Sunday, September 21, 2008

Plano Balloon Festival

Last night, Laura and I decided to go to the Plano Balloon Festival. We wanted to reminisce old days at Baylor, where we used to attend the annual Balloon Glow. We sat in traffic and watched the balloons launch from the highway...haha. It seemed like all of Plano was heading in the same direction. Since we were late, we stopped at the first parking lot we could find. We ended up at the Collin Creek Community Church and we are so glad we stopped! They had volunteers from the congregation that were driving 15-passenger vans, mini-vans, and suburbans as transportation to the festival. So we hopped on a van with a whole bunch of little kids and had the greatest ride! Listening to their excitement as they each "claimed" their own balloon, argued about being old enough to ride the balloons, etc. really made my heart happy.

When we got to the festival, we watched as the remaining balloons were filled. It was such beautiful weather, and it was fun to see all the variety of balloons. When it got dark, Laura and I were really excited to watch the Balloon Glow! Unfortunately, we were severely disappointed by the Plano Balloon Glow. Haha. I hate to say that, but last night's show left nothing to be desired. It made us really miss the Baylor Balloon Glow! Baylor knows how to do it right. They have the balloons land in Floyd Casey Stadium. Then, when it gets dark, the balloons glow in sync with music! It's choreographed and the balloons glow to the beat of the music. And it's pretty much the coolest thing ever! So here's to Baylor for putting on an awesome show! Plano needs to take some pointers...oh well. The lighted balloons were still pretty though:

After the festival, we decided to walk back to our car instead of ride the vans back. It was a nice night and we thought the exercise would be good. Aside from there being no sidewalk, and almost getting run over by cars when the grass path ran out, it was a nice 1.5 mile hike. When we got back to the car, we were able to watch the festival's fireworks to round out the evening. All in all, it was a fun night and we are glad we went. It was great to spend time together and a fun way to spend the last days of summer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good Morning!

I am enjoying the last few moments of my night's sleep. Trying to savor that last ounce of rest before I have to get up and start a new day. I am in a sweet reverie, willing the alarm clock not to go off just yet. When all of a sudden, I get that sense of another presence in the room. I feel something close to me...something very close to my face. I get that sense of someone staring at me...the feeling that my mom told me she used to get on Christmas morning when my brother and I would come in to wake her up. It's kind of a strange feeling...that feeling of someone just staring at you. I feel hot breath on my face, and I catch a whiff of...doggie breath? I am forced to open one eye, only to behold this:

My sweet baby has come to greet me; she wants to make sure she is the first one I see when I wake up. She is not touching me- I don't feel a cold nose. She is not licking my face. She is just as close as she possibly can be to my face without touching me...and she's just staring, waiting for me to open my eyes. And this is how Sasha has chosen to wake me up the last week or so. As soon as I open my eyes, it's all over...the morning greetings begin. She is kind to only offer her paw first, and then the licking of the face commences. Once I am thoroughly awake and out of bed, Sasha feels I owe her many thanks for such a warm and friendly morning greeting, so she rolls over for her morning belly rub. With Sasha so happy in the morning, it's impossible for me not to wake up in a good mood.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mess...or Masterpiece?

Every year, for the past 23 years, my mom has made a special birthday cake for my dad. A made-from-scratch, double-layer German Chocolate Cake. Every year. And for the majority of those years, I have asked my mom to make me this very same cake for my birthday. And every year, she has refused to make it more than once a year. Because it's made from scratch, it is an all-day baking process that she will only commit to once a year. And for some reason, my dad takes precidence over mine. I have pulled out all the arguments...I'm her daughter and she loves me and says she will make whatever cake I want (unless I ask for German Chocolate cake), my birthday is 6 months after my dad's...all to no avail.  So I only get this blessed cake once a year on my dad's birthday.

This year was the first year I did not get to enjoy my most favorite cake. Growing up and moving away from home stinks sometimes. So I have had an intense craving for this glorious cake. And today, I woke up in a baking mood and decided today was going to be the day I baked German Chocolate Cake for myself. From scratch. All by myself. Now, to those of you who know me, you have to be laughing at this point. Me? Bake? Ha. I definitely fair better when I get in that rare baking mood, but let's be honest...I have a lot of work before I come close to resembling Susie Homemaker. I usually end up making more of a mess than anything else. Haha. It's very sad. But at least I am honest with myself. Baking is just not my gift. And for that reason, I decided to document this "first." Details and pictures follow. You can determine whether I ended up with a mess...or a masterpiece.

First, I gathered all the necessary ingredients. Good start. And then I commenced to create this sucker...lots of mixing, pouring, melting, folding, etc. It's like a science project.

And no baking adventure would be complete without the necessary outfit! (Lady bug ruffled apron courtesy of a former's from Spain!) You know you're jealous you can't bake in such style...

Remember when I said I usually end up making more of a mess than anything else? Poor Sasha was my first victim. The coffeemaker, toaster, floor, and blender followed.

"Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form." ?!?!? Eggs are not supposed to form peaks. That's unnatural. And it's a ridiculously long process.

My mess :)  Don't they say that messy cooks/bakers are the best?

My masterpiece!

It turned out to be a fun process. What else was I going to do on a Saturday? Haha. It looks tastes good. And I get to enjoy my most favorite cake. Now I am off to go clean my mess....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's 2:00 Somewhere

I’m sitting at my desk, clacking away at my computer. I am up to my eyeballs in contract negotiations, sales slips, deposit letters, and marketing materials. It has been a busy day. A good day, but a busy one nonetheless. And then comes that time…
Maybe you can relate. There comes a point in every work day when you just seem to hit a wall. You know what I mean? That mid-afternoon wall where the energy from lunch has worn off and you can’t seem to focus any more. You could fall asleep right where you are, and we all know that would just be bad for business. For me in my office, at about the same time every day my boss and I start checking our clocks. Just a peek here and there. And then we start noticing each other check out the clock. And we both have the same thing on our minds. Happy Hour.
You know what I’m talking about. That happy little time of day when Sonic offers half-price drinks. That’s right- that 2 to 4 o’clock window when you can take a break from the lull of the afternoon to go in search for a heavenly pick me-up. And with 168,894 possible drink combinations, how can you resist? Small, Medium Large, Route 44…Lemon-Berry, Limeade, Raspberry Iced Tea, Ocean Water, Dr Pepper…and who can forget all those add-ins? And I don’t even have to say it, but when the drink of your choice is half-price and it comes with the most amazing ice ever invented by man…no wonder it is a happy hour.
So me, my boss, and our lovely intern became addicted to Sonic drinks over the summer. We frequent Sonic Happy Hour a lot. It's almost a daily thing in our office. It's the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me up. And although there are 168,894 drink combinations, our order is always the same: 1 large Dr Pepper (me), 1 large Diet Coke with Vanilla (Boss Bear), and 1 Coke with Cherry (Baby Bear). Half price. Amazing.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Please Pray for My Cousin

Today I went to see my cousin Jessica in the hospital. She has been sick all week and the doctors cannot figure out what is wrong. We do know that she has Osteomyelitis, an infection in the bone. But they don't know where it came from. They are baffled because nothing seemed to precipitate the infection; it's almost as if it just appeared. They have been running all kinds of tests to try to figure out what is going on. When I went to see her today, she seemed in good spirits. She is still in a lot of pain and wants to go home, but she was smiling and joking and even said she was feeling better. She will be having surgery tonight where the doctors will go in to where the infection is to see if they can identify it. Hopefully they will have a better idea of how to treat her. Please pray that the surgery goes well, that her fears will be calmed, and that the doctors will be able to determine what is making her so sick.