Monday, December 31, 2012



Wishing a happy and safe holiday for you as well as a prosperous twenty-thirteen.


I used to compare years, if you will, saying this or that year was awful and I hope next year is better.  I've learned not to compare years.  I've found that focusing on the bad memories and such sayings as I hope next year is better only steals our joy.   Two-thousand twelve holds many wonderful and sweet memories but also holds some sad moments.  Such is life.

I have no resolutions.  I'm not motivated that way, but my goal for 2013 is to be the best person that I can be and to enjoy every single day.

James 4:14 -- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  For your are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Good-bye 2012, hello 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

holidays+the band perry = a heck of a party

I feel like I have so much to document and so many memories that I want to share (mostly just to have recorded for myself and for my family) on here before the holidays are truly over.  Nothing is worse for me than still blogging about the holiday memories when the post-holiday depression is setting in.  I just need a couple more hours in each day, ya know?!

Anyhow, the Gherkin and I went to his company Christmas party a few weeks ago.  Preston had a slumber party over at Ms. Rosa's house so the Gherkin and I stayed in The Woodlands after the festivities.

They had a photo booth set up.  Below is our "before" picture if you will.

The Band Perry performed at the party.  I think I peed my pants when he told me they would be playing.  I weaseled my way to the stage right before they came on and ended up just a few rows back from the stage. 

Kimberly of The Band Perry, above,  singing Amazing Grace in honor of the lives lost in the Newtown tragedy the day before the party.  Then I fought back the tears when she sang If I Die Young.  That song took on a whole new meaning that night.

After the concert ended we all headed upstairs with the goal of heading into the faux casino.  We never made it there.  Instead we took advantage of the photo booth.  Poor photographers.

And below is our "after" picture.  After which I escorted Mr. Gherkin to his hotel room.  What he's doing in this picture we can never really be sure.

Friday, December 28, 2012

crockpot breakfast casserole

After getting home late on Christmas eve, I threw the ingredients for a breakfast casserole and let it cook all night on low.  Lazy? Yes.  Easy?  The easiest thing ever.  Good?  Yep.

It was so nice to wake up and be able to spend time with the P-man and the Gherkin on Christmas morning as opposed to being stuck in the kitchen and cooking. 

A few people asked for the recipe so here you go. 

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

1 package (roughly 30 oz) frozen shredded hashbrowns
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/2 shredded parmesan
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
sausage (you can either use ground sausage roll, cooked, and crumbled or you can use the fully cooked sausage crumbles like I did)
5-6 sliced green onions
1/2 cup milk
12 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
2. Layer 1/2 of hash browns on the bottom.
3. Top potatoes with half of the sausage, parmesan, mozzarella, tomatoes and green onions.
4.  Repeat layering.
5.  Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper. 
6. Pour egg mixture over layering in crockpot.
7.  Cook on low setting for 8 hours or 4 hours on high. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

going to the chapel? { a minted post }

The 2013 wedding season will be here before we know it.  With that in mind, Minted is getting the word out about their wedding inspiration boards.

Minted is one of my favorite online retailers for invitations or printed paper goods.  They have some great eye candy in their boards.  The talented designers and community members have created some lovely wedding boards lately.  A few of my favorites are below.

a greenhouse affair by Kayla King, see more

celebrate with love by Megan, see more Minted
celebrate with love board by Megan. See more Minted

central coast wedding by annie clark, see more

You can even create your own inspiration board and submit it into their Wedding Inspiration Board Challenge here.  Up to $3000 in prizes will be given to selected winners. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

christmas recap 2012.

Aside from Pooh-Bear, who I already introduced you to, here's the rest of our Christmas story and recap for 2012.

Ms. Rosa has the week off to spend the holidays with her family, but she gave P a battery-powered, ride-on Lightning McQueen before she left.

We travelled to Lufkin on Saturday afternoon where our city slicker toddler turned into an all natural cowboy.  Seriously.   See Pooh-Bear here.

He drove tractors...

 and operated Grrr's backhoe. 

We sported our boots.

Rode his first mechanical (sort of) bull.

Picked out his first cowboy hat and wore it without hesitation.

city slicker dad vs. country bumpkin toddler

We gathered at my grandmother's house on Christmas eve just as I've done for the last 33 years without fail.   It was different with both of my grandparent's being gone this year.  Just didn't feel right, but was sweet and memorable nonetheless especially watching all the little ones. 

sweet cousins

After eating Christmas eve dinner, my aunt planned for the entire family to go out to the cemetery for a candlelight gathering around my grandparents' grave.  Memories were shared and my brother led us in prayer.  It was absolutely perfect.  They were definitely missed but in our hearts.

We left Lufkin at 10 pm to arrive home at midnight.  Since having Preston, the Gherkin and I have a thing about waking up in our own home on Christmas day.  Others don't understand that (points to my dad), but it's important to us. 

We finally put ourselves to bed just after 2 a.m.  Santa must've come during the five hours we were sleeping because we found lots of goodies in our living room the next morning.

On Tuesday, we played and played and ate and ate

We ate a yummy breakfast casserole via the crockpot and put the Gherkin's new Bodum french press to good use. 

There may have been a few pouts throughout the day, but mostly it was a simple and peaceful day.

We played outside with new toys ...

and prepared ourselves for all the predicted rain and bad weather we were supposed to receive. It rained maybe an hour off and on and the rest of the day was bee-u-ti-ful. 

We did find one teeny-tiny puddle though.

After a trip to the park, a neighbor brought us some of his famous veggies and chicken, we ate, the temps dropped quickly, we lit a fire, and cuddled up on the couch to watch Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who movie on tv.

I hate that Christmas is over, but I'm excited about a certain two year old birthday that's going down here in a week and a half. 

Hope your Christmas was as merry.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

family christmas portraits.

Just browsing/editing photos and updating our Family Christmas Book while P takes his Christmas day nap and wanted to compare last year's family photo to this years.

Family Christmas photos 2012:


Flashback - 2011 - and still one of my favorite shots of all time.

Thank you to my handsome and single brother for being our photographer once again this year.

Happy birthday, Jesus!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry christmas!

our Christmas card 

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Christmas card, front and back, this is one of the two pictures we used.

I hope you have a blessed holiday with your family and loved ones.

It's been a very somber month.  As I'm carrying on with my normal routine and celebrating with family, I can't help but think about the broken families in Newtown, CT this holiday season.  It saddens my heart. I'll pray specifically for those families this Christmas and hope they'll feel a blanket of prayers covering them during this time.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

meet Pooh-Bear

Preston's grandpa surprised him with one of his Christmas presents a few days early. Meet Pooh-Bear. All three feet of him.

is he excited or what?!

this is his I'm-trying-not-to-show-just-how-excited-I-am-face.

You can see his "magic saddle" here that helps hold him upright and keep him from falling off. Now to work on teaching him to hold on. Oh the joys of having a son who's not scared of anything.

 No, Pooh-Bear will not be living with us. He will reside in Lufkin. Don't you love Grandpa's ploy to get us to Lufkin more often. Well played, Dad. Well played.

giving Pooh-Bear some sugars

Welcome to the family, Pooh-Bear.