Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

Courtney & I decorated the family tree for Mom yesterday. I love decorating their tree and seeing the 34 years worth of ornaments that make up our family collection. As we decorated yesterday we talked about many of the ornaments; how long we'd had them, where they came from, and how much we liked them. There are ornaments from Mom & Dad's first Christmas together, ornaments from mine & Court's first Christmas, and many, many others throughout childhood. I loved seeing the the wide array of ornaments. There were so many ornaments that we couldn't even hang them all. I still remembered the heart ornament with my name on it dated 1985 that was given to me by my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Hitt, as well as the tiny teddy bear ornament given to be in 3rd grade my Mrs. Burnett. It was a fun trip down memory lane. Mom, Court, & I laughed and talked for hours about the various ornaments.

This is one of probably a dozen stuffed ornaments that Mom made around 32 years ago. When I decorated the tree growing up I would always put these in the back of the tree because I didn't like them. lol. Mom soon figured it out when she saw them all in back. From then on it was a joke every year when decorating the tree. This year I hung them all over the tree, just for Mom! And yes, she noticed! ;-)
I just LOVE these pencil ornaments. We all have one with our name on it. A teacher couple that worked at Mom's school made these, so we ordered some for us, as well as many of our friends. The back of this one is dated 1987-1988.
These handcuffs may look a bit out of place on anyone else's tree, but not ours. They were given to Mom & Dad as an ornament for their wedding on December 28, 1976. Handcuffs because Dad has always been a law enforcement officer...and of course I'm sure it signifies them being cuffed together for life as well! ;-)
We have many of these engraved type ornaments too. I found the one Carrie Pruett gave me as a gift in 2nd grade. It was a little engraved cat with my name on it. I still love it. I've always loved this one too. The little girl has Mom's name engraved on it and the little boy has Dad's and it's dated 1980. How special to be able to look back and know exactly when the ornament was from.

Strawberry Shortcake has ALWAYS been one of my faves. I was always super careful with her, as she's breakable. She was given to me by family friend, Monica Weber, when I was probably about 6. Court had Strawberry Shortcake's friend, Lemon Meringue.
1982 - Courtney's first Christmas
This angel looks pretty sad now, but I still put it on the tree. I made it years ago in Sunday school and still love it!
1979 - My first Christmas

Last, but not least, is the golden star with the crown of thorns. Court, Mom, & I made this for a church presentation one year, many moons ago. It was for Sunday night service and all families that wanted to participate could get up in front of the congregation and tell about their ornament and put it on the church tree. I read a scripture, Mom told about our ornament, and Court shyly stood behind us. ;) Court & I were very nervous to get up in front of everyone. We reminisced about that yesterday. lol. As Mom said yesterday though "We all did great."

I could go on and on and on, as I already have. It's just so fun that our family ornaments have such great meaning behind them. I will enjoy decorating my own tree this year, but it won't be the same as the family tree. I do look forward to memories like these with my own children someday though. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010


"I saw you pass away. Although I loved you dearly, I couldn't make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke my heart to prove to me, he only takes the best."

December 2009

Today would have been my Papa's 87th birthday and my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. We lost Papa back in February and nothing has been the same since. Grandma had to go to a retirement home and her dementia has increased, the house out in the country is empty, and we are preparing for Thanksgiving this week without him for the first time.

Papa & Grandma - December 2008

I've missed him a lot through the months, but more so today. It's hard to put into words how much he meant to me and my family. I only have a small number of men in my life that I look up to and respect and Papa was definitely one of them. He was a Godly man; at church any time the doors opened, before his health declined in later years. He was the hardest worker I'd ever known, besides Grandma. He was a farmer and a rancher and would spend all day tending to the cattle or the garden. I loved going out to my grandparent's house growing up. It was always an adventure. We would play on the cellar or cattle guards, run around with the dogs, which we called ours since we didn't have any of our own. I loved going to the big barn with Papa to get sugar cane to feed the dogs. It was a treat for the dogs and Courtney & me. We would eat a plethora of sweets at their house, and Papa would always encourage us to have more. And he always had gum...always. The little children at his church would run up to him to get sticks of gum before and after the service, and I thought my Papa was the coolest because of that.

fishing with Daddy, Papa, & Court - 1991

Christmas Day 2007

I was scared to death of my Papa when I was younger. When his voice was raised it shot terror through me. It created in me a healthy respect for him. Although as he aged he got much more mellow, and my fear disappeared all together. When I picture Papa I always think about the faded overalls he wore. Those were for working and not to be worn to town. I loved them. I also loved his big pocket watch that was always tucked safely inside the overalls. That was Papa.

Papa & Mom - 2009

The whole family - Christmas 2009

I'll never forget the year we shot off fireworks in the country. The dancing butterfly chased Papa and he was running and laughing. It was hilarious. I remember it like it was yesterday. Papa had the best laugh ever. It can't be imitated. It lit up his whole face. I got the biggest kick out of him mispronouncing Courtney's name. He always said Courtley, even if we corrected him. He loved watching 'wrastling' and eating sweets. Chocolate cake was his favorite. There are many, many more memories that come to mind when I think of Papa, but you get the point.
I miss him dearly. He was the only grandfather I've ever known and it was a joy getting to grow up 20 miles from he and Grandma. I know he's in Heaven now, but I would have selfishly kept him around here forever.
"I'm gonna miss that smile, I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven 'cause that's right where you wanna be
I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm cryin' for me" ~Toby Keith

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Official Twilight Convention

Courtney & I attended The Official Twilight Convention at Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas on Saturday. Being the obsessive Twihard that I currently am, when I heard about the convention I just HAD to go. Court, being the awesome sister she is, was game to attend with me so I didn't have to go solo.

We arrived at the hotel around 10:45 am, got our tickets and headed to the Grand Ballroom for the welcome from The Hillywood Show, hosts of the convention. They are a hilarious group who does parodies of the different Twilight movies, and many others. They started the convention off with the Eclipse Parody, which had just been released a few days earlier. IT. WAS. HILARIOUS.

The Hillywood Show Cast

Excited for the convention!

Christopher Heyerdahl (Volturi Leader Marcus) was the first celeb for Q&A on the stage. He was very funny! Very full of energy and NOTHING like his character. He would leap off the stage and run down the aisles and talk to the audience. It was fun to listen to him.

After the Twilight Lexicon Panel, who talked about their tales from the black, not red, carpet, I participated in The Twilight Saga Yes/No Trivia Game. I thought I had this in the bag. I mean, I play trivia on my iPhone through my various Twilight Apps all the time, how could I not. The questions they asked were HARD! As you can see above I'm concentrating a lot on the question. And embarrassingly enough, I answered wrong on the 2nd question and was out. How was I supposed to remember that Bella saw different colors that other people didn't see in Breaking Dawn. Really?! lol! Oh well, it was fun!
Then we received a visit from the Wolf Pack's Bronson Pelletier (Jared) and Kiowa Gordon (Embry). These guys were a riot. They were just big goofballs. Must be because they are 24 & 20. I enjoyed their crazy answers during the Q&A. It was pretty impressive when they started quoting Dark Knight together. Bronson also told a story about meeting David Duchovny when he was shooting The X-Files in his neighborhood when he was 9. It was a funny story about him having a mouthful of oreos which he spit into his hand so he could talk to David. :-)

After a short break there was a No Minimum Bid Auction with lots of the convention banners and autographed pictures. I was shocked that this Edward banner went for $500. I mean, I love me some Edward, but $500 for this?! Not so much!

Last, but not least, was a Q&A with Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen). Court & I actually passed Peter Facinelli as we were going up the escalator and he was going down, along with some bodyguards, but we were so wrapped up in conversation that we didn't even notice until it was too late. Dang it! He was great though. Such a cutie and so sweet! He has a great personality. He also walked throughout the audience answering questions, as well as called individuals on stage so they could personally ask him their questions. The lady in front of us got called up on stage and he had her sit in his chair and hang out while he answered her questions. I was a little afraid she might pass out when she returned to the seat in front of us since she was shaking so bad!
It was a fun day that definitely fed my obsession with all things Twilight. I especially loved the Q&A they aired from the LA convention back in May that Taylor Lautner (Jacob), Robert Pattinson (Edward), and Kristen Stewart (Bella) actually attended. I could listen to Rob answer questions in his British accent all day, but I digress.
The next convention in Dallas is December 3-4, 2011 at the Westin Park Central Hotel again. Mark your calendars. I'll be ready to go again. I think I'm going to start a campaign for the next year to actually have Rob there! You know you'll want to go then! ;-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall Girls' Weekend

Elizabeth, Vanessa, & Deborah came into town from Houston/San Antonio the weekend of October 22-24. I love weekends with my girls, who I don't get to see very often. It's a great chance to catch up, laugh until we cry, go down memory lane, and make some awesome new memories.

Bets, Deb, & Ness - tornado party in the bathroom

We spent part of Saturday afternoon in the bathroom due to the tornado sirens going off. We gathered up the cats in their crates and I made the girls stay in the bathroom for a couple of minutes as well. No tornado was going to get them on my watch! ;-) However, after few minutes it go quite toasty in there so we watched the weather from my room.

The crazy weather squashed my plans of taking them to the arboretum to check out all the pumpkins so we created our own pumpkin-picture-taking-spot in my apt! ;-)

We took quite a few pictures, and got a little silly as well. It's sad how long it took us to figure out how we could all be in this picture! We worked off quite a few calories laughing during that time.

Then we carved pumpkins and I made the girls watch my favorite Halloween move from childhood, The Worst Witch. I don't think it became one of their all time faves! ;)

They turned out quite nicely!

We had dinner at Babe's on Saturday evening and the girls told the waitress it was my birthday. I corrected them and told her it had been two weeks before, but I got the royal birthday treatment anyway. :-P

Sunday we hit up Josephine's Italian Bistro for lunch before the girls headed back home.

It was a very fun weekend and I can't wait until the next get together. I am SO thankful to have these girls in my life! Love them!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Birthday Weekend

I turned 31 on October 10th. Grrrr! LOL! At least I can have fun getting older. I had Monday off for Columbus Day so I enjoyed a fun, long birthday weekend filled with awesome friends and family!
October 8 - Friday night Stephanie, Trista, Julie, & I headed to Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie to see Joel McHale's comedy act. Before the show we enjoyed some awesome homecooking at Cracker Barrel. It was a very fun night!

October 9 - Saturday I celebrated my birthday at Bonnie Ruth's in Frisco with some of my closest friends. It was a fun night full of entertaining conversation, pictures, presents, wonderful food, and the best dessert. I had a blast!

The dessert tray! It was SO hard to choose!

I loved the Twilight cards, gift bag, and presents! ;-)

October 10 - My 31st! Courtney & I spent the day at Cowboy's Stadium in Arlington. As part of the iPromise campaign between the Dallas Cowboys and Susan G. Komen the Cowboys gave Komen 1 million dollars. We were volunteers in the half-time show, making a human Komen ribbon. We even got to meet Komen founder & CEO Nancy G. Brinker, with us above. It was lots of fun and a great way to spend my birthday by honoring my 3 mom, a 3 time breast cancer survivor.

October 11 - On Monday Leah, Leigh Ann, Courtney, & I headed to the State Fair to enjoy tons of fried food. We tried fried blackeyed peas, fried chocolate, fried frito pie, fried cheesecake, fried margarita, and a Fletcher's corn dog. It was fun, but we were exhausted, hot, and full when the day was over.

I guess getting older isn't so bad when there are fun times like these! Here's to year 31! :)