Saturday, January 31, 2009

01.26.09 Bedroom

After a long weekend and an even longer plane ride, it was heaven to see my bed. My bed and entire bedroom is one of my most favorite spots in our home. The bed is tall with a fabulous pillow top queen mattress. Vanessa handmade the comforter, and both she and Mom made all of the pillows. Our bed is often unmade, but it still feels just as good to come home to.

01.25.09 Roulette

Today Angie wasn't feeling well, so Miriam, Shannon, and I headed out to visit some other hotels. We ended up in Paris where we found wonderful fruity frozen drinks, reasonably priced. We then parked ourselves at a Roulette table where we all proceeded to have a grand time. We were all winning for a while, but of course our luck ran out. Shannon and I managed to quit when we broke even, but Miriam lost a bit. It was still a fun afternoon.

01.24.09 Girls in Vegas

Amazingly enough, we only managed to get a couple of photographs with all four of us together. We were together quite a bit, but somehow forgot to pose for pictures. This is us in front of our hotel, Harrah's, on the strip.

01.23.09 Arrival in Vegas

Miriam and I met Angie and Shannon in Vegas. We arrived ahead of the girls, so Miriam and I quickly found a slot machine in the airport to keep us busy. The slot machine was a Wheel of Fortune. I remembered from past Vegas trips that this particular slot machine had a bonus round where the wheel spins and you win a lot of quarters. I played this machine over and over for the next three days and never once hit that bonus round! Hmmmph!

Friday, January 23, 2009

01.22.09 Tattoo Design

Angie, Shannon, Miriam and I are headed to Vegas this weekend for a girls harrahhhh. We plan to get tattoos to commemorate the event and signify my upcoming marriage. Juan didn't want me to get one, but I think he has finally came around. This is something I've always wanted to do, but never had a good enough reason or a design I liked enough to keep forever. Juan designed me a dragonfly. Dragonflies represent new beginnings and I will never forget our my special 30th birthday when Juan took me to the Dragonfly restaurant. Dragonflies have been consistent throughout our relationship and I can't think of anything better to have a tattoo of; especially one designed by my love to signify our relationship and the beginning of the rest of our lives.

01.21.09 Wedding Band

I FINALLY got a wedding band. We have been looking for months for the perfect band to match my engagement ring. We went to Robbins Bros. once and they said they didn't have anything. We finally decided we were going to have to something custom made, but we went back one more time to Robbins Bros. to see what they had. Ryan was MUCH better than the previous sales person we had. He found just the right ring, a 3/4 carat matching the channel set of my engagement ring. He checked with the master jeweler and they said they could notch the band so that it sat flush with my engagement ring, add the grooves at the base of the diamonds to match, and thin out the band. That was Sunday. Today I was supposed to pick up my ring. I even called Ryan on Monday just to check that we were on the same page so that everything would be ready for me on Wednesday. I had to leave my engagement ring, and it killed me to be without it for three days. I went in this evening to pick it up and the ring wasn't ready. It wasn't ready because the master jeweler said they were unable to notch it because it would damage the integrity of the band. They said our only option was to have it custom made, another $400. By the way, we spent about double what we had planned; but only because it was going to be perfect. I was not happy about forking over more money. After long discussions with the manager, I decided to let them shave my engagement ring at the base to allow the rings to sit flush. They added the grooves and rounded and thinned out the band. I also demanded that I get both rings that evening. I am very happy with the way it turned out. There is still a slight gap between the rings, but I think I'll be able to live with it. If not, soldering them together is still an option and would fill the gap completely. It is a beautiful ring and more than I ever expected.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

01.20.09 Nashville

I travel a lot for work. I have been lucky that my flights have been limited the past couple of months with the holiday season. Today is the first day this year I have flown for work or pleasure. It was just a day trip to HCA in Nashville. It was a meeting on the Las Palmas Hospital Expansion in El Paso. It was FREEZING cold. It was 20 degrees when we landed and only about 32 degrees when we returned. There were even mild snow flurries this morning. I will be glad to return to Dallas tonight, where cold means 50's-60's.

01.19.09 Winter View of our Home

It has been cold lately. All of the leaves have fallen and everything has that dead look about it. This is my least favorite season of the year. I can't wait for spring to begin!

01.18.09 D'Vine Wine

Juan and I went today to D'vine Wine in Grapevine to make our own batch of wine for our wedding. We are not sure yet how we are going to use the bottles, but I'm sure we will figure out a way. We tasted almost every wine they had and ended up with a Strawberry wine. It is very unique. Now we just need to come up with a name, label and then return in 6-8 week to bottle, cork, and label it. It was a fun afternoon and a very unique experience.

01.17.09 Invitations Sent!

YEAH IT IS FINALLY DONE!!!!!! Wedding invitations are complete and were sent today! It was a total of about 120 invitations. It took a lot more work than I originally planned, but I love how they turned out. We took them to the post office and the worker said they needed an additional $.20 postage and oh yeah the lady with the keys to the stamp locker was not working on Saturday. He took pity on us and hand cancelled them at the rate they previously told us. $.59.

Friday, January 16, 2009

01.16.09 Addressing Invitations

With so much to do making the wedding invitations, I thought it would be great if Juan addressed all of the envelopes. I wanted them to be hand written, but we didn't want to hire a calligrapher. Juan's hand writing is so nice that it worked out perfect. He has spent countless hours addressing them, so I'm sure he is a bit sorry that he agreed. He's so great!

01.15.09 Wedding Invitations Yet Again

Yep, yet ANOTHER night of making our wedding invitations. Tonight Danna, Sarah, Janet and of course baby Audrey came over to help. We worked on them until about 10:30pm. The end is near, but not yet here.

01.14.09 Avocado Tacos

Here's my baby on a typical evening, making me an avocado taco. One of my absolute favorite meals. Homemade flour tortillas that his mother made heated to perfection, a ripe avocado, add a little salt and walla! Delicious. So easy, yet it always tastes better when he makes them.

01.13.09 Tea Pots

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I have always liked a nice cup of hot tea in the winter. A couple of years ago my perception of tea was forever changed when I found a store called Teavana in the mall. It's a specialty tea shop with everything under the sun related to tea. This is the tea pot and tea cups Juan and I bought about two years ago from Teavana. Right now, we are drinking a couple pots of tea almost every other evening. Our current favorite is White Avurvevic Chai/Samurai Chai Mate.

01.12.09 Community Group

Juan and I go to a Community Group every other Monday night. This period we are doing a study called "Life Rules - Instructions for Life" by Andy Stanley. It is awesome and we are thoroughly enjoying our discussions. It is all about exploring the dynamics of different relationships in life and God's life rules for each one. It is a small group this time: David and Siobhan Winfrey, Ron Davis, and Juan and I. Ron has missed the last couple of meetings together, so this week it was just the four of us. This group has not only brought new friends into our lives but has helped us delve into the bible and strengthened our own relationship with the Lord.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

01.11.09 Wedding Invitations

Vanessa and Miriam came over today to help me with my wedding invitations. I really wanted to get them finished today, but there is still just too much to do. I worked all day and most of the night Friday just trying to get all the inserts printed. Needless to say, we didn't get them done. I did get to hold my nephew for a couple hours! He is a cutie.

01.10.09 Danna's Baby Shower

Today Abby, Janet, Sarah and I threw our friend Danna a baby shower. We did a Noah's Ark theme. I made the invitations and was in charge of games. We played the name the baby animal game, create an animal out of play dough, how big is mommy's ark, and Mr. Wright and Mrs. Wright go into labor. We had a lot of fun. She got a ton of presents. It all went very well and she makes a very lovely pregnant mommy.

01.09.09 Skype Night Wiki

Tonight the wiki women skyped together for the first time. Skyping is via the Internet and if you have a camera, you can see the person you are talking to. It is like free long distance video talking. Shannon introduced us all. Miriam, Angie, Shannon and I have skyped a few times. It was suggested that ALL the wiki girls plan a night and time to all skype together. This was the night. Vanessa was only on who didn't join us. Shannon, Angie, Miriam, Lisa, Tracie and I were all on-line skyping together. The only problem with group skyping is that you can't see the other people, so it was more like a conference call via the computers. It was fun. Afterwards, everyone had to go except Angie and I who skyped for another 30-45 minutes together. We've set up a regular skype night Tuesday's at 8:30 pm. Ahhh technology.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

01.08.09 My office

My office is often uncontrollable messy. Especially the last few months as we were issuing the California projects. There were many days when you could not see either my floor or my desk. I have been working all week to sort, organize and clean up my office. It is a million times better, but still has a long way to go. Here is a view of my daily spot.

01.07.09 Gas Prices

Today I photographed the sign at the gas station. Gas prices were almost $4.00 per gallon just a few months ago and now they are $1.61. Gas prices have plummeted recently. They were down to about $1.43 just a few weeks ago. It appears that they are steadily going up again and it's unclear how long these low prices will remain.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

01.06.09 Green Papaya Lunch

Abby, Danna and I walked to a little lunch spot called Green Papaya today. It is a Vietnamese restaurant and they have the best chicken spring rolls. They helped me finalize the bridal shower and bachelorette party invitation lists. On a sad note, ccrd layed off 13 employees in our Dallas office today.

01.05.09 Ratchet and Clank

I won a 40" flat screen TV at the P+W golf tournament this year. No, I did not hit a hole in one, it was a raffle. We bought ourselves an early Christmas present, a PS3 player. Juan swore he wanted it in order to watch blue ray movies, as it is rated one of the best players right now for blue ray; but I knew he wanted to be able to play video games. I bought him a video game called Ratchet and Clank for Christmas and we played it most of the evening. It's a fun little game.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

01.04.09 Ornament Party

Today was my ornament exchange party. We had to reschedule from the original date due to my food poisoning. I was all better today and we had a great time. Since Grandma was in town, she joined us as well and Vanessa brought Jakob. It was a bit smaller than usual with just 10 of us; but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Attendees were: Lila, Gracie, Miriam, Abby, Danna, April, Vanessa, Mom, Grandma and myself. I ended up with number 1 again this year. I ended up with the ornament Mom brought (a teeny little moose that was adorable) and she ended up with the ornament I brought (a pink elephant)! We all had a fabulous time.

01.03.09 King Tut & Christmas w/ Grandma

Today was a jammed packed day. Juan and I were up and ready at 8am. We took Mom and Grandma to the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. We had tickets at 9am when they opened. It took us about 2-1/2 hours to go through the exhibit. It was very informational; but I was a bit disappointed that they did not have ANY of the 3 sarcophagus's or 5 burial boxes that King Tut was buried in. In fact, only 3 rooms had artifacts from King Tut's tomb. The first few rooms were his great aunt and uncle, great grandfather, and possibly his father's tomb artifacts, along with other miscellaneous ancestors. They did have a video showing his 2005 Cat Scan of the remains. That was cool. They now believe he didn't die from a head injury; but possible from a massive leg fracture that became infected and killed him in a matter of days. This, of course, is still all speculation. They did have 5 neat items removed from the sheath wrapped around his body, including a gold dagger. All in all there were 150 amulet type objects were inside the sarcophagus with Tut.

After Tut, we all met Jeff, Vanessa and Jakob at Cici's for lunch and then went to Mom's to have our family Christmas gift exchange. Grandma gave me neat plastic lock dishware among other things. We all had a good time.

After our Christmas exchange, Juan and I headed to his parents' house; where his mother made a huge dinner for the family. His uncle Edward and his father grilled while his mom made borracho beans and Thelma made banana pudding. We had fun watching Sole and Aram playing with their remote control cars and watching Isabella try to join in the fun. She would chase the cars and then pick them up.

It was a long, but fun day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

01.01.09 New Year's Day Weddig Invitations

Miriam came over and we spent the day working on the wedding invitation inserts. We didn't get near enough done for having worked on them all day, but I guess every little bit helps.

01.02.09 Dog Park and Grandma Visits

We took Mia and Dallas to the White Rock Dog Park for the first time today. Dallas thoroughly enjoyed it and was very excited to meet and greet all the other dogs. She also wanted to walk the entire fence line. Mia on the other hand, was crazy, protective and aggressive toward the other dogs. She refused to stray far from Juan and I, although she did play a bit of fetch when we were alone. When other dogs came near, Mia would growl and pounce causing even the largest of dogs to scamper away. We kept trying to get her to "be nice" and "play"; but we didn't have much luck with her.

Grandma arrived from Wichita today and we took her and Mom to dinner at Applebee's. It was great to see her. I can't believe it has been two years since she has visited.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

12.31.08 New Year's Eve at Texas de Brazil

Juan and I went to Texas de Brazil Churrascaria for New Year's. We went at about 6:30pm to beat the crowds and because we forgot to get reservations until the day of. It was deliciously fabulous. Juan refused to eat much from the salad bar because he was "saving himself for more meat". The flank steak was definitely the best but we had our fill of garlic fillet Mignon, Parmesan chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, ribs, fillet Mignon, bacon wrapped fillet Mignon, sirloin steak, sausage, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, fried bananas, and delicious goat cheese. I think the only meat that we didn't eat was the lamb chops. We basically gorged ourselves until we were sick. Great way to start a New Year! Juan absolutely loved it! He could not stop talking about how delicious it was. He said next time he is going to bring a plastic baggie and stick a bunch of meat in his pocket. We ate for over an hour and didn't even realize it. Then we topped it all off with chocolate mousse cake. After that we returned home and proceeded to play Ratchet and Clank (yes a video game) until the New Year arrived.