Monday, December 29, 2008

My newest nephew

Ginny is one of my bestest friends. I met her when I was 19 and started working part-time in the mailroom at USAA.


Ginny and I have done some of the weirdest things together..., One that stands out is the time we attended a weight-loss by hynosis seminar, in which we laid on a ballroom floor with tons of other people..giggling and peeking to see if anyone was really getting hypnotized because we certainly were not. I took my first cruise with her and we once drove from Orlando to the Florida Keys for a girls only weekend. We have so much fun together, whether we're trying to get hynotized or just vegging on the couch watching tv.

Four months ago Ginny (and hubby Donnie) welcomed into their family a beautiful baby boy, Colton Lee, and I was finally able to visit them for a weekend before Christmas. Of course I brought along my new camera (Canon 50D, yipee!) and snapped some pics.
Isn't he a doll?


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

It seems like a De La Garza Christmas tradition has become to make one of us cry over a gift. It started with my dad years ago and we made him cry at least two years running...then it was mom, then Christy, then Michelle...and this year it was my turn. Michelle, knowing how much I will miss the kids when I move to Dallas (14 days to go!) ordered a blanket for me, printed with pictures of all the kids (using pics taken by me and Christy over this past year.) I started bawling before I could even really get a good look at the blanket because Michelle attached a sweet note and I couldn't even read it, Ryan had to read it outloud for me. Oddly, I haven't taken a picture of the blanket yet, but I will really soon. The pics I do have are of the the gift the twins got from Santa....a go cart. Yep, a real, live, go cart. Completely safe as it only goes as high as 6 miles per hour! But the boys just love it and I know Marcus and Ryan are really jealous of Michael because he barely meets the maximum weight requirements.


I'm in Dallas today, setting up my apartment, loading the fridge and pantry with groceries and preparing for my cable install. Jamie came with me and poor thing has been working her butt off. Hauling a butt load of groceries up to the apartment (we have to go from the parking garage up to the lobby, past the entrance door, then down some stairs thru another lobby lounge and to the elevator up to my apartment.) was NOT fun or easy. I'm really grateful she came to help, it would have been hell otherwise. And she hasn't even complained yet...but I've promised to take her to the Galleria mall so I think that's the real reason behind her good mood!

Here are a few pics from Christmas morning.......





Das was supervising, but doesn't he look like he wants a turn? LOL!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ethan's bedtime habit

For about two years now, Michelle and I noticed a weird sleeping habit of Ethan's. He likes to shove his arms and legs (mostly his legs) under your body when he sleeps. It was kind of cute at first, but now that I've been taking turns sharing a bed with him for the past few months, it's not so cute. It is really uncomfortable when all of a sudden a foot or leg is shoved under your back, stomach, butt, legs...name it, he's been there. Our only guess as to why he does this is that he was the twin at the bottom in Michelle's belly, so for almost 9 months he had his foot shoved up Isaiah's ass and that's comforting to him. And apparently it's comforting to Isaiah too because as you can see from the picture below, he does not mind one bit!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The new 'do

Here's what happened with my hair! I sat in my stylist's chair and we
both agreed to leave the bangs alone but to take some length off.
Voilà!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hair -- to cut or not to cut?

Ok, here's the deal. At the end of October I paid a pretty penny to have my hair straightened a-la the japanese straightening way. I love the results...blowdrying my hair takes 3 minutes instead of 10 minutes of fighting with frizz and curls. The money spent was well worth it.

However.

My bangs are losing their mind. They WON'T stay out of my face and it drives me crazy. If I look the slightest bit downwards my vision gets impaired by my damn bangs and it pisses me off.


Just a little while ago I went digging thru my purse for a bobby pin - found one, yeah! - and just grabbed the offensive hair and pinned it away from my face. I'm happy, I can see, but now I look like a 12 year old goober.


I have a haircut appointment tomorrow night. What do I do? I'm not really digging the long hair thing - windy days really makes my vision impaired, and I miss my short chic haircut days. Should I chop it off?

You have a little over 24 hours to give me your opinion.

Go!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lisa and the City

Check out my new apartment!!




The zebra print shower curtain I got will go great with that apple green tile!



View from the living room, which looks small but you can't see the dining area in this pic

Street view



I never wanted to be an "urban dweller" but I fell in love with the building, the apartment is oh so cute, and there's a 24 hour doorman so I feel super safe. So I figured, if the move is a new chapter in my life, I might as well try a new lifestyle and see how I like it. Plus it's 2.5 blocks from work so I'll get plenty of exercise (plus they have an 1800 sq. ft gym!) and I'm not far from the highway for my drives back home to see my family. I'm signing my lease tomorrow and my household goods are being delivered on Monday, but I'm still not "officially" moving from SA until January 11.












Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can - Yes We Did!!


What a night. My father predicted we would know by 10pm CST who the winner was and he was right. We are all so emotional...making phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, crying and cheering.

What a great night for all Americans.

What a great night for Hope.



October Update

Man, October flew by. To recap the month...

Michael turned 15 on October 13th, Marcus turned 18 on October 27th and voted in the presidential election for the first time, and Christy and Rob celebrated 10 years of marriage on Halloween.

Football season is in full swing and the Judson Jr. Rocket "Midget" team are undefeated and about to enter into the playoff's. This is the second playoff season for the Ethan, Isaiah and Jakob and we are so proud of them. I'm also very proud of Christy and Michelle, for not having a panic attack when their babies get tackled. The boys are proving themselves to be very tough! Jakob ran the ball twice and took getting tackled like a man, we were so excited for him since he typically plays defensive line. Most of the lineman on the opposite of Jakob are 3 times bigger than him but he's either gotten around them quickly or didn't let them knock him down. Ethan and Isaiah both play defensive corner...it's neat to see them on either end of the field. Isaiah had an interception and came THIS close to a defensive touchdown. Ethan ran the ball on offense last week and also came THIS close to a touchdown. They've been very good at tackling, even listening to big brother Marcus' advice when their opponents are much bigger and taller and they have to tackle at the feet instead of higher up. Here are just a few of the pics I've taken.

Ella giving Popo some sugar

Ethan and Isaiah before a game

Ethan on the line

Twins heading to the field

Ethan

Isaiah playing with a grape

Jakob

Ethan making a tackle

Ethan recovering a fumble

Jakob on the sideline with Coach Dad

Isaiah's interception return


When the boys had a bi-week, meaning no game for the weekend, we took advantage of it and drove up to Fredericksburg for the weekend. From there we went to Enchanted Rock to climb and eat s'mores. We didn't plan far enough in advance so all the campsites were booked and we were left using a picnic area and grill for the s'mores. Anytime we needed more flames we just doused the grill with more gas, and the kids got a kick out of that. We also had no flashlight so our picnic was rushed because we literally could not see, it was so dark out. We had a blast and want to go back when we can secure a campground spot and have enough light to climb to the top of the Rock and back.

Pumpkins galore

Michael, too cool for school

Isaiah, chillin out

Ethan and Jakob on the rock

Ella using some kind of veggie at the pumpkin patch as a microphone. She was singing Demi Lavato's song from "Camp Rock". Demi is our step-cousin and Ella's idol!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things I miss

I still am not sad about selling my house, but here are some things I really DO miss about it:

1. My garage. When I moved into my house and got a garage door opener a few weeks later, I thought the opener was the best invention ever! I was wrong. The garage itself is the best invention ever. My parents don't have a garage or a carport so my car is out in the elements and is constantly dirty... bird poop, dust, leaves stuck in the windshield wiper, ugh!

2. My kitchen. I know, I know "how can you miss a kitchen you hardly used?" Well, I do! I miss my counter space (my poor mother has NONE, I don't know how she's not done something about this in 21 years), my fridge, my pantry, my plates and my cups.

3. My closet. Thank goodness for the clothes rack that I bought...but it's just not doing the trick. It's big and bulky, taking up what little room I have and it's not very sturdy. I'm constantly worried that the poles will come unlocked and my clothes will go tumbling to the floor.

4. My toilet. 5 boys live in this house...'nuff said.

5. My clothes-drying rack. Sounds strange, I know. But when you are used to having a nice rack to lay the items that must be air dried on....you miss it. You realize it when you wear a sweater to work that has two "hangar humps" on the shoulders!

6. My dogs. I walk the dogs with Grace at the park from time to time and I enjoy seeing them. But I don't get to sit on the couch and snuggle with them. My mom's dog, Cody, a pekingnese, likes to cuddle but he has allergies and is constantly sneezing in your face, which is gross. And Michelle's puppy, Brody, a mini schnauzer,(yes, there is a Cody and Brody in this house..talk about confusing!) is too hyper to snuggle with, he just wants to chew on your hand and his baby teeth are sharp!

7. Grace. I do miss my roomie. Seeing her every now and then for dog walks and dinner is not the same. I've always though that when I meet The One, I'll have a hard time adjusting to being part of a couple but I don't think I will. We had a routine; we learned to share the washer and dryer, fridge, garage and the living space and we even learned to give each other space when we had a tiff or the other person was just in a bad mood. The only thing we didn't share was a bed and bathroom. And I'm learning to share those now with Michelle and her boys. I've been at my parents house for 5 weeks now and the only time I slept in bed alone was for 2 days when I was sick. And the twins are just 8 but they take up a full side of the bed with all their tossing and turning. I might be more ready for a partner than I thought!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Freedom

As of today, I am credit card and debt free!!!!

Except for my car, and let's face it..I'll always have a car payment! For this freedom, I thank my job for relocating to Dallas because I was forced to sell my house and from that came the equity which was used to pay off my debts. Had I opted to stay in San Antonio and not not sold my house, I'd be working to pay off said debt for many years to come.

You won't get a number from me, but suffice it to say that it was not a low number for a single person. Good credit and someone who hadn't learned how to control herself yet, does not make for a good combination. But I have learned the lesson and just in time with all the crap happening to the economy. I will pay cash from here on out and now I just need to learn the Dave Ramsey way of spending and saving (Christy, will you give me a quick lesson?) so that I never find myself in any kind of debt again.

I can't explain the feeling other than to say I feel liberated. And I can't get George Michael's song "Freedom" out of my head!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Homeless

As of yesterday, I am homeless. The closing on my house should have commenced earlier today. It's kind of weird not being involved, the relocation company plays middle man and just hands my equity over when it's all said and done. I guess it's one less thing on my plate so I'm grateful but it's still weird. It was especially weird when, in the midst of being packed up, a strange man walks into my kitchen. I looked like all kinds of crap so he said "are you with the movers or are you the homeowner?" Turns out he was the realtor for the buyer and he thought the closing was the next day, Friday, and he and the new homeowner wanted to do a final walk-thru. After the main-mover-guy assured me that it was fine with him and his crew and that it was just best to get it over with, I let them in. The homeowner also wanted to show his older daughters the house since they hadn't seen it yet. The new homeowner didn't look like someone who just put down a huge sum of money on the house, he had a sleeveless t-shirt on, big tattoo on his arm, older guy with alcohol on his breathe. But he couldn't have been nicer. He gave me a big hug and told me that he just fell in love with the house and that he would take good care of it. He was particularly fond of my covered patio and plans to spend a lot of time back there BBQing for his wife, daughters and new baby grandson. As he did the walk-thru I visited with the daughters who were jealous that their 16 yr old sister got to live there. They were very sweet and when I joked that if they saw me driving by it was purely out of habit and not that I was checking on my house, but if I saw BBQ smoke, I was gonna stop by for a bite, they laughed and said "you should, anytime!"

I'm very happy to know that another family is going to enjoy my house as much as I have. Lots and lots of memories were made there. Lots of laughter and tears, fun times and bad times but mostly fun.

I still haven't felt sad about selling my home. Even as I stood in the living room yesterday after clearing out the last item (a desk going to Goodwill) and said my goodbyes...nothing. No sadness, no tears. Only exhaustion. I have never felt so tired to the bone as I have over these past couple of days. Thank heavens for movers. Just cleaning out 8 years of clutter and getting my necesseties for the next 3 months over to my mom's house was tiring enough, if I had to also pack up my house I would have killed someone.

So now I have to adjust to living with the folks again, which as anyone who's ever had to move back home knows, is not easy. Plus with Michelle and her boys there I have to figure out a way to get some kind of peace and quiet. The twins have decided that they will take turns sleeping with me and last night as I tried to watch my Sunday shows (Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters), Ethan was right on top of me....asking too many questions about the shows. Maybe Michelle was right when she said "three months of all of us and you'll be dying to move to Dallas!"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dallas Update

First, I opted out of the contract on the townhome in Richardson. An offer was made on my house (yipee!) and I was afraid the timing of that close, would affect the close on the townhome. Plus..I was still feeling like I needed to wait a little longer..to have better bargaining power on the sale price and for this townhome, I offered the asking price because of the competing bid. So I wasn't feeling like I got a deal in this buyers market. So, back to looking for an apartment.

Because of the offer on my house, and since I wanted to be out of my house by the end of September anyway, I held a moving sale to get rid of 8 years worth of stuff that I didn't need. I took off last Friday afternoon to pick up the tables I rented and to get stuff into the garage and tagged with a price. It felt like Christmas almost...Grace would pull out a box from a kitchen cabinet and say "what's this?" and I'd be like "I dunno..open it". Apparently I'm a sucker for buying Pampered Chef and Southern Living Home when someone holds a catalog party and I bought stuff that I didn't even remember buying! So after hours of setting up, I crawl into bed at almost 2am, sore as I have never been before (apparently, standing on concrete for hours is not good for the bones) and crashed. (I also had a "preview" for some people and sold almost $100 that first night!)

Saturday morning I wake up to attend the boys first football game of the season...they are playing tackle this year. They kicked booty, Ethan had an amazing, come-from-behind, tackle (Isaiah had strep throat so he was out for the game), Jakob was his usual enthusiastic self and did great trying to block kids much bigger than him, and we sat in the stands sweating our asses off. I didn't take any pics because I was too tired to mess with it, but I'll be there this coming Saturday with my zoom lens to get the action shots!

The garage sale was a huge success...in total I sold almost $350 and got rid of a bunch of stuff. I only have a little bit of stuff left that will go to a charity. But now my house looks really bare. And it's kind of sad. But I've been too focused on selling stuff on Craigslist, clearing out and throwing clutter, to actually feel emotional. I'm just feeling exhausted. I think once my house is packed (9/25) and moved (9/26) and I'm cleaning up my empty house, I'll have a good cry then. It's still surreal that I'm leaving. This next chapter in my life is not one I would have ever seen coming...

Here are pics from the garage sale. That's part of a costume that my dad and Isaiah are wearing...... now I know where I get my silly side from!


Monday, August 25, 2008

My new place?

The positive side to relocating quickly (had I been one of the people who had to be in Dallas by September) is that you know what you are dealing with and how quickly you need to act. Sell the house, find a new house, make an offer, badda bing badda bam..move in.

What's positive about not having to move so quickly is that you have time to sell off un-needed things and to hang around the family you are leaving behind a little while longer.

What really sucks about not having to move so quickly is that you have way too much time to dwell on the situation. And if you know me, you know I dwell on things.

Should I buy? Yes, don't wanna miss out on the company paying your closing costs on the new home! But where do I wanna live? Maybe I should rent so I have time to find the perfect location? Sounds good too! Oh, but this really cute townhome in Richardson that my realtor showed me is being given an offer TODAY and if I want a shot at it, I have to submit a competing offer THIS AFTERNOON??? But I didn't bring my paperwork with me to Dallas this past weekend, after all I was just supposed to shop for an apartment. Oh, I know! I'll ask Grace to get into my computer and forward it to me!!

And so....as of yesterday, I'm officially under contract for a new townhome in Richardson. If all goes well, I will close at the end of September and it will remain Lisa-less until I officially move at the end of December or early January. Yep...I won't be able to save money while living with Christy and Rob because I'll have a mortgage in Richardson! Oh well....small sacrifices to get something in a great location for a great price.

Here's a pic of the new digs....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dallas Update

Sorry I've haven't blogged in a while. There really was just nothing new to report except that I hadn't been able to sleep in what seems like forever. I've been waiting to hear back on my home appraisals because the highest number would be what my company would offer me should I not sell the house on my own. And I can take that offer as soon as 30 days from listing (which would be 8/25) so all I've been thinking and worrying about is that number. If it's low I'll be pressured to keep my house on the market longer to get as close to my listing price. If the appraisal is close to my listing price and I haven't had a bite in 30 days, I could take the offer, stay with Christy and Rob until I move (oh yeah...Christy, if you're reading this...can I stay with you until I move?! LOL) and save money on my mortgage or, if I'm really wanting to claim the townhome that I saw in McKinney I would be free to make a bid and close on it while still in SA. I wouldn't be able to do that until I sold my house/took the offer because, obviously, I can't make two mortgage payments at a time. So..it's been a bunch of me falling asleep but not STAYING asleep and tossing and turning and having a recurring dream about a home not being claimed and being up for grabs but not being able to do anything about it.

This past Thursday the exhaustion from not sleeping finally got to me while I was at work. When I'm physically exhausted I start to get ancy...irritable, fidgety, itchy and just uncomfortable. I was supposed to workout with my trainer and I thought I'd "wake up" once I got there but I was literally a mess and decided to go home. I had Friday scheduled off because we were supposed to go to South Padre Island with the kids but the hurricane closed the island down. I still kept the day off figuring I needed a day off and boy am I glad I did. I woke up, took the dogs to the groomer (who keeps them all day, it's like doggy daycare!), had a massage, went home to shower then slept all afternoon. It felt wonderful. I later went to the boys football practice and that's where I got the call from my relocation consultant.

He called at almost 7pm to let me know that my appraisals came back in. They both came in at the same number and it was only $5,000 less than what I'm listing my house at which is fantastic news!! I was so thankful he called me instead of making me wait two more days. Now that I know what I'm working with I hope to sleep much, much better.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Exhausted

Well, I just got back from my first weekend "house hunting" trip to Dallas. I drove up on Friday afternoon with my friend and coworker, Katherine. We will have to go up again, one or two more times, to check out some other areas now that our realtor knows what areas are "no no's" ...meaning they are Verizon territory and we can't get our AT&T products and concessions.


Dallas felt much hotter than SA, which just doesn't make sense since they are north and get real winters. Or maybe it's that we spent an entire day driving around and going in and out of homes, and normally we'd keep our happy asses inside of the a/c all day.

Good news...we found a lovely town (McKinney) that has several locations with lovely properties within our price range so we won't have to live in the ghetto (though the first property we saw almost made us cry, it was just horrible.)

Bad news...the trip ended on a bad note. The roof of my CR-V was almost torn off by a McDonald's truck driver! He was parked in the lane that led to the highway. Katherine was driving and as we got past the front cab, he takes off towards the McD's...with his "load" at an angle heading toward my car. Kat slams on the brake and honks. When he stops, she starts to reverse because now there was no where for us to go but backwards, and then all of a sudden the asshole starts to move forward again and came THIS close to the corner of my windshield...the front left of my baby was under his truck!! Kat slams on the horn again and when he stops she quickly backs out before he starts up again. The kicker? He's looking at her like SHE is in the wrong! Fuckin' idiot!! Had we not been in a panic, I would have had her jump to the passenger side (I was in the back seat about to spread out for a nap) and we could have hopped out of the car and LET him crash into my car. I would have sued McD's pants off and maybe then I'd have been able to afford a house 1 mile from my new work location!

This trip also taught me that once you list your house (tomorrow!) it is no longer yours. You have to be prepared EVERY day for strangers to walk in and you have to be prepared at a moment's notice for them. My house will never look so clean....

Funny thing. On our way up to Dallas we stopped for BBQ. In the bathroom they had this. Interesting, right?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dad/Dallas Update

My father is recovering very well, thank you sweet baby Jesus! He came home last Sunday afternoon and aside from naseau from the new meds, he's feeling great. He has a little walker to help him get around and a nurse that comes to visit 3x a week for home therapy. My mom might need her own version of therapy after it's all said and done, but she's doing her best to be Dad's nurse. All of your thoughts, well wishes and prayers have certainly been heard and felt by my entire family and we thank you.

Dallas...I don't know how anyone expects me to concentrate on work when all I can think about is whether to take advantage of free closing costs on a new residence, and if so do I get a home or a condo?-- but condo's have ridiculous monthly homeowner association fees and reselling it might be tough--but the only neighborhoods I can afford in Dallas are of the not-so-desirable areas--maybe some decent areas will have a bunch of foreclosures available?--or maybe I should just say "screw it" and live in an apartment--but I don't want to pay mortgage prices for something the size of my closet.

See what I mean? No concentration is being had over here. Plus I can't sleep, not even with the assistance of a glass of wine! And I've been so busy getting my house ready to present to what I hope will be a buttload of potential buyers that I'm physically exhausted.

Calgon take me away!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The longest week of my life

If you read my sister's blog, you know that my father had a heart attack last Saturday afternoon while at the movies with my mother. If you didn't know that...you can read her post to get the details because I'm too tired to type them all out.

What's important is that a week later, my father is in his private room at the hospital and is recovering well. His thorasic surgeon (I'm not sure of the spelling, it's the doc who performed the beating heart triple bypass) told my dad that he wanted to make him his poster child because he is recovering so well and so fast. Given the fact that my father has had diabetes for somewhere near 27 years, his recovery should have had some bumps in the road. But my father is a fighter. His heart did stop in the ambulance but they revived him easily. He knew it wasn't his time to go. He said he wants to see all of his babies graduate....me included! Damn, this means I need to go back to school.

There were so many blessings with this whole scary event. First, mom and dad were in a public place, and Dad, though he doesn't remember anything except being at the movies, had the presence of mind when the attack started, to get up and walk out of that theater...and he was sitting at the very top. My nephew, Marcus, was at work at the theater, he had just clocked in, and was standing right outside the theater when my mom came out holding onto my dad. Mom, Marcus and about 4 other people called 911 right away. The Schertz Ambulance arrived very quickly and worked very hard to stabilize him, they also took good care of my mom. The SICU Nurses at NE Methodist are wonderful and took great care of my father...explaining everything that happened, keeping his spirits up and overlooking the fact that we were breaking the "2 visitors at a time" rule every single day. The cardiac doctor and thorasic surgeon did God's work keeping my dad stable and getting his heart working again. Michelle's coworkers sent Jason's Deli on the day of my dad's surgery which was a huge blessing and fed the whole lot of us (about 15 people) who were there waiting. My dad's brothers, cousins and friends visited daily...keeping my mom company while in the waiting room and keeping my dad laughing before and after the surgery. My father is loved by so many people, it made my heart smile everytime I saw people pouring into the hospital to see him. And my many friends who asked me daily how my dad was doing and kept him in their prayers.

No, my moving to Dallas had nothing to do with his heart attack. :)

Yes, now that this has happened, it makes it harder for me to move. But my mom, sisters, brother-in-law and older nephews will be with him, watching him like a hawk.

Please say a prayer for his continued recovery, and be grateful for every day you have with your loved ones. We all know that we can go in the blink of an eye, but until you very nearly lose your father, you don't really have an appreciation for your life and the lives of the people you love.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lisa Does Dallas?

Get your mind out of the gutter.....

If you have been watching the news you likely heard that my employer is moving its headquarters from San Antonio to Dallas. My whole department is moving and yes, that means my job is moving too.

My options?

1. Sell my house and move to Dallas with my job. (I don't know yet when my group has to report in Dallas, I should know more over the next few weeks.)

2. Decline to move and take severance and hope to find a job with the same or near same salary. But more than likely, any job I find in San Antonio will require a significant pay cut. And I can't afford that but I am going to see what, if anything, is available...to appease my mom and roommate!

My immediate reaction upon hearing the news on Friday afternoon was "oh shit" and then I wanted to cry just thinking about leaving my family (specifically my niece and nephews) behind. Thankfully it's just Dallas -- 4 hours by car, 1 hour by plane. It could have been worse, we could be going to Atlanta or New Jersey. So I am counting my blessings. But it still sucks. As I did a quick search for rental homes and apartments last night, I felt like I was going to throw up. It's all surreal. I never thought I'd have to leave San Antonio.

While I have it easier than most... no children or husband to uproot, it is affecting my roommate and I will have to leave the dogs behind with her. As I type this, Mr. Darcy is barking at his brother for having the "good" bone....yeah, I won't miss the noise. :)

Everyone is taking the news in stride, especially Christy and Jamie who think this was God's plan for me and that my husband is in Dallas! However, I don't think the twins realize yet how far away I'll be and that they won't be able to call me and ask "can you come over" anymore. But now they can come visit me and I'm sure I'll be home every other weekend for a long time. I'll be racking up some good frequent flyer miles on Southwest! And my new laptop has a built-in webcam and mic so I'm gonna sign up for Skype and get Christy and Michelle hooked up so when I need a family fix I can just hop online.

My dad's two older brothers are also in the D/FW area, along with my cousins, so I have family nearby. I also have Matt, my K-Town friend, and of course all the coworkers who are going to follow their jobs, so I won't be alone in a big new city.

Another thing to be thankful for? Employee benefits = free long distance!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Go Jason Go!

I'm not afraid to admit it....I've been following this season's "The Bachelorette." And I'm in love with Jason, the single father of a little boy. I liked him for her from the get-go....pretty smile, warm eyes, not bad to look at, and he greeted her in Greek (she's from Greek heritage...hint to the guys...it's the little things like this that stand out!).

I DVR'd last night's episode (love me some U-Verse!) and watched it after Grace and I saw "Fool's Gold" -- movie reviews coming soon. So I was up late watching the episode and I cried like a baby. Each guy's hometown visit got me all emotional. Jesse's dad got emotional talking about his son to DeAnna; Jeremy (guy from Dallas) showed her the journal he kept while holding a vigil at his mother's deathbed, and then Jason sees his little boy for the first time since he left for the show. DeAnna also lost it when Jason went running for his little boy and fell to the ground with him in his arms. Dayum! I'm getting misty just thinking about it again.

The only one who didn't make me cry was Graham (the basketball player who doesn't say a whole lot.) However I cried when she kicked him to the curb. She was really into Graham (extreme physical attraction) but I had this feeling that he was just going to cause her grief because he shuts down...he's not a communicator and she is. There have been plenty of times on the show where he wasn't speaking his mind or sharing his feelings and you could tell it bothered her. So when she's trying to make him understand why she's sad about sending him away and he's just sitting there, not saying a word. I just felt her pain. It sucks to admit to yourself that physical attraction alone can't keep a relationship together and it was hard for her to send him home because all he had to do was open up to her. But it's like she said...she's tired of dating guys who don't know what they want. So off he goes but not before handing her a heartfelt letter...a little too late buddy!

Two more weeks to go..I can't wait to see what happens!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Solo

I've been living solo for a few days while my roomie is in New York. Grace has lived with me for so long, I forgot what it's like to have the house entirely to myself.

Things I miss about living solo:

- being able to walk around nekkid after a shower

- having the sofa all to myself (it's just not the same sitting on the loveseat)

- not having to share the TV, although we mostly watch the same shows or she will watch TV in her room

- not having to take turns using the washer/dryer

Things I miss when my roomie is out of town:

- having someone to talk to -- it's one sided when I try and talk to the dogs!

- having someone to take turns letting the dogs out when they ring the bell

- having someone to say "did you hear that?" to.....

I've never been afraid of being home alone, that is until I succumbed to parental-peer-pressure a few weeks ago and installed an alarm system. I did it mainly because my roomie is a chicken shit and when I'm out of town she has to have someone stay over with her, so this is just added comfort for her really, but now that I'm home alone I'm hearing noises, and when the power shut off briefly the other night for no apparent reason I swore someone must be outside wanting to break in! I got over it by the next night and I'm back to being my un-scared self.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Need Advice?

And she's back!

Since my former editor never responded to my inquiry about bringing my advice column back to life in the Express News, I really miss giving advice and apparently many people enjoyed reading my advice, I'm resurrecting my advice column in the blogsphere.

In honor of my E-N column, my advice blog will run on Thursday's, as long as I have something to give my advice/opinion on.

So go ahead people ...ask away. Don't be scurred.

What I'm really excited about is not having to sensor my language or the length of my advice. Let the good times roll!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

June 6, 1965


On this day, my parents were married. There have been lots of happy times and lots of not-happy times in those 43 years. What I've learned about marriage from watching my parents in theirs is

1. You have to have a good sense of humor.

2. You have to be able to look the other way when he/she is being a pain in the ass.

3. You have to enjoy each other's company..just the two of you.

4. No matter how old you are..copping a feel keeps the romance alive. Just don't do it when you're sharing a cabin with your adult daughter, pleeeease!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Remember to come home if you hit the big one!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Bunch of Winos



That's what we were this weekend. Guided by Jeanne and Tim (Ella's godparents) me, Christy and Rob headed up to the Hill Country on Saturday for our first winery tour. After a little misunderstanding in directions, we hooked up at the Texas Hill Vineyards. Then we stopped at Woodrose Winery (the best thing about this place were the dogs who napped despite the crowd of people stepping over them), Becker Vineyards (more on this place in a bit) and finally Fredericksburg Winery (where I bought my only bottle of red wine because it was yummy and not dry. Me no likey dry wine!) There are many more places to visit and after me sweating all day long (dayum it was HOT) we decided fall would be a better time of year. We stayed the night in Fredericksburg and ate at Hondo's which had extremely good food.

Jeanne and Tim are so much fun, I laughed all weekend. But I never laughed as much as I did when we had our 'incident' at Becker Vineyards. We arrived about 20 minutes before closing and it took a good 10 minutes for anyone to come up to us to ask if we bought our tickets yet, so we go down to buy our tickets. We ask the guy if we will have time to do the testing and he assured us we would. He then told us to go down to the end of the bar as there was another group having their taste tests. So we chill for a minute and another worker, a woman, says something - I think she asked if we were done - and we say we hadn't started yet and that we were told to wait at the end of the bar. She quite rudely says "we close at 6pm"; so we apologize and say, again, that we were just doing as we were told. She proceeds to loudly clean up and the other group left so the nice man who sold us our tickets starts to serve us. This woman was making it very obvious that we had less than 5 minutes before they closed...she even started cleaning off the bar, working around us. Jeanne is Italian and she was NOT having it. She asked the lady if we did something wrong, that she was being really rude and was making us uncomfortable and this was our first time visiting and she hated that her friends were being treated this way. The man, bless his heart, tried to make her happy..he apologized and assured us again that we didn't have to rush. This lady, instead of apologizing for her behaviour continues to be rude and says "I'm just doing my job" and storms off, slamming a door. But not before spilling a bowl of oyster crackers all over the bar as she was trying to quickly clean up. I thought Jeanne was going to scale the bar she was so pissed. She waited until a manager came to the front and she explained to her how rude we were being treated. That lady apologized and helped to finish our tasting.


When we left we were in the parking lot laughing about the whole thing and Jeanne says that she was gonna leave it alone until the woman spilled the crackers all over her hand. That's when someone, I don't even know who, says "damn cracker ass cracker!" (the lady was caucasian)....maybe it was all the wine we had been drinking but that was the funniest thing we'd heard and we all cracked up. That was our catch phrase the rest of the night.

I came back with 6 bottles and now need a wine rack to display my goods. I can't wait to pop them open!!! Photos can be seen with this link: