Sunday, November 30, 2008

old timers.

great wall of china, circa 2005

well, as they say, "it's the most wonderful time of the year"--- and I totally subscribe to that.

black friday wasn't too BLACK in tejas, rather a grey color. Literally. It was nice to do some Christmas shopping for myself in "non-south-texas" h-O-t weather. Yes, Aaron and I purchased some goods to give each other (a joint combined effort, really), and we are glad.
Merry Christmas to US!

New WIRELESS speakers were on the agenda. Can we say "sub-woofin'-awesome"? Yes, please. And, yes, we'll take two. That's right. We loved the one so much, that we ventured BACK to Sears a few hours later, only to purchase ANOTHER one from the SAME cashier. Poor fella. He definitely remembered us from 7 hours previous.

What can I say, we're unforgettable? Or maybe it was the fact that we made him track down his manager to give us the CORRECT and ridiculous sale price from the ad. What? Because of people like us the economy is going down? Hmmm... well, let's grab some speakers before the money is gone. At least we'll be able to dance our way to the slums.

And, boy, we danced. And sang. And danced. That is what happens when you add things like "sub-woofer", "tweeter", and "mid-range" to my vocabulary.


Life is good.

Now we can pump up the jams like our Puerto Rican next door neighbors (whom we love, in all seriousness). Ask me to do an impression of all the songs they play. I know the exact beat to bop---salsa style.

Just one of my many talents.

AND! for your viewing pleasure, I have been archiving all of our photos, just in case my computer decides to crash after I have hit it from my spinning and shake shake dance (remember the new speakers? i GOTTA dance. just GOTTA).

Here are some OLDIES but GOODIES from when we taught english in china.
Keep in mind that we really enjoy sweating. RAD!

i still DIE laughing every time I see this picture. yes, he is a man---and yes, that is a bow.
triple threat awesome. I felt SO sneaky when I took this picture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a whole lotta smiles.

we've been taken lots of pictures around here. Yes, what else is new?
but, when you have such a willing and FUN subject, can you blame me?

But, the real reason I am posting these is because I have had some angry sisters complaining that I have posted any new ones of Tillie in a while. So, here we go.

love this face. hA!

enough camera time, mom!

***these next ones were taken on the day of her 6 month appointment (even though she was a week away from being 7 months!) She got her shots and we found out her stats. She weighed in at 14 lb. 12 oz. (30th percentile, for those who care) and then 26" long (60th percentile). And, of course, the doctor thought she was adorable. But we all knew that.

a wink shot. remember this one?

i love this one.

I redid some things in my room, and this happened to be one of them. This is my charm board. The girls in my family collect charms from all major events/times in life. I found this bulletin board for $8 at the Pottery Barn Outlet. Nice!

This is us mailing some holiday cards and such. We love going to the mailbox... well, matilda does at least. :) This happened to be on a cold day. Remember that today was 71 degrees? And it is the day before Thanksgiving? yes, that is Texas for you.

we are getting excited for the BIG day tomorrow. Yes, Thanksgiving, of course. Be sure to stretch your stomachs tonight for tomorrow's feast. hA! that sounds appetizing.

hApPy tHaNkSgIvInG!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

an assortment.

tidbits from life lately.

did anyone watch 24: redemption?

well, i did. i about died from stress. can I tell you how nervous I get with each episode of 24? I don't know if it is "heart healthy" for me to watch season 7 this January. Seriously, I might die of nervousness. Jack Bauer is my hero, even still.

My favorite part about the "movie" this weekend, was when Kajsa (our friend and viewing partner) said, "did it say viewer discretion advised?" --- i loved that kajsa asked that question because, yes, it was THAT intense. But more, I loved that she phrased it exactly how the t.v. shows say it. Thank you, Kajsa. I am still laughing.

Another random tidbit from life--- my favorite cereal for the past few months.

At first, I was irritated that it didn't have the "REAL strawberries" baked into the shredded wheat nugget itself. But, after a few bowls, I got hooked. I love this cereal. At night, when Aaron creates things like shakes or root beer floats, I "make" a bowl of deliciousness. For my Texan folk, don't buy it at HEB, b/c it is about a DOLLAR more?! I know. Walmart is where you should buy it. Okay? Good.

Another tidbit? Okay. I know you were hoping for some REAL entertainment, not just REAL strawberries. Well, you don't have to wait much longer. Let me introduce you to this little treat I found on Miss Chalk's blog (hilarious blog that makes me die laughing). Miss Chalk, in and of herself, is a treat. So, it only makes sense that she would be able to find such a funny/sick/gag/catchy/great video and post it on her blog.

Before I introduce it to you, I will warn you---Aaron was able to watch it longer than I could. I couldn't stomach the entire clip the first go around. And, it is a little blasphemous. Yes, blasphemous. It's one of those things that you kind of love but really hate at the same time.

Now, with that disclaimer, let me introduce you to this jingle/ditty that Aaron and I can't get out of our heads. We even sang it on our way home from church. Oh, goodness.

AAA-mazing give away.

one of my BEST gal pals, Michelle, is having a give-away.
Not only do I love HER a lot, I also love her incredible/beautiful/fun/rad/neato aprons & apron kits.

and, yes, she is GIVING away a kit!?!


go and comment on her blog and you may be lucky.

{but, let's be honest, I am hoping that I am the lucky one. I want to WIN! WIN! WIn!}

here's her blog link to Epicurean Style for the give away.
and here is her actual website (also completely wonderful).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

COOL christmas music.

we know the definition of COOL over here.

get the good stuff.
that's RIGHT. look to the RIGHT and you'll see some very wonderful, unique, beautiful Christmas music.
Aaron thinks he has banned our family from listening to Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving, but little does he know that I have been "sneaking" it while he has been away at school.

But, when it is THIS glorious, one needs more than 30 + days to listen to it.
Give it a listen.
You'll agree with me.

Most of it is from Sufjan Stevens. He has a DREAMY voice. And, then of course many songs are from Sarah McLachlan. Always a favorite. Am I right, or am I right?

I'll be adding more HOLIDAY favorites, but for now, you can get your fix. Also, you don't have to stay on my blog to listen to it. Just click on the "Pop Out" tab under the player and then you can have that as a tab in your background as you are doing your holiday "surfin" on the web... or as background music for your lovely life.

You can thank me later.
Consider it my Christmas gift to you.
You're welcome.

Monday, November 17, 2008

the visits x2.

"baby's first Christmas" ornament I found on one of the many shopping trips! I LOVE it.

a beautiful bird that both Tillie and I loved at an antique store. So, we bought it for about $2. Aaron said this is one of those things, that when my future grandchildren go through my stuff, they'll say, "What should we do with this bird?" and then they'll proceed to throw it away. Well, I love this bird. Hopefully I can take it to heaven with me and it can sing "Zipadee Doo Dah" all day to me (you know, "Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder..."). sheesh.

First and foremost, let's just remind everyone that I love having visitors. Hint Hint. With that in mind, it was heaven for 2 weeks with 2 visitors.

I was SO happy that my mom "stopped" in on her way home from the HUGE Quilt Show in Houston. She and some of her "gal pals" by way of "SEW much MORE" quilt group (whoop whoop ladies! hoLLah!) went down for a few days to bask in the beauty and fun of fabric and, of course, the art of quilting.

Seeing that my mom picked up a BUNDLE of wool felt for me, I will support MANY a trip for her in the future. Gracias!

We, in true Denise fashion, accomplished TONS in her short stay. As many of you know, Denise is the project queen. The big feat for us this time was PROJECT PREPARATION---as in food storage. With all of the tornado scares we've had, my mom has been petrified for our little family. She believed that if disaster were to strike, we'd be (in her words, not mine) "up a creek without a paddle". Hence, Project Preparation.

Please see exhibit A.

Multiple (36) cans were packed by us and darling M. Jessop up the street (how we roped you into staying the ENTIRE time, I don't know! Sorry!) in our garage. Items packed? I knew you were curious: rice, flour, sugar, dried milk (who knew such things existed?), oats, macaroni, and spaghetti. I was feeling like I was quite the "storage" woman by the time we were done, but apparently this was "a drop in the bucket" (again, Denise's words, not mine) to what we should have. 36 big cans really isn't going to sustain us for too long. But, we both agreed, some is better than none.

Now, where to put these blessed cans? Storage space doesn't just appear, does it? Yes, with Denise it does (sorry, mom, I keep referring to you by your given name... i don't know why). So, we ran to WalMart (our one-stop shop that will one day take over the world) to get some bed raisers. Yes, friends, our bed got a lift---like many a big truck here in Tejas. After the mega lift, we suddenly had a whole "queen size" area of empty space. Perfect for some canned goods.

See exhibit B.(and yes mom, that is my sheet hanging out on the right hand side of the bed. SORRY!)

Also, you may notice the beautiful new headboard? Yes, that is NEW, but not. We have this great room divider and it was great in our last apartment, but now it has just been sitting in the corner of our living room. Well, my mom had the AMAZING idea to pop it in behind our new "lifted" bed to create a headboard that I have so desperately been wanting! can I get a what?! what?!

Really neat. We love it. However, I did take me a few tumbles out of bed when I went to get Matilda in the wee hours of the morning. A few bruises. No broken bones. All's well.

We attacked another "shove it and leave it" space for me and now it is a well-organized-Tupperware-dream-boat. And, we even attacked the shoe "drop spot" in the garage. Again, my mom was worried that I would "trip and die" (yes, again, her words) with the babe in arms---so, we attacked that area too.

One of these times, I'm going to have EVERY SINGLE aspect of my life organized, so that when my mom comes to visit, she can have a vacation of sorts and just spend time with her darling grand baby. One of these times... not sure when... but one day... :)

And, I apologize. I forgot to get out the camera for my mom's ENTIRE stay!!?? So, I only have the bi-products of her stay. SO SORRY!

Introducing, again, my eldest sistah Em. She came and overlapped for a day with my mom! NEATO! How did that happen? We really don't know, but it was great! We celebrated the occasion by heading up to the San Marcos outlets. We always luck out on those trips! It was great to finally have some companionship while shopping. I am always a second guesser when I am by myself. I like to have a support team when I shop.

Anyway, it was great!

Although, we never seem to have enough time at the outlets. This time was no different. We had to get my mom back for her afternoon flight. But, we all left with some great items in hand (thank you, dad!!!---he treated Em and I to a fun surprise b/c he wanted to make sure that we didn't feel left out after we had found a bunch of DARLING clothes for my mom. How sweet is that?? I love that guy!) and Matilda was a dream!

you cannot visit san antonio and opt out on sea world. Aaron thought it would be
a perfect chance to Journey to Atlantis on his own, while the lines were so short.
What he is doing with his hair in the top right of the boat, I'm not quite sure.
He chose this specific spot, b/c he was sure he wouldn't get wet.
Nope. He still got pretty darn wet. Sorry.

Now, for em's visit---let's just say, she is not a "project" master. :) hA! Although, I did catch her a few times trying to chuck some of my "scrap" paper and other things in the trash! She does have a lot of "Denise" in her and likes things to be orderly. Luckily I caught her in time before she threw away my hour log for work and my stamp box.
Golly. These women in my family. I swear. Can't leave them alone for a second.

Because she did all the work already, I'll let you read her recap on the visit. Thanks, em. We had a lot of fun and when she was leaving, we were both thinking, "why has this never happened before??" I love my family and love when they remember to come visit me. Subtle hint, again.

Probably the big highlight with Em was shopping in Boerne (no time constraints) and the chillax day here at the house eating carmel apples and decorating ornaments. I think I might put some of them on Etsy for a few bucks to see if they sell. We LOVED doing that.

THANK YOU to the both of you. Let's do it again. Very soon. (not so subtle hint).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

boston trip: day two.

Okay, it's about time. Wah, wah, wah.
What do you do? I've taken a long time to post. So, sue me.
just kidding.

Let's take a step back in time---say almost a month ago, and relive the magic we experienced in Boston. Here are a TON of pictures. Don't feel like you need to relive the magic of EACH ONE, feel free to just scroll down fast and be proud that I had the patience to upload all of these. Do I do it for your viewing pleasure? Sure. (you'd be amazed how many I DIDN'T put up!)

With out further adeu, I give you the CITY of BOSTON.
Highlights from the day---Our professional Bostonian guide, aka Kemy (used to be resident of Boston), said that we MUST do a Duck Tour. WE HEARTed the DUCK TOUR. Best decision ever. It was a great overview of the entire city at large. Awesome. Most of these pictures are from that tour. Thanks, doll-Kem-face.

Matilda with a full tummy, ready to get out of the warm car and wait for our tour to start.
We like this little girl. A lot.

family shot in the COLD! I wanted to make sure people knew Tillie was, in fact, a girl. We succeeded.

Happy to be on the tour, but uncool that the tour helper lady said to make sure NOT to get the seat
directly behind the driver. Too bad those were the last "indoor" seats available.
Oh well, it was that or the back of the bus/truck/doo-dah with frost bite.

Halocaust memorial. Those glass monuments represent 6 smoke stacks. It was amazing, b/c upon further inspection (when we were walking around) there were numbers of the prisoners etched in the glass. Beautiful.
Look it up online to see the incredible detail.

the Boston Public Garden with Paul Revere riding through.

***disclaimer!!!**** now, these next ones---uhhh, I don't know what historic building each is
(gimme a break, everything over there was historic. seriously.
but, we thought these were some great shots that Aaron & I took---mostly Aaron though.
Remember I had the babe in arms?).

****we're back. Okay, this was HILARIOUS. I guess that Boston kids are able to sign up for free sailing lessons
for only $1 with all access the entire summer long (or something like that)---well, here we are almost ready to hit
them! The driver of our "duck" was letting everyone who wanted to get behind the wheel and putter along in the river
and have a photo op. Well, guess who wasn't paying attention! hA!!! Those kids were freaking out!
Loved it. See the terror below.

Okay, the Duck Tour was over. Now we are just going around town by ourselves.
Here I am in front of the very FIRST restaruant in America.
Did we go in? No. But, everyone loves food. I wanted to represent.
Go America. Go restaurants. Go me.

outdoor fruit market. pretty colors.
let's play "Where's Waldo?" but instead, change it to "Where's Melissa?" (see above)
---10 points to whoever finds me first. Good idea, Aaron.

great little pizza place in Little Italy. SUPER cheap food and SUPER delcious.
They are so good that they only are open from 11-2 p.m. When people can do that, it's gotta mean good, right? right.
It was. Aaron, what was the name of it? We liked it so much we went back on our way to the airport to come home. Good eats.

Across the street we find the infamous MIKE'S PASTRY. We heard from multiple sources that we HAD to go. So, we did. It was delicious. It was "cash only". I only had a $10 bill and it was a crazy line---so, I called Aaron in for backup. Got more cash and then I got a great stash.

Pictured below: Chocolate creme canoli (ok, not awesome), Peanut Butter Brownie (good), Choc. Eclaire (incredible).
Oh, and for Aaron? I got him a strawberry shortcake.
(Remember how he doesn't like chocolate?
And, yes, I know what you are thinking---I happily ate most of the the other three. Not in one sitting, mind you.
But close. Let's just say, someone's tummy did not feel good after that.
Wow, good food is always worth it. Am I right?) See picture below.

Awesome balloon hat that I want at my next birthday party. Or for my Christmas present.
Either works.

me in my favorite store, ever. Paper Source. love it. want to marry it.
(and aaron too! duh.) boston gets to have about 5 stores while I have none in San Antonio. sob.

random beautiful photo again:

this girl (see below) looked like she was getting her senior portraits done. for true. Aaron and I thought about me laying down too and having Aaron take MY senior portraits too. But, I was cold. Didn't feel like laying down on the cold ground.
Sorry. These ones will have to do.

Let's be honest, how many people have their "senior pix" with their baby's stroller in it too?
Yeah, I was THAT lucky.

lucky in love.

darling kick, dear.

just some boston apartments. so pretty. can you imagine living in one of these?
i kind of can, but then kind of can't.
WOW. Pretty rad.

THERE YOU HAVE IT. Boston trip: Day two.


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