27 March 2016

life lately

Oh my, it has been awhile hasn't it.  It has been crazy the last few months.  Since the holidays kicked into high gear in November, it's been a non-stop flurry of activity.  What have we been up to you might ask?  Come along for the ride with the latest installment...


Ah, Christmas season - we had fun at an ugly Christmas sweater party and started what turned out to be a very mild winter, even by Texas standards. The highlight of December?  A trip to Las Vegas for New Year's.  I had only ever been for a quick trip and Phillip had never been.  We made plans people, and tried to cram as much as we could into 5 days.

Pictures do not do the Grand Canyon justice at all.  It was breathtaking.  And deep.  Very, very deep. Did I mention it was very deep?  I had a couple of moments where I was nervous #afraidofheights...but because it is so big, you almost can forget about how deep the canyon is.

So what else did we do?  We saw a Prince tribute band, ate at some delicious restaurants, saw a Cirque du Soleil show, walked about 100 miles, rode the High Roller and oh yeah, this...

We're getting married!  So exciting, right?  Phillip proposed New Year's Eve, just before midnight.  So many people asked me if I knew he was going to ask me or if I had any idea it was coming and to be honest it was a complete surprise. 


When we got back, the next weekend Phillip helped his brother's family move to San Antonio and this little lady came to visit me along with her mama.

That weekend there was a bridal show in Fort Worth and being newly engaged and all, I was eager to go.  Melissa and Rayla came to stay for the weekend and I got to have my Maid of Honor and one of my flower girls come with me.  We had so much fun.  Rayla liked visiting and was very happy to see Uncle Phillip when he got back from San Antonio.


A lot of travel for me - Oklahoma City and then a quick trip to Rhode Island for my sister's housewarming party.  Sleepovers with this girl are always a good idea.  We got to hit up a local Mexican place and had a great siblings dinner with Louie and Katie.

It was back to Texas and before my mom and step-father came to visit the following weekend, Phillip and I headed to the AAC - let's go Mavs!

We won in overtime!  It was a fun game and we always enjoy watching Dirk & co. play.  #MFFL

The next morning my parents arrived in Texas and they culd not have picked a better weekend to visit.  Weather was in the 70s and sunny.  We got to check out the Fort Worth Stockyards, the Bush Museum, and eat some good Texas food.  My parents also got to meet Phillip's parents and I'm pretty sure Rich enjoyed the chicken fried steak at Ozona's.  


Cruising into March, more travel for me - Lubbock, Austin, Phoenix, oh my.  Oh, and a little Spring Break fun too. 

First it was off to Lubbock for a VA Educators meeting.  I wish I had taken pictures of the campus at Texas Tech, but it reminded me very much of Ohio State.  There was this huge, sprawling campus on one side and then there is main street (a la High Street) with all these bars, shops, restaurants, student housing, etc.

Spring Break week was a nice opportunity to hang with these two and enjoy lunch with Billie-Jo and Jim.


#lovethem #theymeltmyheart #family

Spring Break had barely finished and I had to pack up and head to Phoenix for another work meeting.  

This one was AACRAO - American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

I had submitted a session proposal and it was approved, so I got to get up in front of a group of people and present.  It's interesting, I am not a huge people person and having to chit chat with people I don't know wears me out, but give me a topic and a powerpoint and I love to get in front of people.  #presentationgear #introvertsunite

This was my first time in Phoenix and I thought it was a beautiful city. 

My mentor was awarded honorary membership in the association, he retired this past year.  I'm glad I was able to be there to see him recognized.  #taughtmeeverythingiknow

I made it home in time to cram in two full days of work before a fun Easter weekend.  A couple months ago, Beej and I registered for the color run.  It was fun!  We had a great time.  I'd definitely do this race again.

 After #theblueishardtogetoff

I finished in 32:37, which was really good for me.  Phillip and I are doing the Fort Worth Zoo Run next weekend.  This will be my third and Phillip's second.  It's a fun morning and the last part of the race goes through the zoo.  

After scrubbing off all the color, it was time to try my hand at a new recipe for Easter dessert - lemon cake truffles.


My plan is to also make pineapple upside down cake.  Monday afternoon I am off to Austin again...I feel like I am living out of a suitcase lately.  I don't think I would do well having a job that required me to travel for work all the time.  

That's a peek at what we are up to..what's been going on with you lately?

08 November 2015

life lately

I'm not going to apologize for lack of posting anymore :)  I try to sit down and post but something has gotten in my way every time for the last few months.  I'm hoping once we get through the next 4 weeks that everything will slow down for a bit. So what's been going on, you may ask?  Let's go back to the beginning of October, shall we?

State fair!  Texas State Fair to be exact and it was fun!  I had never been.  We went early for when the midway opened.  I had my first ever corn dog.  To quote Phillip, "It's a fried hot dog babe, it isn't going to suck."
We also rode one of the rides which allowed me to take this picture of the Dallas skyline.  My city and my heart.  I love Texas.  I think that every time we drive through downtown and I catch a glimpse of this.
Lake Carolyn at sunrise.  So pretty, I love this view when I'm running around the lake in the mornings.

 Phillip and I took a trip to Rhode Island at the end of October to help this little lady celebrate birthday number 3.  We took her out to breakfast and then Build-a-Bear for a surprise where she immediately zeroed in on Rarity (a My Little Pony) and that was it.

She loved her tricycle from Auntie Cole (me).  Thanks to my brother for the assist in putting it together since I knew Phillip and I wouldn't have time to do it before the party.  Her pedaling is okay, but she needs a little work on steering.
Phillip and I went to my brother's that night for a little fun family competition.  MarioKart and Taboo.  I'm glad Phillip is as competitive as I am.
On Sunday we drove up to Boston to spend the day there.  We hit Presidential library #2 - the JFK Library and Museum.  I loved it, Phillip did too.
One of Jackie's dresses.  The picture does not do it justice.  There was a lot to see and take in.  It's all impressive.

 A grey day, but we enjoyed being out and about in the Fall weather.  After the museum we drove downtown to hit up the North End for lunch and to snag some Cannolis from Mike's Pastry.   
 We strolled through Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall.  The last time we were in Boston we did a Duck Tour, so we only got to see a little bit of everything.  This time we were able to be leisurely and wander and just enjoy the day.

And when we got back it was time to start packing.  Less than 4 weeks until moving day and there's a lot to do.  Anyone want to buy a washer and dryer???
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I love trick or treaters and kids telling me all about their costumes.  On the Friday before Halloween, my campus hosted a Trick or Treat down Main Street (the main corridor in one of the buildings) and there were TONS of kids.  We had a blast handing out candy.
And now I'm in Houston for TACRAO.  Yesterday was grey and wet, but the next few days are supposed to be sunny, at least until Wednesday which is when I fly back to Dallas.
I ran 3 miles this morning and then set out to finish my presentation for tomorrow.  I still need to finish, don't ask me why I'm procrastinating.  I just am.  Three days here in Houston learning about lots of things in the world of Admissions, Records, and Registration.  I love these experiences and the chance to see what other institutions are doing that are new or different.
That's a peek into life lately...I will probably not get the chance to post again until after the move, but we'll see.  What have you all been up to lately?

26 August 2015

What's Up Wednesday

I swore that I was going to blog more this month and it's already been 4 weeks!  Where did August go???  I promise I will do an additional post this week - I'm thinking a review of some of the Pinterest recipes I've made this summer.

What We're Eating This Week - Still on a health kick, we had Mexican lasagna for dinner Sunday night.  Last Thursday we had a break in the weather and it was unseasonably cool.  Cool enough to walk around the other side of the lake for dinner.  We ate at Underground, an Indian restaurant in Las Colinas and it was so delicious.  If you are looking for a place for good Indian food, look no further than Underground.


What I'm Reminiscing About - It's the start of a new school year and for me, January doesn't feel like the start of a new year.  Because I work in education, and have for my whole professional career, it feels like September is the start of a new school year.  I'm remembering years past - shopping for school supplies and new school clothes; wanting to wear my new fall clothes and sweating my tush off because it was still 80 degrees outside.

What I'm Loving - This kid.  She's sassy, funny, smart, and obsessed with My Little Pony at the moment.  

What We've Been Up To - This past weekend I got to hang out with Phillip's mom, sister, and sister-in-law.  We went to Painting with a Twist and had a really fun night out.  

I love the painting we signed up for.  It reminds me of home.  There's nothing like Fall in New England.  I've also had a little bit of down time and have been able to spend some time doing this:

I'm embarrassed to tell you how old some of the magazines in my stack are. I'm making some headway though.  It's the start of a new school year at work, so I've been doing some presenting and welcoming.  Last week we had orientation for our new international students.  It's one of my favorite things to do.

What I'm Dreading I'm dreading how much longer it's going to take for Fall to get here.  It is my favorite season and now is about the time of summer where everyone here in Texas decides they've had enough.  I've stocked up on my Fall scented candles and I can't wait to start wearing my boots and sweaters.  Have I mentioned October is my favorite month?

What I'm Working On Reading.  I'm almost caught up on magazines.  Phillip and I were in Barnes and Noble on Saturday and I was tempted by so many books, but I kept my hands in my pockets and just browsed.  I need to finish the books I have that are still unread before I go buying any more.

I've currently got a couple of books going - The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  Both are excellent and about as far apart from each other in content as you could possibly get.

What I'm Excited About - My mom and stepfather are coming to visit!  Yay!!!

And Vegas is inching closer.  I cannot wait to go.  We're at the point now where we're setting our itinerary and getting reservations/tickets.  I cannot wait!

What I'm Watching/Reading - I'm ready for the Fall season to kick in.  Scandal, Grey's, Criminal Minds...

What I'm Listening To - Willie Nelson (courtesy of Phillip), Taylor Swift, NPR.  The usual.  I kind of want to go to the Taylor Swift concert in October.  Anyone want to gift me with some tickets???

What I'm Wearing - What I want to wear are my boots and sweaters.  What I am wearing are my suits and summer day dresses.  Weekends - jeans and tank tops or sundresses.  Occasionally shorts.  Mainly from my standbys - Loft and Banana Republic.

What I'm Doing This Weekend - Southlake to check out the new Kendra Scott store.  I want these earrings

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month - September - the official start of Fall!  I also have my first Apply Texas Advisory Committee meeting.  I know, it sounds boring, but I'm excited to learn more about it and the whole process.

What Else is New -  Running is making its way back onto the weekly schedule.  Toro Dash is November 7.  Maybe the Roller Coaster run in September and the Chocoholic Frolic in December.

What's Your Favorite Back to School Tradition - I don't have kids and I don't plan on having them, but I love seeing everyone's back to school pictures.  There is such hope and optimism on the first day of school.  New school supplies, new teacher, new grade, a whole new set of things to learn - everything is shiny and new and exciting.

What's new with you?

29 July 2015

What's Up Wednesday

I can't believe August is around the corner.  Praise be that we are back to normal work hours next week.

What We're Eating This Week -Phillip and I are generally healthy eaters.  Lots of grilled chicken and vegetables and occasionally rice.  We try to limit eating out to once a week.  One of our go-to dinners is turkey burgers and we discovered that this recipe from Mix and Match Mama is delicious.  I made the recipe as is, but instead of buns we used sandwich thins and added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the finished product.  

I'm also traveling this week - Anaheim, CA to be exact.  I was here last year and that's when I discovered Roy's.  One of my all time favorite restaurants.  I got here and checked my schedule and immediately made a reservation.  If the food looks delicious, it's because it was delicious, even though I only had a few bites of the salad (the rest is lunch today), about a third of the pork and the prawns, and about half of the souffle.

What I'm Reminiscing About - My niece is the cutest thing ever.  Seriously, how can you not love that face?  She's almost 3 and there's very little "baby" left about her.  Actually, if you call her baby, she will immediately correct you and let you know that she is indeed a big girl.

What I'm Loving - My 21 Day Fix workouts.  I fit them in along with my running and I feel great.  It's a great workout that works the whole body and there are so many ways to change it up that I'm never bored.   If you're ever interested in trying these out, let me know and I can put you in touch with an awesome, amazing, inspiring coach. 

What We've Been Up To - Work has been crazy for both Phillip and I, and I don't see any indication of it slowing down. Last week, I looked at my schedule and saw a day I could take a vacation day.  I asked permission, it was granted, and I got to have lunch at Mellow Mushroom with these two.  By the way, if you've never had Mellow Mushroom pizza, I highly recommend it.  It was so good.

What I'm Dreading The next few weeks are going to be crazy at work as we get ready for the beginning of Fall semester.  Oh and we've finally hit that stretch of 100 degree weather.  Fall, please be right around the corner.  I'm ready for boots and sweaters.  Oh, and the flight home today.  Have I mentioned before how much I hate flying?  Even though I get views like this, I am a nervous wreck from takeoff to landing.

What I'm Working On Reading.  I'm trying to catch up on my magazines.  I've been a loyal InStyle subscriber since the first issue.

I'm also reading Home is Where My People Are, by Sophie Hudson.  AKA BooMama.  She has a great, conversational writing style.  Her first book, A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet was excellent and so far I am really enjoying this follow-up.

What I'm Excited About - This skyline.  I love Dallas.  If you had asked me 10 years ago if I ever pictured myself living in Texas, I probably would have laughed.  Oh how wrong I was.  There is no place I would rather be and every time I catch a glimpse of this skyline, I am reminded of how much Dallas and Texas is my home.

What I'm Watching/Reading - True Detective!  Only 2 episodes left and I cannot wait to see how they wrap this all up.    

What I'm Listening To - Um, Taylor Swift?  I'm kind of addicted to 1989.  Especially Blank Space.

What I'm Wearing - Some cute summery skirts and dresses from the usual places, loft and banana republic.  The cardigan is from loft and the skirt and tank are from br. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend - Hitting up weight watchers (for focusing on nutrition, I have found that this is what works for me and keeps me on track), and relaxing and spending time with my guy.  I've been away since Sunday and won't really get to see him until the weekend, so I'm looking for a nice quiet weekend.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month - Auntie Lynn and Uncle Jim come to visit for Jackson and Lila's 7th birthday.  It'll be nice to get to see them.  I've also promised, said almost 7 year olds, a sleepover.  So that will be happening too.

What Else is New -  My mom and stepfather are coming to visit in September!!!  Yay!  On the agenda: the stockyards, dinner at Kosta's, and the Fair
What Will You Miss Most About Summer - I'm not quite sure how to answer this one.  Summer is not my favorite season.  I love getting to spend time in the pool, but I love running in the cooler weather and I hate being hot.  I do like the longer days where the sun doesn't set until 9pm, but that's about all I'll miss.  Bring on Fall and Winter!

What's new with you? 

17 July 2015

life lately

We are enjoying summer here in Texas.  They keep saying the 100 degree temperatures are coming, but we haven't experienced them yet.  I am perfectly content to have them stay at bay a little longer, especially since the humidity has abated a little bit.  

A few weeks ago it was my institution's "night at the ballgame".  A night game under a covered awning along with some peanuts and crackerjacks.  Okay, for us it was garlic fries and ice cream, but whatever.  It was fun and I have decided I prefer evening games to day games.  Oh, and the Rangers lost that night :(

I was asked by my doctor to get a mammogram.  She recommends her patients between the ages of 35 and 40 do a baseline mammogram so they have a comparison when it comes time for the yearlies.  So I did my due diligence and went.  I highly recommend Baylor Grapevine, it was like a spa y'all.  Tranquil music in your own private changing room, soft kimono robes, and an assortment of toiletries for after.  They thought of everything and my tech was amazing.

So Target had a shoe sale...by the time I got to check it out there were only a handful of size 11s left.  Which was probably a good thing. 

July 4th was a great day.  Phillip and I decided to check out the Las Colinas festivities.  We cooked and I made skillet brownies for dessert.  We wandered out to listen to the live music, see what food trucks were there, and watched the fireworks that night.  A very nice, low-key 4th.

On our first "official" date, Phillip and I had dinner at Mi Dia and it has quickly become one of our favorite restaurants.  If you haven't tried it yet, you should.  I always get the duck carnitas street tacos and we usually order the housemade guacamole that they make tableside.  

Have I mentioned that Phillip can cook?  He doesn't think he's good, but he is.  And last weekend he made brisket.  Brisket tacos anyone?  It was delicious, and I'm not usually a red meat eater. 

Everyone, meet Phoebe.  She's my cousin's dog and she is the sweetest little muffin of love.  You can't not love her, it's impossible.

Every summer there is a meeting of Admissions/Registrar types in Austin.  It's the same week every summer and I've been going now for the last 5 years. Day 1, ready to be inundated with all kinds of information.

And then it was sushi for dinner.  I take advantage of my travel opportunities to eat sushi.  Phillip doesn't care for it, so it's not part of our regular rotation when we decide to eat out.  I know he would say, if you really want to go I'm sure I could find something.  But I like so many other types of food, it's not like I'm missing out and I get my fill when I'm on the road.

Only a couple more weeks of summer hours and then it's back to 8-5.  I can't wait to get back to my normal schedule, although that means that fall semester is right around the corner.  Oh and only 164 days until our Vegas trip.  Let the countdown begin!