Tuesday, March 31, 2009

True beauty lay not in people, but in nature.

Today, for whatever reason, I found myself thinking about Costa Rica. My sister in law and I spent nine days there three years ago, and it was one of the most amazing times of my life. It is such a gorgeous country, and I can't wait to go back!

On that trip, I saw something that the vast majority of of people will never see in their lifetime - an active volcano with active lava flow! Not only is it active, but the Arenal Volcano is one of the most active in the world, with several small eruptions of smoke, ash and lava daily. Although you can not see red lava during the day due to the reflection of the the light, it is there, slowly making its way down the mountain. The volcano often spits out boulders the size of cars (sometimes as big as a house!), which can be heard if one is close enough. Seeing this volcano was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!

Our second day in Costa Rica, we arrived at our hotel in La Fortuna, which sat at the base of the Arenal Volcano. This was the view from our hotel balcony!

A better look from the balcony. See all the ash tumbling down?
We took a guided hike through the Arenal Volcano National Park to get to the volcano. At this point, we were two kilometers away from the volcano. Our guide said that seven kilometers away is the distance that is considered "safe."
A pretty shot as we waited on the sun to go down so we could see...
...it's there at the tip of the cone on the left, but very difficult to see when it's not in full resolution...
...so we switched to night vision, and look at the glow near the cone and at the base- LAVA!!
We saw much more than what is in that particular shot, but it became increasingly hard to catch on camera. Plus, we were in awe of the sight, and we didn't want to watch through a lens!
The volcano cone is surrounded by clouds the majority of the time. This was the view outside our hotel balcony the next day. We were extremely fortunate to see it so clearly the day before.
As we left La Fortuna, we snapped another cloudy shot of the volcano from Lake Arenal.

Of course, these pictures are missing the thunderous sounds of ash and tumbling boulders, but I hope you got the gist of this awesome experience!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fabulous Friday

Why is it Fabulous Friday? Because I get to see my fabulous colorist for some much needed hair fabulousness. Plus, I got my first fabulous blog award! Many thanks to the fabulous Lindsey at The Wynn's World!! Lindsey is fabulous because she is married to a firefighter, has two fur babies, does title work and lives in Texas - just like me!

The Rules:
When given the award you list 7 things that you love, and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you love! Be sure to tag them and let them know that they have won. You can copy the picture of the award and paste it on your sideboard letting the whole world know...you are Kreativ.

1. Being a Texan - I absolutely love everything Texas! I am so blessed to have been born here!

2. ARKs - aka Act of Random Kindess (you'd need to see Evan Almighty to get this one). Nothing feels better than to receive a kind gesture...or even better, GIVE one!

3. My bed - The thought of calling in sick just to stay in bed longer crosses my mind just about every work day.

4. Janis - Janis is my car. I've mentioned before that I nickname all my cars, and my C230K got her nickname from Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz song.

5. Sundays - My husband and I are complete slugs on Sundays. We spend the whole day together, and it's awesome! I hate when he's at the station on a Sunday.

6. The Dallas Cowboys - And football for that matter. August can't get here soon enough!

7. Happy hour with my girlfriends - I love getting together with them to see what they are up to and lend (and sometimes, get) an ear when it is needed!

My Kreativ 7:

1. Amber @ The Reed Family
2. Crystal @ Crystal, Jeremy & Savannah Johnson
3. Amanda @ My Life as a Wife
4. Chrissy @ Tyler & Chrissy
5. Kate @ The Richardsons
6. Krystyn @ Really, Are you Serious?
7. With Love from New Orleans

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I need the Brooke Shields.

I have my father's eyebrows. They are thick, and they grow like weeds. On steroids. And, they are dark - darker than my natural blonde locks, and much darker than the bottle blonde my fabulous colorist gives me! Thanks Dad!

I learned long ago that I can not be trusted to take care of these beasts on my own. I get tweeze happy, and they turn out too thin...and lopsided. Sometimes, I look at old pictures, and I look like a cartoon character with one brow raised. Waxing for me does not mean a quickie at the nail salon, either! No, no - I need a professional!

Every four to five weeks, my sculptor comes from DFW to take care of these caterpillars above my eyes. The last time I saw her was February 6, and now I have been informed that she's pushing her visit back to April 3. That's two months! This is unheard of, people! Six weeks is usually my max, and then I want to do more than nix the strays at my desk in the morning.

I can not possibly wait another week. I need waxing. I need shaping. I need trimming and gelling and powdering. I need the Brooke Shields treatment - STAT!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

Anyone out there tried it? It's only been recently that I even figured out what digital scrapbooking was, but now I am totally intrigued. For those of you who may not know about it, you can buy digital supplies to download and arrange with your digital pictures in a software like Photoshop. You don't have the hassle of dragging everything out and making a mess, and you can print out the layouts on photo paper to put in a book.

A few years ago, I tried to get into traditional scrapbooking. Both mine and Tony's grandparents had 50th anniversaries in the same year, and both families were making scrapbooks as gifts. I like to be creative, and I love pictures, so I thought scrapbooking would be a good fit. $100s of dollars and 10 classes later, I finished...

Nothing. Nada. Not even one page. I agonized over how to lay things out. If I didn't like the way something looked, I started over. I spent hours and hours re-working the same page. I finally got so frustrated that I threw everything in a closet, and it has sat there ever since. So, I guess don't really like being creative when it comes to scrapbooking. Whatev.

But I think I might like this digital thing. It seems more structured with less fuss. I don't see myself flipping out because I stuck something down in the wrong place. And there are so many products out there! Check out this cute Las Vegas kit! I need this for my wedding pages.

And what about this one for a WASP party at the bowling alley?

So, any feedback? Anyone? Bueller?

These are a few of my favorite things...

The Golden Girls - original Sex & the City.

OPI nail polish - They have the best colors, and it stays on the longest!

Glass Kitchen tacos - best in town!

Hot baths - I've always preferred a bath to a shower.

ThePioneerWoman.com - she seriously has it ALL!

My husband's baby blues - his eyes make me melt!

Justin Timberlake - JT is the man. Don't hate!

The Holiday - seen it at least 20 times.

Chapstick - just like American Express. Don't leave home without it!

Beauty shop days - I get to get my hair done on Friday!

Grits - Tony & I like to eat them with butter and sugar.

Fishing - but I don't clean them. Period.

Jillian Michaels - I wish I could get her to kick my butt in gear!

Edited to add: I just noticed that I wrote my last favorite things blog on 2/25. Huh, trend in the works?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am in search of...

  • the perfect flirty dress to wear with cowboy boots.
  • a new blog design. What can I say? I get bored easily!
  • relief from these awful allergies.
  • someone who has not read or seen Twilight. Am I the only one?
  • a venue for my in-laws 30th anniversary party.
  • new collars for the kids. Miss Gidget wants some bling!
  • ideas for Tony's guitar room re-design.
  • a good rain dance. Lake Kemp desperately needs water!
  • cute invitations for the Memorial Day party at Fort Smith.
  • the maid. She just quit doing all the laundry! What the heck??

Wait, what do you mean I don't have a maid? Ok, then I'll add...

  • money for a maid.

Monday, March 23, 2009

If you've not seen David after the dentist,

get prepared for a good laugh! Young David is high on laughing gas after a trip to the dentist, and his dad caught a little bit of the comedic goodness on video! My favorite part is when he screams - so funny!

If you want to keep me away from chocolate...

...flavor it with just about any kind of fruit!

As I sleepily made my way to the coffeemaker this morning, a flash of foil caught my eye. Yay, goodies...and breakfast!! So I peel back the foil to find that someone brought a delicious looking chocolate sheet cake with chocolate frosting. What - you didn't know that chocolate cake constitutes breakfast?? It does in my world!

I slice myself a respectable piece of cake - not too big, but not too small either. I was really good this weekend. I grab a fork and my coffee and settle in at my desk for a long morning of emails and phone calls after being out for 2 1/2 days. I cut into the cake, bite into the yummy, moist goodness, and...

raspberry?!?!? What?!? BLASPHEMY!! I tried to take another bite, but I didn't even want to swallow. I was so disappointed to taste the fruitiness. I decided to scrape the frosting off and just eat that. Blech! The vile raspberry abomination was in the frosting too!! The whole piece ended up in the trash. All that wonderful chocolate...ruined by raspberry! Talk about a crappy way to start a Monday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy birthday babe!

May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, "this drink's on me."

Happy St Patrick's to all! It's a fairly uneventful week for us. Maybe I'll have some pics from T's bday dinner and his present tomorrow!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A night at the movies

I got carded last night to get into an R-rated movie. Seriously?? The guy at the ticket stand asked for both Tony and my IDs when we asked for tickets to Watchmen. We both just looked at each other, dumbfounded. I said to Tony, "is he kidding?" as we pass the licenses to him. The guy fires back, "you both look really young" as he checks the dates out. As he passed my ID back to me, he says, "I thought you would have been 16." I muttered, "Uh...thanks?"

I frequently get told that I look young, but I didn't know what to say to being likened to someone almost ten years younger! Sometimes it gets really frustrating. I get carded all the time, but it's often more than people just doing their job. My license has been questioned as a fake more than once because I look older in my license pic (taken four years ago with short hair) than I do now. Hopefully, looking younger will be a blessing for me several years in the future!

On another note, I really do not understand the parents who take their young children to R rated movies. I'm not talking about the parents who are trying to get a night out with a baby who sleeps through the entire movie but parents who take children that are old enough to be aware of adult situations but too young to fully comprehend them.

We saw a man in the movie with two young boys - probably six and four - and we just knew that the movie was going to be way too adult for them. Watchmen had lots of nudity, an attempted rape, a graphic sex scene that lasts over a minute, a slew of f-bombs and other four-letter words, and pervasive violence/gore. One guy had his arms cut off with a circular saw, and another was whacked in the head multiple times with a butcher's knife! I had to turn away a few times, and even Tony cringed some. After the movie was over, we both turned to each other to say, "I can't believe that guy brought those kids!"

Now, I'm obviously not a parent, so I can't judge that man's decision to bring those kids. I just don't understand it. What makes someone think that a child that young can handle seeing those kind of things or that a child should see those things? I just don't know sometimes, but what I would like to know is how those little boys slept through last night - and the next few...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I got 42 days to go!

Ok, so CCR actually sings "miles" instead of "days," but who cares? It's 42 days until my birthday!! Now I'm usually not the birthday countdown person, but this year is super exciting! Why, you ask? Well a while back, I read a news report that Elton John had announced that his final show at Caeser's in Vegas was to be...April 22nd, which just happens to be my birthday!

I've been wanting to see him for as long as I can remember, and when we were in Vegas for our wedding, we just couldn't work it in even though some of our wedding party went. And, a final show on my birthday just sounded like a sign so I had to call Tony and ask if we could go. I don't ask for much, and he thought it sounded great, so he said YES! :)

As soon as tickets went on sale last month, I snagged them up! I'm still checking travel sites almost daily to find the best flight deals. Flying in for one night is not as cheap as I had hoped, but I just keep my fingers crossed that I'll find a fabulous deal. So, until then, I'll count down the days until I have the best birthday ever! I'm so excited!!

I'll leave you with my fave EJ tune - buh, buh, buh, Bennie and the Jets!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun!

My brother, Bryan, got his learner's permit today. HO-LY COW! It's so hard for me to wrap my head around that. I passed him with my Dad on the road today, and he looked so excited and anxious gripping the wheel at 10 and 2. Then, right after I passed him, I saw a young boy on his bike, and I saw Bryan - six years old without a care in the world. I had to do a double-take!

Where does the time go?? I don't feel like 15 years just passed me by. I can still vividly remember the day he was born - what a great Valentine's Day gift he was! It feels like just yesterday that he got the scar above his eye when he ran into a dresser because my Mom and I were chasing him around it. I miss the sweet way he used to call me "Bubba Jo." I want to go back to the days when we played Tony Hawk on the Playstation for hours, and I dread the day he graduates high school. But time marches on, and as much as I miss that sweet little boy, I am so proud of the young man he has become.

So, here's to you "little" brother! Congrats on yet another milestone!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Coming up for air...

I am drowning! We got back from fishing in Arkansas last week, and I have been so swamped with work, laundry and lake house plans. Not to mention, guess who's back? Roxy! But, that's a story for a different blog.

This was the trip that if it could go wrong, it did! It snowed on our first day to fish which prevented some of Tony's family from coming. The fishing was not so great. There have been much more fish caught in previous years. The keys got locked in the car and the car battery died - separate incidents. The wind chills were in the 20s the whole trip, but the day we left - the temperature got up to 60! I got car sick on the way home...to the point of pulling over and getting sick on the side of the road. There was more, but I think you get the idea...

BUT - we had the best time ever! Daniel and Priscilla share our love of quoting movies... to the point that the four of us were carrying on complete conversations on movie quotes alone. It was hilarious! There was a lot of alcohol consumed - mostly by the boys. One of my favorite parts of the trip was Tony trying to make grilled cheese sandwiches- inebriated. There was a lot of bread and cheese wasted on that one!

Priscilla got her first fish ever! I didn't even know that she had never been fishing before. What a great sport to go on a week long fishing trip! I wish the fishing had been better for her, but she had fun. I think everyone on the Little Red River heard her when she snagged that first fish!

I was very happy to have caught a big one, by no means a monster, though. It measured in at 15", which is good because I wouldn't have been able to keep it had it been 16" or over. That's a really good sized trout, and he gave me a lot of fight. I caught him in the process of trying to catch Walter. Walter was huge! He hung around Uncle John's dock, taunting us the whole trip. We think he was probably pretty close to being 24", which is the size you get to start keeping them again.

John is convinced that I had Walter, but I don't know. I hooked this huge fish, got him out of the water and I bent down to grab the line and get him...and he spit out the hook! I was so crushed. Although he was very big, and I'm sure I couldn't have kept him, I don't think he was Walter. After that, I was very deteremined to get him again, and this is what I caught.

We really had a great time, and we are already planning next year's trip...and Daniel & Priscilla want to come back with us! Here are some other highlights from the trip:

Squirrel hunting is a tradition for the guys. Daniel taking aim at a squirrel.

Priscilla and Tony spot squirrels for Daniel.

The boys playing guitar.

Tony helping Priscilla with the catches of the day.

Daniel and his pickerel!

What an ugly fish!

Tony relaxing after a long day of fishing and drinking beer.
Priscilla & Me (me looking chunky due to four or five layers of clothes!)

Tony's Uncle John and John's father in law, Norman aka Peter Wrinkle

Norman , Aunt Teresa & Uncle John.