Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sarah's Super Fun Weekend

What a great weekend this was. It finally looked liked a normal February day in Texas outside. We have had more winter than we know what to do with this year, so 60 degrees and sunshine felt like heaven! Sarah had a big weekend. It was the start of soccer and we couldn't have asked for better weather. Sarah has surprisingly been looking forward to soccer and her coach even commented after practice the other night that "Sarah was Back!" SO I am super excited for this. Last winter she was soccer star and then sort of didn't do much but look cute on the field in the fall, so I am glad she is getting back into it! Her team tied their first game. Sarah did score a goal, but it was called back due to being right on the line. Bummer! So she had fun and enjoyed it. Go Hurricanes!

Pre-game phone call from Daddy in Vancouver

Give me a five- Great job Sarah

Today, was the Alpha Chi Omega Fashion show. It is a yearly tradition for Sarah and her friend Audrey to participate in the show as future legacies! Click here to see them last year! Me and Audrey's mom joke all the time that they plan to room together at the Alpha Chi house when they attend TCU. I think as they get older we may not want to push this thought so much. TCU is on a current path to making it near impossible for anyone to afford to go. But I digress.... Back to the fashion show. The TCU chapter of Iota Lambda puts on a fashion show every year at the Ft. Worth Club to raise money for victims of domestic violence. This year I am proud to announce that they were able to give $3800 to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation and $34, 304 to the Tarrant County Women's Center. Since the TCU Alpha Chi's started doing this fashion show 18 years ago, they (we) have donated over $300,000 to aid the victims of domestic violence. We are very proud! So not only a proud day for me to see my sweet walking down the runway, but proud to be an Alpha Chi and an alumnae of this chapter that has done so much for such an important cause.

Perfect display of my wonderful photographic skills. I can never get a non-blurry picture. It was even on the sports setting!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Re-think What Matters: "Must-Haves"

My friend Holly over at 504 Main has been doing a blogging series about the Bare Escentuals campaign on Re-think What Matters. Please go to both Holly's blog and the Bare Escentuals website to read more.

Anyway...this week she talked about the topic of "Must-Haves". I have actually been thinking about this a lot the last few weeks. What do I really need vs. What do I just want. So here are some of my lists that I have made up. I encourage you to make a list of your own. Would love to hear what is on your list(s)!

What are my Top 5 "Must-Haves"?
1.) Health: Not just my own, but the health of my kids, my husband, and our family. If you have your health, you have everything. I have heard this statement with the word "love" inserted instead of health, and I do agree with that, too. But if you are physically not healthy, you are limited in ability to do all things.
2.) Love: I am not just referring to the love that my husband and I share, but the love that we have from our families and friends. If I didn't feel love or have the opportunity to give love in return, I don't think I could survive.
3.) Family: I could not live without family. My kids and my husband are my world. They are my reason for getting up in the morning and for wanting to do all things. In addition to that, the rest of our immediate-extended family is included in that. I think often about how it might be fun to move back to CA or just move to a new city in general for a new adventure, but family is what keeps me here. I love being close to everyone. I love holidays with 15-20 people at my dinner table, I love weekly dinners with my in-laws, I love vacations where the whole crew travels in mass and descends upon some unsuspecting country....I love it all. I would be sad to be away.
4.) Friends: Now in this case, I am not talking about being Miss Social Butterfly...because that I am not. I have always considered myself somewhat of a wallflower. I prefer to have a few really good genuine friends, than have a ton of fair-weather friends. I know my FB account will say otherwise, but hey, that is the beauty of FB. I need to have friends that I can count on in times of need. Even if the need is to escape from my kids and partake in a little wine and good conversation.
5.) The Basics: Food, water, electricity, a roof over our heads, a car to get around, Nick Jr. and milk in the refrigerator.

I am happy to say I currently have all of the above, so my life is great and I really could never ask for anything more.

Fun Lists

"Must Have's" for my Kids
1.) Waffles, Easy-Mac, fruit, yogurt, and milk
2.) Nick-Jr. (Specifically Olivia and Dora)
3.) Something to do (Toys or activities)
4.) Lauren-Lullabies at night
5.) Sarah- Bedtime Stories

"Must-Have's" for the day
1.) Happy/Healthy kids
2.) access to my computer or iphone
3.) to check off items on my to-do list (it is a running list)
4.) The TV and DVR to decompress to at night
5.) 2 children that sleep through the night

"Must Have's" to make my life complete
1.) To see my girls grow up and become successful and happy. To help them plan their weddings would be an added extra bonus!
2.) To travel to Australia/New Zealand, Greece, Sweden, any and all tropical islands. To go back to Italy at any opportunity.
3.) A beach house
4.) For my husband and I to grow old together
5.) To have success in raising girls that are polite, considerate, thoughtful of others, tolerant, and that have an appreciation for the world and all living creatures in it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rob and Nina's Wedding: The Beginning

So it has been exactly 4 months since Charlie's brother, Rob, married Nina and I gained a new sister-in-law. I have been wanting to blog about this from the day after the gorgeous wedding and fantastic wedding weekend....but many things got in the way.

1. It was so gorgeous and so perfect and there were so many parties involved in the wedding weekend, I sort of didn't know where to begin. I got intimidated by the project ahead.

2. We were heading into the holidays and I was pre-occcupied by the next couple of months. I survived it!

3. I was waiting to get the professional pictures from the photographer, which I still don't have. No fault of the photographer, I just can't decide on which ones to buy and have been dragging my heels! So we will just make do with the photos I took and the few I have otherwise. Once I get the professional ones, I will just post again and we can all re-live this wondrous occasion at that moment!

So that about sums it up. Since I am going ahead without all the photos, and the holidays are over, I figured the best thing would be to take this topic and turn it into several separate blog posts!

So without further delay....I bring you the engagement. I do know the story of how he ended up pulling it off and surprising her, but I will spare you all the details at this time. I will tell you he asked her the day after Thanksgiving at the Dallas Arboretum in 2008, and she said yes. Let's flash forward to 2009 and check out their super cute engagement photos. Very Dallas my opinion. They had a wonderful photographer....Thisbe Grace. These are all her photos.

Meet Rob and Nina.....

My next post about their wedding will be about the Bridesmaid's Luncheon....stay tuned! Yes, I was asked to be a bridesmaid and I was thrilled to accept. You might remember the shower I hosted for her......CLICK HERE.

Monday, February 15, 2010

La mia Italia: Carnival

It is that magical time of year in Venice! I was so lucky enough to get to go 4 years ago when Charlie had finished working at the Torino Olympics. We took an additional week or so vacation all across Northern Italy, and Venice was the main stop. We had a great time. Although it was FREEZING cold, I sort of think it made it that much more romantic. Venice has a mysteriousness (if that is a word) about it. There is something about all the canals, back alleys, beautiful costumes, beautiful architecture, and the history of it all that makes Venice so special.

It is even more special during Carnival. Every where you turn you see the gorgeous ornate costumes. People scurrying off to parties and galas. All the restaurants and coffee shops are packed with people enjoying life and trying to stay warm. It is truly a magical place and one of the best experiences of my life. I get tears in my eyes every time we take that taxi up the Grand Canal. I have been there now 3 times. Each was very special. First time was on my honeymoon in July of 1999. The second was carnival in February 2006, and the more recent was a day trip with my dad in June of 2007. All of them have been great experiences, but Carnival was captivating! Here are some of my photos: Enjoy!

I will write another post on where to stay in Venice soon! We have stayed at 2 magnificent places!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Never was there a story of more woe....

Than that of Juliet and her Romeo.

Another outstanding performance today by Texas Ballet Theater at Bass Hall. Season tickets to the ballet has turned out to be one of the best purchases I have made all year (well, last year). The sets, the costumes, the music, the DANCING....all amazing and captivating. I was once again..moved to tears. Originally this was to be a romantic date for me and my Charlie, but I totally forgot he was going to be away at the Olympics when I bought the Sarah became my Valentine's date. She was great. She behaved so well, and was so good during the performance. I know the storyline was a little deep for her and sort of went right over her head, but I know she loved it anyway. She came home dancing in the living room for a good half hour, so it inspired her! What a wonderful afternoon with my Sarah!

Happy Valentine's Day

From My Sweets to yours.....

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vancouver 2010

It all starts tonight! I LOVE the Olympics!

I can't wait to watch the skating, the skiing, the ski jumping, the snowboarding, all of it! I especially love when they do the profiles on the athletes. I think their stories are always so interesting. I can't wait to see Team USA tonight sporting their Ralph Lauren in the Opening Ceremony. Go Team USA! My hubby has been there now for almost a week and I think we have gotten more snow here in Dallas than they have in Vancouver. I told him I would ship some up there if they get desperate! He is working at the bobsled venue.

If I was going, which I am not this time...I would have to have a pair of these. They are so cute and I have heard they are the hot item that everyone wants. Charlie wasn't sure what to bring back as a souvenir for the girls. I say these!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day #3

This morning I woke up at 4:30am and checked outside. The ground was already white. So I went back to bed, just knowing it was going to be a great morning to sleep in and a fun snow day with the girls. Our local ISD had other plans. They decided that it would be a good day to have everyone venture out into the 4+ inches of snow and therefore making the day a lot more stressful. SO normally I would have just the kept the girls home anyway...but I had to go to work. This was my first day watching the shop while my in-laws are on a buying trip to Europe. If they were still in town, I would have stayed home from the beginning.

But, in the end it all worked out. They cancelled school a little early. I got my kiddos, and we made it home safe. I did have to shovel snow for about 15-20 minutes to get my car in my garage, but I did it and got my workout in for the day! Go me! So we went inside and before you could say "It is great to be home", we were back out in the snow building this:

Here are some other pics from this frigid, snowy, stressful, but oh so beautiful day. It is still snowing almost 20 hours after it started. We are now up to about 9 inches. It is gorgeous! We get a real "for real" snow day tomorrow!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Bingo

Here is yet another fun crafty thing I am doing this week. I love being the room mom for Sarah's class and one of my main duties is getting to help plan the 2 parties they get to have a year! So I successfully pitched the Bingo game idea to the teachers for the holiday party and they loved it. So much so, that they wanted me to create a Valentine's version of the game for the Valentine party! It is super easy to do....I just grab free clipart from the web and make a game board out of it and then mix the pictures around until I have enough that are different. I them cut out each picture and put it in a baggie, so the room mom's can "draw" the picture and announce it to the class. We will use conversation hearts as the game pieces! Super easy and the kids love it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Full Valentine's Mode

That is what we are in at my house! It all started today. Sarah and I hand-made Valentine's for each child in her class and for her teacher. I have been dreaming of this day since I new I was going to have babies. I was just waiting for her to get old enough to really be able to make them herself. Store bought valentines can be cute, but can also be boring. They also don't capture the spirit of making something and doing it with love. So this year I vowed would be the year that we made them from scratch. What fun we had!

It took us about 2 hours to make 22 valentines.
What do you think?

Can you tell which is mine and which belongs to my six year-old?
I am not sure if she is really pretty craft for 6, or if I am not-really that crafty for 33.
They were not Martha, that is for sure, but we both liked them!

I love these with the "vintage" Holly Hobby valentines and paper doll valentines form the 50's. Thanks mom for saving all those!

Sarah loves doing arts and crafts and we both got inspiration from each other. What a fun afternoon.

The Valentine fun is just beginning. We still have a Valentine Bingo game and heart-shaped cookies to make for her party at school. I am in charge of her party at school being the room mom. They will decorate cookies, make visors, play a bingo game, and exchange their valentine's. Thankfully Lauren's daycare party is low-key and I am just taking apple slices for that. Our Valentine's week will be capped off with going to see Texas Ballet Theatre's rendition of Romeo and Juliet! Oh yeah..... and I will make the girls heart-shaped pancakes Sunday morning!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Times Ten Wine Cellar

Last night I had an Alpha Chi Omega alumnae wine tasting event at the Times Ten Wine Cellar in Ft. Worth. We got to sample 8 wines that are bottled under the Times Ten Wine Cellar label. They are all Texas wines and the vineyard is actually in Alpine, TX. That is west Texas for those that may not know. All of the ones we tried were very good and I will say she was very generous on the tasting portions. Probably too generous considering we were tasting so many. We tasted the following:

2008 Rose
2008 Sauvignon Blanc
2008 Chardonnay
2008 Gewurztraminer
2007 Grenache
2007 Cathedral Mountain Vineyard blend
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Petite Syrah

My favorites were the Chardonnay, Grenache, and the Petite Syrah. I actually bought a bottle of the Petite Syrah. I didn't really write down the notes she gave on them, but I do remember a few things. The Rose she said was good with Mexican food. The Grenache was good to have with pizza. The Cabernet Sauvignon was good to have at weddings because most people like it. The Petite Syrah is probably their best wine and most popular.

I highly recommend this place. It was very interesting to hear all about the vineyard and the wine business. I learned a little about different types of wine and it has a great atmosphere. They even have a party room that is very nice and would be perfect for small wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, or just any sort of private party. The tasting room was very nice and can be made private if you like. She said that you can find their wines mostly in Ft. Worth, but there are a few restaurants in Dallas that have it. The ones she mentioned in Ft. Worth that stand out to me are Reata and the new Tillman's Roadhouse. She even said Central Market would be carrying their wine soon.

So a very fun evening and a perfect little GNO!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy February

This time of year is not usually my favorite. It is cold, the scenery is gray and bleak, you have to lug around your coats everywhere, there aren't many places to go to get the kids out of the house, and the list goes on and on. At the top of my list (in Olympic years) is the fact that my husband leaves me for a whole month to go to some far off place to work. I was lucky enough to go with him to Torino back in 2006, but that was a treat!

Me at the Ladies Short Program. I literally got off my train after having traveled a day and half and went to the venue. Just in time!

Charlie and I in fair (and foggy) Verona after the Olympics were over.

Last time he did this it was Bejing, the time before that, Greece, and the list goes on and on. This is now his 6th Olympics to work and although I am glad it is just in Vancouver, he is still going to be gone for a month. So I have decided, that rather than wallow in pity for myself...I am going to make this month a great month. It is going to be a busy one. Here is what is on the calendar:
1.)I have some AXO alumnae commitments
2.) I am planning the Valentine's party for my daughter's Kindergarten class
3.) I am working (and holding down the fort) at Le Petit Hameau (my in-law's shop) while they go on a buying trip to Europe for 2 weeks
4.) I am going to try and get Sarah to all her activities, play dates, and birthday parties
5.) On Valentine's day, Sarah is going to go with me to see Romeo and Juliet at the Texas Ballet Theater. I know it is going to be a little deep for her, but maybe she will just focus on the costumes and the music and not ask a bunch of storyline questions!

So it will be busy. On top of all that, I am also going to try and start eating in a new way. In a nutshell, my new way is to be eating better. Not really a diet, but just to really think about what it is I am eating and if it is healthy for me. I am going to try some vegetarian recipes which is a little scary for me. I have this longing to be a vegetarian. Although I think it will never become a reality for me, I think it is the smartest eating habit. Not only is it the best for you, but it is good for our planet. I just have a hard time diving in to it b/c I am not a real big vegetable lover. So I am going to try some things. I am going to make myself try things like veggie burgers, recipes that call for soy milk instead of regular milk, and I am going to try to make a salad at home that really does taste like one I would get at a restaurant. I know to some, my ideas are very beginner, but that is what I am. I am taking those baby steps to healthier eating. If anyone reading this has any wonderful recipes to share with me, please pass along. I will tell you upfront, I am not a mushroom, broccoli, cauliflower, or butternut squash lover, so recipes that don't revolve around those few things would be great!

If I make anything or try a new recipe that I have found that is super great, I will share! This is the perfect time to do this because my husband would be like "What are you making?", "We are having what tonight?", "I am not eating that!". This is my time while I am cooking for one to give it a test run.

My friend Holly over at 504 Main blogs about this type of thing from time to time, so check her blog out if you are interested, too. After reading her blog, I have been inspired to really search into this topic a little more.

Ate my last girl scout cookie last night. Looking forward to making "healthy" cookies instead!
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