Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lucas!

So, my brother and sister-in-law are not big on birthday parties...I don't know.... Don't ask.  However, I found some fun things going around in town and one of them was an arts/craft activity at the Michael's Craft Store.  After asking Lucas if he wanted to go we took off to see what they had!  Unfortunately there was no one else but him and I had a fun time...for a good 15-20 minutes.
 "How old are you today, Lucas?!?"  "I'm 5!!!!!!"
 I think I colored some of the giraffe and the rest was the Birthday Boy!
 Then we met up with the rest of the family for some Red Robin's lunch. Yum!
 Birthday boy!!!  He was so freaked out while the waitresses sang to him. LOL
 "Who's 5 years old today?!?!?"
 Have to admit that's a pretty good BATMAN cake!
 Reu liked the cake!  (And the stickers I had...I love stickers.)
 I just have to post this picture for my own amusement!  We have Lucas opening his "Big Gift" and the look on his momma's face is PRICELESS!  Like, "What in the h*** got into you?!?  SIT DOWN!"  LOL
After we opened presents we got out a new game, Cooties.  And here you have it, the winner of Game Night!!!!  Reu's complete Cootie!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Christmas 2011

So we started our Christmas events by making cookies.... My mom makes the BEST Christmas cookies (well, her and my grandma...but they're the same, right?)  Decorating was super fun.  The kids had a GREAT time, as you can see.  And we were all in our pajamas so it was comfy and they didn't last but a day or two! 
  Reuben learning how to put sprinkles on a cookie
 The boys and their finished products.  (Almost looks like Halloween colors lol)
 Soon enough it was Christmas Eve and Santa was GENEROUS!  So blessed is our family.
Christmas morning!!  The boys had a BLAST opening presents...  Was excited to get 8 books (that I still haven't read 2 years later lol but I have an AMAZING collection of books! :) 
And I had to take a picture because this was a BIG Deal!  I cooked Christmas Breakfast for everyone :)  I was so excited... I have to cook this stuff every year for the stupid school breakfast and I ruin it because of all the stress of the last day of school before break.  But when I had time off I actualy made it, and everyone LOVED it and I felt so accomplished.  Lol, it's truly the little things in life.
And after presents and breakfast we spent the rest of the day riding bikes...truly....until the sun went down!  So happy the boys loved their bikes and so excited that I got to spend the day with them.  Hoping to spend another Christmas with them soon.                                    

On to See THE BOYS!

So, I've been SEVERELY busy with ... life.  But I still want to blog my travels... even though I won't be traveling TOO much for fun the next few years.  I recently was admitted to the University of Texas at Austin to study Education Policy and Programing along with an internship at the Texas Capitol.  I've also recently started my own business and have become GUNG HO on all the arrangements it takes to leave the classroom.  But, I still have a job to do with my kiddos this year so I haven't been able to blog lately...

Having said that, I still love to keep a record of my travels and I hope to offer some good tips for those traveling where I've been.  Hope to see you on the road!

Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011 was a big deal.  We were invited to go to North Carolina to see my nephews, even though my brother was deployed.  Since it was the first Christmas since my dad's health issues it was important to me to have the family together, as much as possible.  So when we were invited I made sure we all went!  My parents both flew out...but I decided to drive.  I wanted to spend the Christmas break somewhere traveling around the South and figured my best bet was somewhere along the NC-Houston route.  But Christmas break started late so as soon as school got out I was booking it to NC! 
 I made it to Gulfport, Mississippi the first night.  I found a Holiday Inn Express for cheaper since there didn't seem to be any Hampton Inn's around the exit I got off on.  I usually just use my GPS.  Unfortunately it was like 3am so I didn't get a LOT of sleep for what I paid for ....
 The room was really nice, though, and the beds were super comfy.  I even slept kind of late, until check-out.

One of the reasons I wanted to stop around Mobile was to try The Brick Pit again.  The last time I came here (years ago) with my dad we tried to beef ribs.  That was back when I didn't know a lot about BBQ and my preferences.  They only serve ribs or pulled pork so I came for the pulled pork!  And to make sure I had my pictures updated for scrapbooking purposes and Travel Channel info.
It was pretty festive...and just like I remembered!
The pulled pork was AMAZING!  The sides were great too.  I think when you travel without the negative comments of others it makes you really tune into what YOU think about your experience.  Last time my dad hated it so I think I kind of fed off that.  But the pulled pork was great and it gave me the fuel I needed to do the next leg of my journey.

Interesting things I encountered on the way....
*Getting to North Carolina at 4am because there are no hotels past South Carolina
**Getting pulled over at 3:30am because I took a wide turn and got yelled at for not pulling over in the pitch black by a cop with a major attitude (no ticket though, whew)
***Starting off on the wrong foot with my sister-in-law because when I walked in the house the alarm went off

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

And to go along with the last story... lol... Here's more Groupon fun!  

Heather and I bought the Moody Garden's Festival of Lights ticket.  Included in the ticket was a tour of the rain forest pyramid and the Festival of Lights outside.  By the time we left work and got to Galveston it was pretty dark and late for the entrance to the rain forest exhibit but we still got to see some cool creatures.  
 I thought the BRIGHT blue frog was pretty amazing.
 "Hellooooo thereeeeee" said the chameleon. :)
The pretty polka-dotted frog on a beautiful pink plant.  There sure are some pretty things in this world...
Although, I'm not so sure about how "pretty" my Amazon anaconda is.  But whatever keeps him over there and not by me I'm good with!
I have to say, for some reason, I thought the bats were REALLY cute!  Don't ask me why... It was probably the plastic glass that was between us, though. :)

After we finished with the rain forest pyramid we headed outdoors to see the Festival of Lights, the REAL reason we came.  There were lots of people and it was pretty cold.  We tried to get some hot chocolate from a pop-up tent but WOW, it was HORRIBLE.  But even the hot chocolate couldn't stop the fun we had here... Take a look... 
 Loved the entrance...where I threw away a whole cup of nasty hot chocolate.  Just saying... I'm not bitter. though. :)

There was a "movie" that played every 15 minutes about the life of Jesus, that I thought was nice.  This was at the end/beginning when the whole city of "Bethlehem" is lit up.
As you walk along the guided path there are different figures lit to help you find your way.  There are toy soldiers and these angels that help you get started.  But, don't worry, it's really not as dark as the picture portrays.
I had to take a picture of the school of fish! :)
And the butterflies were really high up and were SO beautiful!  I loved the colors...
And the book nerd in me was jumping for joy when I saw the Polar Express display!  Do YOU Believe? :)
And for those that know me know I LOVE fairy tales and completely adored the castle.
Towards the end they even had Santa and his reindeer taking off.  It was really nice and would definitely go again!  The only disappointing part was they had a huge S'MORE tent where you roasted your own marshmallow and we missed it by maybe 5 minutes.  But other than that we had a really fun time.  It was so fun to get into the Christmas spirit before heading to North Carolina for Christmas with the boys!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Burger Fresh Fun

So, I don't normally post random restaurant reviews but this one comes with a story.  It's probably more, "You have to be there," but it's one of those memories I want to remember for a while.  As those who are close to me know my dad was disabled about a year ago after being in a 43-day coma suffering from liver failure.  I've been AMAZINGLY blessed to still have him with me (at all time, lol) and he seems to have recovered probably 90% of what he was before.  It's kind of nice to have someone laugh at all my shenanigans that I seem to get into constantly.  And it makes him laugh so it's all good.  

So one of my interests is Groupon.  It's a daily coupon service that (supposedly) gives a 50%+ coupon each day for local businesses.  On Groupon, I found a burger deal for $13 for two Burger Baskets.  I didn't know the place but it said it was voted Texas Monthly's best burger one year.  So, sounded good to me!  My bad habit with Groupon is not using them til the deadline comes.  So, one night I drug my dad with me to Tomball to try this amazing burger place.  Of course, we went around a normal dinner time, so traffic was HORRIBLE.  We waited and waited in traffic, expecting some nice, classic burger place.  But my GPS was not in an area where one of those type places would be.  Next thing you know we're pulling into an old Dairy Queen with the sign changed to Burger Fresh.  Oh my gosh, we LAUGHED and LAUGHED and LAUGHED.  We just waited in rush hour traffic over an hour to eat at a Dairy Queen. LOL  (Like I said, you probably are thinking, "Had to be there," but the laughing we did, and still do upon the memory of it, is quite classic.
As you can see, at night, the sign was hardly readable.  The Dairy Queen turned...Burger Fresh!

I did like how the decor supported the local high school. :) 
And the reason we came... The Best Burger plaque from Texas Monthly.  It has a crazy amount of toppings.  I didn't get them all...
But, it was HUGE...  And it was delicious!  The bun was really good, and all the toppings made it fantastic.  I couldn't quite eat it all, and my dad only ate half, but it was a fun time, and thanks to Groupon a pretty cheap dinner date.  The laughs, though, are pretty priceless.  And my dad still tells the story to friends and family. :)