Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year's Top Twelve

Rather than spend my time making resolutions for 2010....I'm going to reflect back on 2009 and focus on the highlights. I will admit that I just read my resolutions for last year and I failed most of they would be the same ones I would list today...if I was going to make resolutions.

Most of these are not life changing highlights but rather the little things that add up to make for a happy year. The wonderful thing about blogging...or that one can look back and reflect on the small moments. The small moments that would have been forgotten otherwise. I picked one highlight a month to come up with my list of twelve. Some months, I had to try hard to find a "highlight".....other months, it was all I could do to pick just one.

Isn't that how life rolls?


January, 2009: A fun staff a sleazy bowling alley. These are just 4 of the 11 on the kindergarten team. If your picture isn't on here, it may be because I couldn't find one where you looked sober.


February, 2009: A new camera....that captures the wet dog nose
of the dog I love so much.


March, 2009: Spring Break trip with Will to Arizona to see Jordan. It's so nice to have a daughter that lives someplace fun to visit.


April, 2009: Discovering Chick-fil-A sauce.....after years of eating there and not knowing about this.


May, 2009: Cameron and Oliver moving home for the summer. This cat makes me laugh. I beg Cameron to let me keep him...but she loves him too much. He goes where she goes.


June, 2009: Will's highschool graduation.
And watching his Harry Potter antics before taking off the

graduation gown...wizard cloak.


July, 2009: Redoing my master bedroom. I love me some change.
This was also the month of the gout in my toe....but I would call that a lowlight....and that would be another list.


August, 2009: The bittersweet milestone of sending my last child off to live in a circular dorm in a pie-shaped room....and watching him succeed his first semester away.


September, 2009: Meeting "The Boy".....Jordan's fiance, Chris. The great news here is that we really like him....and we like how happy he has made our daughter.


October, 2009: A girls' trip to Arizona to shop for the wedding gown. I let go of the control and enjoyed watching the process.


November, 2009: LONDON....I could only pick one picture.
So this had to be it. It sums up the highlights of the trip for me...

cute shops, cute cafes, cute windows.


December, 2009: Taking a doll making class with Karen Lea
and sitting beside Frank Bielic.

Every day wasn't easy or happy or full of great times, but looking back, 2009 was a good year.

Happy Last Year. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I bet...

....your cat doesn't have one of these.

A smiley face on his belly.

Getting ready for 2010

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For those of you who stop by often, I just edited and posted more pictures to the last post. And for those of you who comment now and then, I wanted to let you know that I now have all comments emailed to me so I can "publish" or "reject."

I don't have many commenters on this little blog but lately I was getting some creepy comments from an anonymous person asking if I wanted to make more money. Well, hell yeah. I mean, NO. So Mr. Anonymous...leave me and my little blog alone.

And then there was that Japanese commenter. I have absolutely nothing against Japanese people. But the comment was in JAPANESE. I don't read it or speak it so I assume you, too, were asking if I wanted to make more money. Or were leading me to a very gross website that would infect me and my computer.

Please don't let this stop you loyal readers from commenting. It won't show up right away, but I'll publish it as soon as I check my email. Thank you kindly for your patience.

There's always the possibility that the anonymous commenter asking me if I wanted to make more money was Chuck.....'cause I'm sure he would love for me to make more money. Chuck? Was it you?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Boys of Christmas

We spent Christmas day with my sister and her family.

When we're all together, the boys outnumber the girls.

Jack. 23 1/2.

Mark. 21 3/4.

Kim. Chuck. Old.

Something about this picture makes me want to say "Bloom where you're planted."

Maybe because they were planted here most of the day.

Will. The Baby. 19.

The boys.

Some other good stuff of Christmas....

The pillow. Pottery Barn. From my sister.


And snowmen....

My sister does Snowmen. I do Santas.

Her snowmen are way cuter than my Santas.

And then there's Tipper. Tipper is a very large dog with the personality of a little poodle.

Unless there's a squirrel....and then she acts like a hunting dog.

She is a very large lap dog....and people's legs have been known to go numb when she climbs up on their lap and takes a little nap. But that's their problem, not hers. She was so ready for all of us to leave so she could have her chair back.

Tipper was found on the side of the road by a carload of teenage boys who witnessed a box being thrown from a truck. They found 3 puppies in the box so each boy took a puppy home and began searching for takers. One of those boys was a family friend and we were the first family they thought take the puppy.
Does that tell you anything about the gullibility of this family when it comes to puppies?

Mark was staying over at our house at the time, and he called his mom who said, "call your dad" who said, "No." Then Mark worked his magic....uh, his whining....uh, his promising "I'll take care of it, I'll walk it, etc." Then his Dad said, "I am going to make you sign a contract."
Fast forward about 6 years and the biggest fan of Tipper? Yep. The Dad.

Who walks Tipper? Yep. The Dad.

Who lets the 65 pound marshmallow sit on his lap? Yep. The Dad. was your lucky day...on that horrible day you were thrown from a truck.

You had an angel flying over you for sure.

And one of the outnumbered girls....Cameron....who I was lucky enough to have on my team in the game of Pictionary. At least until some boy called her and she left us hanging dry.

I asked her to pose and this is what she did.
That would be Cameron.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning

Chuck and I were awake by 8:00 am and waited until 9:30 to wake the babies.
The tall, long-legged adult babies.
Even Dixie was waiting for them to get up.

She found her yellow frisby and was waiting patiently for someone,
anyone to throw it.
Let's get this party started.

Santa left the gifts wrapped and under the tree this year.
That way he could go to bed early.

The "after." I think this is why my gift wrapping is getting uglier each year.
Why bother? I will say it does make the opening last just a titch longer.

Just like in the stable that first Christmas, there were animals everywhere.

Cameron, our very own Mechanical Engineer, made Chuck a flashlight.
MADE a flashlight. That makes my brain hurt just thinking about it.

She made me a star out of iron.

It is laying on the black & white toile the left.
How cute is that?
Again....she MADE it.

Will is giving Chuck a huge hug. He received an IPod early last week from Santa for the road trip to Mississippi. But today he was surprised with a digital camera. He gives the best hugs. Even if he is all arms and legs.

My gift from Will. All semester, Will has told me about the papers he has due, is working on, what grade he got, etc. A few calls have been from a very stressed out kid who has way too much to do and needed me to talk him down. A few days later, I would get the call that he had turned his paper in and got a good grade. I asked him if I would ever get to read any of his work.
His reply was NO.
I received 4 of his papers wrapped up with a bow on top.
I could feel the heat in my heart.
I suspected he is an incredible writer. Now I know for sure.

And a picture taken from my computer screen of Jordan and Chris. We watched them open their gifts from us via Skype. Maybe I do love modern technology.
Christmas isn't quite as magical as it was when the kids were little.
They don't get us up at 6:00 a.m. like they used to.
Their gifts aren't toys anymore.
It takes a lot longer to shop and wrap than it does to give and open.
They are eager to get back to their friends and their phones.

But it's still good.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve, 2009

I hope you're on his list.

This is the newest Santa added to my collection. We stopped in Nacogdoches on our way to Mississippi...and spent a little time in the downtown area shopping in the antique and gift shops....where I found this Santa. It was a good thing we stopped because Will realized he had forgotten his glasses in his dorm room. So after a little shopping, we drove him to his dorm so he could run in and get them. He took forever. When he finally got in the car, he said he had forgotten to "check out" of the dorm room for the semester (he came home on the 17th...this was the 19th). So he took care of that business.....if he hadn't? .....a huge fine. That's our Will. His name may or may not be on Santa's list.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cleveland, Mississippi....check it off the list

We just got back from Cleveland, Mississippi...and the visit was good but the trip was long. Chuck moved 500 miles away from home to Houston when he graduated from Mississippi State in 1981. However, his brother and sister stayed back as well as his parents, of course, so we are the ones that have to make the trek each year. One time, we invited them to our house for Christmas and the response was, "oh, this is a really bad time of year to get away..."
Really? Tell me about it.

This trip gets harder and harder to make, but this year....after 27 years...I put my foot down and insisted we stay at a hotel. My advice to any of you newlyweds out there is to make this decision early on in your marriage. Trust me on this. I am going to credit this decision alone with the success of the visit. When mama (me) sleeps well, she's happy. And when mama (me) is happy, daddy (Chuck) is happy.
Not to mention this alleviated much of my bathroom issues and it cuts way down on the amount of sitting around and staring at each other time

I am going to make one observation here. You can be related to people and have absolutely nothing in common with them except for DNA.
But it is fun for my kids to see their cousins
and hear the tales of their Daddy when he was little.
I spend a lot of time studying the nieces and nephews they are my children's hands. That is fascinating to me. DNA.

I can sum up the trip by telling you if we weren't eating, we were shopping. Eating just because....and shopping for nothing...just shopping as an activity that gets you out of the house.
Will went along for the ride and played with the camera.

Santa in a shop window.

Loving gang members?


Fun with 53, 7, 15? Football players maybe? Naughty.

No traffic problems in this town.

Hackney girls.

These two could have been brother and sister, they look so much alike.

Taylor is Chuck's brother's daughter.


Another Santa in another window.

Will just found out about Santa.

I want the painting on the wall but am too afraid to ask the price.

Small town...very large prices.

Very cute Christmas decorations but it's hard to even think about buying them when you know they will be 1/2 off in a matter of days.

This time the tree is on top of the angel.

Beautiful shops in old, old buildings.
The garland above the mantel was turquoise, bright lime green and hot orange. For Christmas? I loved it.

Our niece, Anna Pierce Hackney, was in a church play on Sunday evening.
She's the second girl on the right in the light pink shirt.

It was a must attend thing. It was a cute play.

There was a pot-luck dinner...but we didn't partake as there was a brisket cooking at the house. Some members of the family were off the hook of attending this play as they had to stay behind to watch the brisket cook.
Chuck with his parents before the lights went down for the play.

Always good to see children dressed up in shepherd clothes. Wouldn't be Christmas without seeing a little of this.

We ate lunch at The Warehouse on Monday....

an old warehouse that has been turned into a great restaurant.

Since we don't know anyone here...we have no shame about posing.

Tres is the only other boy cousin besides Will on this side of the family.
He belongs to Chuck's sister Beth.

Chuck's sister Beth...
check out the gas prices on that old sign.

Chuck's baby brother Michael and his new wife Elizabeth.

Chuck was 10 when his baby brother was born. And he was in 8th grade when Chuck and I started dating. So we all still think of him as so young.
And he is, compared to us.

Cousins eating out again. Hugs goodbye after this meal.

Crossing the Mississippi River to head back to Texas.

Now back at home and waiting for Santa.

The best part about a trip away is the feeling of my bed on the first night back. Yum.

I hope you are all in a safe, warm place today.