Thursday, September 9, 2010

Random Ramblings

Some thoughts have been flitting through my head lately so the most logical thing to do with said thoughts is post them to the internet :)


-I can not figure out why ALL of my shirts are getting these little holes in them. Doesn't seem to matter that I don't dry them in the dryer, where they are from, or what material. I thought it was the washing machine but my mom has a fancy new front loader and she said it's happening to her too. I think the quality of clothes must just be declining. I can't afford to replace all my shirts every 3 washes. This needs to get resolved. Any ideas?

-It rained for about three solid days in Dallas. I love the rain and was kind of sad when it cleared up this afternoon except for the fact that people were suffering from major flooding issues. I was relieved for them. When the tornado sirens went off last night, I had a flashback of a childhood memory. I'm standing in the doorway of my childhood home screaming at my family and neighbors to get out of the middle of the cul-de-sac where they all stand watching the sky looking for any sign of "rotation." I had been running back and forth from the basement to the door ever since the emergency broadcast system had informed us to "seek shelter immediately" trying to convince my family that they were stupid for not heeding the weather man's intense warnings. When that didn't work, I told them they were selfish and obviously didn't care if I ended up an orphan because I was only the one who would be spared when a twister suddenly dropped from the clouds without giving us the warning of lots of cloud rotation.

- I made a really tasty BBQ brisket on Tuesday. Slow cooked it for 10 hours until it fell apart when touched with a fork. Last night, at the convincing of Southern Living Recipes, I attempted to use the left overs and create a new "BBQ Pot Pie Dish" that sounded amazing. It called for a topping of instant mashed potatoes with a little Southern Living added goodness. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and ended up with a big pot of "mashed potatoes" that was the consistency of cream gravy. I started thinking about it and decided that little flakes that look like oatmeal shouldn't really turn into mashed potatoes anyway. Can you even consider that a vegetable? What do they even make the "instant potato flakes" out of? Never again, instant mashed potatoes. I've learned my lesson.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Overdue Update

I have been seriously neglecting this blog lately and I feel like it’s because we don’t have anything crazy exciting happening in our life right now (i.e. moving to another state, having a baby, other major life changes). I also realize I really enjoy reading other friends blogs when they are just simple updates on the day to day, so here goes my attempt at a “short” update. As you know from previous posts, brevity is not my specialty, but I’ll do my best.

Updates
-William’s soccer team officially qualified for select this fall by sweeping the qualifying tournament with 3 big wins in a row. Due to their success, we’ve had a couple weeks and weekends free of soccer so we’ve been making the rounds to visit family. Last weekend was spent in Tyler with the Spencer/Moharer clans and this weekend we’re westward bound to Amarillo to enjoy some cool nights with the Bectons.

-We have started doing Crossfit workouts in Richardson and, although they kick our tails, it’s the first time the Mister and I have been able to successfully work out together. And by together, I mean that we’re in the same room doing the same workout but not standing anywhere near each other. This is made even better by the fact that our good friends, the Carby’s, are also Crossfit-ers and we get to see them about 4-5 days a week now.

-Half of my hydrangea plants have been officially SCORCHED by the ridiculousness of August in Texas. Should have known they wouldn’t last through the heat getting afternoon sun. We’ve set up a beach umbrella to try and protect the other half from suffering the same fate. It’s kind of working for now.

-William has been approved/accepted to take his “PE” exam in October (professional engineer). He had to turn in a huge packet that summarized all the work he’s done over the past four years for review and he was approved! When he passes, he’ll get to sign his own name on his engineering plans followed by the 2 little letters, P.E., which makes you big time in the engineering world. He will be spending most of his free time studying for the next few months so, please call me to hang out, I’m sure I’ll be bored.

I think I already shot that whole “brief update” I was trying to keep to so I’ll stop here. A thought for today…this is the one time of year I’m so glad I’m not a teacher or student. Going back to school from summer was always the worst. I would send my sympathies to my teacher friends, but I don’t feel that bad for you because almost all of you that I know took about 12 vacations this summer. Happy back to school week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Beginning and an End

I'm a few weeks behind on all things blog but I'll try to play catch up a little. A few weeks ago, my younger cousin (who was closest to me in age in the cousin crowd) got married. Her husband was actually her brother's best friend growing up so we've all known "Johnny," (who now like to be referred to as Jon since he's all grown up and an army Doc) since childhood. Holly and Jon began their new life together as "The Hardys" on July 10, 2010.

It was a beautiful and elegant wedding and the whole family got involved in the fun! Holly asked me to be a bridesmaid and sing a little number with one of her good friends Allie. My mom served as the pianist and organist and my dad stepped in the day before as the official videographer. He also served as the only photographer for our family so the few pics I captured must also be credited to Jerry Becton.


My Aunt Lanette with Holly, the beautiful bride.


The Becton/Spencer family


All the men in my life.


The bridal party with Holly.


Allie and I cranking some tunes on the mic.

So now for the end...it's not really an end...just a transition, but one of my closest friends is moving to upstate New York next week and William and I hosted a little going away bash for them at our house lase weekend. Leslie and I knew each other from a distance at Baylor but quickly became close friends after re-uniting in Dallas. Over the past four years, she has become an accountability partner, encourager, and one of the first people I turn to for advice in a crisis. None of these things will change with her moving, we will just have to learn to do it over the phone instead of face-to-face...unless I finally catch up to 2010 and get a webcam and microphone and learn to use skype...but that's another post for another day.

I was a little busy keeping everything moving in the food department on Saturday to take pictures so I borrowed these from Leslie's recent post about the party. Leslie, please don't sue me for copyright infringement. Please notice the "Adios Leslie and Justin" sign...my first attempt at Arts and Crafts in many, many years, as well as my table decor with the flowers in some of my bright glasses from the college years. That was actually a tip from my mom that I was skeptical about but, it turned out well.

Leslie and I share a common love of Dublin Dr. Pepper.


Everyone who was still there at 10pm.



Justin..the other half of the honoree couple with some of the boys.


Some of the guests going through the food line.

Truly, Leslie and Justin are 2 of William and I's best friends and they will be greatly missed in Dallas. I'm still working on the details (aka convincing William) but a trip to New York to visit is already in the works!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Florida Wedding Fun

Over July 4 weekend, William and I headed to Orlando, Florida for the wedding of his best friend Jason. Jason was the best man in our wedding last year and William returned the favor as his best man last weekend in what turned out to be a rainy, multicultural, and amazingly fun 4th of July weekend.

We got there Friday evening and headed straight to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Because Jason's mom is from Hong Kong AND that's where he met his British bride, Lindsay, the rehearsal dinner was at an amazing Chinese food restaurant in downtown Orlando. I forgot to take pics that night so you'll just have to trust me that it was great and good times were had by all.

Saturday turned out to be the big adventure. We were supposed to be ready by 1:45pm to meet up with some of Lindsay's friends from London and catch a bus to the wedding (which was scheduled to start at 4pm). Erin Proctor and I were actually on time to meet up with our English friends and we headed to their house to wait for the bus. Since we were getting picked up 2 hours early for the ceremony, Erin and I anticipated a lot of lag time and packed books to read and comfy shoes in our bag to wear up until the wedding...which turned out to be very ironic by the time the day was done.

After waiting at the house for a bus to come by until 2:45, we decided to call our own taxi to the ceremony (which was a 45 minute commute from the house). The taxi we called told us he could be there in 30 minutes to pick us up, which would make our arrival time at the wedding EXACTLY at 4pm IF he actually showed up in 30 minutes. One of the English friends had a rental car and we decided we should probably just drive ourselves but about 2 minutes after we left the driveway, we got a call from the bride letting us know that the wedding planner was sending a car to get us. We turned around and went back to wait for the car. The rest of the story gets quite lengthy and complicated but I'll just say after 2 more attempts at driving ourselves and receiving calls to go back because our taxi was almost there, we were finally picked up around 4:15pm and walked into the country club at 5:09pm. Because it was smaller wedding and all the guests were out of town, and due to 4 accidents on the major freeway that everyone took to get to the wedding, we ended up arriving only about 20 minutes after the other guests and they just held the start time of the wedding until everyone arrived. It was an intense day and we really bonded with our 3 new friends from London through the experience. Here we all are after finally making it to the wedding and witnessing the beautiful ceremony!



I made William pose for a bunch of pics with me because the site of the wedding so beautiful!





Wedding Highlights....

Pics of the beautiful bride and groom and wedding party





Lindsay's amazing grandfather from England. I chatted with this guy as much as possible and he was on the dance floor ALL NIGHT! He kept reminding everyone he was in his 80's and if he was still going, we should be too!



This is the most amazing ice sculpture I've ever seen. They poured drinks through the middle and even served the drinks in frozen ice glasses. Amazing.


We spent the rest of our time in Orlando celebrating with Jason and Lindsay, shopping some amazing outlets and visiting Universal Studios! Here are some photo highlights of the rest of our trip!

Erin and I on the boardwalk at Universal celebrating July 4th!



Will and I at Universal



The new Harry Potter ride...this room was filled with pictures that moved and talked to each other just like in the movie!


The wizarding world of Harry Potter...I'm not a huge fan, but it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

408 Takes Possum Kingdom

A few weekends ago, me and my 3 besties from college hit Possum Kingdom lake for our annual roommate reunion trip. This tradition started about a year after college and we've been keeping it alive every summer since. To clear up any confusion, 408 was our infamous apartment number at "The Place" in Waco. It became known around campus (or at least around our group of friends) for many things including awesome Twister parties, Chi-O pre-event four- course dinners,and having 2 kitchens and 2 front doors... But I digress.

This was our second annual lake weekend and once again, we let our boys tag along. They are great for driving the boat, manning the grill, and making sure our koozies always contained an icy beverage. They also really enjoy hanging out with each other and are great at keeping themselves entertained. This year, that consisted of watching a lot of World Cup and US Open on the TV on the boat.

We were having too much fun to constantly pause for pictures, but we managed to capture a few moments along the way.


We always think it's a good idea to ride 4 deep on the jet ski. Someday we'll figure this out.

A series of pics where the Captain's hats came out....





How the guys spent most of the weekend


Not a good idea to take pics during the boat ride to dinner...a little windy





Watch for the sequel, 408 Takes Vail, coming March 2011.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Showers, Bachelor Parties, and Surprise Weddings

This past weekend was one of the most exciting and unusual I've experienced in quite some time. William headed down to New Braunfels on Friday afternoon for a bachelor party so I kicked off the weekend with a girls night. I had a blast having sushi and ice cream with a few friends, both old and new! I arrived home a few minutes before my parents arrived at the house and then did my best to show them the new landscaping in the dark!

Saturday morning, we had breakfast on the deck in the backyard and then took our time getting ready for all the day's festivities. There were a couple of family functions planned for the weekend that my parents drove in to attend. The first was a wedding shower for my cousin Holly at Brookhaven Country Club. Mom and I enjoyed a fabulous lunch and shower with my cousin and some of her soon-to-be family and friends and then headed to Walburg, Texas where we were supposed to meet up with the other side of the family to celebrate my Uncle Joe's 70th birthday….or so we thought.

The party was scheduled at a German restaurant and beirgarten (yes, that's how they spelled it). When we arrived, we all headed into a private upstairs room and spent some time mingling and catching up with family and some of Joe's oldest friends. After dinner, Joe and his fiancée Amy had hired a friend of theirs to do some entertainment. He plays the keyboard and sings and has been at some family functions in the past so this did not seem at all strange. After some entertainment, he called Joe up for us to sing Happy Birthday. Joe began his "thank you" speech after the song and then things took an unusual turn.

He asked his 2 sons to stand up with him, then Amy's brother, then my dad and one of Amy's friends. He said they had all meant a lot to him and he asked the musician to play the song they had discussed. Well, the song he played was called "There is Love" and it is mainly about how a man should leave his father and a woman leave her home and the two should become one…so we're all thinking this is a strange song to honor your sons and relatives.

THEN, as the song finishes, he asks a few of Amy's relatives to come up and asks if her son will escort to the front of the room..and the musician begins playing Here Comes the Bride! So our musician stands up with a Bible in hand and becomes the minister. They get married as we're all watching in shock and, of course, the whole room is crying (including Uncle Joe, Amy and the minister).

After everyone finished hugging and congratulating, we all headed out to the beirgarten in the back for some dancing and celebration. It was a great night and a very romantic turn of events.

Now I can check "Attend a birthday party that turns into a surprise wedding," off my "things to do in life" list.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

“Curb Appeal” Before and After Shots of our Yard Makeover


 

Front Yard Before



After!

We installed a sprinkler system about a month back and are still waiting on a few areas of grass to recover so just pay attention to the beds J



 

Before…

After!

I personally planted all that bright green sweet potato vine you see! I did not, however, plant those little mushrooms. Those will be taken care of ASAP!


Love the new Japanese Maple! One of my favorite trees


Before… (all of those lovely pansies had since died so it was really a big dirt bed, but I didn't have pics of that)

 

After!



 

Now for the Backyard!
Please excuse that most of my before pics are from the deck building time last summer…it still shows what used to be there!
Before…


After!!


Before…


After (pay attention to the back corner)


Before…


AFTER!!!


Before… (best angle I've got)


AFTER!! With my favorite addition..the hydrangeas…and our dog model we hired to make the backyard look more "lived in."



And a random shot of my fave new additions to the yard


 

Also, not pictured is my very first attempt at an "herb garden." I planted mint, parsley, and cilantro and they are all doing great!

We're looking forward to lots of summer fun with friends in our newly remodeled yard this summer. Feel free to come over anytime.


 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Blooms

A couple of weeks ago the Spencer house, or more specifically the Spencer yard, underwent some major transformations. We added new beds and TONS of plants both in the front and backyard and it's amazing the difference it makes.

As soon as I find my camera charger, I'll take pics of everything and so some before and after shots, but for now, I'm posting a pic I snapped last night of my FAVORITE of the new additions...the hydrangeas! They are pretty high maintenance but worth all the effort when they already look like this after only 2 weeks! Get excited for the full story coming soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cruisin'

Saturday morning, William and I returned from our week-long anniversary cruise! I was going to write a post about it this weekend but our camera died completely somewhere around day 3 so I was looking for the charger so I can include the 4 pics we were actually able to take on our trip before the juice ran out! (I still haven’t found the charger but did discover I can put my memory stick directly into the computer and save the pictures so all is not lost!).

After a 48 hour battle with food poisoning, we loaded William, our luggage, and some sprite and crackers in the car last Monday morning and headed to Galveston to board the Carnival Ecstasy for a one week Mexican cruise to celebrate our first year of marriage. By the time we made it to the south edge of Houston, William was finally conscience again and feeling hungry and felt fully recovered by the time we had our first dinner seating on the boat Monday night.

Our first day was a full day at sea so we set out to explore all that the Ecstasy had to offer. After enjoying the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, we headed to the pool and spent a few hours napping, reading and catching some sun. William went to the gym at one point to get in a workout but had to abandon his hopes of getting in intense daily cardio after experiencing the sway of the boat while trying to run on the treadmill. I didn’t believe him that it was that bad and had to go see for myself later that day. That was my last trip to the gym for the duration of the trip.  We had a late lunch at another all-you-can eat buffet and headed inside to meet up with some friends we met earlier for the daily bingo game.

Not very long into the second game (I think small diamond is what we were going for, for all you bingo enthusiasts that know what that means,) William looked over at my card and said, look you have bingo. I wasn’t sure but he appeared to be right so I stood up and shouted bingo. The two older women behind me (who had brought along their own daubers might I add) started to fuss at me that there was no way I could have bingo because they hadn’t called enough of some column or something and I soon found out they were indeed correct, I did not have bingo. This is normally where I would explain that we had punch out cards instead of markers and you had to unfold and refold all the numbers between games so it got confusing as to whether or not they had called each number, but I’ll spare you those details and move on to the part of the story where the theatre full of people began to boo me. I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve actually been boo-ed. I was pretty unhappy with the entire crowd at that point but quickly got my revenge. The next number called was the one they found to be missing in my first bingo claim, so I had a real BINGO this time!! I stood up and shouted BINGO…FOR REAL THIS TIME…which was quickly verified by our fabulous cruise director and I was awarded $120. So then I yelled, “Boo me all you want, but I got $120 and you didn’t!”…ok, I didn’t yell the second part but the first part is word-for-word. I will also leave out the part of the story later in the week where William lost my…I mean our… $100 winnings in about 10 minutes at the blackjack table, but I guess losing money that wasn’t yours to begin with is the best way to lose money. Tuesday night was formal night on the ship so we dressed up in the nicest clothes we brought and headed out to have some cocktails before dinner. Here’s one of the few pics we were able to take during the week of us on formal night.




Wednesday we docked in Progresso, Mexico on the Yucutan Peninsula. We had heard there wasn’t a ton of great stuff to do in Progresso so we decided to book a “beach party” excursion with some of the friends we met on the ship on Monday. They took us to a private area of the beach w/ drinks and a restaurant and we hung out there for awhile before heading out to the market to browse for some souvenirs. We didn’t find anything we couldn’t live without so we headed back to the beach and spent the rest of our time on Progresso swimming and laying out. We headed back to the boat around 4pm and took the 2nd of what would turn into daily naps and prepped for our night on the boat. I can’t remember the specifics of each night but most of them consisted of a late dinner and then heading to our favorite “club” on the boat where they had nightly karaoke. We never actually made it on stage but it was always entertaining to watch. There were also a couple of really funny late night comedy shows that we went to and laughed harder than we should have at somewhat inappropriate jokes.
Here we are at the "Port of Progress" (Progresso)



Thursday was our day in Cozumel, Mexico and we had booked a “boat, kayak, and snorkel” tour. We got up early and met up with our tour group on the pier. We were happy to see that another couple we had befriended on the boat was on our excursion so we had friends to hang out with for the day! The water was gorgeous and the day was perfect and we hopped on a boat where they took us over to a private beach to kayak and enjoy some lunch and activities. We kayaked, looked for conch shells, ate a really good Mexican lunch, played some “water balloon toss” and then got back on the boat to head to the snorkel spot. The tour guide didn’t seem to understand the challenges that snorkeling close together in a group of 40 posed, but despite a few fins to the face, we had fun and saw some really cool fish. We headed back to the boat and decided since we were already wet, it was the perfect time to check out the water slides. They proved to be much better than expected and we ended up returning more than once before the trip was over.

Here's a pic of William relaxing in the hammocks on the beach in Cozumel.



Friday was our last day at sea so we decided to get all the sun we could before our vacation ended. This was our view while laying out on Friday, looking out over the ocean.



When we felt like we were about as burnt as we could handle, we headed in for another round of bingo. This time the game was “blackout,” and there was a $1,000 prize at stake. I kept watching my card and noticed that one of them was getting very close to being blacked out. I got down to needing just ONE number to win the $1,000. After waiting excruciatingly through 4 more numbers that weren’t the one I needed, someone else called bingo and I watched my $1,000 slip right through my fingers. But, you win some you lose some, so William and I went to play some shuffleboard to ease the pain. We enjoyed our last dinner and some entertainment that night as well as karaoke and a comedy show before closing out our last night on the ship. We came back to our room to find our nightly towel friend waiting (this pic was actually taken earlier in the week before the camera died).


We got off the boat on Saturday morning and headed back to the real world. We had an amazing time and both decided that we really enjoy the style of cruising and we’ll have to work more cruises into our future vacations. I’m so happy to have a husband who makes me laugh and who I always have fun with no matter what we’re doing. It was a great ending to a great first year!!