Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

As always, a few days late, but better late than never. Here are my 2010 and 2011 recaps if you care to check them out.

In 2012 Taylor and I :

Paid off his car early (the VW Jetta). Then, just a couple of weeks later, had a huge issue, where we brought the car in to the dealership to check out a problem with the door lock. They said it would be several hundred dollars to repair the lock, and we said, no thanks. Then later that same afternoon they called claiming that there was gasoline in the diesel engine (um, there’s no way in hell!!) and it would require major repairs (to the tune of at least $8,000 dollars, and you better contact your insurance company to get them involved.) After many talks with insurance and the car dealership and about 6 weeks of the car being in the shop, we paid our insurance deductible, turned in our rental car and traded that sucker in. So we also…

Bought a new car. A 2012 Toyota Camry SE.

Celebrated my 31st birthday, our 3rd anniversary, and Taylor’s 29th birthday.

We also did a lot of mentally preparing and budget planning for buying a house in 2013.  EEK!!

Taylor’s sister had a baby, so this year we became Aunt Andrea and Uncle Taylor! Here’s our sweet nephew from just a few days ago. He’s about 4.5 months old here.

Tristan 014

And I:

I didn’t cook as much as I’d like to throughout the year. This year was the first time I in my 31 years that I didn’t go to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, so I cooked my First Solo Thanksgiving Meal for my in-laws. And for the first time ever, I also didn’t see my parents on Christmas day, so I cooked a ham dinner on Christmas. I didn’t take any pictures.


  • Las Vegas (March)
  • Washington DC/Arlington, VA(April)
  • St. Louis (July)
  • New Orleans (August & October)
  • New York City (September)
  • Dallas (October)


I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas in 2011 and I also joined Goodreads and set a goal of 30 books for the 2012 year. I didn’t make 30, but I did read 24 books, so not too shabby.

I enjoyed everything I finished, some more than others. I started Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, The Art of Fielding, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but didn’t finish. The only one I legitimately quit because I simply could not get into it was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. My favorite books were the John Green books (in order of my personal preference) The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, and An Abundance of Katherines.

Here are all the books I read.

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Mockingjay
  3. Catching Fire
  4. Divergent
  5. Paper Towns
  6. Girl Over the Edge
  7. Wife By Wednesday
  8. Water for Elephants
  9. Looking for Alaska
  10. Thirteen Reasons Why
  11. The Fault in Our Stars
  12. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  13. Juliet, Naked
  14. Fifty Shades of Grey
  15. Fifty Shades Darker
  16. Pretty Little Liars
  17. Flawless
  18. Perfect
  19. Unbelievable
  20. The Book Thief
  21. Gone Girl
  22. Flight
  23. An Abundance of Katherines
  24. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I am too lazy to link those books to another site and/or list their authors, but if you’re interested in knowing more about something and can’t find it, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.


  • True Blood (Season 4)
  • The Tudors (Seasons 3 & 4)
  • Dexter (Season 6)
  • And plenty more miscellaneous episodes of Sister Wives, Family Guy, South Park, The New Girl, and Tosh.0

Listened to/Discovered MusicA few of these albums aren’t new, some are especially played out, but I loved them this year anyway. Saw Two Door Cinema Club at House of Blues in Houston in October.

  • Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
  • Fun – Some Nights
  • Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
  • The Lumineers – The Lumineers
  • Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
  • The Black Keys – El Camino
  • Keane – Strangeland
  • O.A.R. – Rain or Shine

Did nice things – As a sort of informal resolution, I tried to do more  nice things this year. I kept track for myself, but don’t care to post the tally here. In general, I sent cards and care packages to friends and family who needed it, and I also did nice things for people I didn’t know. I really enjoyed it and I hope to continue this year.

How was your 2012?


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For the first time in my 31 years of existence, my parents went out of town for Thanksgiving. So, I cooked the full meal on my own. Thankfully, I’ve helped my mom cook Thanksgiving a lot in the past few years, so I had it pretty well under control, but it still felt weird not to be in the kitchen with my family.

Initially it was just going to be Taylor and me, but Taylor’s parents decided they were going to come over. I was already planning on cooking enough food, so I didn’t have to change my plans at all. And cooking at home meant I finally had a fancy excuse to use my wedding china for the first time in 3.5 years.

I bought a small turkey. It also did not have any wings or legs, which was fine with me, since I don’t eat dark meat anyway.

I cooked macaroni and cheese (the blue box, for T) and mashed potatoes, with plenty of butter and milk.

Frozen yeast rolls that rise up to look like homemade.

Crawfish cornbread.

Stovetop stuffing, broccoli and gravy.

I rounded out the meal with a fresh-baked (frozen) apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream.

It was a delicious meal and I’ve still got plenty of leftovers.

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My mom’s jewelry box

On Christmas Eve, I asked my mom if we could look through her jewelry boxes at some of her jewelry, and she kindly obliged.

So for probably two hours, my mom, sister and I got a kick out of looking at all my mom’s stuff. From the fancy to the ridiculous. It was so fun! Want to see how much fun it was?

My mom had spectacular taste in HUGE costume jewelry back in the early 90s. This is just a small sampling.

Swirly AND clip on! Also comes in a darker purple version.

My sister is much better at posing than I am. Hand painted baby!

Hello rainbow!

Her modeling style is more ambivalent. “What, I didn’t even know you were there taking a picture of me and these awesome earrings.”

Mine on the other hand is more aware/awkward.”Oh hi, let me tilt my head just so. I want you to be able to see the earrings, not my double chin.”

Look, these are so huge they actually have their own shadow.

Mom was such a good sport about it all and even got in on some of the modeling.

After all the fun, and being the good daughter I am, I brought home some of her old silver stuff and polished it up for her. Here’s just a sample. (The pictures are kinda crappy, but you can definitely see a big difference!)

We also went through some of my memaw’s old costume jewelry. When she was alive, people would always ask her if her rings were real. She’s always tell them yes. And of course, they are real rings!

After she died, I brought some things to a jeweler to be sized for my mom, and when I went to pick the things up, the jeweler very quietly brought me aside. “You know this big stone in the middle isn’t real, right?” I laughed a little bit, and said, “Yes, I know. Thank you though.”

Anyway, I’d really recommend getting together with your mom (or grandma or aunts or any other family members) and having her go through her jewelry box. She’ll have plenty of stories to tell about everything, and you’ll probably recognize some of the pieces from when you were growing up. Even Taylor saw how much fun we were having and asked his mom to go through her jewelry box with me sometime.

And in case you are dying to own any of those earrings, let me know. I currently have them (and many more) in my possession. We could strike a deal. 🙂

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This is a really dumb, friendly disagreement in our house, but I thought I’d ask what y’all think.

We have an automatic ice maker in our freezer. It has a little arm that sticks out so if it fills up, it stops making ice. Simple enough.

My argument is that we never use all the ice in there anyway, so I never let it fill up. I will physically pull up the little arm to make it stop when the bucket is about half full. If it gets particularly low, I’ll lower the arm so it will make more ice.

His argument is that it is automatic for a reason. Just let it fill up and let the arm do its job.

I guess I could let it go, and it wouldn’t really matter but, I don’t like to let it fill up is that since we don’t use it all. The ice on the bottom will get all gross, there is greater potential for all the cubes to fuse together into a huge ice block and we’d just have to dump it all out.

So we continue to play this cat and mouse game of putting the arm up and down.

What’s your take?

Do you and your spouse have any friendly disagreements?


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Upstate New York

So back in May I went to New York for a work training. I picked the location because it was so close to where my grandparents live so I extended the trip by a few days, convinced Taylor to take off work. The time at their house brought back memories of summers that I would get to visit them.

They about 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, so we bundled up (it was still in the 30s and 40s in May there) and made the drive.

It was cloudy and raining most of our time at Niagara Falls. Taylor doesn’t have his passport (yet) so we weren’t able to go to the Canadian side.

And it was still so cold in early May that there was ice at the bottom of the falls. We wanted to take a Maid of the Mist ride or walk into the Cave of the Winds but it the Maid wasn’t running yet for the year. Cave of the Winds was open, but it was too cold and rainy for it to be any fun.

After lunch at the Hard Rock, the weather cleared up nicely for us to get a few more good pictures.

On another day, also cold and rainy, we visited the Military Park and I helped man the machine gun. Haha!

Overall it was a nice trip. My grandma is a great cook and so we cooked most nights we were there. We got to visit with my cousin and her family and I even got to do a little shopping during the evening break from my workshop.

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I’m trying to write down more stories of things that happen when Taylor and I are together. We laugh so much, and some of the stuff he says is just hilarious/absurd. He also does some pretty nice things for me.

A little background before I get to the story. When he wakes up, Taylor is up. I, on the other hand, take a while to get going.

Husband: (Rolls over, throws his arm over me, and snuggles up close.) Singing…”you are so beautiful, to me….can’t you see.”

Me: (Smiling and giggling as much as I can muster before getting out of bed for work in the morning.)

Husband: You know what’s weird though. That kid was named Alfalfa, which is a pretty weird name. And he was singing to Darla. Darla is the name of a waitress at the Flying J truck stop restaurant.

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