Monday, December 13, 2010

It's time...

Time for what, you ask?

Time for me to stop leaving the faithful few hanging anymore...

After just a year and a half, I think it's time for me to hang up the blogger hat.

For now.

Even though many noteworthy things have happened in my life over the past couple of months, I have had NO desire to really write a blog in a long time.
I have hardly even kept up with the blogs that I used to read daily.
I really don't know exactly why this is...but I'm just feeling kind of burnt out on the whole thing and I don't want to keep pretending that I'm going to get to my next post soon.

So, until this mood passes or I have something spectacular to share with the world, this blog is officially on hiatus.

And if you are dying to know what is going on in my/our life...I guess you're just going to have to do it the old-fashioned being IN my life. =)

To those of you who took the time to read my ramblings, thank you.
I sincerely appreciated your participation and feedback.

I wish all of you a joyous Christmas and many, many blessings for the new year.

Thank you once again,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday #20 ~ First Love

As a kid I had a jacket that looked something like this:

And a school folder with this image on it:

Yeah, I was a little bit in love with the original "King of Pop", Mr. Michael Jackson.

Of course, as I got older, I ventured away from the pop music and he ventured away from being admirable.

But there has always been a place in my heart for that young love of Michael.
The Michael that was cute, vivacious, and well...normal.

Of all things MJ that I used to adore, the original Jackson 5 was one of them.
I loved his little, yet amazing voice and smile that could warm a thousand winters.

Today I wanted to share one of my all-time favorite the Jackson 5 or anyone else for that matter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To my daughter

12 years ago at this very moment, my daughter was taking her very first breaths of air and then alerting the world to her presence with a scream.
Today she has taken many breaths and still likes to alert us all with a random noise or two.
She's so many things to all of us...but what she is most is growing up.
Just yesterday she was a baby in our arms and now she is all but done with childhood.

Here is a video I made just for her and how I feel about all this.
The music is "Watch Them Grow" by Zach Gill.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Music Monday #19 ~ Cancer

One of my absolute favorite songs by My Chemical Romance.

Love while you can.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday #18 ~ This is Halloween...

Halloween may be now be gone, but my decorations aren't yet, so I figured I would stretch out the celebration just one more day in order to procrastinate having to yank webs out of my yard and remove paper skeletons from my walls.

This has always been a fun occasion for my husband and I, especially now with the kids.
We even give presents for the holiday.
(I got the soundtrack to "The Rocky Horror GLEE show"...yay!!)

I'll be posting pics later in the week of our festivities, but for now I wanted to share with you three of my favorite songs to hear/play at Halloween.

Though "Monster Mash" should be in this list, I've heard it just one too many times over the past week and would like to take a break from it for now. =)

So here short-version Halloween play list:

"I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
(yeah, CCR also did this song...but I'm a fan of this version in particular. And from what I've read, it was QUITE "out there" when it came out in the 1957.)

"Every Day is Halloween" by Ministry
Though I grew up with the industrial/metal Ministry of the 90's, their 80's synth-pop beginnings aren't half bad!
I love to hear this song...any time of the year.

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson
Okay, so who HASN'T heard this song?
But hey, it never gets old in my opinion.
I just wish I had taken the time to learn the entire dance like some.
(oh, and this video used to really scare me as a kid!) =)

Well I hope you (if you celebrated) had a fantastic Halloween.
I'm exhausted today actually.
But we did have a good time.
Time to start planning next year's costumes!
(yeah right! didn't you read above where I said that I was a procrastinator?) =D

Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Monday #17 ~ Wordless

Gosh, I so love a good sing-a-long.
Typically, if I can't sing a song, I don't like it.
(We won't bother discussing whether that singing sounds good or not)

But there are exceptions to every rule and there are definitely some in this case.

Sometimes it is just nice to sit back and listen... just feel the music.

I'm pretty sure that all my continual howling over songs takes away their full meaning,
so when a song comes along that doesn't have any words,
I am forced to keep my mouth shut and open my ears.

Sure there have been some amazing compositions created over the centuries.
Who doesn't love a bit of Mozart or Beethoven now and then?

But the instrumentals I am highlighting today are some of my all-time favorites composed within the last century.
I will post them in chronological order.

First up is from dad will love this one.
He and I were both born too late.
We listened to this a time or two thousand when I was a kid.
And I love the theatricality of the band in this performance.

Here's "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller:

The next two songs were both recorded in 1959.

I have to admit right here and now that I am not a fan of the saxophone.
There are just very few songs out there with that instrument in it that I really enjoy.
But here's another exception to another rule...
...Dave Brubeck.
Amazing jazz artist.
Amazing song.
(and prepare to be blown away by the drum solo)
Good stuff.

Here's "Take Five":

And the other from the same year is seriously one of my absolute favorite songs.
Even if it weren't associated with "La Bamba".

Here's "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny:
(Les, you can just skip this one ;-)

And last, but certainly not least, is a piece composed by Bjork for the movie "Dancer in the Dark".
It is the opening overture and is simply titled "Overture".
It's not very long, but incredibly powerful.
This song alone has, at times, brought tears to my eyes.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this chance to just sit back and listen to some incredible songs by some incredible artists.
We should probably all give our mouths a break from time to time and let our ears get some use.

Take care,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Monday #16 ~ Let It Be

Though my opinions may steer my political leanings pretty far to the right, I find that many today think that means that this makes me an ignorant, hateful, war-mongering bigot.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am first and foremost a Christian.

And the Bible tells me these things:

God is love.
God created us out of love.
God intends for us to love each other.

Sin is another matter.
Sin, and the architect of sin, the devil, are constantly struggling for control of our lives.

No one but Jesus has ever been perfect, or will ever be.
So in light of this, it is impossible for me to hate one of my brothers or sisters in Christ because of his sin.
Being a sinful person myself keeps me from truly being able to place judgement on another.

I do hate the sin though.
I hate war and fighting.
And I hate what sin does to obscure the love and happiness that God wants for us.

If for one moment we could all (left, right or middle) just stop and realize
that not one of us is perfect,
that not one of us is doing things exactly right,
then we might be able to see each other for what we truly are...

creations of love.

Every person that God has created is worthy of being loved.
Because God first loved us.

If we will only gather ourselves into that love of God
and see that love in each other,
 then it will be that much harder for the devil to overshadow it with hatred.
And for just a moment we could "let it be".

(I am well aware that The Beatles were not professing Christians, but the message of  letting go of our hate for a person, if only to allow that person to live to see another day, is quite compelling, don't you think?)
Excerpt is from the film "Across the Universe"
"Let it Be" performed by Carol Woods & Timothy T. Mitchum

Monday, October 11, 2010

Music Monday #15 ~ My Björk

She's been my dearest musical love for over 15 years now.

She made my room look like this...

...helped cultivate a deep friendship with this guy...

...and broke my heart in this movie.

I am eternally connected to her...though I will likely never meet her.

But the thing that got me the most about her was the purity of her voice.
Most often in her music it it hard to truly hear it's power because it has to compete with the electronic sounds and orchestras in her music.

But I have finally heard a gorgeousness from her that I haven't heard years.
A collaboration with Antony and the Johnsons.


Completely in Icelandic...only accompanied by Antony Hegarty and a piano.

Absolutely gorgeous.

And it comes at a perfect time in my life.
These days have found me very introspective and pondering.
And that is the emotion I also feel while listening to this song.

I do hope you'll give her voice a chance.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Catching up...Part III ~ A funeral, a wedding, fun w/ friends, birthdays and more

Well I am determined to finish up this "catching up" business with this post.
I do not want to get this far behind again.
It's definitely not worth having to overwork my scattered memory to rebuild the past.

As you recall, my last post included a birth in family.
Well, a few days later we received tragic news that one of my mom's oldest friends (since 2 yrs old!) passed away after a long illness.
To make the pain even worse was the fact that less than a week before his death, his mother, who practically helped raise my mom, suffered from an aneurysm and was on life support.
She never knew that her son had passed.
We attended his funeral on the 18th and a few days later his mother went to see Jesus as well.
The whole ordeal was extremely upsetting to my mom of course and therefore to me too.
It had also been just 6 months since she had lost her brother.
It's been a rough year for her, but we have consolation in the fact that none of them are suffering from their earthly pains any longer and are hopefully resting joyfully in the arms of the Savior in Heaven.

Now that I've shared the bad news in our lives, I'd like to move on to some good news.
The same day that we attended the funeral, I also got to attend a wedding.
My husband's good friend, Brian, was the groom and Terry was actually a groomsman in the ceremony.
Jude was very excited to see us getting all dressed up that he even wanted to participate in the occasion as you can see in this shot of him walking around in my shoes. =)
(can't wait to embarass him with this pic in a few years!)

The outdoor wedding and indoor reception were both beautiful.
It was a small gathering which made it really nice.
I felt like I knew everyone in the room.
And check out how well my skateboard tee and jeans hubby cleans up!

Here we are with the happily married couple, Brian and Shauna!

The following weekend was a bit less busy, but I was able to finally get two of my bestest buds together with me for dinner, Baskin-Robbins and great conversation.

Michael, on the left, I met in the spring of 1995 in a drawing class that we were taking in community college.
We quickly became great friends, as we shared very similar tastes in music.
He is an amazing artist and is currently in graphic design.
It's not often that a talent like that actually gets to be put to use in one's work, but I am so proud of what he is doing.
Scott, on the right, you have seen here before.
He is totally my BFF.
My crazy and spontaneous BFF.
We have been this way since we were freshmen in high school...21 years now.
Back in our early college years...I say early, because out of the 3 of us, only Scott has an actual degree, and it took a while for that to happen. Michael is almost there with his degree and me, day...but back in the day, these two guys and my husband, Terry, were my closest friends in the world.
Each one played an integral role in the person I am today.
But only one would be my perfect soulmate...and that is the one that I married.
I was and am blessed to have these three best friends.
Though all of our lives have taken different paths and time and responsibility has stolen away the opportunities to see each other as often as we'd like, this one night with two of my greatest friends was truly priceless.
In the meantime, I've noticed that my little 2 yr old is turning into a "big boy" more and more every day.
He is becoming more confident in his physical abilities... 

And quite the little artist as well!
Below you are viewing the piece entitled "Tree and Two Suns". =P
Well, that's what it is!
A tree (with a few leaves) on the right and two suns on the left.
Pretty good for a 27 month old!

And we can't forget his self-portrait entitled "Grumpy Jude". (haha!)

On the 28th, we celebrated Terry's 39th birthday.
Only one more year and I'll be married to a 40 year old! GASP!! =)
But he's not letting the numbers bring him down.
He celebrated the day the way HE the skatepark.
Jude spent some time watching Daddy skate.

He became more comfortable in the bowl this time.
He had never had the opportunity in all his years of skating to be in a bowl before they built this skatepark nearby.
So he spent a great deal of time enjoying it.
I suggested that he try dropping in from the corner here so as to build up some speed to hopefully get some height on the other side.

Um, yeah...probably wasn't the greatest suggestion to a concrete bowl novice as he turned too fast and had quite the spill. I was really afraid that he had hurt his hand/arm, but he came out unscathed.
I was of course forthcoming with the apologies.

Oh, there was one injury...the faceplate of his kneepad was knocked off.
When Terry tossed it out of the bowl, Jude kept pushing it back in to him because he knew Terry was supposed to be wearing it.

That evening we ate Terry's request of Goode Co. Pecan Pie.
Yes, the pie costs almost $32...IF you're having it shipped.
If you live in the area though it's only $15.
Is it worth it?
Um, I hated pecan pie.
That is, until I tried this one.
It is amazing. Period.
Sooooo worth it.

And Terry even got a candle in his piece of pie.

Cecilia, on the other hand, doesn't like pecans in the least, so she had a piece of the tres leches I made from scratch (whipped cream and all) for my Bunco gathering the day before.
Well, she tried it at least. Then she discovered she doesn't like soggy cake.
But's tres's supposed to be like that.
And personally, I thought it was excellent.

Four days later, on Oct. 2nd, it was mine and Terry's 6th wedding anniversary.
We enjoyed the rare treat of a night out alone.
My dear parents watched the kids while we dined at Buca di Beppo.
Great food...great atmosphere...noisy homecoming teenagers.
But we'll definitely be eating there again.

After dinner we walked along the Woodlands Waterway and to the market street area nearby.
We sat and ate ice cream and purused the bookstore...ALONE.
Let's just say, we enjoyed the quiet time.

And here we are....caught up again.
In three days, on the 10th, it will be my 35th birthday.
Very cool.

Thanks for taking the time and interest in this long post and catching up with my family.

Take care and God bless,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music Monday #14 ~ Anniversary Mix Edition

Over the weekend Terry and I celebrated our 6th year of marriage.
Sure there have been a couple of rough spots here and there, but overall we have been blessed with an incredible relationship.
I credit this mostly to the fact that we were such close friends before we began to really date.
I cherish our ability to just hang out and chat like old buds.
I once opened a fortune cookie that read:
"A good friendship is often more important than a passionate romance".
And I couldn't agree more.
I'm not saying that there's no romance in our relationship, because there is.
There is simple sweetness about our love that remains as fresh today as it did so many years ago when we began.
But that friendship, that is what I value above all else in our relationship...and that is what I think will keep us together to the end.

Anyway, this is a music post, so I wanted to use this occasion to highlight some of the songs that my dear husband has given to me over the years.

He has such a great love and knowledge of music.
I have often told him that he would do well in the music industry...production wise...because of his incredible ear for quality.
He doesn't skimp on quality one bit when choosing songs to "dedicate" to his wife either.
Though I'd love to share every song he's given to me with you, there obviously isn't enough time or space in this post.

So, here is just a sampling of the feelings and music that my love has shared with me...

Thank you for letting me give you a peek into our lovely little life.
I do love every moment of it...good and bad.

Enjoy the love in your life as well because you never know how long it will be there.

Take care,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Catching up...Part II ~ New baby, rock concert, ghosts & a jackpot

Can I just say that "catching up" is really hard to do when you're still finding yourself in the middle of something constantly?
Oh, and a 2 yr old who refuses to nap most days slows the process down a bit too.

Some may have even noticed that my life was full enough this week to cause me to miss (and completely forget about for the entire day) my Music Monday post.

But I will forge ahead with the hopes of having caught up to myself by say...January?

So I left off last time about the end of August.
Summer was winding down, school starting.
Then the ball really started rolling.

On September 3rd, my good friend who also happens to be my sister-in-law, Leslie, blessed the family with a little girl.
I now have a niece!
Those that know me, are aware that she had a son (Ryan) a month before Jude was born and we were very excited to be having two boys almost the same age.
But Grandad (my father-in-law) was adamant that she make sure and also give him a granddaughter (and I also was eager to buy girlie things again!).
So Les and her husband Saleem did their best and granted our wish.

My precious niece, Camryn, who is almost a month old now!

And Camryn napping with her big bro Ryan...

Leslie and her family live in New Jersey, so unfortunately it will be a while before I get to see them.
But since I have no siblings to provide me with nieces or nephews,
I am so blessed to be able to have these two call me Auntie Andrea!

A few days after Camryn was born, Cecilia went to see Paramore in concert with Terry.

They are her absolute favorite band.
We bought the tickets last spring as her end of the year, straight a's gift.
We like to reward her after a good academic year.
Unfortunately I have no pics to share from the concert.
I asked Terry several times to attempt to get a pic of Cecilia in the concert environment, but all I got was a shot of her face. That wasn't quite what I had in mind.

A week or so later I was able to join my mom on one of her Travel'n Gals trips.
Basically it's an organized trip attended by a bunch of ladies (most from our church) to various spots around the state and bordering areas.
They typically shop, tour, socialize, eat, etc.
This is the first trip of this type that I have been able to attend and our destination was Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest town in the state.
Now if you aren't from around here, I must teach you how to pronounce that.
It's nothing like it looks.
It's pronounced NAK-A-DUSH.
Weird huh?
Yeah, but it is Louisiana...haha.

We shopped, of course, in Natchitoches.
Lots of little shops with lots of cute things.
Oh, and it's also the town in which "Steel Magnolias" was filmed.
So we took a horse buggy ride around the main part of town and saw some of the areas where they filmed.
I so need to watch that movie again.

Here are a few pics from around town:

A VERY old cash register in a VERY old general store.
Register still obviously in use.
They have to crank it and everything!

A spiral staircase from Bordeaux, France with it's very own ghost story.

"Meat Pies" sampled by my mom and I.
Very tasty by the way.
But in Texas we call them Empañadas.

My view from the front seat of the carriage ride

The best shot I could get of the "Steel Magnolias" house

After Natchitoches, we headed to Alexandria, LA, where we stayed the night.
The next day was full of plantation tours.
Very interesting and very beautiful.
And all included some extremely large trees.
A few plantation pics...

African house built by slaves

This is a window on the side of the African house that something wouldn't let me take a picture of.
I must have tried 20 times to take this pic, but my camera would malfunction every time.
I finally went inside and took the second picture and then was able to come back out and take this.

The Kent Plantation in Alexandria was built by hand, by slaves.
Slave fingerprints can still be found in the bricks.

Inside the Kent Plantation dining room.
The "tile" flooring was actually just painted canvas!

Slave quarters at the Magnolia Plantation.
(duplex style with two families living in each building)

The show "Ghost Adventures" investigated these buildings in one of their episodes.
But it wasn't until I walked into one of the buildings and recognized this sole chair in the corner that I realized that this was the same place.

After a tiring day of traversing large plantations, we enjoyed a leisurely dinner and then off to the casino!
Too bad casinos aren't legal in Texas.
I did pretty well actually.
And it was definitely needed.
So I am certainly grateful.

The next day we started heading back to the Houston area and on the way, stopped at another casino.
This one was way nicer, but wasn't as forthcoming with the jackpots.
So home I went with my pockets and memories much richer.

Well, it is time once again for me to break away from the catching up and get back to the doing.
I will be back sooner than later to finish up.

To be continued...and finished? time...