Monday, April 30, 2012

Wordle and Our Week

I love alliteration! It's probably one of the only concepts I retained from English class and inspires the titles of most of my blog posts.

Moving on...

The boss I had  in the last job at COP is one of my favorite people. He is a strong Christian man who I developed a good relationship with and could talk to about stuff beyond work. He is also the only person I know who could get away with asking me on a regular basis if I am pregnant and when am I going to have a baby. (5 years, Robert!)

A couple weeks ago he sent me this neat photo. He is a gadget guy and found a website called Wordle that will take a URL from a blog and create a word collage. Pretty cool! Apparently there are people out there who do read the blog! ;-)

Last week brought to a close my Tuesday Bible study. It was a wonderful lesson on John and I am excited to start Jeremiah in the fall! During the summer, I will be taking a study called "Loving Your Husband God's Way". I am looking forward to it!

Jason had his LAST CLASS!!! He is studying for his final tomorrow night and then he will be FINISHED!!! Graduation party plans are underway and I cannot wait for May11-12 to be here!

Thursday I had a lasik enhancement in the right eye. I had lasik last July (read here) and knew that there was a strong probability that I would need an enhancement because my prescription was so negative to start. Look here is my eye!

The enhancement went without a hitch and my friend Catherine came over to visit and to admire my sweet collection of Vera Bradley. (I went a little overboard since it's a retired pattern, but I bought everything half off so that makes it acceptable, right??)

This weekend Jason and I did ....(drum roll please)....almost nothing! (What? A person can't change overnight!)

Friday night we stayed in and made our traditional Friday Night Pizza Night cuisine. I bought Jason a pizza cookbook for his birthday in March and this was the first opportunity to test it out. I have to say our spicy four-cheese pizza on whole wheat crust was amazing! Probably in the top 3 we've made. Of course I did not take any pictures of the deliciousness. It was gone before I got a chance. ;-)

Saturday morning we slept in!! And I mean actually slept in! There were double digits on that clock when we finally got out of bed! We had a relaxing morning with homemade chai, latte, and donuts. They were delicious as well! (And apparently we are trying to gain back all the calories burned on the MS 150... )

We ran a few errands and had dinner with a group of friends that night. Sunday was similarly relaxing. After church we ran a few more errands and then did stuff around the house. Sunday night we got to see our friend Huy who moved to Saudi Arabia a couple months ago. We miss him and it was great to be able to visit with him!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Please Consider Donating

Earlier today Jason and I finished a two day, 165 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin. It's a fundraiser for MS - multiple sclerosis. (You can read a re-cap of it here.)

This year I was blessed to be riding for three friends who have been affected by MS.

My college classmate Mandi who was diagnosed just over a year ago with the disease.

Eric and Stacey Lutz volunteer with the MS Society and help to give back. I was honored to ride for Eric again this year and can't wait for him to ride with me next year (hint, hint ;-) ).

Lastly, my friend Cheryl whose mom Diane has been battling the disease for years and is struggling even more over the past couple of years.

Last year I was humbled and surprised to make Club 300 as #295 - meaning that out of 12,000+ I was one of the top 300. I was brought to tears over the past two days when people would thank me or tell me good job on my fundraising since they could see from my number that I was near the top.

Really I should be thanking you!! All of the many supporters who have given towards my goal. Last year I raised $6400+ and already this year I'm at $8000+!!! I want to raise as much as I can and would love to reach $12,000 and make the Tour de Champions.

If MS has touched you or if you would like to help me raise even more please visit my personal donation link here.


I was able to get my last update/fundraising letter out this past weekend. I wanted to make sure and capture it here along with the amazing remarks my friend Eric wrote to me in response to the letter.

Here's my last letter -

Apr Final Fundraising Letter

And here are the sweet words that Eric responded to me that brought tears to my eyes -


Congrats!!! We were thinking of you all weekend and oh so wish we were there to hand you an orange
in La Grange and cheer you on. We want you to know that yours and Jason's support and dedication are 
truly inspiring to us.

While the funds you raised are so beneficial and crucial in the against fight against MS, your dedication 
lets us know that you care and offer the best gift of all... hope. 

Eric and Stacey


MS 150 Weekend!

We are currently (freezing) on the van ride back to Houston. I can't sleep so why not blog, right? Kathleen is teasing me for blogging but I can't sleep. Might as well catch up! :-)

Jason and I are exhausted. I think we have full rights to be considering we just rode 165 miles over two days to raise money and awareness for MS.

If I had to describe Saturday in one word - painful. The wind was blasting NNW at 15 mph. Miserable. Our Chuck Norris-like strength helped some (click here), but it still wasn't enough. It was a long and painful day. I think Jason felt better when he heard a group of MS 150 veterans saying that it was one of the toughest days they could remember. Poor Jason... He didn't pick a good one to start riding!

But we made it to La Grange and still had fun along the way taking breaks and enjoying the ride.

We ran into Jason's aunt and uncle (separately) at two different spots. You might also have noticed the medic with Jason. On top of battling the fierce wind, the poor guy's eye started swelling and we had to get a medic to rinse it. He rode the remainder of the 20+ miles with a single contact. What a trooper!

When we got to La Grange I had a neat surprise - I am the 9th top fundraiser on our team!

We were so glad to be finished with the wind! 100 miles down, 65 miles to go!

Today we rolled out while it was still a little dark and got on our way to Austin. The weather was significantly better. Minimal wind and lots of sun (as evidenced by my thighs, calves, and nose).

And we finished!!!! I am so proud of my hubby! He did amazing! Imagine what he will be able to do if he actually trains... ;-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Happenings Since Work Took Over Our Lives

I don't remember a lot from the past month and half, especially the last week. Neither does Jason. I probably saw him a total of 8 hours this last weekend because he worked nearly 40 hours JUST over the weekend! He was running a test and the machine shop stays open 24-7 meaning that if the tool was ready to test at 2:00 AM Sunday morning, guess who was there to start it. That's right - my hardworking hubby!

So in an effort to capture some of the things that did happen while we've been MIA, I've created this incredibly random blog post.

Brittney left for AK - but not before we got to have dinner with her and he husband. Here the boys are taking sake bombs.

I made thin mint truffles for Jason and lemon cooler truffles for me - (super easy recipe from Pinterest!)

And the rest of Jason's thin mint order came in... yes, people, that is an entire case of thin mints that my husband ordered and will probably disappear before Memorial Day...

I've become obsessed with Scramble with Friends (user name dstingerie if you want to play me!). Here are some of my top scores - 

Our cat is evil -

I ordered a new Otter Box iPhone case from an amazing Plum District deal and can't wait for it to arrive!

We took another cooking class at Well Done Cooking Class.

Italian Comfort Foods - we made AMAZING lasagna -

And strawberry risotto -

I attended our church's new member luncheon and got to meet some fabulous ladies that have join our church!

Our cat apparently has an obsession with bags -

I planted in the garden last weekend while Jason was working. (You can read more about it here.) I pulled this carrot out on Friday, the 13th...

And most important - the MS 150 is TOMORROW and after looking at the weather forecast of NNW winds at 10-15 MPH...

And seeing as we are traveling NNW into those winds to ride 150+ miles from Houston to Austin...

We are going to be praying for Chuck Norris-like strength to survive the weekend -

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!!


(Late) Spring Planting

We've been so busy the last couple of months that our poor garden is showing the lack of tender loving care... 

(Please note - lettuce is not supposed to get to the point of flowering... oops...)

However, some of our other plants are still thriving! Most of our herbs (rosemary, thyme, mint, and oregano) are doing good. So good in fact that I had to go a-wall on the mint and cut his roots from growing into those around him. We also harvested the oregano and are currently drying it. 

The garlic we planted earlier this year is doing well -

As are the fig tree and blackberry bushes - 

And we still had a couple more carrots that were ready to harvest! Or so we thought...

 Until this is what I saw and realized that it was Friday the 13th. I won't be pulling carrots again that day...

This past weekend was our first opportunity to do some spring planting knowing we were already a little late on some things. I headed to Wabash Friday afternoon hopeful to get a few things and was pleasantly surprised with the selection.

We got three different types of tomatoes planted -

 Okra (which I'm not even sure we like and have no idea what to do with except fry, but somehow the lady guilted me into buying it. If you have any recipes please let me know!)

And some bell peppers (green, orange, and red) along with squash and zucchini!

Cucumbers -

A new basil plant (our last one died in the "frost" - the one night Houston dropped below freezing and killed a lot of the garden :-( )

And lastly our new cilantro and parsley plants -
I can't wait to eat our new vegetables this summer!!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Life Lately...

You may have seen these going around awhile ago. I saw a bunch on Facebook and thoroughly enjoyed this one...

...that was until I spent the last month in excel and will be spending at least four more hours tonight sorting through my data and making graphs once my model finishes running.

I guess my skirt will have to wait since I most definitely am not making sewing class tonight. :-(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend

He is risen! He is risen indeed!!

This weekend we flew to OKC to spend Easter with some of my family. We had a wonderful time and I'm so glad we were able to go!

I am sitting in the airport now waiting for our 4:30 pm flight. Yep, it's 6:00 pm. And not planning to take off until at least 6:40 pm. So I've got a chance to blog about the weekend.

We landed Friday and stopped by to see my friend Chelsea and meet her new little one Cole. Apparently I forgot I have a camera (amazing thing for a blogger to forget I know, but I'm still new) because I spaced getting any pictures of Friday. Fail.

We ate lunch with my family, Ricketts and some of our other friends who were visiting OKC for the weekend. It was nice to see everyone and visit!

Afterwards the ladies visited the new outlet mall while the boys went bowling. We all met up later at the casino. We all know Jason and I love some gambling. I had to get it from somewhere!

Saturday we spent the day relaxing and enjoying one another's company before heading to dinner and the OKC minor league baseball team game, the Red Hawks.

Jason and I went to an Aeros (minor league hockey) game before in Houston and I have to say, these minor league games are some of the most entertaining around! And this one did not disappoint!

There were a series of hilarious characters which made appearances thorough out the

We had Manatee Ramirez and Rusty Walrus -

Then Squidney Crosby had a run in with one of the players in this video clip (zoom in and watch) -

I can't load the video on my phone. And Jason won't fix it for me. Movie on hold...

Then there was Cow Ripkin Jr which took a particular liking to me and my mom (thankfully I had the camera so we only got pictures of her, not me). My mom is the one just beside her husband Jeff being "cowed".

The game was a blast and I loved being with my family!!

Today we went to church and then had a delicious Easter meal of ham and all the fixings.

We left for the airport and not 5 min later were notified about our flight. We headed back home and played a mean practical joke on Jeff... Jason and I stayed in the car while my mom went inside and told Jeff she got irritated at us and dropped us off to find our own way to the airport. Ouch. Best part? Jeff believed her!

After awhile he forgave us and we went for a walk and hung out before heading to the airport.

Now we wait, hoping our flight isn't delayed too much more and hoping CeCe hasn't destroyed the whole house...

Happy Easter and remember Jesus is the real reason for the holiday season!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Friday, April 6, 2012

An Eventful Week...

This week was an eventful week - some good, some bad.

We'll start with the bad...
1. Jason's car got bumped at a stoplight and the guy took off with kids in his car. Really? What kind of lessons/values are you teaching your little ones when you behave like that? We think he didn't have insurance...the damage isn't too bad but will mean a new bumper.
2. My credit card and Facebook accounts got hacked. Um, no... I did not purchase $2400 in sound equipment or login to my account from Indonesia... may be two unrelated items, but a little too coincidental for my liking since they both happened this week...
3. Our AC is broke and needs to be fixed.
4. My friend Brittney had her last day at work before she moves to AK. :-(

The good...
1. The AC will be fixed Monday and we are visiting my family in OKC for the weekend so we won't have to be warm for too long before the real Houston summer heat hits! Hopefully CeCe stays cool though...
2. Chase Sapphire is amazing and all the charges will be taken off and my new card will be here Monday.
3. I had two major presentations this week, both of which went very well and naturally led to at least two more presentations to even more management...

And finally, the best news of all this week...

I know this picture doesn't show it, but I mailed two checks last week totaling $250 which means I am above my goal! I feel so blessed and honored to have so many people supporting me and cheering me on in my goals!! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED TO MY GOAL!!!!

But you can still donate and help me raise more!! Just click HERE!

Just a couple more weeks until the big ride April 21-22!! :-D

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Monday, April 2, 2012

CeCe's Palace

Apparently Jason and I always need some sort of project. I am really good at coming up with the idea and Jason is fabulous at execution.

I mentioned to him that we should build a cat house for CeCe. Two days later he produced this - a SolidWorks schematic of our soon-to-be-built cat house. Man do I love my nerdy hubby!

We went out and purchased our supplies - mostly wood, glue, and rope. We were able to get the carpet for free from a place near our house. In the beginning we were thinking this would be cheaper than purchasing one, but when we actually priced it we spent ~$100 overall. I noticed that the store-bought ones have a lot less rope which was the pricey item out of everything plus ours is more intricate and awesome because we built it. Can't put a price tag on awesome. Therefore it's priceless. 

Over the past several weeks we've spent what little free time we've had here and there adding on to the project in our garage. It's taken us quite a bit of time to complete it and we are excited to say we finished it tonight!

Here are some of the progression pictures working on it - 

It's finished! I decided to call it CeCe's palace. I mean, every evil queen needs a palace, right? Here is the finished cat house/palace for our evil kitten. :-) 

And as you can see she's already playing on it! However, that might be because we were not beneath drugging her into liking it and rubbed catnip onto the carpet of each level and bribed her with treats to climb it...we are terrible cat parents. 

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