an amazing day with the snow. At times it looked to be brewing a blizzard outside. Snow was blowing everywhere and it came down for most of the day. The girls had a blast. Lauren was a little less afraid of it this time around an actually touched the white stuff. We enjoyed being at home all together. We played games, drank hot cocoa, and just took it easy while watching the outside entertainment.

Later tonight we went to Charlie's Uncle Mark and Aunt Karen's house for our traditional Christmas Eve celebration of brats and beer. Well....there was lots of other stuff to both eat and drink, but that is the tradition. We then did our gift exchange. Sarah and Lauren were very excited about opening presents.

We then came home and got ready for bed quickly, but not before leaving the jolly old elf some midnight snacks. Then it was a quick read of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and then off to bed! Merry Christmas everyone and thanks Santa for the snow! It made this about the most perfect Christmas Eve you can get!

My Favorite Tradition (for real this time) I was reminded last night that this is my "real" favorite Christmas tradition!

How could it be anything else. I have the best memories of going to see the Nutcracker every year with my family. We would get all dressed up, have a fancy dinner, then go to the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio and go see it. I don't think we missed a year until I went to college. Ok...maybe high school, but I can't even count how many we went to when I was a "child". I could not wait for Sarah to get old enough so I could take her for the first time. So, when she was 3 we went to the Texas Ballet Theater's performance at Bass Hall in Ft. Worth. It is AMAZING. The choreography, the music, the sets, the costumes....couldn't be more perfect. Last night was my 3rd year taking her and I plan to make this a yearly practice. I now can't wait for Lauren to get to be old enough so we can ALL go!

Last night was especially special because we got Charlie's parents and the newlyweds (Rob and Nina) to go with us. Sarah also got to take a friend. We had a box to ourselves and had a wonderful time! I think I am truly ready for Christmas. Nothing gets me in the spirit and fills my head with cheerful Christmas thoughts like the Nutcracker. It is truly magical!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Emmy goes to......

My Charlie! This is his 5th Sports Emmy. This time it was for his Associate Director work at the Beijing Olympics. His crew won for Outstanding Live Event Turnaround. He had worked at the diving venue. I am so proud of him. He brushes it off like it is no big deal, but they don't just hand these things out to everyone.

His previous Emmy's were for NASCAR on FOX in 2001, 2005, 2007 and for his work at the Olympics in Athens in 2004. That time he worked beach volleyball.

He will be again at the Olympics in 2010. This time working at bobsled and luge. I hope to reporting another Emmy win in the near future!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Favorite Tradition

When I was growing up my family had lots of great traditions. Some I have carried over to my family and others just remain a memory I will hold dear forever. I have also tried to create a few new ones with my own family that are just special to us. Last night, though, Sarah and I embarked upon my favorite tradition carried over from my family's Christmas. We made and decorated COOKIES! Lots and lots of wonderful, almondy, sugar cookies. Last year I was so distraught b/c I thought I had lost my mother's recipe we used all while I was growing up. So I searched and searched for a replacement one that captured the exact flavor of the ones we used to make. I was very lucky and did find one, and was doubly (is that word?) lucky that I ended up finding my mother's recipe. So now I have both the original and a suitable back-up should one ever get misplaced again!

Sarah is such the little chef and she loves to help me in the kitchen. She had fun decorating with all the colors and she loved eating the ones she broke during the process. I have fond memories of making cookies with my mother and I hope she will have the same!

Here is the recipe. This is the back-up recipe. Mom's will stay a secret, but this one is sure to please! It is courtesy of Paula Deen.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Wrap dough in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with assorted cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill dough 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've been Featured!

I am so excited that I have been featured on one of my FAVORITE party blogs! Creative Party Place has mentioned Lauren's Miss Spider Sunny Patch party on their most recent entry! I am thrilled! It was such a fun party to plan! Please go to Creative Party Place for great inspiration and ideas for cute parties!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Pictures

It is a tradition that we take the girls to get Santa pictures every year. We have been most fortunate to be 6 for 6 on the happy faces in the photo! We had a close call this year, as Lauren was not to keen on the idea of sitting in Santa's lap. Thankfully the photographer was quick to get her attention and it was a success! Note: she is trying to escape nonetheless! So here is the latest one. The ones that follow are from years past!

Awards Again! my friend Holly and blogger extraordinaire sent me a couple of awards about a century ago and I am finally getting around to posting them and passing them on. Thanks Holly! I promise I wasn't blowing you off!

Here are the deserving bloggers I want to pass both awards along to. Please post about it and pass it along.

1. Katie at "Fun Times with the Becker's"
2. Jenny at "The Blah Blah Blahger"
3. Stephanie at "Gadora Wilder"
4. Ryan at "America's Bridget Jones"

So the first one is this:

The second one is this "sweet" one!

For this I supposed I am to complete the 10 random things about me list and then send it onto others. So here it goes!
  1. I grew up on a ranch in South Texas
  2. I once had a walk-on part on Days of Our Lives when I interned there. (1997)
  3. I would love to live in Italy and learn the language. I would settle for spending my summers there in a villa on the Amalfi Coast!
  4. I wish I knew how to make fabulous wedding cakes.
  5. I am a wedding fanatic. I have been married for 10 years and am probably the only bride that has a MS Weddings subscription that long after her big day!
  6. I have a husband that makes me a strawberry cake for my birthday every year!
  7. It is a little embarrassing, but I still watch MTV Real World and the Road Rules/Real World Challenges! Yes, I am 33.
  8. I want to travel the world, but I HATE to fly. When are we going to figure out how to beam ourselves places???
  9. Olives, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, and sour cream just disgust me. Although I will eat olive oil, cocktail sauce, and sour cream chips!
  10. I am not much of a book reader, but I can look at magazines all day long. I am much more of a picture person than a reader/writer.
Hope you all enjoy your awards and know that I enjoy reading your blogs!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sarah's Activities

I am so behind on blogging that it is not even funny. What have I been doing you might ask?....being mom....getting ready for Christmas....carting my Sarah all around to do Girls Scouts, dance, gymnastics, and ice skating! Ice skating replaced soccer, but hey, let's throw soccer in the mix, too! I know I am partly to blame for her (and my) schedule. But I don't know where to cut it off. I won't budge on the dance, she loves the gymnastics and the girl scouts, and well, ice skating, I just felt like if she showed any interest it was better to keep with it. She took a year off from it and has regressed some. She is really pretty good at it, so I hate to keep her from doing it if she likes it. So, well, that is how we find ourselves in this predicament! She did ask to do Irish step dancing, but I sort of pretended that went in one ear and out the next. Not that I don't want her to do it, but seriously! She has also mentioned going back to doing her art, which I love for her to do. Then we have the shocker of all was hated this fall by her (although you will never know from the pics) and ice skating was supposed to replace it for the "spring", but now I am hearing how we want still play we shall see what unfolds in the new year. I love for her to do activities but 6 different ones, I am not sure about that.

So let me re-cap what she has been up to.

Dance: She is at a new studio this year. It is hard to believe this is her 4th year of dance already. We moved studios so she could get to do a recital. The old studio does one, but it is at the beginning of June, and we will be in Ireland then, so that wasn't working. She seems to like her new class, but I have a feeling we will be back at the old studio next year (if we are still doing dance). It is her least favorite right now, and I vowed never to force my kids to do anything they didn't really love, so if she wants to take a break, we can take a break. I will probably revive the Irish step dancing talk if this happens! So here are some pics from her dance class parent show!

Sister had to get in on the action!

Soccer: As I mentioned, she was complaining about hating soccer, although you would not know it from watching her play the games. I thought for sure we were done with this one. She was such the soccer star in the spring, but came out in the fall in a funk. However, the last few games, the soccer star starting coming back. She started making goals again and started to get more aggressive. I don't know if it was the nice weather or what, but by the end she started changing her tune. Then the night of her team pizza party, the coach was talking about keeping the girls all together and what a great little team they have (they are good) and she started to talk about wanting to stay with it in the this one is still up in the air! Her are some pics!

Yes, in case you are wondering, it is Team Blondie!

Girl Scouts: Just a few nights ago she got invested into Girl Scouts with their Investiture Ceremony. It was very cute and she now has her Daisy pin. She loves girl scouts and I am glad! It is such a great activity! If you live near me...I am giving you fair warning...cookies are on the way and I will be finding you to buy!

Gymnastics: She just had her 1st meet yesterday and she did so good. She has only been doing gymnastics for 4 months now and she has improved so much. She still has a ways to go, but she loves it! At her meet she got a 8.8 on floor, 9.1 on vault, 8.8 on bars and a 8.9 on beam. (Note that the lowest score they were giving was an 8.8, but she tried really hard and did better than she had ever done in practice, so I was so proud of her! She was so excited afterwards and is already talking about doing it next year so she can win a trophy.

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