December 18, 2008

Year Old Cake...

is totally disgusting! Seriously, who thought of this tradition of eating your wedding cake on your first anniversary?

This box has taken up almost a whole shelf in our freezer for a year. Which is really obnoxious because our freezer isn't very large to begin with so each square inch of space is very valuable when you eat lots of frozen dinners like we do!

So, we didn't remember that we were supposed to eat it until after we got home from dinner. Silly us.

So, I got the cake out & obviously it was hard as a rock. You can see in the above picture, we were a little afraid of this cake. So Jonathan got a big ole bread knife & cut into the frozen block of cake.

Yum... appetizing huh?

We defrosted the cake for a bit & then gathered up all our courage. We took the teeniest of bites. And unanimously decided that it was terrible.

Which is why the plate above still has cake on it! Along with pictures we documented the experience with my Flip. Check it:

Anniversary Cake from Raychelle G on Vimeo.

December 10, 2008


Yesterday the high was somewhere between 75 & 81 depending on where you were.  Then around 11pm it was down to 34 & snowing!  Well, what we call snow in reality it was probably ice.  Still...LOOK!

December 8, 2008

Happy 1st Anniversary To US!!!

I love you honey! I'm still so excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with you.


If you've got a spare 15 minutes check out our wedding slide show.

Photo & Slide Show by Mark Ridout Photography

December 6, 2008

Etsy Goodness

Etsy.  I just can't get enough of it.  I opened my own shop about a year and half ago.  I tried to sell these beaded buckets that I made with my step mother.

I think it's cute (in a kitschy sort of way) and these have made a fun gifts for family & friends.  Eh, it didn't do so well.  I didn't sell a single one.  And a total of 5 people stopped by the shop. But, I'm not bitter...I'm still hooked on the Etsy goodness.  

In fact, with Etsy's help, I have already purchased 90% of this year's Christmas presents.  We can all use a little help shopping for gifts this time of year.  So, here are some of my favorite Esty shops this season.  Go check them out!

Bedhead is a local artist who makes awesome jewelry!  I can't get enough of these nest necklaces.  Plus, a portion of the shops proceeds are given to non-profit organizations at the end of every fiscal year.  Cute & caring!

Modernbird makes beautiful silver jewelry.  My favorites are her African Animals (like little baby Ellie above) and pretty much all of the Bird collection.  

Gemini Studio Art by Stephen Fowler is a shop with tons of great art to choose from.  My favorite are his typography collages like the one above.  

Boxnmor creates really interesting items out of wood.  I wanted to get this wine bottle holder but I couldn't decide on who to give it to so I bought a few little stocking stuffer things instead.

There were no less than 10 signs I wanted to purchase from Nese's Decor.  I won't mention which one I went with since too many people I know read this, but it's awesome...

Julie Boyles creates fabulous handmade journals.  Looking at the beauties in her shop makes me want to pick up journaling again.

This list is by no mean exhaustive of all my favorite shops, but I couldn't help but share some of my new favorites.

I'm sure you're way more tech savvy than me & you're already on top of the Etsy goodness.  But just in case you're not, if you want even more options Etsy has some AMAZING shopping tools.  My favorites are Gift Guides, Pounce, & Shop Local.  

Go shop handmade!  It's fun!

December 4, 2008

A special day

Two years ago today on a cold rainy night in Paris....

October 16, 2008

Yeah well, that’s just, ya know, like your opinion man

After such an amazing win last week, Jonathan & I decided that we HAD to go to the Missouri game this weekend.  We have a couple friends coming in town and we were somehow able to find someone selling 4 not only are we going to be able to all sit together, the price also included a parking pass, score!

Going to a Texas game is always fun.  Tailgating before the game...almost as much fun!  I'm really looking forward to heading out to the pre-game tailgate.  And the game isn't until 7pm.  So, that's a whole day of congregating with old friends I haven't seen since last year's tailgate, eating queso from a giant crock pot, drinking Miller Lite from a keg, hanging out in the shade of the big ole UT themed bus:

Hehe!  I "borrowed" a friends picture on facebook... as you can tell, I'm an expert at Photoshop!

It's gonna be an all out good time!  Texas Texas Yee Haw!

Will you be tailgating this weekend?

October 13, 2008

We're #1!!

After Texas' big win over OU on Saturday...which OMG, did you see that game? it was the best game EVER!  Texas was seriously worrying me during the first half...and then the first possession of the second half...holy moly I was nervous.  But then...then!  We kicked some major butt!  Shipley with his amazing return...Ogbannaya with his funny name, serious skills.  We just shined!  Texas, Texas Yee Haw!!

So yeah, after the big win...we're ranked #1 in both polls!  Go Texas!  Unfortunately, I was too busy screaming at the TV & high five-ing Jonathan to get really good picks but you can see what our early afternoon consisted of:

A few whiskey & cokes A few delicious mimosas

Seriously we were so happy after the game, we didn't know what to do with ourselves.  I headed over to hang out with some friends & watch some other Big 12 action...Tech vs. Nebraska.  Then Jonathan joined us for some delicious Tex-Mex at our neighborhood Nuevo Leon.  Yuummm... queso...

Since we were so incredibly full from Nuevo Leon, we all decided to burn some calories playing Rock Band 2.  We made an awesome band called Full House.  

Jonathan, aka "Uncle Jesse", was on guitar... he even gave his character a sweet mullet a la late 80s Uncle Jesse.  

My good friend Sal was "Uncle Joey" ... I was "Steph" on the mic & my gal E-Dub was "Deej"!  It was hilarious!  Unfortunately you can only have 4 band members so Danny & Michelle got left out... still, we rocked out.

Not sure I'm as big a fan of Rock Band 2.  I've only done the on tour part & you're limited on what songs you can play.  So far, there are quite a few I'm unfamiliar with.  Jonathan & I have our own band, "Gigga What?", referencing our last name that has a lot of "G"s in it... so hopefully we can keep rockin out & get to play more songs.

It's really the only video game I'll play.  Do you play Rock Band?  Have you tried the new one?  Do you like it more than I do?

Happy Monday!  Hook 'Em!!

October 10, 2008

Hook 'Em Horns!

I'm pretty sure I've failed to share with you my love for Texas Football.  Well, now I'm here to tell you.  I bleed burnt orange.  Work has prevented me from attending a game this year.  Which is extremely unusual.  In college, I always had season tickets.  Sitting in the student section at a UT game is the most fun.  So much energy.  

Unfortunately, now that I'm off the parents payroll, I can't afford season tickets.  But, it's really easy to find someone selling tickets if you just show up to the stadium.  Walking around the tailgates is usually a good idea because there's always that one person who gets a little too tipsy to actually go to the game & they are more than happy to give you their ticket for a dirt cheap price...or usually even for free.

Image by aecela via Flickr

So this weekend is a HUGE game.  The "Red River Rivalry" formally known before PCness took over everything as the "Red River Shootout".  This game between Texas and OU is always held in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl.  The game always happens during the Texas State Fair which is pretty sweet.  You're always greeted by Big Tex & you can get roasted corn & funnel cakes...mmm...funnel cakes.

Unfortunately Jonathan & I won't be going to Dallas this weekend.  But, we'll be rooting on the Horns in our burnt orange gear from the comfort of our fabulous living room!

I ♥ Colt McCoy!  Hook 'Em Horns!!!  Beat the Hell Outta OU!

October 4, 2008

Austin City Limits Recap in Pictures

Jonathan & I had a great time at the music festival last weekend. It's taken a while for me to get around to uploading all the photos and videos we took over the three day event... but here ya go... our ACL weekend in pictures:

ACL Barton Springs Entrance

Vampire Weekend, our first show of the weekend

Ezra Koeing, lead singer of Vampire Weekend, getting his groove on with a little soft shoe action

We spend a lot of time standing in line at the BAR

Hot Chip

Our "It's HOOOOOT" face

Mmmmm...BIG ASS Heineken

Mmmm...BIG ASS Bud Light (how white trash is my drink?!...oh well... when in Rome...)


MGMT "Kids" Kinda shaky but I love how you get a feel for how much the crowd was loving it.

White Denim had a rockin set!

While trying to figure out what settings to use to catch the Austin skyline...I managed to catch a shot of the incredible amount of dust in the air. This was Saturday too...much worse on Sunday!

OK...who else had black boogers?? Don't lie...

September 25, 2008

ACL | A Quick One...

AT&T always has a big presence at ACL.  This year the AT&T blue room will have webcasts available, so you can check out all the festivities online if you can't be there in person.  More info here.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Austin City Limits Festival | Weather, Fashion & Food

As we're less than 48 hours away from the start of ACL 2008, there's more to think about than just what bands I'm going to see.  Today, I started thinking about what I was going to wear.  First thing to consider... It's going to be HOT this weekend.  Last week Austin & most of Texas experienced a wonderful cold front that followed Ike.  We had highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 50s.  It was glorious.  Unfortunately it was not meant to last & this weekend we're expecting highs in the mid 90s & lows in the upper 60s.  

I'm sure it won't be as bad as it was back in 2005 when ACL = Giant Dust Bowl & 100+ degree miserableness. The picture here in the upper right is me & Jonathan at ACL 2005.  We look happy, but the flash is masking the layer of dirt that covered EVERYTHING (clothes, camera, hair, nostrils...yeah GROSS!! I had black snot for 3 days afterwards...sorry, I know TMI)  What made it worse was that it was seriously over 100 degrees outside so everyone was all sweaty & the dirt just stuck to the sweat...yuck!  Check out this picture taken on during Coldplay's set the last night of the last day.  If you'll focus on the upper portion of the photo (ignoring my horrible picture taking skills), you'll see the massive amounts of dust floating around in the air.

Things should be much better this year.  They've improved the irrigation system at the park & the heat isn't supposed to be near as bad...  Still, I'm planning on packing sunscreen & my allowed two bottles of factory sealed water.

Now what to wear.. These girls, are so good at using Polyvore, and I've been looking for a good excuse to create my own collage.  So here we go! If you happen to see me at Zilker park this weekend, I'll look very much like what you see here.  

Besides thinking about what to wear & bring with me, I browsed the awesome selection of food that will be available at the Food Court.  So many of the best restaurants in Austin will be there.  As long as the lines are insanely massive, I'm hoping to check out the Hot & Crunchy Chicken Cone from Hudson's on the Bend, a Grilled Sausage Sandwich from The Best Wurst, and a slice of Pepperoni Pizza from Austin's Pizza.  Yummy greasy goodness!!  Is it bad that I'm just as excited about the food as seeing the bands?!  Even though I can go to these places anytime I want, there's something different about enjoying it at the festival.

Do any of you frequent festivals?  What kind of gear to you bring?  What's your favorite festival food?

September 24, 2008

Austin City Limits Festival Day 3

Now that I've been cataloging all the bands I intend to see at ACL, I'm starting to remember just how exhausting this event can be.  Assuming I make it to Sunday, here's where you can find me:

1:30pm - The Kills
In all honesty, we may not get to the festival grounds this early.  In the past it's been hard for us to get up & going on the last day of ACL.  But, if we do I'd like to check out The Kills.  They are another band that I found by listening to Pandora.  

5:30pm - Okkervil River
There's not really anyone I'm dying to see between The Kills & Okkervil River.  So, either we'll skip the first half of the day or we'll leave for a bit & head over to Chuy's for an afternoon margarita.  On to Okkervil River...I've yet to see this Austin band.  I hear wonderful things & this seems like an excellent opportunity to burst my Okkervil River cherry :)

6:30pm - White Denim
I love White Denim!  Yeah, I've seen them several times before, but I'd at least like to check out the first half of their set.  I may not stay for the whole thing because I'm pretty pumped about the 7:30 band...more about them in a minute.  Check out the awesomeness that is White Denim (the song doesn't really get started until about 40 sec into it):

7:30pm - Band of Horses
This may be the band I'm MOST excited about at ACL!!  There have been many a day at work where I just put both Band of Horses albums on repeat & that's all I listen to....I think it's just great music.  

8:30pm - Foo Fighters
I'm kind of ambivalent about this.  I know I shouldn't be, because like's the Foo Fighters!  I like the Foo Fighters alright & it's pretty cool that we're seeing them before they take a break.  But, I'm kinda "eh" about this.  I have a feeling I'm going to watch a song or two and then we'll head home to recoup before we have to return to the working world.  I will admit this acoustic version of "Everlong" is amazing:

Whew!  ACL 2008.  

Austin City Limits Festival Day 2

ACL's Saturday line-up has lots of different options.  This is definitely the most jam-packed day for me.  Let's get started:

12:30pm - Old 97's
I haven't really listened to these guys much since my senior year of high school/freshman year of college.  I think getting my old groove back will be a good way to start the day.  

1:30pm - José González or The Fratellis
Both of these bands are awesome.  José González is actually Swedish! His music is great, but it might be a little too low key for a festival environment.  So, I have a feeling that Jonathan would rather see The Fratellis who are much more upbeat & more his style of music.  I'll be happy either way.  

3:00pm - MGMT & The Fratellis autograph signing
The custom schedule creator that ACL is using even shows you when bands are doing autograph signings.  I'm curious how this works at big festivals like this, so I kind of want to check it out.

3:30pm - CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy)
This group looks like so much fun!  They are an electro/pop/punk band from Sao Paulo, Brazil...  Check out this live performance of "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex" ...

5:30pm - MGMT
A group I know Jonathan will agree is a must see.  You know when a band gets to tour with Beck you're bound to see a great show...Excited about this one!!

6:30pm - John Fogerty
Not sure if we'll make it to see John Fogerty.  I think we'll be heading to a different stage to get a place for the 8:30 band.  Although I have always been a fan of CCR, so it would be awesome to see him...I can't fully commit to it because this stage (AMD) is all the way across the park from the AT&T stage where the 8:30 band will be playing... And as with all festivals, you've got to get there early if you want to get somewhat close to the stage.

8:30pm - Beck!!
Don't need to say much about this's just going to be awesome!

All these great bands & there's still one whole day to go.  If you're not sick to death of me forcing my music taste down your throat, I'll be posting Sunday's schedule very soon!

September 23, 2008

Austin City Limits Festival Day 1

So excited about the upcoming ACL festival!  Of course I've yet to ask off of work, but eh, a minor detail.  Here's some of the fabulous goodness I'll be enjoying on Friday, the first day of ACL:

2:30pm - Vampire Weekend
I saw Vampire Weekend a while back at Mohawk.  But they played indoors and I loathe the inside stage at Mohawk so I listened from afar & didn't really think much of the whole experience. But, their self titled debut album has been on my playlist since it came out!  With their swingy afro-beats, it was perfect for the summer time.  According to a recent post on Rockouts, VW has a new song on the soundtrack for the new flick "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist".  Check it on Rockouts or just view the classic "Oxford Comma" here:

5:15 pm - Mates of State or 5:30pm - Hot Chip
I'm torn between which of these I should go to.  Due to the wonderfulness that is Pandora &, I have recently become familiar with Mates of State.  I dig 'em.  Of course it's hard to pass up jamming out to Hot Chip live.  I'm guessing I'll end up seeing whoever Jonathan wants to see...which is fine b/c I HATE making decisions when I'm trying to have fun.  I'm going to post the Mates of State video because I kind of like them a smidge better right now:

6:30pm - N.E.R.D.
6:30 was kind of tough.  I saw N.E.R.D. when I saw Kanye earlier this year.  It was a good show, but since I wasn't that familiar with them, I kind of got bored (yeah I know that's bad).  But, I think for a festival they would be really fun, especially as its going to be cooling off about that time as it gets closer to dusk.  The other option I considered was David Byrne who I also have heard via Pandora, but eh, I'm even less familiar with him than N.E.R.D.  Kind of a silly way to make a decision...but there are so many bands to see that you've got to decide somehow, you know?!  Check 'em:

8:15pm - The Mars Volta  or 8:30pm - Manu Chao
Again, another tough decision.  I'm fairly new to both of these.  I think it would be cool to see Manu Chao since he has such an international following, even though I barely know any of his work.  The Mars Volta is likely to be Jonathan's choice.  Of course, after being at the park all day, who knows, we may end up heading home before we see all of either. Check it:

There ya have it!  A lot of after shows are going on so hopefully we'll do some of those as well.  That or we'll collapse from exhaustion & sun burn at the casa & prepare for a fun filled Saturday.

September 7, 2008

Sorry, we only carry sizes 1, 3, and 5. You could try Sears?

Since I got married in December, I've gained a little weight...10 lbs to be specific. I'm by no means obese...let alone overweight. But, I'm much softer than I was a few months ago. I go through periods where this really bothers me (anytime someone mentions swimsuits) and then there are times when I don't even notice (when I'm wearing cute, fashionable, & flattering empire waist tops).

I'm fairly self conscious about my body & in the past few months I've gotten fed up with being embarrassed by my "softness" and so I've started going to the gym several time a week and watching what I eat. It's not helping. Not sure what it is. I don't think I've changed the way I eat between now and this time last year. So, this 10 lbs of yuck is really perplexing.

I'm at a really small trade show today & this customer comes & gives me a hug. I've met him at several shows over the years and he always takes time to chit chat with me and see what's new at the company.... I guess you could say we're trade show friends. So, this trade show friend comes over and the first thing out of his mouth after hugging me is, "Oooh, you're putting on weight!". I am shocked and I'm sure I made a horrendous face when I said, "uh, what?" and he patted his belly and repeated, "you're putting on weight" (with a grin & a wink)

I'm not sure what this guy was thinking when he mentioned that. Maybe he thinks I'm preggers...ah! ack! ugh! Maybe he thinks that's a good thing? Maybe he thought we were good enough friends that he could tease me about my new layer of blubber? I have no idea. Anyway you look at it, I was super uncomfortable.

I just laughed it off, "heh, yeah, got that newlywed weight." And I give a hearty laugh & pat my soft belly.

AAAHHHHH the humiliation!!!!

Did any of you gain a little newlywed weight? Has anyone every humiliated you by commenting on your weight publicly?

If not, can you please make up a story to make me feel better?! Thanks! :)

August 22, 2008

Live Music Capital of the World

Austin is such a great place to see live music.  Although to be honest, I've never lived in another major city, so my basis of comparison is by reputation alone....but,  I love that there are so many small venues around town where you can pop in almost any night and catch a great show. 

Mohawk was our venue of choice last night. Jonathan & I went with one of our friends, Kyle, to see Peel, White Denim & Brazos.  These are three really great local bands.  I was familiar with the first two and completely new to Brazos.

As with last time, Peel was almost done with their set when we arrived.  The two songs we did see where great.  The crowd was really into it last night and there was even an impromptu dance floor in front of the stage which was kinda crazy and oddly enough, seemed appropriate.

A short wait later and White Denim came on stage.  These guys had a packed show playing one song after another with little to no down time in between.  We were trying to decide how to best explain the style of White Denim.  We're reminded of bands like The Doors and Rolling Stones but then again not really.  Check out this Austinist article for a great description. Each one of the band members seems like they are amazing on their own & together they really put on a great energetic show.  

We took some amateur video at the concert last night...check it!

That was pretty much the highlight of the evening.  For some reason we missed the memo that Brazos was playing inside.  By the time we figured it out, the band was half way through and it was uber crowded.  The a/c inside Mohawk was having a hard time keeping up with the crowd.  The boys inched their way to the front near the stage and I stayed back by the bar & hung out under and air vent....I'm such a weenie.  On the plus side, I only got hit on once by a random dude who was smart enough to hit the road once I mentioned my husband in the other room.

All in all, it was a great night out in Austin!

Austin City Limits Music Festival

As I've mentioned on here several times before, Jonathan & I like to go to concerts together... it's our "thing".  Festivals are even better!  We went to the 2005 & 2006 Austin City Limits Festival (ACL) together.  Then last year, I had a work event in Chicago and I couldn't go.  It was torture for me to not be there.  I would talk to him every night and it would be hard to hear each other because some awesome band was about to start. And well, can he call me later?  It was not pleasant and I was determined that I was going to go to this year's event no matter what!

So, as soon as 3 day passes went on sale in early March, Jonathan and I scooped up a pair.  Not two days later and while talking to my boss about a possible tradeshow he tells me that not only will our company be exhibiting at this tradeshow but I HAVE to go... no ifs, ands, or buts.  And the tradeshow... it's the weekend of ACL.  ARG!  Devastation.

Jonathan tells one of his buddies, Scott, that he'll sell my ticket to him at face value.  Nice for our friend...bummer for me.

So...while at the grocery store on Tuesday, my day off, I got a text from one of my coworkers.  

"Dude! Buy your acl ticket...(insert tradeshow name) has been canceled!!!! Omg! Crazy!"

I was shocked...stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the H-E-B Bakery.  I quickly check my blackberry for any emails I may have missed from this particular tradeshow... I find nothing.

I text my coworker back to tell her that it's not nice to toy with my emotions like that and if she's lying to me I will beat her up when I get back to the office.  She confirms that it is in fact true.  The most poorly timed tradeshow EVER is canceled!!


I call Jonathan...still standing in the Bakery section of H-E-B & let him know that Scott is going to have to find his own damn ACL ticket because oh my goodness I get to go!!

I'm super pumped that I get to go! I've even made my schedule.  Check it:  Of course it's all subject to change depending on Jiggity's preferences, but should be some sweet shows.

July 23, 2008

4:11pm on Wednesday

I get an email from Jonathan titled "Mmm, butt" with this picture of Lola & Peyton:

Totally made my afternoon!  Thanks honey!

July 17, 2008

"I love the smell of commerce in the morning!"

I'm not much of a fashionista or trendsetter.  I mean I love clothing, design, even shopping, but I wouldn't say I'm particularly skilled at it.  

I saw Wishcake's post the other day and commented on how I never think to go to Old Navy to check out some affordable clothes.  So, I stopped by the local mall on my lunch break today and cruised on over to Old Navy.  

There is something about that store that inhibits my ability to think outside the box.  In stores that big, I feel more comfortable if the mannequins show me what to wear.  You know, give me some ideas.  I've been shopping in mostly smaller boutiques for the past year or two, with the exception of Anthropologie...I LOVE that store more than any other store I've been to.  Seriously...Anthropologie is AWESOME. So you know at boutiques you can cruise through the store and there are lots of unique items.  You have to be careful when you're looking so that you don't miss some hidden gem.  

At chain stores...even though the store is bigger, there are fewer things to choose from.  There will be one dress, but it's in 5 different colors and two of every size.  I used to work in the evil Abercrombie & I know these chain retailers put the best of the best of what they've got on the mannequins.  

Everything the mannequins had on was not cute or too obviously Old Navy (no offense Old Navy, I'd just rather give the illusion that I spent a lot of money on my clothes).  I probably didn't stay long enough, but when I couldn't find the pants Wishcake was wearing, I bolted.

Since my search for affordable pants at ON was over, I thought I'd go ahead and look around for a dress to wear to a wedding I'm going to to this weekend.  So, next stop was Banana Republic.  Ugh, frustrating.  The a/c wasn't working in the store & they were setting up for a sale, so the staff was moving stuff around while I was browsing making the whole experience unpleasant.

I headed over to White House | Black Market to browse.  Lots of cute stuff.  Not cute enough to spend $200 though.  

I left the mall frustrated.  

Does shopping in the mall frustrate you?  How do you handle the blah-ness & find cute stuff?

On the bright side...Back at the office I had an email from a friend that had a link to join this cute website, called gotidbits.  It's specific to Austin and Houston (Austinites check it!).  Cute website & good info so I signed up.

Look what I found!

This laptop bag is adorable...and it comes in other colors & patterns.  This one is out of stock until mid-August...I may go ahead an splurge for a different one...maybe the green or red one?  Oh and what am I saying, it's not splurge, these adorable bags are only $69.99 on the Kailo Chic website.  There are retailers around the country you may be able to find a shop that carries Kailo Chic near you!  

After my experience today, I think I'm going to stick to my boutiques & Anthropologie.  The mall has left me feeling jaded  But at least I found an über cute new website to follow!

July 15, 2008

Lola vs. The Sprinkler pt. 2

A few of my family members sent me a check for my birthday. So, I decided to use part of my birthday cash to buy The Flip!

Here's my first video, Lola vs. The Sprinkler pt. 2 . Certainly nothing too impressive, but it makes me smile. You can check out the original Lola vs. The Sprinkler here.

Lola vs. The Sprinkler pt 2 from Raychelle G on Vimeo.

July 11, 2008

Sister, Seester!

My little sister, Rylee, is coming to visit this weekend.  Jonathan & I will drive up to Waco this evening to meet my mom.  I'm elated that she's coming to stay with me.  

Rylee is special.  I mean, all my sisters are special, but I feel a unique connection with her.  When I was a teen, my mom & stepdad, Shawn, were foster parents.  They were hoping this would be a great way for them to adopt the little boy they never had.  Almost two weeks after my 16th birthday a new baby girl came to stay with my mom & Shawn.  She was an itty bitty premie, a mere 2 days old.  They named her Rylee.

I was pumped to have a new little one to play with.  But, I had just received my drivers I was a little more excited about driving around with my friends.  Sadly, I don't remember much from Rylee's first years.  Things just didn't work out with her birth family. So mom & Shawn, who had always wanted a boy, ended up being happier than they ever thought they could be to have this precious little girl, be theirs forever.  She was legally my little sister by the time she was two.  

One of the few things I remember from the early days is I felt like I knew her.  I knew where she was coming from.  Maybe it's similar to the rapport I feel with anyone who lives with one or more parents that aren't their birth parents.  Those of you who are adopted or have remarried parents may know what I mean...maybe not.  Anyway, my feelings on adoptive parents & step-parents is not the point.

Rylee's awesome!  That's the point!  She may be sixteen years my junior, but I dig her.  She's got the sweetest heart of any 10 yr old you'll meet. If you're having a bad day, she'll be the first one by your side trying to cheer you up.  

She has ADHD which has led to some challenges in school, but she's a real hard worker and is doing so much better.  The plus side of ADHD is she always has a ton of energy and is super fun to be around.  She's the first one to volunteer to play a game & the last one to want to quit.  

She came to visit me with my mom, sisters, & Mema a few weeks ago, and let me say, she is a total rock star at Guitar Hero III!

Saturday is Rylee's birthday.  She's turning 10!  I can't believe it!  I hope Jonathan & I can make her birthday a good one.  We're planning on making a trip to Schlitterbahn.  I have never been there, but apparently I've been missing out on the best water park in TX.  I'm so excited that she's going to be here.

July 7, 2008

The Lola Monster

Yesterday was a very important day in our home. It was Lola's second birthday. Lola Monster, our precious Boxer was brought into this world on July 6, 2008. Eight weeks later, she came to live in our nice, large third floor apartment. That day when we brought her home we weren't concerned with the late night potty breaks; the hundreds of up & down three flights of stairs we would do in hopes that someday she would stop pooping on our carpet; no, we were just thrilled to have a new member of the family.

Lola's first picture. Sitting in my lap on the way to her new home!

Though she's a little blurry, it's already clear what a darling little addition she would be to our family. How could you not love that face!? She was pretty timid which we attributed to the newness of the whole situation. We would soon find out that is just Lola's way. She's probably the gentlest dog I've ever met.

This is us sharing a little TV time on her first night in the apartment. She was sooo tiny!

Look how tiny she was compared to Peyton! That little purple's a cat collar! A gift from the future in-laws :)

One more picture from the early days before I move on:

Isn't this precious! Jonathan & Lola bonded right from the start

Happy birthday Lola! We're so happy to have you as member of our family!

Jonathan thinks it's a little odd that I can remember Lola's birthday. But, she was my first dog that I had all on my own...well, with Jonathan. She was OUR first pet together...this meant we were stuck! This was before we were though we were living together, there were no technical commitments between us...Lola would be the first. Plus her birthday is just four days after mine...if that isn't meant to be I don't know what is!

I'm off to go hug my Lola Monster :) If you have a furry kid like we do...go give your little monster a hug too!