Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I'm starting to wonder about myself and all of these food posts. Ray strung them all together and it made me gain inches just looking at all of the food posts I've made recently. Well, as to not disappoint, here goes another one, kind of.

The last two nights I've made dinner. For myself (and Riley, but he's low maintenance). Monday night, dinner was ready to go (Lemon Garlic Tilapia, rice, and steamed zucchini) and I was waiting for Russ to arrive at home from a meeting. He called and said some of the people were going out afterwards, but that he'd be home shortly. I called him back and told him to go. Little did I know he'd be out until 1:30........Hmph!

Tuesday night I made some pasta to go with an Olive Cheese Bread recipe I found on Pioneer Woman's blog. I've been thinking about it since I laid eyes on that stuff. Russ wasn't feeling "himself" (see above) and didn't have it in him to eat dinner. Hmph!

I called him at 6:00 this evening to tell him dinner was all him tonight, that I wasn't cooking or cleaning the kitchen, and that he was in charge of dinner. I'd cooked and cleaned two no avail. I honestly expected a giggle and then it to be over.

My darling husband showed up with this:

Inside was: 2 orders of Alice Springs Chicken with a sweet potato and a salad with no onions (Ranch dressing for him, Honey Mustard for me), a kids meal with a grilled chicken breast and fries, and a loaf of bread.

What a surprise. Not only that he handled dinner with no notice (something I might have a panic attack about), but he took me back to when we were dating. Very frequently we would get Outback To Go, head to his house, and watch movies. We knew what to order without even thinking about it--we would even share the chicken and sweet potato, but did have a salad of our own.

Tonight was no different. He knew what to order (and Riley had Outback To Go for the first time) without even asking. He even thought about ordering only one chicken, but didn't. I'm glad he didn't....because tomorrow we're having Outback leftovers. Perfect!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Southern Comfort

My (great) Uncle Roy drove in from Irving this weekend to see Nana. Between Riley's nap and our anniversary, we weren't going to be able to see him. I devised a plan so that we could...
Roy could bring Nana to our house Sunday morning to make his specialty, Biscuits and Gravy! Growing up, every time I went to Roy's house with Nana and Papa, he would make biscuits and gravy for us Sunday morning, before we headed home. I can't remember the last time I had it.
I've never made gravy--it's one of those things I've been afraid to try. It's probably a good thing that I don't treat myself to bacon grease, flour, and milk very often. When I think of biscuits and gravy, I think of Nana, Mom, and Roy--they'd be the experts as far as I'm concerned.

Bacon frying,

biscuits oven-ready,

add flour to bacon grease,

add milk and stir as it thickens,

and voila, there you have it.

Southern Comfort.


Riley was first in the chair
His "pollipop" (Sully's version) fell on the floor (and he got a new one!)
Sullivan is next
Eli's turn. Nonie, you're doing great!
Fisher tried so hard to ruin my pictures by closing his eyes. I took 14, but did manage to catch him with his smart-alec eyes open! Gotcha!

Here are some more goodies from our evening:

Thanks for playing y'all. Thanks so much Norah, for accommodating our family!! We love you!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary Us

Today we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Wow!! Every year on our anniversary we go to Hill Country Pasta House (where we had our rehearsal dinner) and then venture over to Vintage Villas (where we were married) and take a photo in the same spot we were married.

Because our anniversary was on a Saturday this year, I anticipated a wedding there tonight. Uh, oh. What would we do? Interrupt, of course!! As we pulled up, there were a few people lingering for some after the ceremony photos. We anxiously waited for them to leave and were trying to devise an alternate plan, just in case. There were 2 people still sitting in the seats and Russ asked them to take our picture and told them our ridiculous story (that I love).

Thanks for our life together Babe. I love you. Here's to the next five!

"Because I believe that we can be extraordinary together, rather than ordinary apart." --Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Russells are Comin'! The Russells are Comin'!

Tonight, the Russells are coming! Nonie's coming to give Riley a haircut and he needs one in a large way (did you see his toilet pic?). Now he's asking me to put HIS hair up, poor baby. We finally got our schedules together and Nonie's bringing the Russell family with her.

Riley is so excited..he didn't want to take his nap because he wanted to see "Fish."

I'm making Shrimp Tacos for dinner and Tina's picking up Steak and Shake for the kiddos! I just made dessert for all of us--some chocolate parfaits--they're in the fridge chilling. They look pretty and the pudding's delish--I had a lick (or seven). I can't wait!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Potty Talk

This potty training business is coming along quite nicely. It's much easier than I anticipated and Riley's getting pretty good at it. We started out in some underwear and setting the timer for every 30 minutes--and he would go every time!! Sure, we had a few accidents (and wet spots on the carpet) a couple of times, but not many. Today was another complete day in the same pair of shorts and underwear (except for sleeping, of course). He told me every time he needed to go to the potty--no timer necessary.

Now, I have a support system on the potty too. When I go to the bathroom, Riley tells me "Good job!"

Sunday, July 20, 2008


We have the Zinnias in our backyard garden (which Russ hates because he thinks they look "weedy" and I will never admit that I kind of agree). They kind of overtake everything around them. They're hip-high and have covered up the Canna bulbs and the Senise I planted earlier in the season (there was no trace of last years zinnias returning).
This morning, before my coffee, I walked out there and cut some to make a bouqet for us to enjoy . I might as well appreciate them on the inside too, huh? It's so pretty (and I'm nowhere near a flower-arranger)!!

I think the end result is worth the "weedy" look.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Easy as Pie

This recipe caught my eye yesterday, so of course I made it! I found it in my Kraft Food & Family magazine. It was cool, light, and refreshing--perfect on a summer day in Texas.

Lemonade Stand Pie

1/3 cup Country Time Lemonade drink mix

1/2 cup cold water

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed

1 Honey Maid graham cracker pie crust

Place drink mix in large bowl. Add water; stir until mix is dissolved. Add ic cream. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Freeze, if necessary, until mixture is thick enough to mound.

Spoon into crust.

Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight until firm. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temperature until pie can easily be cut. Store leftover pie in freezer.

Yield: 8 slices

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Toddler Bag?

Does a toddler bag exist? Smaller than my diaper bag (and hopefully cuter as well), holds diapers, wipes, small books, a Doodle Pro, a disposable camera, antibacterial hand gel, some Backyardigans fruit snacks (rip open for emergencies only), sunscreen, and some Off? Something cute, practical, something to leave in the car, just in case....?

Can I have it all?

Squirrel Kick

I'm clearly on a squirrel kick. Maybe it's Riley. Maybe I've always been fascinated. Last week I was looking out my kitchen window at one of the two decent sized trees on our lot (and yes, the largest is tucked away on the side of the house) and saw this guy lounging. I hoped he was lounging and not dead. Please be alive. I had to ruin his nap and bang on the window to make sure I wasn't about to snap a shot of a dead squirrel in my tree. Whew. He woke up!

Anyhoo...I've never seen a squirrel relax before. Have you?

Try This....Trust Me

Put some of this in your coffee. I like mine all cream-and-sugared up, so I also add vanilla creamer. Oh my goodness.

Big Boy Underwear

I've been thinking of (and dreading) this potty training thing all summer. My goal was to get it done while I'm off for the summer. Riley has gone on the potty a few times, randomly. We try to have him sit and try before his bath every night.

This week he's started saying, "Go on potty" and yesterday he went "tee-tee" and "poo-poo" on the potty. Several times. He loves to flush and tells himself, "Good job!"

We are all so proud of him. This may be easier than I thought. His little hiney wore some big boy underwear for the first time yesterday. Precious.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's a Guy Thing (I Think)

He drug his chair from his play area, to just in front of the t.v. I moved it back to the couch. He put it back, quickly sat down, and propped his feet up in the t.v. cabinet. Would a little girl do such a thing?

Monday, July 14, 2008

BAMC in San Antonio

It was so wonderful to finally see Justin, to give him a hug, to say "thank you for all you've done." I just knew I was going to cry when I saw him...and I didn't. Russ even gave me a "lecture" about it in the hospital, before we got to his room. I did lose it yesterday, when we had to say goodbye to him. He had just received his morphene intraveinously and desperately needed some sleep. I went up to him, kissed his cheek, and said, "We're going to go home and we'll see you soon." He said, "Wait a minute. You're not going to be here when I wake up?" It was so hard to tell him "no." It broke my heart and I rushed out so he wouldn't see me tearing up. I pulled it together, but once those tears start, they're just waiting in the wings to start flowing again. I probably cried 5 more times before we arrived at home.

Justin's doing okay. His attitude is miraculous. His pain gets to him, it's constant, even on heavy pain medication. They're still working on that.

I'm anxious to see him again.

Just Like Daddy

My two guys have so much in common already. Last night, Russ said the sweetest thing to me, "When we have a little girl, I hope she's just like you." He said that because on a daily basis we are reminded of how much our little boy is just like his daddy.


*sleep in the same position

*have a quick temper

*love football

*are friendly to everyone

*look exactly alike

*enjoy being outside

*like to watch t.v.


Last week was a bit hectic at our house....the normal drama that a 2 1/2 year old brings AND trying to work out a trip to Maryland to see Justin.

It all started when we heard that Justin could possibly be in Bethesda 4 more weeks. We decided we had to go. Russ called the Marines Tuesday evening and asked if it was a possibility for us to fly up there (when Russ was there earlier in the month, the told him that if he wanted to come back, they would take care of it) Friday or Saturday and return Monday or Tuesday. Russ calls back an hour later to say that we'd prefer to leave on Saturday and the Marine liason says, "I already have your iternary!" Well ****!!

We're leaving Friday evening and returning Tuesday evening. Well double ****!

I was a basket case because we've only spent one night away from Riley (both of us gone) and the thought of 5 nights away just did me in. Dropping (babysitting) that on my mother did me in again. We'd thought a 3 day weekend would do the trick. 5 days was more than I could stomach on such short notice. Let the drama begin. Mom adjusted to it quicker than I did (thank goodness)!!

Wednesday we get a text from Kim that the doctor came in and mentioned that they would be releasing Justin on Saturday. HUH? We'd be arriving in D.C. at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Just when we thought there couldn't be anymore drama, there was. Were we going or not?

For 2 whole days I accomplished nothing. Did I do laundry or not? Do I pack or not? Do I make "sub plans" for Mom or not? It was paralyzing to me. That's how I work--it's not a blessing!!

Friday at noon.....our plane left at 7:20 that evening, we got the call that Justin was indeed leaving and going to San Antonio. Up until that point, we didn't know if we'd be on a plane, needing a babysitter or not. My mom was so wonderful and rolled with the punches as they came...she was on stand-by!!

Friday we were back in the air again...Maryland was out, but when did we need to go to San Antonio? Friday? Saturday? We heard Justin would be leaving Maryland at 10:00 a.m. Okay, we'll go Saturday and possibly see him that evening. Then we found out he'd be making 4 stops along the way and may not be there until late. If that was the case, he'd surely be exhausted and not up for visitors.

John (his dad) sent Russ a text at 5:15 to inform us that they'd landed. We booked a room in San Antonio, alerted my mom (our at-your-service-babysitter) and packed an overnight bag. We headed to San Antonio about 6:00, went straight to Brooks Army Medical Center, and were told Justin hadn't arrived yet. HUH? Turned out he just wasn't int he system yet, he was still being looked over in emergency and having some x-rays. We went to the emergency room and there were 2 familiar faces. Uh-oh....Orange Grove knows. We were trying to keep that a secret so we could get a visit before the entire town showed up! We should've known.

More family (and more O.G.) arrived. We finally got to see Justin and he looked great. He was so happy to see us--we were so happy to see HIM! We visited for a while, then the moved him into a room. A two-person room, but he's the only one in it! Lucky for us, the staff was lenient on us and the rules because we wouldn't be bothering another person, just Justin!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Love This Place!!

I'm working my way through the flavors....alphabetically. Today was Kiwi.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Recognize this Cutie?

My friend and photographer, Allison, used photos from our last family session in her July ad in Austin Kids Directory. How cool is that?

Love This One

Monday, July 7, 2008

Which Wich?

Today Riley and I had a lunch date with Melissa and Kallie at Which Wich. I haven't seen either of them in person since Kallie was born and I was so anxious to see them both. We had fun writing on our bags with red Sharpies to order our sandwiches. They even had red crayons for the kids orders--impressive!

We enjoyed our lunch outside as Riley rocked Kallie's carrier with his foot (like he'd done it before somewhere...) and it bothered me more than it did Kallie. She is a beautiful girl, just like her Mommy! It was wonderful to see them both.

As we pulled up in the driveway at home, we spied this furry little squirrel in the yard. We sat in the car and watched it for quite some time, running from here to there, then up a tiny tree. Riley wanted to get out and "catch it." The visions that stirred up in my head (and a true story of Russ being attacked by a squirrel when he was younger--IN his shirt).....yikes!

(I'm quite certain this is his sexy squirrel pose.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Little Star

Miss Granny's

We were invited over to The Wingroves for swimming and dinner last night. On the menu: Ribs, Cowboy Beans, Potato Salad, Strawberry Pie, and Homemade Peach Ice Cream.

Madison's grandmother, Grandmommy, was given a new name last night--Miss Granny! Russ and I kept saying "Grandmommy" and Riley called her "Miss Granny" all evening. It was hilarious!

We had a few firsts last night:
Riley ate corn on the cob for the first time,

Russ held Mallory and she didn't cry,

and Riley sat at the kid table with Madison (and didn't do TOO much damage).
We had a fantastic time and enjoyed every moment (and bite)!

Molly and Madison

Greg (Mr. Granny?), Riley, and Judy (Miss Granny?)