Saturday, September 29, 2012

LCHS c/o 2002 TEN-year reunion

It's 2012, so that means it has been TEN YEARS since I graduated from high school. Holy moly, really? Anyway, I was really excited about our reunion this fall. I know facebook changes things as far as being able to see what people are up to, but there were so many people I hadn't seen in so long. I knew reconnecting would be fun.

 A little about my schooling growing up - I didn't move around, so I went to elementary (Lowery), junior high (Labay) and high school (Langham Creek) with many of the same people, so roots run deep and memories are plenty! In high school, I graduated with 650+ people, I was in choir all four years, boys' varsity basketball manager for two years in order to avoid taking any form of PE, I was sophomore class president (but I ran unopposed - wink!), NHS public relations historian, I sang in the worship band for my youth basically I was very, very cool (not really) but somehow I beat the odds as far as girly insecurity goes, and I had a BLAST with everything in which I was involved. I tended to have lots of different friends from lots of different groups, and it was all around a fun time.

 While I look back at awkward things I did (and there are plenty to choose from, such as dressing up as Raphael the Ninja Turtle for celebrity day of Homecoming week)with a little confusion, all in all, no real regrets. Back to the reunion. Anyway, I was so excited about it. Unfortunately some friends I really wanted to see couldn't make it (moved away from Houston, impending babies, etc.) but I did get to see a ton of people I wanted to see.

 My dear friend Allison Bing (since kindergarten girl scout days, all the way through!) drove in from Austin and stayed with us to go to the party. She was the band to my choir, lived around the corner, I had a crush on a guy for two years (the drama of unrequited junior high love...sigh) and she ended up dating him for eight years (we are all still friends!), we went to many a youth group retreat together, went to San Francisco our sophomore year of high school, I pretended to be a priest in elementary school to preside over the wedding of her dog and another friend's dog...the memories abound. :) Here's Bing and Deily at prom:
The reunion itself was here in town, conveniently for us, and the venue was a nice but low-key venue. Unfortunately, it was mostly a patio, and it was a very Houston-y, humid night, so we were all "glistening" quite a bit! Also, forgive the photo quality - I brought my little point-and-shoot as to not be the girl with the big camera. ;)
Bing, Alexis, Lauren and I - I've known A & L since junior high days.
Shannon, Molly, Krysta and I - Shannon was also in our girl scout troop, and she was a fellow finalist for commencement address.  She beat me. No hard feelings though.  Haha - she is now the mama to three boys - the younger two are twins!  Molly and I were closest in junior high.  She was days away from having her third boy as well - baby Finn!  Krysta, now mama to sweet Audrey, and I go way back to junior high show choir - we were in choir together alllll along and have so many fun memories.
Oh these guys - Chris, BJ and Chris and Krysta got married, and he was in choir with us too, but this is a basketball pic.  BJ and I were managers together and Joey was on the team with Chris.
Sam and Daniel!  I have known Daniel since kindergarten.  We were in the same first grade class together, and I tested for G/T about a year ahead of him.  His favorite thing to gripe about is that I got to sit in the back of the classroom and read a chapter book by myself while he was forced to group read a simpler book with the rest of the class.  I know he is much, much smarter than me, so that's why it's one of our running jokes...has been since 1991. ;)  Sam and I didn't meet until junior high, but I had countless classes with these guys.  Small world - they are on the board of an organization that Community Cloth has been partnering with this fall, so that has been really fun!
Krysta, Bing and I again...
And finally, this is one of my favorite pictures - Bing, me, Shannon and Danielle.  We were all in girl scout troop 5773.  Our troop broke up after 5th grade, but we had so many fun memories of camping trips and such.  

What a fun night!  I loved seeing everyone, reminiscing as music popular from 1998-2002 played in the background...already looking forward to the 20 year - but don't tell Cason. ;)  He was already such a trooper to go to this one! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday at Hermann Park

I have a lot of catching up to do.  I'll explain in another post, but I'm behind on some things I wanted to capture for our family, so here goes nothin'!  I am even sneakily past-dating some of these.  Such deception.

Anyway, "last week" (September 19th) Madeleine and I decided to spend the morning at Hermann Park, on a whim.  One great thing about our schedule since I went back to work is that Mondays and Wednesdays are still typically open when we don't plan anything.  This particular morning was really beautiful, so we packed up a loaf of bread and headed to the park to feed the ducks and explore.  I knew the space shuttle was flying over that day, but I didn't think we'd be lucky enough to see it.  We were blessed with what I felt like was a front-row seat!  Driving on 610, I had already kind of forgotten about it, and it flew right over us on the back of it's carrier jet.  Amazing!
(photo courtesy of KPRC Local 2)

Anyway, we parked near the Sam Houston statue, and started meandering south (zoo-ward) with our bread in hand.  While we didn't venture into the Japanese gardens at this time, I did decide to try to recreate one of my bridal shots with my daughter in an arbor (Madeleine called it a jungle) just between the gardens and the reflection pond.  

Haha, why not, right?  Madeleine loved the reflection pond and getting as close to it as she could without falling in.  Does that surprise anyone?

We finally got on to the business of feeding the ducks.  Madeleine was so excited, but I have to admit, as tough as we are, we both got a little nervous when word began to spread about our bread loaf, and correspondingly, duck friends began to get aggressive with us.  We moved from open water to a cove :) and when we ran out of bread, Madeleine decided to share her oatmeal squares.

On to the playground we ventured, but not before smelling the flowers...

One thing I continue to love about Madeleine is how brave she is.  She will explore anything if it interests her, and we have such fun exploring the beautiful city of Houston in which we live!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No more naked nap mat

(sung to the jingle tune of "No more naked popcorn" from the Kernel Seasonings Oh well.)

Madeleine started taking naps at MCC (or MDO whatever) this summer when she started going all day (9-2.) I was a little worried - previously I had always picked her up pre-naptime/post-ESL class for me, so I thought she might have trouble transitioning, but Ms. Cyndy and Ms. McKenzie had her down easily when we started summer session in June. I knew the church had nap mats, so I always just sent her with her lambie and a blanket and thought "she's good." (I tend to be on the "she's fine" end of the spectrum with most things parenting.)  She did great all summer, but I got a few looks from my friends when I said she didn't have a nap mat. Madeleine's Granna agreed - she should have a nap mat. Alright, alright. ;)

So, I got her some cute fabric at Joann's (cozy flannel to go along with some minky I already had) and a $20 pad.
When I finally got around to making the cover, it was really easy. The pad itself is about 2'x4' soooo I just traced it with a little room to spare for seam allowance. So precise, I know.
I sewed and pinned in some straps that could wrap around and button it closed.
I let one end go about 6" longer so I could fold it under and sew velcro on it like a pillow case.
Then I put some SPARKLY buttons on (and nervously but victoriously used my machine's button hole function for the first time - magic I tell you.)
I also added a little handle, since I was already reluctant about hauling this thing around.
It's not exact, and I won't win any sewing awards for it, but I think she thinks it's pretty soft and cozy, and that's what matters. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Labor Day Reunion

Jill already did a post similar to this, so you can check it out if you'd like! We have some fun couple friends we connected with at church about three years ago. None of us had kids, we had almost-monthly game nights, and all in all, just had a great time together, and Cason and I were the lone non-Aggies!
Sometimes we might carve pumpkins instead of playing games...
And sometimes we went skiing (minus the Housers...boooo)
Sometimes the girls surprised the boys with tickets to the Monster Truck Rally at Reliant for their birthdays...
So the Housers moved to College Station (boooo) and the Marlatts moved to Oklahoma (longer-distance boooo) and we've all added kiddos to our families (yay!) We got to see everyone on Labor Day weekend, and look how we've grown!
We had a great time at Kyle's parents' house in Conroe, and the kids were a hoot.
Lots of love to our game night group!

10 things that happened in August

If you know me, you know I loathe August. No holidays, no more back-to-school fun (yet!), worst heat in Houston, just blech. Anyway, we still managed to have some fun (wink!) Here are 10 things that happened in August.

1. Madeleine and I got in our first stroller wreck. Oops! Cason's office had a service project one Saturday morning at Memorial Park. We decided to go with him and run for awhile while he worked with the other Northern Trust folks. Well, Mads and I were cruising along, and I guess I didn't see it, but there was a little pothole-like indention on the side of the trail. In went the front tire of the BOB and I went up and over the handle! I wish I could've seen it! Madeleine didn't even cry, even though she was upside down, hanging toward the ground. I got cut up pretty good, and I even have some kind of bruise on my shin bone that still hasn't gone away! Some good Samaritan joggers helped us, and we still managed to go 5 miles total!

2. My boss was in Mozambique all month, so that left me to "man the ship" for Community Cloth! It was a great way to dive in to all the amazing work that the organization does. On August 4 I attended my first Muslim banquet - it was for a partner agency, Amaanah Refugee Services. They invited us to join them, and we even sold a lot of our product there. I love being in places/situations where I am in the minority. Not every day, but frequently enough to keep my mind open. I was one of only a handful of women without a head covering, and I was one of only about five who didn't participate in the Ramadan evening prayer. The people were lovely, "So is this your first Muslim event? Do you have any questions?" and the food was delicious. I learned a lot about the amazing work that they do, and it was all-around a good time.

3. Cason got a new car!! A 2013 Acura ILX. It is perfect - just what he needed. Nothing too showy, but definitely the next step up for him. Would y'all believe that his car also got hit just two weeks later?! Wasn't his fault, so that was good, but I mean, really.

4. I went to Anne's Bachelorette weekend! We stayed at Agave Lane (a rental house we found online) outside of Austin. It was perfect! We all divided up meals, snacks and drinks for the weekend, we were in the pool for hours, and the only time we left was for a delicious Saturday night dinner at Jack Allen's Kitchen.

5. We had some of our last pool days - Tot Time with our Sunday School friends at the Briargrove Park Pool and some water table fun in the backyard.  I stole the collage from Ally, who probably stole it from Natalie. ;)

6.  Lots of wedding prep for Miss Madeleine - her first pair of sparkly Toms for her "ensemble," and we also had a few flower girl practices. 

7.  I hosted my very first volunteer training for my new job at The Community Cloth!  It was lots of fun to present about the organization and meet more people who want to get involved.  I also hosted a yarn sale and yarn giveaway for some of our ladies, and between the Cloth and some other part-time work I'm doing, I averaged about 22 hours of work a week.  Holy moly.  Look at cute volunteer Nicci and one of our Iraqi artisans, Ilham.  Love them.  And here is Mads in one of Ilham's hats, just because. :)

8. We enjoyed birthday parties of lots of friends - kiddos (Avery Cabiro's 4th birthday rainbow party and Cooper Morgan's 1st birthday airplane party) and grown-ups - David Saxe's 30th and JT Carpenter's 30th - it was a mustache bash!

9. As we frequently do, Madeleine and I spent some more time at the zoo.  I love my time with her as my "little buddy."  The older she gets, the more fun we have!

10. And we celebrated the end of August and the beginning of a fun fall with a Baylor Business/Baylor Sports Network lunch with John Morris (the voice of the bears!) and I had my first Baylor Women's Association meeting of my FIFTH year on the Board.  Come on football season!!