Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What a Merry Christmas!

Sometimes holidays don't measure up to expectations and then sometimes they really do. This was one of those times. Everyone arrived safe and sound (eventually) and a good time was had by all.
Three generations under the same roof for 5 to 6 days. You never know quite how the experience will play out, but we had such fun sitting around the table enjoying great conversation, great food, and on occasion even some great wine. We reminisced and even heard some stories never shared before by the grandparents.
We were able to get to church on Christmas Eve despite the snow and wind. Beautiful service and hymn singing. All our favorites.
Slowly but surely, everyone is finding their way back to their respective homes and as much fun as it is to get together, I know everyone is looking forward to sleeping in their own beds, watching all the things they "tevoed" (Is that a word?) and catching up with friends. Hopefully, it won't be long before we all get together again!
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas, Here we come!

What a wonderful time of the year. After a quick trip to Montana last weekend, and a stop off in Minneapolis to have dinner with college friends, I had had enough snow and cold weather to feel that the holiday season is upon us. Landed in Dallas and hit the ground running.
Spent the week tweaking the house so that we can make 8 additional family members comfortable for the coming week. They start arriving tomorrow night. Thankfully our kids are flexible and fine with aero beds. They will have full run of the upstairs bed, bath, and media room. I wonder how often they will come downstairs? ( I plan to cook some gourmet meals to entice them.)
Three generations in the same house for the week of Christmas. Lots of opportunities to share stories, bake cookies, go for walks, see some movies and just enjoy being together. We are so blessed to have healthy parents who can still travel to spend time with us. It may get a bit chaotic at times, but it promises to provide opportunities for some new memories.
Can't wait for the fun to begin.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting for some status!

Every time Steve and I get ready to travel, which is pretty often these days, I check in on line to print my boarding pass and expect some bells and whistles to go off. Maybe some words to pop up on the screen to say that I now have achieved silver or maybe even gold status on my favorite, American airlines. But no, no such luck yet. How long must I wait? Today, I am trying to get back to the big D from Orlando, Fl where we have had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with all 4 "kids". I have discovered that trying to find an empty seat on an earlier flight on the Monday after Thanksgiving is IMPOSSIBLE. And, I have a Christmas party at my house tomorrow night! Yikes! So what's a gal to do?
1. Make a list of things to do when I get home.
2. Get a Coldstone.
3. Finish reading "Going Rogue", which I am really enjoying by the way.
4. Clean out my purse.
5. Decide what to serve to my guests tomorrow night.
6. Make a grocery list.
7. Return as many phone calls as possible.
8. Purchase magazines.
9. Walk some laps pulling my carry-on that is ever expanding due to airport purchases.
10.Make sure I get my quota of Starbucks since it is here and I love it!
Let the chaos of the season begin! It wouldn't be late November if I wasn't experiencing some sort of pre-Christmas jitters. Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time flys when you are busy!

Then month of November will go down in history as a BLUR! After the quick trip to Minnesota, I got involved with a wonderful young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago when her baby was 3 months old. She already had 3 children. Upon diagnosis, her husband left her. Long story. She has just recently had surgery to help with painful scar tissue that resulted from the intensive radiation she had. This woman is courageous and trusting in God's provision for her every day of her life. I am blessed beyond measure to be getting to know her and count her as my friend. She is an absolute delight.
I flew in to Raleigh for 5 days to check in with Steve's mom who just had a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor. She had some drs. appts. to go to and we just wanted to treat her like a queen for a few days: cooking some meals, cleaning a bit, etc. She is doing so well and won't need to start radiation until January. Her prognosis is very good.
That weekend was Louise's sorority parent's weekend and Steve and I loved taking she and Zach out for dinner before the big party. What a fun night. We tailgated with her on Saturday before the game and enjoyed spending a picture perfect day sitting in the stadium. Sometimes the outcome of the game isn't part of the memory. Just enjoying one another's company is enough.
The WHOLE family will converge on Orlando this Tuesday to spend a week reconnecting. We rented a fun house not far from Disney and will squeeze in as much cooking and eating; watching football games; parks; and whatever else we come up with. Can't wait. Lots to be thankful for!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A restful weekend in Minnesota

There is nothing like going back home, even if it has been almost 30 years since I lived in the state. And still, not much has really changed. All of my extended family is still there and still living in the same places. That is reassuring somehow.
I spent the weekend at my parents place near New Ulm and enjoyed catching up with them, looking at old pictures, sharing new and old stories and visiting with aunts, uncles, neighbors, and old friends. We spent Sunday morning worshiping at the church I grew up in and my parents are still active in. Sunday night we went to a concert series event that was held in the auditorium of my old junior high school. I walked in and stepped back in time. The seats in the auditorium are every bit as small and hard as I remembered them. What memories!
We are at that place in our lives where our kids are all in a really good place and our parents are all still living independently. I think maybe these are the " golden years " for us. That in-between time when we can just up and go whenever we want and enjoy the adventure life offers us. We are going to try to fully appreciate this time in our lives. God is so good.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back home

What a fun trip!

Flew out to DC to see Karl and spend some time catching up. Just so happened that he was in his club's Kendo tournament in VA this weekend. We have never had the opportunity to see him in this environment. Impressive and fascinating. What a skill set we observed. Seriously cool.

Luckily we both got early flights back into Dallas and are going to enjoy a couple of days before we "jet off" in different directions again. Steve is looking forward to a 7 day elk hunt in MT later in the week, and I am going to visit my folks in MN for a few days and then head to NC. Life is good.

Monday, October 19, 2009

On the go!

Let the fun begin!

We just got home last night from another road trip. We exchanged vehicles with Christine. It only makes sense, since she is the only one in the family that really will benefit from 4 wheel drive. She is now the proud owner of the Tahoe. She is the "official" driver for the "Team Schelly" ski team from Boulder. We had a blast meeting her friends, going out to dinner on the busiest Friday night EVER in Boulder, and watching some disappointing football on Saturday.(NCSU and Nebraska)

Thursday we head east to catch up with Karl. He just moved to a new apartment and has a Kendo tournament that we are going to watch. A trip to the grocery store to stock his pantry is at the top of the list. Got to help a poor grad student out with some great ingredients for comfort food.

The following weekend it's off to MN to see my parents. Rumor has it my aunt is having a halloween party. Guess I will have to dig out my favorite costume.
( Sear's t-shirt with "This is my costume" on the front)

Our poor dogs are going to be psychotic with all our traveling. They aren't necessarily fond of all the time they spend at the "condo", otherwise known as the vet's boarding facility.

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My bags are packed. I 'm ready to go!

Actually, it's just one bag and it isn't quite packed yet.

I am heading to San Francisco to join some of the Phytel family for the weekend. We will spend Saturday touring a number of wineries. We have lunch reservations at The Greystone restaurant at the Wine Spectator Culinary Institute and dinner reservations at Auberge Du Soleil. Talk about a day of teasing the taste buds.

It's a bit of a challenge to prepare for these sorts of weekends. You always want to pack your "best" jeans, because after all, you think you look pretty snappy in them. But, with all those extra calories, are you even going to be able to get them zipped?
This is one of those times when having C or L living close by would come in handy. They would have any number of cute dresses to borrow.

Solution? Hit the mall!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's no fun getting "old".

I always try to keep up with my annual doctor and dentist visits. I have no reason not to. I certainly have plenty of time. But, my new dentist informed me, (after the most thorough and high tech, fancy shmancy, cleaning - hand massage included)that I have some work that needs to be REDONE. Redone? What in the world?

Sooooo, after a week of pondering if I want to follow his recommendations, I confirmed my second appointment with him and off I went once again for his office. Suffice it to say that I will be getting to know him very well. I bet he will put me on his Christmas card list.

Since he has to redo 2 of my crowns (front ones no less), of course it is important that we make the new ones whiter and then make my real teeth whiter as well to match the new crowns. Over the course of the next 3 weeks, I will start to enjoy my new Texas smile to go with my Texas hair and my new Texas diamond that replaces the one I lost this summer.

I just might feel like a whole new woman.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to the HEAT

Left Bozeman this morning and it was 50 degrees. Landed in Dallas and it was 95 degrees. Summer is still here.
What a fun few days in MT! We fished every day, and caught up with some of our friends there. The weather was perfect. Cool at night, but warmed up nicely every afternoon. Note to self: spend every Labor Day weekend at the ranch.
This week it is time to jump into the fall routine here. I host our neighborhood Pokeno group next week, start fall bible study at BTBF, volunteering at McWhorter Elementary, and have all sorts of the usual appointments lined up. I guess even as an empty nester, I need a bit of structure and routine in my life. Ready, set, go!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back in the big D!

Another fun weekend catching up with the kids. L and D this time. Had a great 24 hours with Dean in Orlando and then up to Raleigh to help Louise finish up some projects at her apartment. They are both doing well and happy. No better news for parents than that.
Headed down to EI to check on things at the beach house and had 2 gorgeous sunny days there. LOVE that place. Steve's folks drove down for a visit on Sunday. Back to Raleigh on Monday for a few more apartment projects and then back home to Dallas.
Our two favorite hounds were happy we came home!
Off to Montana to fish this weekend. Yahoo! The Ruby, the Jefferson, the Yellowstone, and of course our spring creek! Look out trout.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Starting to look like fall.

After a really special weekend with K and C (with VERY summerlike conditions), it actually looks and maybe feels a bit like fall in Dallas. Bright blue skies and no haze whatsoever. We could see the downtown skyline all lit up last night. Beautiful.
We will head to Orlando to see Dean on Thursday morning and then on up to Raleigh to see Louise on Friday. We hope the hurricanes stay away so that we can enjoy Emerald Isle for the weekend and then back home. And, it looks like our house in G'boro will close this week. Yahoo!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking forward to the weekend

Karl and Christine are both flying in tomorrow night to spend the weekend with us. We are so excited to have them here. Plans are under way to eat at some great restaurants, listen to some music, and hang out by the pool. We know they will want to catch up on some sleep, eat some home-cooked meals, and watch a movie or two, but whatever we all decide to do, it will be great to do it together.
At the end of the month we will catch up with our other two, Dean and Louise. We will fly in to Orlando and spend some time with Dean, and then fly to Raleigh to help Louise finish her apartment furnishings and spend a couple of days at the beach house.
Life is good and we are so blessed to be able to connect with our children as much as we do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mondays

Last Monday I was flying home from Romania and finally landed at DFW at 9:30 p.m. It felt like the longest Monday ever, and yet I didn't accomplish the things I am used to accomplishing on Mondays. After almost a week of getting back on a normal sleep schedule, I am ready for a normal Monday. You know, the kind where you roll out the trash cans, shake out the rugs, start the first load of laundry, write a couple of checks that need to get in the mail, enjoy a second cup of coffee while checking the email, go for a power walk, vacuum the floors, dust the furniture, go to the dry-cleaners, put gas in the Tahoe,mail that package that has been sitting on the counter for a week, hit the grocery store, and by the time I get all of those things accomplished, it should be time to start dinner preparations.
Oh, and in the middle of all of this, there are about 10 phone calls I really need to make. There goes Monday!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I am not literally "back in the saddle" , rather I am just back to feeling normal, well-rested, and doing all the things I did before Romania. It has taken most of the week to get on a normal sleep schedule.
I have fought through the desire to take a nap every day at about 3 p.m. It has been fun to wander through the grocery store, take a walk in the early morning (before it gets to 105 degrees), catch up on some domestic chores, and catch up with friends who are all so curious about our trip. And now it's the weekend! Yahoo!
We are going to a "salsa in the park" event in Addison tomorrow night and over to our friends house for dinner on Sunday evening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hope Grows Everywhere

The Globetrotters are all back safely on US soil. What an experience it was to travel with 21 other "gals". We have had quite an adventure. Please check out the website to see pictures and read about our trip. www.hopegrowshere.blogspot.com
My thought this morning as I reflect back on our 2 weeks abroad, is that while we all have unique lives, there is a common thread connecting us to one another. We grow when we put ourselves "out there" and take risks in relationships, surroundings, and activity. None of us have the luxury of going through life without hardships and challenges and when we begin to see that reality we also find it a bit easier to empathize and understand one another. I think that all the "Globetrotters" were stretched a bit and for many of us it will take some time to process the experience. As I sit and look through my journal and my pictures I am still drinking it all in and am so thankful for the adventure and most of all, thankful that God was present and active throughout the entire trip.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

Soooooo, the adventure begins in the morning.

Off to DFW by 7 am to catch a flight to Greensboro, NC to catch a flight to Philly, to catch a flight to Frankfurt, Germany... to catch a flight to Budapest, Hungary. I expect it to be a long but FUN day. An opportunity to start to connect with my Globetrotter friends. We will end the day in Romania. Then the real fun begins.
My suitcase is heavy, but not over the limit. It will be much lighter on the return as it is full of "goodies" right now.
God is good. He is in charge. His plan is our plan. I can't wait to see what He has in store for us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Romania, here we come!

The "Globetrotters" are about to be on the move. Check out the website if you are curious. www.dustinsgreenhouse.org The Green family is an extraordinary one. They have been making a difference in the lives of young people in Guilford County for years. I just plain feel BLESSED to be a part of this year's trip. The Greens will always give the credit for the success of this organization to LOTS of other people. While I agree that the role of these active and supportive individuals has been hugely important, it truly has been Martin, Lou, Ashlie, and Mallory whose love for, and commitment to, remembering and honoring the memory of their extraordinary son and brother, Dustin that has been the momentum and the driving force of this organization. They are amazing in so many ways.

I can't wait to share pictures and stories of our adventures with 15 wonderful young women.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Whew! Where is the summer going?

Can't believe that we are well on our way into July! Such a fun summer. It seems that somehow time flies by during the summer months.
We are loving having Louise here with us in Texas for the summer. She has had friends come to visit, and just spent the last 5 days with Christine in Colorado. She will fly back to NC at the end of July to move into her apartment.
Steve's folks came to visit a couple of weeks ago and we had a great visit. Took them on a road trip to see where they lived over 40 years ago.
Last weekend I flew to Orlando to move Dean into his new apartment. His classes at Full Sail start on Thursday. Once we got everything unpacked, we had time to sneek in a movie. ( We saw Transformers...I still remember Karl and Dean playing with them when they were little. The ones in the movie were definitely more intimidating.)
This weekend I will head to Minnesota for my niece's wedding and then I have a week to get ready for the Globetrotter trip to Romania. We will be leaving on the 20th of July and returning on the 3rd of August. What an adventure that will be. Can't wait. I better start looking for a good book to get me through the overseas flight.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vacationing with my girls

Flew back to NC to spend a week at the beach with my girls. A week of enjoying the sun and the sand, lots of cooking, reading, movie watching, and sleeping in. Maybe a bit of shopping if we get a rainy day somewhere in the mix. After some weather related flight delays, we are ready for the fun to begin tomorrow morning. Life is good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Out of the habit.

Every once in awhile I get out of my routine and have the worst time getting back into it again. Such was the case as I took off from Dallas on yet another road trip to NC. With Steve traveling so much during April, I felt it was the perfect time to set up shop at our beach house. ( Me and the dogs. ) I was also motivated by Dean and Louise's April birthdays as well as a chance to meet my fellow "globetrotters" who I will be traveling to Romania with in July. (More on that to come.)
Well here it is closing in on Memorial Day and I am feeling the need to post a bit again after some encouragement from a fellow blogger. I have been back in Dallas since early May and getting back in my Texas routine. Lots of activities with my new neighborhood friends. LOVE these Texas gals.
My very best friend from middle school and high school flew in from MN last Wednesday and stayed until Sunday. She is a blast and to my delight, she helped me put the finishing touches on some "decorating dilemmas" at our house. What a blessing that turned out to be.
We found an awesome Tex-Mex restaurant called Pappsitos. A must if you come to Dallas. And, we went to the top of Reunion Tower to the new Wolfgang Puck Restaurant. It is about the tallest building in downtown and of course the restaurant revolves and the view is spectacular.
Off now to get some "Texas hair". You know the drill...highlights, trim, volumizer, straightener, and then some teasing I imagine. Steve probably won't recognize me when I get home.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

What an incredible road trip!

Soooo, we left DFW airport at 7 p.m. and hit the road on the first leg to Colorado. Stopped in Witchita Falls, Tx for the night. Just did the easy thing and had a thin crust pizza delivered. When you want to be on the road by 6 or 7 a.m. it is the perfect dinner option. Even better if you remembered to bring along a great bottle of red wine to share with two plastic red wine glasses thanks to Target. (the motel plastic cups just don't cut it somehow)
Up early...even before alarm rings, as our two "hounds" were ready to hit the road. We obliged them. What else can you do when two dogs are begging to depart?
These kind of weekends are our absolute favorite. Get in the car and get on a road you have never been on before. The day was incredible. Bright sunny skies, a few puffy clouds and the best darn scenery imagineable. We headed to Amarillo and then across the northeast corner of New Mexico and on in to Colorado. Up I 25 to just below Denver and around the west side of Denver into Boulder. Past the Red Rocks and arrived before Christine had picked up Louise from the airport in Denver. Checked in to our pet friendly motel and got ready to meet "our girls" for dinner.
(I could write an entire post on pet friendly motels.) We have had a wonderful reunion here in Boulder and will head up to Keystone tommorrow for a week of skiing.
Let the fun begin.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time to Hit the Slopes!
Since it is Louise's spring break, we have rented a condo in CO and will spend a week enjoying the snow. Christine will be able to spend a fair bit of time with us as she lives "just down the road". Louise's life long friend, Ashleigh will join us as well. Steve will come and go as work allows. We have decided to drive as we are about 13 road hours from Denver. This gives us the opportunity to bring our two hounds, Cookie and Pepper. The girls miss them.

After a week of 70 degree weather, the snow will be a treat. Funny how the cold isn't so bad when you are having fun in it. And, this time of year is about the best for conditions. Lots of snow and milder temperatures during the day.

Then, by the time we get back to TX, it will be time to plant some flowers and start mowing the grass. Spring comes early to TX! Everyone is warning me to get ready for the rains to begin. I don't quite know what to expect.
Gotta go pack and try on my ski pants to see if they still fit...Yikes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We just returned from a long Valentine's weekend at our cabin in MT. It was really cold so we didn't get to enjoy the out of doors very much, but took the opportunity to take a couple of road trips with the new camera I bought for Steve for his birthday. What a great place to go to take pictures. With all the snow they have had this year, it makes for a stunning back drop. We woke up Saturday to 0ver 50 deer in our front yard. It's getting harder and harder to leave this special place.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Relaxing Weekend

Found a great book at the bookstore. "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles". It has all this great information on places to go for a leisuresly walk or a strenuous hike all within 60 miles of Dallas- Fort Worth. We picked a great park in Grapevine that has a trail that follows along the lake shore and hiked for close to 2 hours on Saturday. Beautiful day and LOTS of hikers and mountain bikers out enjoying this forested park in the middle of the metroplex. Later on in the evening we met some new friends for dinner.
Then of course we watched the super bowl yesterday. What a game! Some years I have just plain been disinterested, but the Warren story is such an incredible one that I really didn't want to miss it. Loved some of those commercials.
Getting ready for my parents to come and visit later on in the week. I am making a list of things to do...the Grapevine outlet mall, the train that takes you to downtown Fort Worth stockyards and back, a trip downtown Dallas to see the JFK museum and a trip to the top of Reunion Tower for a bird's eye view of Dallas at night. TLhen maybe an evening at "Miedevil Times". I sure hope the weather holds. It is beautiful and warm here and my poor parents need a break from the snow and cold in MN.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Surprises

When they say, "Everything in Texas is bigger", I am starting to see why.
1. The movie theatre that is closest to us is more like a restaurant. You sit at tables and are given a menu to order food and drinks. I didn't realize this when I chose the theatre and therefore had already had my lunch. Next time we'll make sure we choose a comedy and try it out.
2. The kennel which is closest to us has doggie "condos" for boarding. When I dropped off Cookie and Pepper I was asked if I wanted the condo with a view of the play area. I asked if that was more expensive and when they said it was not, I took it. Not sure if C and P fully appreciated it, but I felt no guilt leaving them there. When I returned to pick them up, I was given a full page report card with a close up colored picture of each one.
I will try to document when I discover the next example of "Everything in Texas is bigger" or maybe it is "Everything is bigger in Texas".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Every once in awhile I see how things align themselves and send me such a clear message. Today was one of those days. A great time in the Word , then an extraordinary worship time, and then... the movie "Seven Pounds". Here is what I heard throughout my day today. Live life abundantly. Absolutely the message I needed to hear. I have had a bit of a pity party as my hubby is far away and I am in this new venue finding my way. God is good. He has an extraordinary plan in this time and in this place. What a great Sunday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So, my amazing Christmas gift from my hubby was a baby grand piano. It came with 6 months of free lessons, so here I go. Haven't played in years and can't wait to jump back in. There is no excuse as I certainly have the time to focus back in on it. Let's hope my "aging " hands cooperate.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009

After a month of unpacking, decorating for Christmas, welcoming our children to our new home in Texas, putting them on planes to return to their lives, and starting to put the decorations away, it hit me that it is time to jump into life in Texas with both feet.
One of my resolutions is to find some great volunteering oportunities. Should be a good way to meet new friends and expand my horizons. Another priority is to join a Bible study here. I miss my group back in NC and can't wait to get connected here.
I will keep you updated on how life in Texas is " shaking out".