Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July! It was a fun day for the kids...started out at my aunt's house with a cookout and fireworks (shhh...don't tell the city!).

Joshua was NOT a fan of the sparklers. This was the only time he held one and it was only for a few nanoseconds. Just enough time for me to get a picture.

Sammi on the other hand, was a huge fan of the sparklers.

We headed to my mother-in-law and father-in-law's house to watch fireworks. They live just a few blocks away from the location where a huge display was taking place. So nice to not fight traffic and parking...instead we watched it from their front yard. My father-in-law made some yummy mango banana adult drinks.

Self-portrait of me and my rug rats while lying down to watch the fireworks. Hence my hair going straight up.

Jason and Sammi watching the fireworks. We had the best seat in the house!

I'm not sure what I enjoyed most...the fireworks or watching the excitement and wonderment in my children's eyes. I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Father's Day Camping

This year for Father's Day, I asked Jason how he wanted to spend it. Last year was spent traveling home from a reunion for his fraternity, so this year I felt he should decide what to do. His choice was camping. I really expected him to say that he wanted to golf, but he golfs every weekend, so how would that be special? :)
We headed to Purtis Creek State Park, which is about 2 hrs away. It is a small park that Jason has been wanting to try out for awhile. We spent the weekend fishing, relaxing outside, and watching S & J catch bugs in their new bug catcher-thingy. Sorry, can't think of a better name.
Sorry, these pictures are out of order...Blogger is not my friend today.
My 3 favorite people...getting ready to fish.

S showing the bug she caught. Hard to see it.

Am I the only one with a 4 year old that has to be silly in every picture?

Shocked there is a picture of me, and I look horrible! But hey, we are camping. Makeup and hair products are not top priority. But after looking at this picture, I think I need to change my priorities! Yikes, can you say "frizzy hair"?

Here is Sammi pouting. She had a major freak-out moment with a little bug that was on her. Jason tried to get it off her and she freaked out even more. We asked her to sit down to calm down and contain herself. Isn't nature fun?
Happy Father's Day, Jason! You teach me so much from your patience and fun disposition. There is a reason I call you "Fun Daddy" and I love you for it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Flippy Floppies!

I got new flippy floppies, courtesy of Amy at My Day-to-Day Life. And wow do I love them! I participated in the 2nd Annual Bloggy Flip Flop Exchange. My friend Becca over at The Texas Darlings put together this BFFE last year and it was so much fun that I HAD to do it again. It's pretty simple, we are paired up with someone else, send 'em a pair of flip flops along with something fun that is from their state.
I came home from work today and had a friend and her son come over for a quick play-date. When I answered the door when they got here, I saw a package on the porch addressed to me. Little 'ol me! I knew exactly what it was and almost pushed my dear friend aside so that I could tear into it and discover MY treat! I swear, it doesn't get much better than opening a gift in the mail. My awesome gift was a pair of hot pink flip flops that I think are adorable! I also received a star-shaped tray that I LOVE and will us a lot. Thank you, Amy! I love them both!
On a side note, I am hoping this will help jump start me into blogging again. I can't believe that the last time I blogged was November....shame on me! I probably don't even have any readers anymore. :( So for any of you that actually read this, PLEASE leave me a comment so that will give me the extra encouragement to blog again and again. Thanks!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yea, I know, I haven't blogged in like, a super-de-duper long time. I have a few posts that I have started but not finished. Maybe this long weekend I will actually finish them and post 'em!

As I lay here watching "Love Actually" with a really full belly and catching up on blogs I follow, I came across one that I just had to post. It's from a Friend Makin' Monday. I know, duh, it's Thursday. But I don't read blogs daily like I used to. I am still extremely bitter that the company that gives me a paycheck actually had the nerve to put up a firewall. How dare they cut into my blog time! For you out there thinking I read them while on company time, you are sooooo wrong. I only read them while on a break. Wow, I'm really a liar, aren't I?

Better late than never, but this week's FMM was about Thanksgiving. Here 'goes:

1. Turkey or ham? Whatever is being served! But, if I truly had to be forced to pick, it would be ham.
2. Favorite side dish? Green bean casserole. Why do we wait for the holidays to make this scrumptious super-healthy dish?
3. Favorite dessert? Must I pick just one? So unfair. My grandmother's pecan pie. I miss her.
4. Black Friday: Are you going or not? Hell to the no! I'd rather sleep than wait in line to fight over a really well priced gadget or toy.
5. If so, what's top on your list? Well, if I WAS to go, it would be any of the TV's on sale.
6. Going out of town or staying close to home? Staying close to home. Thankfully all of our family lives fairly close, so no road trips for us!
7. Hosting or helping? Helping! Helping eat, that is. :) I actually DID help today at my mother-in-law's. I felt I should earn my keep so I could eat as much as I wanted and not feel guilty. Ha!
8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving. Eat a lot of food! Sadly, we really don't have a tradition. Wait, I just thought of one...we watch the Dallas Cowboys play. I do have my kids talk about what they are thankful for and call all of our family that morning.
9. What do you do after dinner? Sit around watching a football game, all moaning about how full we are and how we shouldn't have had that 4th or 5th helping.
10. What are you most thankful for this year? That's easy: being employed! After getting laid off last year, it feels good to be working. Thankful for my amazing kids that give me so many reasons to make me smile and laugh.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I know I did.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Long Time No Blog

Anyone missed me out here in Bloggy Land? Whether you did or not, I have missed it! Here is why I have not been able to blog lately: the firewall in my office was put back up. I know what your first thought is: She blogged at work? Why yes, yes I did.
I won't bore you with the details of my job in the wonderful world of recruiting, but let's just say that I don't always have a full 8 hours of things to do at work. So I fill part of my days with reading the blogs I follow, blog myself, check Facebook (a lot!), personal email, US Magazine...well, you get the point. It is a far cry my my supreme busy days at Pfizer when I had days I worked through lunch and I most always brought work home to do at night. I just remind myself daily that I am grateful to be employed.
But noooooooooooo, my company had to get smart and put up a firewall. I know, how dare them! How dare them cut into MY internet browsing. Oh wait, they are the ones that pay me, right? Ok, whatever. I have tried to read blogs on my iPhone and it just isn't the same. I am constantly making the screen smaller and bigger, then scrolling up, down, right, left. It sucks. I want to read the blogs at night, but I have to be up at 4:30 am, so all I can think about after my kids are in bed is to get as much done around the house and get the kid's stuff ready for the next day in a hour. Then I get maybe 30 minutes to lie in bed and watch TV...which by the way is my most favorite thing to do when the house is quiet. So I have to choose...TV? Blogs? TV? Blogs? Sorry, TV has been winning these past 2 weeks.
For all of my loyal readers (ha!), please keep checking in from time to time to see if I posted anything. I'm not gone forever! And PLEASE leave me comments. They are music to my ears. Er, eyes. Music to my eyes? That doesn't sound right. You know what I mean, I love them and they keep me wanting to blog!
I need to close now. It is almost 10:00 and I need to get my rear in bed and watch just wee bit TV before I need to close my eyes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lesson Learned

Yesterday after work was just like any ordinary day. Got on the DART, rode to Union Station, got on the TRE with some time to spare. It was empty when I got on and found a spot that is my favorite place to sit. 2 seats side by side, with a third one against the wall. I use that to put my purse and bag and a place to prop my feet up to read. My time on the train is MY time. I am rarely interrupted, I am listening to my music while either reading or playing a game on my phone. Sometimes I nap. I cherish this time because I can just "be". Those of you with kids know what I mean.
I am listening to my music, sending a text to Jason, when a tall large man with strange old-fashioned glasses on, asked if he could sit by me. My first response in my head was "really? This train isn't even half way full. There are plenty of seats to sit alone". I think I even looked behind me as if to show with my eyes that there were other seats. But you know me, I don't say what I think and I said "um, sure". He sits, and I noticed he had a bag of items in an orange plastic mesh bag. It looked exactly like those bags that hold firewood that you buy at the grocery store that sit outside in the front. I thought it was odd, but hey, I'm on the train. I see a lot of odd things.
One thing on the train and airplanes that everyone knows, if you have ear buds in or have your nose in a book, you leave them alone. Not this man. I heard him talking but didn't know it was to me because I was listening to my music. I took an ear bud out and said "excuse me? I didn't hear what you said". He started asking me lots of questions about how to load music on my iPhone, where he can get one, does he need a computer for it, how much do the songs cost, etc. After I answered all of his questions I put my ear bud back in and continued to read. I think he said something to me again but I didn't look to see if he was talking to me or someone else. I just wanted to read my book. The same thing happened again. I was starting to get annoyed. I wanted to move seats, but did not want to be rude. So I thought I would act like I was getting off at the next stop, then walk to another part of the train to sit elsewhere. I just really wasn't in the mood for idle chit chat. I talk all day at work, I like silence.
I don't remember what started the next time he talked to me, but he later started quizzing me again about my phone, the cost, the carrier. I thought "what's with this man? It's not as if cell phones are new" As I answered his questions, I heard him say a word that I didn't catch earlier. Incarcerated. I let it go and listened to him some more, not wanting to be rude. I then just asked him, "have you never owned a cell phone?" and he said "no, I told you before, I was incarcerated and just got out of prison". Now before you freak out and think "Alli, why didn't you get the hell out of there?", hear me out. I then felt just horrible for thinking all of the things I did about this man I didn't know. I clearly judged him. Then it all came together about the bag with his belongings, the glasses, the clothes he was wearing. Again, I felt horrible.
I then let my guard down and listened to him some more. He was very well spoken and talked about his past, why he was in prison (was in Huntsville for drugs), and what his goals and plans are. He had my ear and I just listened intently to his story. This was a man that was in jail for 10 years, got out and went back to where he felt safe: his old friends. Fell into the same habits and problems, then went back to jail. This time, state prison for 7 years. I asked him questions I was curious about. He told me about how they do nothing to reform them and prepare them for the real world when they got out. How crooked the Warden and Chaplains are. Here he was in his early 40's, dropped off in Dallas with $50 and a handful of condoms. Really. He said the most they were told about was safe sex (hence the condoms) and were given pamphlets about other resources. That is what the state of TX gives when they are released. Isn't that sad?
He talked about how he had been sober for 5 years, how it is easier to get drugs in prison than on the streets (awful!), and what he did for himself to prepare for the real world. It was heart breaking, yet inspiring to hear about what all he did for himself. Not relying on other's to initiate it for him. I told him to surround himself with supportive people and those that only want good for him. He then said "that's why I asked to sit by you". My heart just dropped. I tried to not show the shock in my face. I was just speechless. I then said "I am glad you did". After more talking, my stop was coming up and I told him how much I enjoyed our talk, wished him the best of luck, and told him he CAN version of a pep talk to someone I barely knew, but I truly wanted him to do well. I wanted to just hug him. Instead, we shook hands. He said "It was a pleasure speaking to you, Miss Allison".
When I got to my car, I just sat there and cried. Cried for how I judged a man before knowing him. Cried for what he said to me about why he chose to sit by me, and how at first I was annoyed to not get to sit alone. How selfish of me. How judgemental of me. I learned a good lesson and was reminded to take the time to see the good in others. It's there. I will never forget my talk and lesson I learned with L. W. I hope I never forget him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friend Makin Monday...or Tuesday!

With yesterday being Labor Day, I didn't even turn on my computer! Really. Well, I did check my email and Facebook on my phone. Does that count? I was busy yesterday taking my kids to the park, then to a friend's house for the kids to play in the sprinkler. They had so much fun and it just wore them out. BUT, when we went home I immediately cooked dinner, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, did 2 more loads of laundry, helped Sammi with a school project, got both of them bathed, then finished my night with ironing clothes. Am I trying to sound like a martyr? Yes! After what should have been relaxing, it wasn't. I guess I could blame myself for not just letting it go for 1 more day and just relax. But I have a hard time relaxing in my house when things need to be done.

Ok, enough of my rambling! Yesterday was Friend Makin Monday and I missed it! So today I am just going to do it, even if it's Tuesday. So here to go, today's topic: Favorite Things About Fall.

Fall is my most favorite season. Being in Texas, I can't wait for fall season to get here so there is an end to the heat! Here are my favorite things:
1. Changing of the leaves! One of my dream vacations is to go to the New England states and drive around the countryside, looking at the beautiful trees with the leaves changing colors. Ooh, and stay in those cute Country Inns or a Bed & Breakfast.
2. Fall Decorations! I love getting out my wreath, a lot like this one, to hang on my door. It makes me smile when I see it. My favorite are the red leaves.

3. Cool, crisp air! I love, love, love opening the windows in the house to air it out and feel the cool air.

4. Sweatshirts! Love sweatshirts. Love 'em.
5. Football season! Mainly my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. I know some of you hate them because 1. you hate Jerry Jones or 2. you don't live in TX and you hate hearing them called America's Team. I grew up with die-hard Cowboy fans, I married one, so I am one. I enjoy having friends over for the games and an excuse to make lots of appetizers that are not healthy and eat 'em up.

6. Halloween! The best is seeing your kids dressed up and going with friends to have our kids trick or treat together. Then we get to come home with tired kids, put them to bed, then I go through their candy and pick out my favorite that I just know they won't like. he he, I know, that is really mean. But in my defense, I learned that from my parents. I know they did that!

7. Thanksgiving! This picture isn't of my family (but they look nice, don't they?) but it shows what is great about Thanksgiving: the family sitting at the table, having a great meal (why do we make certain foods just on Thanksgiving??), and talking about what we are thankful for. AND, our meal is planned around the Cowboy game. Yep. We either eat before so we are done by the time the game starts, or we eat when it was over. It's just the way it is in mine and my in-law's family.

8. Samantha's birthday! I love planning birthday parties. I enjoy making invitations and just can't wait to figure out what the theme will be so I can make the invitations around it.
I have no idea why I used an ! after each item. Maybe it's because I just love fall and it makes me excited!