Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel...


This past weekend our church community group had its Christmas party. The theme was a Mexican fiesta/tacky Cmas attire. As you can tell by the pics below, EVERYONE participated! And, for those who thought they'd get off the hook, no siree. Tabitha brought a big box of her mother-in-law's sweaters to share. There was only one couple who came to hang out with us that didn't know to dress up, and since they were new to our group, they were let off the hook.

Let me just say that it was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time! We ended up with two Cousin Eddies; lots of tacky Cmas sweaters and ties; one very, very tight pair of jeans; and a extra tight, super glittery Santa t-shirt. And those were the guys. (And, just so you know, the glittery Santa t-shirt was Kendall. He won first place! He also wore his '80s white hightops. He had his jeans French-rolled too, but decided to undo them just as we got to the party. He thought THAT would be too much.)

We love our group so much. They are all just great, great friends and truly good people. We always have such a good time together and it's such a blessing to have these folks in our lives to do life with. I recently heard a saying that goes like this: Show me your friends and I'll show you your future. I immediately thought of the friendships we've formed over the past year or so simply from this special group. (Not including their wardrobes!)

The girls rocked the tackiness too! I have to say that Andrea and Bryn were my two favorite! I borrowed my sweatshirt from my mom's girlfriend Vicki and she claims it was at least 15 years old. I would have borrowed something from my mom's closet, but she didn't feel her Cmas attire was "tacky." These pics make me laugh bc they look just like a pic you'd see from a late '80s/early '90s Cmas party. It seems that nearly all of us either jingled, sparkled, had matching socks, a tassle, or lit up. LOL

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why I Don't Dance

Watch the Prilosec OTC heartburn medication commercial with the woman dancing. Once you see her, you'll know what I'm talking about. At the end of the commercial, she even goes so far as to wave her index finger in the air, kind of like you would if you were counting to "1," in the middle of her dance. It's just all wrong. I'm sure I would look just as bad if I tried to bust a move, so that's why I never dance. This commercial just cracks me up each time it comes on.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Better???

Just a quick update on me and Baby: I'm feeling a little better but still need my prescription(s) to get through most days. Man, it's been so rough these past 6 weeks. The month of October came and went and I only left my house to visit the doctor and I made about 4-5 other trips, and that's it! I've been at home constantly! Baby is growing just as he/she should be according to our ultrasound this week. Looks like maybe June 1 is still the target.

My little Lola has been such a trooper, bless her heart. In a way I feel I've done nothing but neglect her for the past month, but on the other hand, she's spent so much time with family who tend to spoil her rotten so at least I know she's had a blast being away so much. Thank you, grandmas and grandpas, for being so good to us and being available to help me on short notice. I pray many blessings to you.

This next story is kinda nasty, but also a little funny. Feel free to skip it.

Yesterday I was quite sick all day and it was just me and Lola at home. Lola, being too little to understand my frequent, mad dashes to the bathroom to puke happily chased me each trip to the toilet. While I was unleashing, she'd gently pat me on the back and jibber what sounded to me like her version of "It's going to be okay, Momma," words. (Then she'd try to attack the toilet paper, then I'd try to get her away, then I'd puke some more, then she'd pat me on the back some more.) Afterwards, I'd blow my nose and she'd watch and say "Achoo." Bless her heart. I was so miserable. And, what's scary, is that one of the medicines I take makes me very sleepy, so I actually ended up dozing off on the couch with a one-year-old!!!! What kind of mother does that?!? Lola, being the little sweetie that she is, quietly sat on the end of the couch near my feet most of the day and watched Noggin. Finally, at one point once "Little Bill" went off she woke me up. Then I had to puke some more. Just another day in my pregnant paradise. See why I said I was so grateful for grandparents who can watch her on these bad days?

So, on a brighter note, I finally decided to change the pic on my blog heading. These were pics taken this summer for Lola's first bday. Kelly Stocksen was our photographer, and she is just amazing. I don't know what she does to the pics, but she jazzes them up and they end up so colorful and almost cartoonish. (?) However, you can't tell bc I posted all B&W pics. I'll get some more up soon so you can see.

Okay, that's all for now. I just thought I'd take advantage of this window of opportunity where I'm feeling pretty good and blog :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Truth of the Matter

The truth is out: I'm having another baby! I have been EXTREMELY sick due to the pregnancy, therefore despite efforts to keep the news to ourselves, we have decided to go ahead and share the news to hopefully put many people at ease. Lots of family and a few friends were becoming quite concerned that my "illness" was lingering. And, as was the case when I was pregnant with Lola, morning (aka 24/7) sickness has moved in and decided to make itself at home. I learned I was pregnant the day before I left for NYC. I'm just over 8 weeks along and the new baby should be here around June 1. I've found myself almost on a daily basis in contact with my doctor and his OB nurse as well as a trip to urgent care for an IV, tried three different prescription medications, an over-the-counter med, combinations of vitamins, as well as homeopathic products all in the search of something that will help with the nausea/vomitting. (I know, that's gross.) Anyway, I am feeling a little better and am hopeful that this new medicine will do its job. However, it knocks me out....if it's not one thing it's another! We're excited about Baby #2, though! I just have to remind myself that in the end all of this is worth it :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Still Alive

Hello! It's been a few weeks since I last posted. I don't want my blog to become just another task to have to keep up with, so that's part of the reason I haven't posted. I was beginning to find myself stressing about "What am I going to blog about today?!" as if it were something I was being graded on. However, the truth of the matter is not much has been happening around here. Well, that's not entirely true, but at least nothing has been going on really worth blogging about.

However, for the sake of the few of you who are awaiting something new -- and are tired of seeing David Blaine -- here's a few favorite pics I've taken in the past month or so. Once again, nothing extraordinary, but at least something new.

Below: Bee & KJ horsing around while I tried to pack for NYC.

Below: Bobcat at his first 60th birthday dinner at a steakhouse in Pawnee. That cake was DELICIOUS. German Chocolate from Reasor's. Once again, Reasor's failed me not. I like this pic bc it shows Dad in the way that I always picture him first when he comes to mind.

Below: This is Lola after her second night of the traditional Osage In-Lon-Schka dances in Hominy. Lola & Gramby danced a few times this evening and at the point that KJ & I got there, she had had enough. It was back in June, it was hot, it was bathtime, she was tired. Yes, she was trying to attack me with a baby hanger. Man, were her little feet nasty once we took off her moccasins.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


That's David Blaine above. We saw him one afternoon while we were in Central Park. He was supposed to be breaking some record for hanging upside down for like 3 days or so. It was called "Dive of Death." Well, as you can see, he's clearly not hanging upside down. In fact, for the hour we were wandering around, he actually spent only about 20 minutes total actually hanging upside down. The rest of the time he was stretching, moving around, having guys help him stretch, and this is him taking a break to pee and have a snack. He only had about 4 hours left at this point, and we didn't ever hear what happened to him as far as if he beat the record or not. I just thought it was kind of a shame that there was so much hype around him and he wasn't even upside down that much. I heard he was risking his eyesight to do this stunt, but surely, no more than he actually was upside down, he can still see!

Great Product

Friends, y'all know when I luv a product I can't help but share it. Here's one of my latest: Seventh Generation Lavendar & Mint dish soap. It works as well as any other dish soap I've used, but its scent is what I like the most about it. The mint is just awesome! It always makes my dishes and the area around my sink smell so fresh and clean and minty. Try it!

I know some of you enjoy labeling me as a "tree hugger" (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) but it's just not true! The truth of the matter is, I'm not hard core about trying to live green, I just like to do little things here and there. And why not? Ever since Lola came along, I've learned sooo much about attempting to live a more green lifestyle. I buy organically when I can afford it and have made steps in my daily life that just simply reduce the amount of junk I leave behind. Those darn plastic bags are the worst!! (Thank heavens that Reasor's and Wal-Mart both provide large containers at their entrances where you can recycle your old plastic bags. Although I use fabric shopping bags most of the time, no matter what, I always end up with sacks from here and there. I let mine accumulate, then take them every month or so to their recycling box.) Recycling has become a bigger deal for our household as well, and it's just so simple to do! I want the next generation on to have pretty parks and fields to enjoy and for everything not to be all scummed up.

So, all that to say that swapping out my household cleaners is just another easy to step in protecting the air we breathe inside our home. Some studies have shown that the air inside our houses can be more polluted than what's outdoors! I guess there tends to be a lot of toxins and other gross stuff in common soaps, candles, carpet fibers, air fresheners, etc. So, Seventh Generation has many great products but this is my favorite. For other cleaning, I've made a mixture of vinegar and water to serve as my all-purpose cleaner around the house, and it REALLY does work as well as my old Windex or whatever all-purpose product I was using. (I was Windex-ing everything!) And, the best part of the vinegar/water solution is that it's so cheap! (And, no, the smell doesn't stick around. I know, I know..vinegar doesn't smell too great, but no longer than you can smell it, it doesn't make much difference.) And, did you know that vinegar is a powerful antibacterial product? It's got many, many great properties so that's why I feel confident in using it so much.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tiffany & Co.

Above: Remember the scene in Sweet Home Alabama when Reese Witherspoon's boyfriend blind-folded her and took her to Tiffany's when he wanted to propose to her? This is the Tiffany's it all happened at! She came in from the alleyway in the back of the store and stepped into this area on the first floor. I took this pic from almost the exact spot she would have been in. I thought I recognized it, but I asked a salesman just to be sure and he confirmed it! I love that movie, so that's why I thought this was kinda neat!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Below is the recipe that I promised to share two weeks ago after my mom and dad's birthday party. I had many requests for the recipe but kept forgetting to post it. It's very simple but so delicious. I received the recipe from Kendall's aunt Dawna. She fixed them once for a get-together and frankly I had to have the recipe. (Thanks, Dawna!) I wish I would have thought to take a pic of the 70 chicken enchiladas I made for the party bc you could see how creamy they are. (The other 70 were beef enchiladas and I just used the recipe off of the Old El Paso enchilada sauce can. It's hard to beat despite how common a recipe it is!) Enjoy!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

2 1/2 c. sour cream, divided
1/3 c. chopped onion
2 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. cooked chicken
1 small can diced green chilies
1/2 - 1 can of cream of chicken soup
A little milk, optional
12 flour tortillas
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, optional

Cook onions in butter until soft. Add chicken, 1/2 c. sour cream, chilies, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through. Fill tortillas with mixture, roll up tortilla, and place seam side down in a greased (or Pam'd) baking dish. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining 2 cups of sour cream and half ofthe can of soup. I add some milk to this to get it thinned down to the consistency that I like. You can use less sour cream and more soup, or half and half, whatever you'd like. Spread the sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese (if you're using cheese), and bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Just make sure the enchiladas are warmed all the way through. (You can test this by sticking a knife in the middle of the dish and pulling it out. If it's hot, you know you're ready. If it's not, keep it in the oven a little longer.)

"Martha" Day

Above: Outside of Martha's Chelsea studio in NYC.

Below: Me in the audience after the show. What I would have given to explore the set! (We were quickly kicked out immediately after the show.)

On Wednesday morning we attended a live taping of The Martha Stewart Show. I've said it before a million times, but I'll say it again: I love Martha! This was the thing I was looking to the most during our trip to NYC. NYC is great, but being in the same room as Martha....!!! I could not wait to see her studio in real life bc on TV is looks so beautiful. And, not to disappoint, it was even more beautiful in real life! Sheer perfection. I love the color of all of the walls, so I'm considering repainting my office/craft room to match her studio. It's a creamy grey/khaki color. When her show (the "new" Martha Stewart show) first came on in '05, I researched and researched until I could find the name of the paint color and I finally found it! I've never forgotten the name of it and am only hoping I can still find it since her paints are no longer at Sherwin-Williams. Lowes carries her paint now and they have different names!

I have always been curious to see how a taping of her show works bc she's simply flawless! It was amazing to see like 20 people rush out on a commercial break, clean up the kitchen, bring out the new ingredients for the next several steps, fluff her hair and touch up her makeup, etc., etc., and be ready for the live show to start again. We were taught when to clap, for how long to clap, how loud to clap (start out soft and get loud, or vice versa, or a really loud, thunderous clap), etc. It was all so fascinating.

Below: Martha after filming ended. We weren't allowed to take pics during the show, but afterwards she took a couple of questions from the audience (no, I totally chickened out! I was all prepared too!) and chatted for a bit before we were kicked out. She was going to film another show later that afternoon that we could have stuck around for, but I was the only one who wanted to do that. Rats! Julianne Moore was going to be on it, and I'm guessing they were doing a craft since her craft room had stuff set out for a craft. (I missed seeing that episode since we were out and about the rest of the week.) During our show, she didn't craft. Rats again! Martha and John Baricello did make some little hand pies, her niece did a yoga segment with her, and a plants guy did a segment on carniverous plants. Nothing was overly exciting about any of those, but I did learn some tips for my pie crusts.

Anyway, it was all so beautiful and our time there just flew by. Martha is actually very pretty and TALL. I was so surprised by this when she first came onto the set. Her hair was very va-va-voomish and she just seemed so confident and "together." Duh! Isn't that what she's known for?! You can't tell any of this stuff by watching her on TV, though. I love her, but I gotta admit that I always figured that in real life she was probably very simple, "granola," almost kind of frumpy in terms of her appearance. I was wrong! She's pretty and has long, long skinny legs.

She has great taste and her studio reflected that. I'm so envious of her kitchen, but even more so of her craft room! Everything is perfectly organized and so cute! I'm not totally loving the baskets on the back wall. Last season they were pretty boxes of ribbons that matched the season. Still so PERFECT!!

Above: On the table above are all of the crafts from her craft line at Michael's which I ADORE. Each time there is a coupon for 40% off any item, I buy an item. My goal is to eventually have the entire collection. It's always changing, but there's many items that are there year-round. Some of the tools aren't so cheap, but they're good quality and always come in great packaging. She never stepped foot in the craft room during our show, but I am guessing it was for the next taping bc she doesn't leave this stuff out on every show.

So, to end this post, let me just say that it was the thrill of a lifetime to get to attend her show. Yes, I may have been one of the youngest ladies there, but who cares. I've been a fan of Martha's since late in high school. I admit it, I'm an old lady by heart! She's just so darn fascinating and a wealth of creativity. After the show we went to Macy's on 34th Street (which is the largest store in the world, btw, literally) and I bought some kitchen gadgets from Martha's line. :)


One of the nights in NYC we went to a production of Wicked. I have wanted to see Wicked since it first came out several years ago. My first time in NYC we tried to get tickets but it was sold out for months in advance. This time, we got lucky. All I can say about it is this: PHENOMENAL. Wicked is the story of the witches of Oz, Elphaba and Galinda/Gilnda, beginning when they were little girls and ending at the point where the movie The Wizard of Oz begins. The Wizard of Oz has always been a favorite of mine, so it was only natural that I'd want to get the background on these girls. Every summer growing up, my BFF Jami and I would get together and alternate whose house to stay over at and watch TWOO on CBS. Back then, it was a big deal to get to watch it when it aired bc the video/DVD's didn't exist. LOL It became our tradition. So, Wicked was FABULOUS. It has completely changed my thoughts on TWOO. I could go on and on about it, but I won't since some of you are planning on going to see it when it comes to town. (At least I think it's coming to Tulsa, but I'm not sure...???)

Below: This is a view of the stage. Pictures were only allowed before and after the show, so this is as good as it gets. It was so detailed and "real." The center of the stage is a huge map of Oz and the big thing hanging down over it is a bat type of thing that would flap its giant wings.

Back from NYC

Above: The view of Manhattan from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building looking north. Bryant Park is the patch of green in the center of the picture. You can see the shadow of the ESB in the center of the bottom of the picture. I didn't realize that at the time I took this pic -- but cool!

We got in late last night from our week in New York City. We had much fun, however, it rained the last two days we were there. And, in a city where it's easiest to get around by walking for the most part, that made it a little yucky to deal with. I LOVE NYC. It's just so busy and there's literally nothing you can't find there. I was glad to get home, though, bc I missed KJ and Bee so much! I swear she's grown a foot and is talking up a storm compared to when I left her on Monday!
We were so busy the whole time that we were there, so I'm just going to post some highlights of the trip later.
"There's no place like home...."

Sunday, September 14, 2008


MOPS starts Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 9:30 at FBC-BA and I can't wait! I started going to MOPS for the first time last year (obviously, bc I was finally a mom) and it's just so much fun. It's basically a mommy group that meets for two hours twice a month. Childcare is provided. We just get together to enjoy breakfast/brunch, have a short devotional, and then make a craft. (And the crafts are always useful, adult crafts i.e. cute fabric-covered nightlights, pretty platters, etc. Not like popsicle sticks and Elmer's glue type of kiddie crafts.) I'd guess that last year there was probably a hundred women each week, give or take. (?) They do lots of giveaways, too. It's nice to just get together and hang out while you know your kids are being well taken care of. The ladies in charge of MOPS do a great job and I love seeing what each new get-together will bring. It's open to moms of babies birth through 4 or maybe kindergarten (??) This year's theme is "Adventures in Mothering" and I'm sure it's going to be a blast.

If you'd like to go or know someone who would, let me know and we can meet up! I don't always get to go due to my work schedule, but most of the time my depositions aren't until the afternoon so I get to go :) Much fun!

The Hat

This is Lola's new hat. My mom bought it for her the other day at Babies R Us bc Lola was getting impatient and fussy, so Mom yanked it off the shelf she was close to just to give Bee something to hold. Then she put it on her head thinking she'd yank it off like she does with all hats. Oh, no, she decided she liked the hat and, needless to say, we couldn't leave the store without the hat. Well, it's become a silly thing around the house bc she likes to wear it while she's playing. It's kinda cute, I guess. :) It could be much worse.

Below: That's Lola sitting in my lap reading one of her favorite books. (Thanks, Jami & Jaxon!) I luv the pictures, too, bc although they're from a modern Japanese illustrator, they look like old pictures that would have been in my old books as a kid.

Coco & Lola

This afternoon after church, Kendall got called into work unexpectedly so Bee and I were left alone all afternoon. Ugh! So, after our traditional Sunday nap, she decided it was time for a snack. Here she is trying to get into the pantry. That's Coco at her feet. Lola luvs horses, so Coco is probably her favorite toy of all. Her Mamma Patsy bought it for her a few months ago and she just luvs her. (We added the yellow bow on her tail ourselves. We had to make her a little girly.) And, as you can tell, once Lola got her snack, she decided Coco needed one too.

Happy Birthday!

For the past two weeks my aunt and I have been secretly planning a surprise birthday fiesta for my mom and dad. Dad turned 60 on Sept. 11 and Mom turns 50 this week. Since they were both big birthdays we thought it'd be nice to help them celebrate with 65 of their closest friends and family. It was sooo hard to fib and fib and fib! I'm a terrible liar so the past several weeks have been stressful for me bc I was trying to keep my stories straight and buy supplies and hide them (since my mom is at my house several times a week babysitting while I go to work). It all worked out, though, and almost everyone that was invited showed up! (Despite rain all day.)

I chose a fiesta theme, and since the lady we were hoping could make all of our food wasn't available, I volunteered to do it myself. I tried to handle the bulk of it since that's just my nature to try not to burden anyone, in this case, my aunt. I ended up making 140 enchiladas (lol)-half beef & cheese/half chicken sour cream, two sweet corn cakes, salsa, guacamole, and homemade vanilla ice cream. Aunt April did a huge pan of Spanish rice and two cheese dips. Reasor's did a WONDERFUL job of making the strawberry-filled birthday cake; it was so moist and delicious! And, Kendall works with a Hispanic man at the golf course, so his wife made 4 dozen fresh-that-morning homemade tamales. So good! However, I do not want to eat enchiladas anytime soon. I was up until 2:30 in the morning making them. Now my house smells like an onion and beef. I had the windows open in the whole house all day today just trying to air it out. Yuck! I really do love, love, love cooking and baking, so really this just gave me an excuse to do what I love for people I love with all my heart.

Mom and Dad were both so surprised so everything went off perfectly. Especially when my mom realized that the reason we weren't answering our cell phones all day was bc we were setting things up, not bc we were lying in a ditch due to the wet roadways and rain. (Which is what she thought! My poor brother was in charge of getting mom and dad together and out of the house at the same time to head to the party and he tells me she was literally freaking out thinking we were in a car crash.)

Below: "Surprise!!!!"

Below: Nothing more fun than making grown adults (and a few kids) do paper towels-between-the-legs relays. Sooooo funny!

Below: The delicious white cake with strawberry filling and whipped icing from Reasor's. Delicious! I'm totally going back there for my next cake.

Below: And, naturally, Bee had to help blow out the candles.

Below: Here is the stack of invitations I made. It literally took me about 10 minutes to come up with them once I found the picture of this Mexican man and his lady love on the Internet. I had bright lime green envelopes left over from my wedding -- I knew I'd find something to use them for eventually -- so the idea of bright colors and a Mexican couple became the theme! They were my inspiration bc I thought they were cute and funny. I put four on a page, then the information on the back. I then went to Kinkos and had them printed on white speckled paper, then ripped them instead of cutting with scissors, then burned the edges. The goal was to make it look like an old photograph. I was pleased with how they turned out. I think burning edges of stuff will be my new "thing." Kinda fun! I loved this little Mexican couple so much I ended up using them throughout the party for the centerpieces and gift bags.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


On Monday, Lola started preschool at FBCBA. She's going on Mondays each week to allow me to get some office work done. It would be much easier if I had a traditional job where I go to work and then come home at the end of the day. However, with the type of career I have, that's not the case. There is always a transcript (or ten) to be worked on, and being that it's my job to get every word spoken VERBATIM, it's just hard to do with a little kid goofing off. So, enter preschool.

Lola had met her teachers last week during Open House, and although we kept talking about her starting school, she really couldn't care less. She's a little familiar with FBCBA bc that's where she goes while I attend MOPs upstairs twice a month. She likes all the bright colors and bugs and butterflies on the walls of the children's area. They serve as a great distraction once she realizes she's about to be dropped off. :)

Below is a pic of her as we were heading out the door. More than anything, she was fascinated with her lunch box. She kept stopping to set it down and point out all the animals and do their noises. Then a fight would ensue when I'd pick it up and head for the door. Then I'd let her carry it again. Then she'd set it back down to look at the animals. On and on. We finally made it to the car and to school. However, I forgot to pack her an extra set of clothes and a blanket to nap on. I didn't realize this until I had already dropped her off. I'm not used to this routine obviously. It all worked out though bc I never got a call from the school informing me of a "situation" that required her needing the change of clothes, and her sweet teachers said nap time wasn't a big deal either bc Lola wouldn't nap unless they held her. WHAT?! She knows better than to try that at home... Next week I'll be prepared. Let's just hope I don't forget to take the snacks bc it's already my turn to provide them. That wouldn't be good.


Here's a pic of Lola giving her cousin Seth a little sugar. The second pic is them laughing about it. Makes me laugh every time I see it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Martha, Here We Come!!!

Anyone who knows me knows what a huge Martha Stewart fan I am. I feel like she has paid her debt to society after serving her prison sentence, so don't even start on what a criminal she is. I'm so over it! I think she's a genius. Anyway, a couple of months ago I requested tickets to a live taping of her show during the week we (me, my mom, and aunt) are going to be in NYC. Well, yesterday I got the news that they accepted our request and we got tickets!!! I couldn't hardly go to sleep last night for being so excited! I can't wait to see her set. It is the most beautiful TV set of all. I almost painted my living room and dining room the same color. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she will be doing a craft that day. Usually she has a celebrity guest on, and I can't wait to see what she'll be doing that week! No matter what, I am stoked that I will get to see her in person and experience a morning on her show! I have to come up with a good question to ask her in case they do a segment of "Ask Martha" and hopefully I can talk to her! Laugh all you want, but Martha rocks!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Latest Trick 'Round Here

I think the title of this post speaks for itself. That's a baby blanket around Lola, and then Kendall swings her from front to back. (Kinda fast, I might add) She laughs nonstop every time he does this with her. It always reminds me of that ride at the fair that's a big pirate ship with mermaid bodies on each end.

The second pic is my attempt of an action shot of Lola in motion. It's really exciting to lay on the floor and let your husband swing your one-year-old directly over you. He promises me that he's got a death grip on the blanket -- not for my sake, but for hers!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Why We Call Her "Bee"

I've had a couple of you ask me why I refer to Lola as "Bee." Well, in case you're wondering, it's simply bc Lola's middle name is Blake. (Which is also Kendall's middle name.) At the hospital, I remember having Lola propped up on my bed in her Boppy and I just remember staring at her in amazement of oh-my-goodness-I-have-a-baby! I remember feeling so happy to finally have her here. All I could say was, "Thank you, Jesus, for Lolabee!" It just came out. It's become somewhat of a little jingle that I often repeat to her. Sooo corny, I know. Trust me, I know. However, as a parent, I've learned you begin to make jingles/songs for lots of everyday things, so this was just the beginning. (Kendall even has his own jingle for Lola too. His goes like this: "Angels danced the day you were born, doot, doot, doot, doot, doo-doo." He's going to kill me for telling on him! LOL)

So, ever since then we've referred to her as Lolabee or Bee. Writing out B-E-E just looks nicer than "Lola B." as if B. was her last initial. And, being that I'm a court reporter and basically spend my life spell-checking and wondering, "How's that spelled?" or "Is that all one word," or whatever. Fellow reporters know what I'm talking about. However, having said that, don't expect this blog to be correct all the time in terms of punctuation and grammar. Sometimes, in my own writings, I just DON'T CARE!

Wild Saturday Night @ Our House

Saturday evening we were at home just relaxing and hanging out. Kendall got home from work late in the day so we ate supper altogether and goofed off for the rest of the evening. I love those kinds of days. Don't have to leave the house all day, no makeup, funky clothes that would get me easily nominated on TLC's What Not to Wear, having the time to bake, taking my time to enjoy my housework...I know that sounds crazy, but I really do enjoy cleaning. Anyway, Lola helped me bake a cake and these pics are her having fun wearing my oven mitts. I posted the cake recipe earlier, and it's awesome. Nothing fancy, just simple and delicious!

Later, KJ and Bee sampled my homemade pineapple-grape popsicles. And, despite Bee's face in the picture, she really did like it!

Toll House Cake

The following is a recipe that I recently made for the first time and it is delicious. Kendall and I are nuts about this cake! I don't even remember where I came across it bc I collect recipes from the back of boxes, newspapers, websites, friends, old cookbooks...wherever. It is so good that this recipe has been added to my personal cookbook of favorites. That's a big deal! It tastes just like a gooey chocolate chip cookie. Deeeee-lish!

FYI: You'll need a 12-oz. bag of mini chocolate chips to divide between the topping and the cake batter. It would probably work okay with regular morsels, but I've never done it that way.

Toll House Cake

1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I skip this, though, bc I don't like nuts AT ALL)
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (save the rest of the bag for the batter)

Cake batter:
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 stick of butter or margarine, softened
1 t. vanilla
3 large eggs
1 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. To make the topping, combine all topping ingredients, except for nuts and chocolate chips, until crumbly. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Set aside. To make cake batter, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in the remaining bag of chocolate chips. Spread into pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until done.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Like Mother Like Daughter

I have known from the time that Lola was a baby that once she was old enough, I wanted to get her a "kitchen." I cannot even begin to tell you how much I luved pretending to cook for my grandma when I was little. I had my own playhouse at her and my grandpa's house and we spent countless hours playing "house." Sometimes it'd be more like "drive-thru" where I'd take her order through the little window of the house, and I'd then proceed to whip up her burger and fries or whatever inside my playhouse at my kitchen. I also loved playing "grocery store" and would very often empty her cabinets of canned goods just to play. I luved playing store and sacking up the groceries...the cash register, (a.k.a. calculator; especially the ones with real paper so I could give my customers a receipt! Speaking of which, these were the days when Wal-Mart used to have neon green price tags on everything. Y'all remember that?!) , and all the fake food. I luved fake food! I specifically remember the little boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix. Kendall loves to laugh at these stories. In fact, most of my family likes to laugh at me bc they know how it was! Once Lola's old enough, an EZ Bake Oven will be next. Talk about exciting! I loved my EZ Bake. I guess my love for domesticity was apparent even back then.

Well, as it turns out, Lola's Aunt April and favorite cousin Seth recently bought her her own kitchen! They found it at a garage sale for $10 and let me tell you: It is in mint condition! They knew the sellers and said it was like brand new anyway, but obviously, they still disinfected it and everything before giving it to us. You'd never know it was used. And, it's safe to say that Lola LOVES her kitchen! Makes me so proud. She really enjoys cooking for us and her babies. (It's apparent that one of her little stuffed horses has a thing for strawberries and a fried egg. I had no idea!) It's so fun to just sit back and watch her beginning to use her imagination. The only thing she's not so great at is doing dishes.

Below: Taking a break to enjoy some "pudding." We're working on saving electricity, so don't mind the fact that she's leaving the icebox door open.

Below: Checking on her baked bottle of dish detergent...

Below: Thinking she's so funny with that green pepper...

Below: Lately, Lola's learned how to walk around on her tippy toes. She does it most when she's being silly. I just think it's so cute. Here she's doing it to reach the top shelf to turn on some music. (And, in case you're curious, that's an onion by her left foot. I realize it looks like a white, human heart...)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Silver Dollar City

On Saturday of our vacation we went to Silver Dollar City for the day. It was so hot and humid! The forecast had been calling for thunderstoms for all three days that we would be in Branson, but luckily it held off and all we got was sunshine and humidity. (And frizzy hair) We had so much fun. I think I've already said that about ten times already, but we did!

The picture below was taken on our way out of the park, hence Lola's bare feet. We were all beat. I was determined to get a family pic in front of this pretty area, so although my camera battery was dead, (Note to self: Always recharge the batteries the night before, no matter what. Oh, and bring the right charger.) I was able to save the last drop of juice in hopes of getting this shot. And it worked! I had to give up some possible cute pics inside the park in hopes of preserving just enough battery for 1 pic. The friendly staff at SDC took this pic for us and I'm so thrilled! I get kinda crazy about stuff like this. It would have driven me nuts to have missed a family pic in front of the sign of wherever we're at. It bugs KJ that I get so "determined" at times. I just like knowing that years down the road I'll be able to see that picture and know immediately exactly where we were at. Anyway....

Below: First ride of the day and "Low Battery" is already flashing on my camera! I don't know this, so the panic hasn't set in yet. Just enjoying our ride in the butterfly.

Below: Getting really panicky bc "Low Battery" is really flashing fast at this point. KJ knows how I get about missing shots of memories, so he's trying to get Bee to wave at me before the camera dies for good. Plus, it's always fun to see a 6'3" tall guy squeeze into the back of a giant frog. Especially if it's Kendall. Gotta get a pic of that.

Below: Two drops of battery juice left. Gotta get a pic of Lola and KJ sharing Succotash. KJ had been talking about wanting some Succotash for a couple of months now. It was his goal once we got to SDC. I didn't know what it was, so in case you don't either, it's basically corn, potatoes, chicken, okra, peppers, and onions all cooked in a giant cast-iron skillet. He woofed it down with a little help from Lola.

Stay tuned for Dixie Stampede and Riding the Ducks! LOL

Monday, August 25, 2008

We're Back!

Last night we got home from Missouri. We had such a fun weekend together! Since this was our first family vacation, I learned some lessons for next time. It's a lot of work to pack for a one-year-old! Snacks...it always comes back to the snacks. I packed an ice chest of strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, water, Lola's organic milk boxes (which actually didn't even need to stay refrigerated bc it's ultra-high pasteurized. I don't understand how that works, but that's what the box says. I find it amazing every time I buy them that I can just go down the aisle and grab them off the shelf as opposed to the dairy section!), tiny juice boxes, and lots of healthy cereal snacks, crackers, and cookies. She ate it all over our 3-day span except for one baggie of cookies! We requested a refrigerator once we got to the hotel and let's just say that having all those snacks on hand was a lifesaver. If push came to shove, I wouldn't have hesitated to just buy her junky food at a gas station once we got there, but I just felt a little -- a lot -- more relaxed in letting her snack so much in the car when I knew that her organic goodies and fruit were just a little healthier than if I hadn't planned ahead. Having a DVD player in the car was a big help too. (Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us borrow your SUV!) Soooo, all that to say that it wasn't quite as easy to pack/unpack with all these extra things to plan for.

The weather turned out to be sunny and hot despite what the forecasts showed for the whole weekend, so it was perfect! I'll post some highlights once I get a chance.

(The picture above of Izzy is for no special reason whatsoever. I just always like to try to add a picture with my posts, so this old pic of Izzy was available. She hasn't been mentioned much here before so she deserves a little luv.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love It!

Last Sunday our church celebrated its fifth birthday. To help ring in the celebration, we had our first service in our new facility. It was such a cool, inspiring service. The Lord is really at work in this place. When it began five years ago, it started with 120 people; it hit 3,000 on this particular day. It's the first church I've ever been a part of that really does welcome everybody, no matter who you are, what you've done, what you look like, if you're old, young, married, divorced a million times, if you're broke as a joke or filthy rich or anywhere in between. Everyone is welcome! It's not about numbers or fancy buildings or popularity or any of that dumb stuff. TCABC just wants to help share Jesus with our world. It's thrown out all of the old church cliches that many people are turned away from and instead really just gets down to the Bible and helping us get a grasp on its teachings and how to make it REAL in our lives. There's no pastors yelling and stomping at you; nobody wearing robes (lol); no rituals; no "preachers"; no pressure to have to wear expensive clothes; just everyday people searching for something.

There are critics, however, who would say that it's "conforming to wordly standards" by throwing out all that old stuff. (Which that, in and of itself, sounds just like exclusive, churchy lingo and another example of what many unchurched people just don't get!) As a former skeptic myself, I understand that. However, in my opinion, there is no doubt in my mind that this "style" of church is touching lives. I just know too many people who have come to know Christ through the way its relevant lessons are taught. That's not to say that TCABC thinks it's doing everything right and all the other thousands of churches around here are wrong. Seriously. TCABC is simply offering their help for those people who couldn't find a place in other churches, or who are just curious about Christianity. Non-Christians are welcome to attend all they want and just get an understanding of who Jesus is; "sinners" don't have to get their acts together before stepping foot back in the door of a church...we all either are or know someone like this.

All that to say that Kendall and I both love our church. We've made great friends. We've learned about God's love for us. Our hearts have been opened to what it's like to really live by faith no matter how stressed life gets. We've been able to reach out into the community and volunteer in areas that often get overlooked. We've learned that there's a difference between having head knowledge of what the Bible says and actually living a life that represents what Christ is all about. We're not perfect; we're all just on this journey together.

Below is a link to a sweet slideshow of the past year and the special birthday service. The song that's playing was written just for the occasion. And, if you're wondering why there's a huge (16'x16') Connect 4 on the stage, it's bc we just started a series called "Connect." It's about feeling out of place in life and finding a way to connect the dots, connect with God, to develop a close relationship with Him.

And, obviously, if you don't have a church home or are ever visiting Tulsa (or Pryor), you have to visit us at TCABC! Duh!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Family Time

Tomorrow morning we're heading out for our very first family vacation. We're going to Branson, Missouri for the weekend. Kendall was able to get TWO WHOLE DAYS off from work (but actually just one off day since already he had to make up one of the days) so we decided Branson would be a family-friendly place to visit that wasn't too far away. If you know much about how our life works, you'll know that it's a huge deal that Kendall's getting a day off. In the three years that we've been married, I can count on one hand the number of weekends that KJ has been able to sleep in and actually be off work. We've probably had breakfast together on a Saturday morning MAYBE three or four times. Sundays are typically his only day off, so that usually allows us to get to be together a little in the mornings before church, but even that is somewhat of a busy time: getting Lola ready and fed, I'm always late....Needless to say, it's very rare that we actually have a weekend together.

And, outside of our honeymoon, we've never even had a vacation of our own! (While I was pregnant, we did manage to go to Texas overnight for KJ to attend a reunion of all his old college baseball buddies. I still had "all-day" sickness and he was playing baseball, so it wasn't exactly the best time. ) He works at least six days a week and in the summer it's very common to work seven days. He leaves the house by 5:30 every morning. Always has. His only day off is Christmas Day. Thanksgiving? Nope. He usually has to go in for at least the morning. Easter? Nope. He's technically supposed to be off on Sundays, but this past Easter was the first time he didn't get called in. When I was giving birth to Lola, he tried to use some vacation days out of the whopping 5 days a year that he got at the time, but nope. He got the day off that she was born and that was it. It actually worked in our favor that I had a scheduled delivery so he was able to be there. And, by going in early everyday, you'd think he'd get off early too. Nope. Summertime is always busiest but it's pretty much year-round that he works until evening. Sometimes he'll get a break late in the day but have to go back at night to "move fans" or "water." (Turf lingo.)

I had no idea what kind of life this would create for us as a couple. In fact, I didn't even know what "Turf Management" was until I met him. (For those of you who don't really know, it's a horticulture degree with a specialty in grass. I'm not even kidding. I hear that golfers prefer green grass without spots, disease, dry patches, WEEDS, etc., so these guys work their booties off to make sure it stays pretty and green.) He's such a hard worker, and he still finds time (and energy) to volunteer and do extra jobs on the side. It's crazy! We're very lucky to have him.

All that to say that we're so excited to go to Branson! You'd think we were going on some fancy trek through the islands or something for as excited as we are! LOL We just never get to do anything like this! The forecast is calling for rain the whole time we're there though, so say your prayers that it holds off. We'll have fun no matter what bc ultimately it's not about all the things we find to do while we're there, it's simply just the fact that we get to be together for a few days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Silly Sandals

It cracks me up when little kids smoosh their toes to the end of their sandals and then kinda "grip" the edge with their toes. For years I would laugh about this when I'd see a kid doing it. I don't know why it strikes me as so funny, but it just does. Well, now, here's my child doing it. LOL These were pics taken of Lola after a hard evening of playing outside with family at her Aunt Krista's birthday party. It was hot outside well into the evening when these pics were taken and, as you can see, Lola found a way to cool herself off in the second pic: Just dump the whole cup of ice water on yourself and then just relish in it...

Below: I like how tiny Bee looks sitting next to Kendall.