Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marathon training at its finest

Running in East Texas is always an adventure. For example, the other day, when I almost ran on top of a slithering snake and screamed loud enough to wake everyone in a neighborhood. Or today, when an armadillo was crossing the road, and I literally said, "Keri, what do I do?" She told me to just keep running, so I did, with my eye on that chubby little armadillo the whole time he waddled across our path.

But nothing beats what happened when Keri dropped me off back at my car, parked at a local elementary school. I noticed that I was one of two cars there, since it was only 6:15. The other car was parked as close to mine as humanly possible, and when we pulled up, a woman of at least 70 poked her head out the window. I whispered to Keri, "Do you think I took her parking spot?" and then giggled.

"Hey, ya'll runners going to park here very often? Because teachers get here and want to park in their spots." Oh my word, I was kidding, but it was for real. I had taken this woman's parking spot.

Keri called out, "Well, this is the latest we'll ever get back. Do the teachers get here this early?"

The woman looked at us sassily. "Well, I'm here..." Right. And then she added, "And tell your friend with the speedo -"

Keri interrupted, "No one running in a speedo is with us."
The woman replied, "Well good. That man got out of his car in his speedo right here in the parking lot where all my little 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders come, proud of himself as can be (insert demonstration of a very manly strut). I wonder if he'd be so proud if I came out and beat the devil out of him?"

I stifled laughter as Keri nodded her head in agreement. "Well, have a nice day, and we'll be sure to park out of the way from here on out!"

No way I'm ever parking there again if I'm going to be accosted by a woman p.o.'ed about her parking spot or a man in a speedo. Ahhhh, East Texas. You always keep the stories coming.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Ahhhh, Milo. He's the world's most wonderful child. He had the best hair when he woke up from his nap the other day, and Ann and I decided to take a picture or two. Well, the flash startled him just a tad...

The bedhead just keeps getting better and better.

Milo was "helping" Ann fold her laundry...

Loved that fitted sheet...

Hmmmm... How cute am I, again?

Friday, August 26, 2011


I'm a spoiled girl, that's for sure. I have to remind myself of that sometimes, especially lately while I have a lot of icky on my mind. But today I got to eat lunch with my Mom, sister Ann, Nate, and Milo at this amazing new tea room in Lufkin. Don't get me wrong - I love MarTeres. In fact, it's probably unhealthy how much I love it, including the almond tea that I never liked until I was pregnant with Milo (and then it became like a heavenly nectar). But every time I go there, I feel like a giant clomping around, stomping on the wooden floors and struggling not to knock everything down.

Milagros fixed that problem for me. The space is more wide open, the ceilings taller, the atmosphere more relaxed (Nate admitted that he gets a little panicky in MarTeres).  I have literally been three times this week, and I'm going to have to take some time off now... It's getting embarrassing - they recognize me because Milo is the cutest baby on the planet, and no one forgets him (okay, so I'm exaggerating a tad...). Plus Nate and I definitely can't afford to single-handedly keep a tea room in business. But seriously, you absolutely need to try Milagros if you haven't been there. I'm going to shamelessly plug it because this is my blog and I can do what I want. They have this grilled cheese panini with smoked gouda, muenster, tomato, and fresh basil that I wake up thinking about. That's just me loving food, though.

And now that I've said my piece, let me show you one of my favorite sights. Nate has this amazing fuzzy robe that Milo absolutely melts into. Any time Nate goes to pick him up for his nap in this robe, he wraps Milo inside, and the two will just sit and cuddle for the longest time. It's like sunshine to my heart.
Both a little sleepy and a lot content.
Hope you have a fantastic weekend. Mine will be full of Sarah's "Daddy's Little Texan" baby shower. Should be fun, and very picture-worthy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A little photo update

I've been meaning to share a few photos from our Dallas trip... And when I say Dallas trip, I mean the most important part of the trip, Milo's visit with his Nannie and Nonnie.
Singing a little Nannie song

I think Milo's trying to taste Nannie, just to see if she's really as sweet as she seems.

Loving some Nonnie cuddles

4 generations, all together. They make a good-looking group, don't they?

Dressy + Casual = Fun

I took a challenge on this blog yesterday and managed to pair a dressy top with casual shorts...

The first two pictures are evidence to the contrary of what seems to be in the third - I am indeed wearing pants.

So yesterday was back-to-school for a ton of people, but not me. I'll admit, I wasn't expecting to feel so sentimental about it, but I, of course, miss my kids. Then again, if I were at school, I'd be missing my own baby. Everything's a trade-off in life, right?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Another happy day!

It's a big month in our family, because today we have another birthday. Happy birthday, Lilia Grace-Ann!!! I can't believe you're 4 already, my little Lily-bug! It seems like just yesterday you were being born, and you had a little crooked nose... Or you were terrorizing everybody who offered to babysit... Or you were playing hide and seek at the hospital with your tiny feet and purple "poo-pops" (flip-flops)...

And now you're four and becoming such a little lady, sharing your food with your favorite auntie Titi and learning about your inside voice. You are a little mini-me for your mommy, and being around you takes me back to when I was just a little girl playing with her.

I love you, Lily-bug!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who adored her big sister.
And her big sister grew up, fell in love, and brought the little girl a new big brother. She couldn't have been more delighted, and she loved the two with every fiber of her being.
And one magical day, these two made the chubbiest, happiest little ray of sunshine the girl had ever known, and they called him Alexander, or "A," as he called himself.

Well, little A, you are turning eleven today, and I can't imagine a smarter, handsomer, more wonderful 11-year old on the planet. You give my little man someone to look up to, and I'm hoping that someday he aspires to be a little mix of you and Conner - brains, spunk, and charm.

I remember when you were just a baby, and you used to put your mouth on my nose, not to bite me, but just to rest. And then I would open my mouth and you would put your nose right in for me.

When your mommy and daddy let me babysit for you, I would put lotion in your hair and give you a mohawk.

You used to stand on the tiled area by the fireplace and make us all sit down on the couches, and before we could even understand what you were saying, you'd preach a rousing sermon to all of us, and then make us stand and lead us in a little song.

I taught you to say, "Rock and roll, baby!" when you were just old enough to make sentences, and you would shout it out with delight, as if you really knew what it meant.

And then you started to get bigger, and became the sweetest big brother to Conner, and then Chloe. Your mom and I would dress you up in your Halloween frog costume year-round, until it just didn't fit anymore, simply because you looked so adorable (and we made Conner the little bumblebee).

You went to school, and started impressing everyone who knew you with how smart and friendly you are. You became quite the legend at Trout Elementary, and then at Brookhollow, too. You won awards, you stole the show as the smartest kid in the Christmas program, you devoured every book you could get your hands on, you even got commended on all three of your TAKS tests! And in the midst of all of that, you stayed humble and caring.

And now you're headed to middle school, and I just can't believe how time has flown. Alex, I couldn't be more proud of you, couldn't love you any more than I already do, couldn't imagine what my life would have been like without my chubby little ray of sunshine turned boy genius.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hello, my blog. I've missed you.
You might ask what I've been doing, and I could give you a simple answer.
Or I could tell you I've been driving and driving, visiting with some of my favorite people, taking a few photos, attending the grand opening of the first H&M in Texas, eating more than I needed, running less that I should have, and learning what a trooper my little man is.

Nate had a business trip in the Dallas area (I'm still not officially sure where we ended up), and Milo and I tagged along for fun. And it was fun. And now we're back and I'm avoiding housework and cooking for one more day, while attending to the laundry (it never ends, people). So, if you'll excuse me, I owe myself a nap. I'll catch you up later, but right now, just wanted you to know I'm alive.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I made friends with the little kids at the end of our street the other night, completely on accident. I was busy walking Milo in the jogging stroller, and a little girl about 4 and a boy who had to be 5 or 6 were zipping around on little scooters. I could hear the little girl calling, "Hey, I like your baby!" to me as I walked. So I turned around, and got a barrage of information from her in the short 5 minutes I stood there. But what I got the most was how much she liked Milo, how cute he was, how nice he seemed... The boy was a bit stand-offish at first, but he joined in after a while.

I finally bid the kids good-night and headed back toward my house, and I could hear them discussing the incident behind me. The little boy said, "Hey, you're not supposed to talk to strangers!" to his little sister. She replied in her most matter-of-fact voice, "That's not a stranger - she has a baby."

Good to know Milo makes me a friend to all, right? Then again, who can resist this face?

Milo has figured out how to scooch himself right into the corner of the crib and sleep with his head in the corner. This is how I've been finding his hair in the morning after he does that...

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Gypsy Queen Part II: One Scarf, Three Looks

So I ended up playing with the scarf some more. I know, don't I have better things to do with my time? Um, yeah. Like go to Orange Leaf, the new self-serve ice cream place here, and if you live in Lufkin, you absolutely must drop everything you're doing and go there immediately. I've never been so happy after I left a restaurant, especially after discovering a wealth of employees who are as excited about ice cream as I. Anyway, by the end of the day, I abandoned the gypsy-ness and ended up with two looks that seemed a little more Kate than the original. Not that it's not fun to branch out and whatnot...

Nate played photographer and got a million better shots than I did when I took my own pictures. So here you go. Gratuitous photo shoot on a Friday night, please and thank you, sir.

My cute keyhole-back shirt. It's baggy, but the back makes up for it.

Like I said, baggy shirt...

Spinning until I almost fell down.

Add caption

Changing looks...
A fire ant had just bitten my toe here. If you can't tell, I was a bit upset.

This is the only shot where you can't tell I'm actually falling down, not spinning gracefully. Listen, I never aspired to a career as a pole dancer, people. And I think that's a good thing.

The Gypsy Queen

Me, in all my gypsy glory.

My hair was really awesome for about 30 minutes today. Good thing I got a shot before it came down...

After all was said and done today, I felt like a gypsy. In fact, I felt specifically like the gypsy from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney version)... Not sure what her name was, but I think it started with a G. Anyone? Anyone?

I wanted to wear my favorite scarf, and yet it's nearly 100 degrees here (again). So I was trying to think of how I could make it work, and I ended up with a little wrap shirt over my other shirt. Still not sure how I feel about it, but I'm putting up the pictures for the sake of honesty.

That's about it. Thank goodness it's Friday?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Mr. Curious

I don't think there's been a day yet that I haven't woken up, looked at my beautiful babyson, and thought to myself, "Could this perfect child actually be mine? Did I really carry him around with me for almost 10 months?" He gets cuter, smarter, sweeter all the time, and is developing this adorably curious personality.

Take, for example, yesterday, when I stripped him down and then had to go get dinner out of the oven. I left him on a blanket in the living room for less than a minute, and by the time I got back, he was all up in the midst of the little diaper bag I keep in there for quick changes. He was so delighted with himself that we ended up playing right there for at least 20 minutes, he as naked as the day he was born. These surprising moments never fail to make me catch my breath because my heart is so full.

Of course I got out my camera and took some pictures of my little man. I can't even share the cutest ones, though, because I absolutely can not post my son's little heinie all over the internet. So here are my tastefully censored ones.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dots on top and stripes, well, on top, too...

Let me just chronicle an amazing accomplishment today... Dressed before lunch two whole days in a row! Oh yes, I'm really stepping it up around here, kids. Today I based my outfit on a line from one of my favorite of Milo's books... "Dots on top and stripes below." "Wait a minute," you might ask yourself. "I see dots up top, but no stripes below." Yeah, that was the problem. I had no public-appropriate stripey bottoms, so I had to go for dots and stripes on top. And now that I look at the photos, I'm not loving stripes across my middle in any form or fashion. Not the most flattering. Lesson learned. Happy Tuesday!

My two big toes are painted slightly different colors. Long story...

Baby Shower

You know what I've been meaning to post? And Pin? And make into a cd for Emily (sorry!)? Pictures from Emily's baby shower! The decorations came out amazingly well, and the tables that my Nate and Gary made from old doors (for my birthday party) made a cameo at the event. Take a look and see...

This will be my dining room table if I have anything to do with it...

Candles and buttons make a simple and fun table decoration

Decorated tables

Watermelon baby stroller FIESTA with fruit cabobs

Oreo cake lovingly crafted by Nicole and Joanna (and anyone else who cared to mess with it)
The hostesses with one of the most beautiful, glowing mom-to-be's I've ever seen.
Emily! Your pictures are coming as soon as I can figure out how to burn a cd on my new computer! I can't wait to meet Lillian - she will undoubtedly be one of the most gorgeous, talented, wonderful babies on the planet, just based on her amazing parents.

Party Hat

Now who wouldn't want this little guy to come to his birthday party?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nate told me this picture made me look like I have no hands...

Ta-da! It's all the magic of the camera, folks.

Half up, half down hair. It apparently makes me feel pretty smug from this photo.
Some day I'll find myself a signature pose.

Delaney gave me the coolest gift for my birthday - it's called a magic wrap (here seen as my skirt). Using a very simple diagram, I should be able to morph this piece of fabric into all kinds of shirts, skirts, dresses, head wraps, possibly backpacks or hammocks... So far all I've mastered is the skirt, but by golly, I love it!

Until recently, I have made a point not to tuck in my shirts. Like, ever. Somehow it made me feel entirely too grown up, pulled together, etc., and at one point in my life, all of these seemed like bad things. Plus I've always considered my middle section as being more little boy than anything else (minus the nursing melons...), and haven't wanted to draw attention to it.

Well, I guess "it's a new season, it's a new day..." (that was for you, Jen). I am tucking like a champ, wearing my magic wrap, and feeling downright ladylike. Happy Monday!


Hi. Remember me? I used to be really good at blogging every day...
And then a busy week and a bout with the stomach flu happened. Need I say more?

I do have a little brag to make. With the assistance of some latex examination gloves and my magic cookbook, I made Nate a meatloaf last night. And he liked it! Never mind about the fact that I had to mush up ground beef with oats, onions, etc. What counts is that my southern cooking-loving husband had a great meal and I gave myself a hearty pat on the back (after losing the gloves and washing my hands no fewer than three times).

So what have you been up to?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mamsie

When I search through the catalog of years in my mind for a specific memory of my mom, I don’t get anything specific. Rather, Mom was always there, in every memory, like a warm, comforting presence that glued everything together. Mom was home-lunch with peanut butter and honey sandwiches. She was casserole and meatloaf, chili and peanut butter crackers, healthy food because she cared so much, and only once was she eggplant parmigiana (she learned her lesson with that one).

Mom was soft hands that went straight to my forehead when I was sick, and Shirley Temple movies and craft projects to make me feel better. She was even calamine lotion when I had the chicken pox, and camp-outs on the living room floor when it was too hot to sleep. Mom was summer trips to the library and brand-new first day of school outfits (complete with new shoes). Christmas was full of Mom, from the home-baked cookies (thumbprints and candy canes to be exact,) to the stockings hung by the chimney with care, to the gifts lovingly wrapped and always there no matter what our finances were like. We were all princes and princesses on our birthdays because mom made sure that our special days were full of our favorite foods and activities.

Mom was a hug and a good cry when I was down, and a loud cackle at anything funny. She was a present after any trip to the doctor, and a kiss before school. She was the smile that inspired me to succeed and the pride that patted me on the back when I did. Mom was the embodiment of love in the face of every obstacle, and this is the kind of person I strive to be – one who is present in not just a few memories, but in every part.

I love you, Mamacita. Happy 60th Birthday, and at least 60 more to come.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Little Men

How rude of me not to share these photos of Milo with his new friend Elijah. We propped those boys up on the couch and demanded they participate in a photo shoot, and they were (somewhat) glad to oblige. And Milo seems to feel like he should hold hands with every youngster he sees. I'm so proud of my friendly little man. Seriously, though, have you ever seen a pair of cuter boys?

Outfit of the Day: Hall of Shame

Well, kids, I did it. It is so ridiculously hot, so horribly humid outside, and I was feeling so blech today that I just gave up and went about my business completely naked.

Okay, that's not entirely true. In fact, not at all. Naked would have been a drastic improvement to what actually happened. I wasn't lying - I did give up. But when I did, I put on possibly the worst outfit I've ever worn in public. Giant t-shirt, denim shorts, hat covering my little hairy puffs... At least I was being socially conscious and providing shoes for some poor little South American child by wearing my Toms. Oh my, I can't even explain. Let me just show you one of the scariest things you've ever seen, and yes, I did wear this outfit to Wal-Mart. If you see me on any of those "look at this hideous person in Wal-Mart" websites, please write them a friendly email and explain to them that it was just one of those days.

Nate said I looked exactly like a little boy here.

So here's my most ridiculous girly pose.

Now that you've been forced to witness that atrocity, will you forgive me if I show you this? Milo got a new hat, which is completely, 100% inappropriate for summer. I can't say no to $1.97, though. I've never been able to.

Milo is also becoming the world's best-eating baby. Here he is, enjoying the delicious farmer's market fresh green beans I made for him as his new food of the week. So far we're up to rice cereal, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, and now green beans.

So my poor friend the Consolidated Communications workman had a dickens of a time trying to fix our internet (as previously mentioned, never working since the day it was connected). He was in and out of my house for at least 3 hours today, and just when he'd given up (and I was simultaneously praying, "Father, what on earth did I do to get my internet privileges revoked?"), he came in to say, "I don't know what I did, but it's fixed." Thus the post chronicling my hideous outfit and my adorable baby. Hope you enjoyed it, and tomorrow I'm hoping to be back to some semblance of normalcy (and appropriate dressing).