Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Being an Auntie

Being an auntie is one of the best parts of having siblings. I absolutely adore getting to spend fun time with my nephews and niece and just getting to love on them. So, I wanted to post this pic from a couple weeks ago. The whole gang (minus Michelle) went swimming at Auntie Karen and Uncle Steve's. I got a picture with ALL my nephews and my sweet niece for the first time! I love being an aunt to these kids more than anything! Each of these precious children are so wonderful and so special to me. I love them all so much!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bahama Mamas!

We just got back from an incredible vacation to The Bahamas! We left Saturday and came back last night. We went with The Waldrops and stayed at Breezes in Nassau. I went to The Bahamas with my dad in high school, and I had truly forgotten how incredibly beautiful the island is!

We got there Saturday after narrowly making our connecting flight in Atlanta (stinking delays!). We went up to our room and saw our incredible view!
That night we had dinner at The Garden of Eden restaurant with Jake and Stacy and it was yummy! The food was very impressive for an all inclusive!

Sunday we got up and laid out for the majority of the day. Anthony and I got a pretty nice little burn. I had a decent base tan going on, but we all know how very pasty Ant is! He had one of those "I missed a lot of spots" burns. It was hilarious! All of you skin people out there- don't worry- we used 30 the ENTIRE time AND reapplied! We were just pretty white and that sun is strong on the beach! That night we went to the local Fish Fry. It's a spot where all the restaurants cook up their awesome meals on the street. It was fun and we ate at Twin Brothers.
We also went to the Casino that night and NONE of us had any luck. Boo.

Monday was totally overcast and a little drizzly. We decided this would be our day to go to explore. We went downtown on the local bus for $1.25/person! Haha... Once there we walked through the straw market which is amazing. It's the Bahamian version of a flea market- totally geared toward tourists. The people there were super friendly and we met the best salesman of the day- Camille, a 7-8 year old girl who was selling wooden turtles. I fell in love with her!

Camille and The Waldrops

The Straw Market

We went over and looked at The Atlantis which is where I had stayed previously. It was just as huge and pretty as it was before, but it was PACKED! We had fun looking around and of course, went to the casino again. Jake had better luck this time, and Ant had a pretty good run with blackjack. Alas, we left with less than we came with- again.
When we got back from the Atlantis on our ferry ride, we made a stop at Senor Frogs. I also picked up a conch shell (btw- conch is like crawfish for the Bahamians!). I STINK at playing it! Argh! I'm still trying, though!

That night we went to a famous restaurant, Graycliff. It's been around since the 1700's where it started as a pirate's house, then has been passed around all kinds of royalty, Al Capone's mistress, and is now a yummy restaurant and hotel. It's the only 5 star restaurant in The Bahamas and just last month Jay Z and Beyonce ate there! haha But it's incredible and they have over 250,000 bottles of wine!!! They have the oldest bottle of wine IN THE WORLD, from 1727. You can buy it at the restaurant for a small fee of $200,000! The dinner was absolutely amazing from my salad to my raspberry palette cleanser to my steak to my pressed coffee and bananas foster for dessert! DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!

Outside on the steps of Graycliff

In the Wine Cellar- I want to come back someday and eat down here...
10th anniversary babe?!

The oldest bottle of wine in the world (the small half bottle in plastic!)
Millenium edition bottle of Cristal!

Tuesday was a blast as well! We spent the morning at our DOLPHIN ENCOUNTER! Oh my gosh, I LOVED this. As most of you know, I'm a HUGE animal lover! Well, this was incredible for someone like me! We got in the water with the dolphins and watched them do all kinds of tricks. They hugged us, kissed us, danced with us, and let us rub ALL over them! Our dolphin was Goombay and he was GREAT! The trainer made him give me 2 hugs and kiss me like 10 times on the lips- I was so happy! And after part of our kissing, he made Goombay spit water in Anthony's face for being jealous! hahaha Then Goombay would swim and he came back and gave me the second half of those 10 kisses. I loved it!!
Tuesday night we just hung around the hotel- I wasn't feeling super great, so we laid low that night. We ate at the Italian restaurant there, Pastafari, which was decent. Since I wasn't feeling great, I didn't eat much... :( The boys also bought two hand rolled cigars from the night before at Graycliff, so they decided to smoke them that night. Note- Anthony does NOT smoke at all. Needless to say he only got through a couple puffs of this one!

Sadly, Wednesday was our last full day on the beach. We spent as much time out there as we could! It was an absolute perfect day! Hardly any clouds but a strong, wonderful wind that really cooled us off. I really liked my toenail polish and thought it looked GREAT with sand around my toes... (sidenote- my sisters all have really LONG freakish toes and they make fun of mine for being short or NORMAL)...

That night was our last night for dinner in The Bahamas. We went to the same restaurant as the first night as we had kind of come full circle! It was fun and still as yummy as it was the first night!

Afterwards we watched the band play in the main area which was super fun! All the employees put on a show and it was great. Then had they members from the audience come dance with a partner and compete- guess who won?! Jake!! It was hilarious!!!!

The trip was so much fun and I'm so sad it's already over! Guess it's time to start planning our next one... ???

Monday, June 15, 2009

The S-Lake and Big D

What a great weekend!

We spent it in Southlake and Dallas visiting some family and some friends (unfortunately we didn't get to everyone we wanted to see- we'll just have to make another visit!).

We got in Friday night to Southlake to visit with Anthony's parents. On our way in, we had to drop off some stuff with The Waldrops. I just love them! Jake Waldrop is Anthony's best friend from growing up. They were Best Men in each other's weddings, and Jake and his sweet wife Stacy live about 5 streets down from us in Houston. So, we got to see Jake's parents Friday night and I absolutely love visiting with them! After saying hello, we headed to Anthony's parents. It was so great to see them! I know I say this every time, but we really don't get to see them nearly enough! We got to hear some fun stories from their recent trip to San Fransisco for their 30th anniversary. A couple belly rubs for Roxi and we were ready for bed!

Saturday we ran some errands around town. We had lunch at my VERY favorite place in the world- Taco Bueno (thank you Cara for introducing me to it!). I got Mexi Dips and Chips like I do EVERY time and enjoyed them THOROUGHLY! We also met Anthony's friend Robert there. Robert and Anthony went to high school together, Robert played football at UTEP, and he was a groomsman in our wedding. I love Robert! I wish I would have taken a picture of the two boys, though... ahhh next time...

Oh, but one of the best parts about Saturday is that we bought the FURMINATOR! If you have not heard of this WONDERFUL invention, listen up! If you have a dog (even if it's not SUPER hairy like our darling Tex), you need one of these. It's the best de-shedding tool on the market. It's basically like a razor-comb. You brush the hair and it gets out the undercoat. It's amazing. I meant it. Seriously amazing. We brushed Tex and Sunny when we got home, and I wish I had a picture of the trash can with all their hair. It was awesome! This is not Tex in the picture, but this is pretty much the same amount of hair we removed!
After relaxing for the next few hours with The Squillantes, we got ready for the reason we came in town- Lindsie's wedding!!!

Lindsie is the art teacher at my old school, Spring Shadows, and one of my best friends. She is the most incredible artist/fashionista/person ever! I am so sad to not be teaching with her next year, but she's at a new school, too, just down the street!

Anyway, so Lindsie's wedding was in McKinney. It was outside at Stonebridge Country Club. Outside? Yes, and there was the nicest breeze and it was at 7:30 so it was just perfect! Lindsie looked amazing as always. She is definitely not the typical bride, so she chose a beautiful non-wedding wedding dress and wore a simple white headband instead of a veil. She looked beautiful!

Here is the set up of chairs outside on the lawn.

Anthony and me waiting for the bride and groom to come up and have their first dance...

Me with the beautiful bride!

This was one of my favorite parts... Spence didn't realize Lindsie was supposed to feed him the cake... Hey, it looked good and he was hungry! :)

And here they are cutting the cake (yes, this happened before the other picture, but I liked the other one better, soo...)
We headed back to Houston around 10 the next morning to check on our babies (we are babysitting Sunny while my parents are in HAWAII). Unfortunately, heading back early made us miss seeing Cara and Jarod and Andrea and Mike. Boo. But like I said, we'll just have to go up that way again!

PS- Some of my font will change colors (to blue) and some (like this!) will only stay orange. What's up with that?!?!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Have No Life

I'm serious- I LOVE being Summer Courtney because I have no life and I get to do things like this....

FAFARAZZI!!!!! Have you heard of this wonderful phenomenon?! If so, why do I feel like the last one to find out?? If not, woohoo!

So there is this AWESOME program for Celebrity Stalkers like me! You can set up a league with your friends and have a Fantasy Football type of setup with celebrities!! I have just set up a new league "Lovin' Celeb Gossip" and have invited some of my most celeb obsessed girls to join. NOTE- If I have not asked you yet and you want to play, email me! I would LOOOOVE to have more peeps!

We set up our league to have an automatic online draft. This means, we all choose our top 20-30 celebs, and the computer will auto-draft 10 for each of us. The league starts Saturday and I'm so pumped!

Once you pick your celebs, this site searches the internet, magazines, and TV shows for the number of times in one day your celeb is mentioned. You get a point for every name drop. So, if we had started this three weeks ago, Kate Gosselin would be just the PERFECT one to have! Or Britney during her meltdown stages!!

This is pure genius. Who thought of this? How come it wasn't me??

Anyway, if you want to join let me know! The preseason continues until SATURDAY! Woohoo!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Birthdays, Date Night, Sand Castles OH MY!

What a fun weekend!
Of course it started in an EXTRA special way for me- finishing work for 3 months for my summer break! Yippeeee!!! Anthony took me to dinner to celebrate the end of my career at SSE Thursday night at one of my FAVORITE places- Lupe Tortillas! YUM! We sat on the patio and it was wonderful!
Friday was great- but I couldn't sleep in :( I got to spend my day walking Tex to a fun park to play with other puppies, visiting my sweet nephews and niece, and hanging out with some of my NEW coworkers from Rummel Creek. Friday night we went to celebrate our sweet friend Jennifer's birthday at Azuma and Sambuca downtown. I LOVE seeing Anthony's work friends and their wives- I feel like we don't get to do it enough! So Azuma- did I mention that I LOVE that place?! They have a hot rock that I get every time I go! Mmmm...

Anthony and me at Azuma

Brent, Reggie, Ant at Sambuca

Saturday morning my sweet little early bird husband let us sleep in (as did Tex- thank you BOTH!). It was so nice to just lay in bed as our little family with nothing to do! After our typical Saturday things (lawn, laundry, etc...) we met the Hylands at the pool for some swimming and fun in the sun. I LOVE seeing Jill in her cute swimsuits! Precious! Saturday night we met the Robertsons for dinner at a new place which was AMAZING! My pasta was incredible- we will for SURE be back! We love dinner with the Robertsons- it's so fun to see how much Jack grows up each time! However, it always gets Anthony's biological clock ticking and talking about babies- YIKES! After dinner, we continued on to date night with ice cream and a movie.

Sunday we went to early church (very early by the way) and our awesome class was packed to the brim once again! Anthony and Jake took off for the afternoon to do some work and I went to Galveston with my parents and sweet nephew Jake for the annual Sand Castle Contest! This is on the list of 1,000 things to do before you die- I highly recommend it! It's incredible what these architects can do with a bucket of water and sand. Jake requested a dip in the "ocean"- sick. Dear Grand Deb went with him- thank goodness she did because there is not a chance in you know where that I would get in that nastiness. We went to Jake's favorite place- Rainforest Cafe and got a volcano (huge pieces of brownie, ice cream in the middle, whipped cream on top, sparkler acting like a volcano explosion)- DELICIOUS. We headed back and I fell asleep in the car- of course!

Our crew by the "Sandlaggio"

Jakey and me by one of MANY Octomom scupltures

Golden Bucket Winner- aka The Winner!

In memory of fallen soldiers on the 65th anniversary of D Day. Very cool.

Stinkin' cool sandcastle!

One of many "Save the Earth" sculptures

The weekend was incredible and I had awonderful day today resting up from it :) I LOOOOVE being a teacher!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Over...

My time at Spring Shadows Elementary is officially over! I can't believe it! This has been my home for four years. And it's over...

It's hard to remember all the crazy/hard times when you're looking back. That's the beauty that is God- He always helps you remember the good things.

As I reflect back and think of all the funny stories from over the years, I think about the "advice" my students have given me, and the new words, songs, and slang I learned. I remember the twins I taught, Anthony and Anfernee and all of the other fun names over the years. I think about the hilarity of so many of my sweet kids. The dance parties we had in class, the experiments we did, and all of their brains soaking up every word I said. I also remember all the hungry faces I had to send home every day. The dirty clothes that they had to wear and the bruised bodies I saw. I remember them more vividly than most. I thought and prayed for so long and so hard about my decision to leave Spring Shadows. I remember thinking, If I leave, will they think I'm abandoning them just like all the other people in their lives? And while some of the kids might think that, I can only hope I gave them more than that. More than math and reading, I pray I gave them hope.

I will never forget my time at SSE. I will never forget the little angels who touched my life and taught me more than I could ever explain. Thanks for the memories, SSE...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Soft Paws!

So, we are thinking that soon (I am hoping SOONER than later!) we will be getting a little kitty friend for Tex!!!! We have gone back and forth on whether or not we wanted to adopt a second dog, and ultimately we decided on no. We are hoping in a couple years to welcome a new addition (please note I said a couple YEARS) to our family, and thinking about walking TWO dogs and a baby is just frightening! So, the animal lover that I am immediately thought of a cat! My wonderful, darling husband (can you tell I'm still trying to convince him of this?) has pretty much agreed that a sweet baby girl kitty could be wonderful. HOWEVER, we are bot stubborn in our views on declawing a kitty.

Anthony says ABSOLUTELY yes (can you tell he has never had a cat?!) we must declaw them, and I say absolutely NOT! I have done so much research and I just feel that it is soooo inhumane! Most countries (and some states!) don't even allow it- they say it's cruelty to animals! Plus, we have had wonderful kitties our whole lives and just haven't had an issue!

Anyway, so we've gone back and forth until YESTERDAY! I think I found a compromise!!!! Have you heard of Soft Paws?!?!! If so, please let me know what you have heard... if not, look it up... they are ADORABLE!!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sweet Talking and Roid Rage...

So I don't know how many of you are watching The Bachelorette this season. Pathetic as some of you might think it is, I am watching AGAIN- and I just love it!

But let me tell you the two guys I CAN'T stand- Dave and Juan!!!! First of all, Juan reminds me of someone I once dated, and though I can't put my finger on who it is, he drives me NUTS!! That fakey sweet talking stuff- YUCK! I'm all for mushy gushy and sweet talking, but with him, it's so fake that I can't stand it! And then, there is his arch-rival- Dave, who has some serious roid rage issues (reminds me of another one I once dated- I think we ALL know who this is). Anyway, both are horrible and why sweet Jillian kept them and NOT Sasha (Anthony's BFF) is beyond me. Disclaimer- Sasha is not really Ant's BFF. Ant works out with him at the gym in the mornings and he claims he knows Sasha pretty well, for which I make fun of him tremendously! Anyway, I CANNOT stand these two guys- ugh! One of my favorite lines from the whole night last night was when Juan walked up during Dave's one-on-one time and stole Jillian away saying, "Davey, I'm going to interrupt." I thought Dave was going to kill him right then! hahah

Juan- you can just tell how cheesy he is!

Dave- he has that funky roid rage in his eyes

Anyway, I know I'm lame, but these two guys KILL me and I just had to get it off my chest! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

What a Weekend!

I'm still exhausted from our weekend! It was a GREAT one, but a tiring one to say the least!

Friday I got to leave school at 11:30 (yay!) to prepare for our END OF THE YEAR faculty party at my house! My sweet and wonderful friend Lindsie got off early, too, and thank HEAVENS she was there to help get ready. Not only is she a great friend, but she's the most amazing artist! She did incredible things with plastic tablecloths and butcher paper (remember, we work at an elementary school!). One of our other friends Salas got there early, too, and we got straight to work getting ready! It was a really fun time once everyone got there- packed in our little house- but super fun! We had a Mexican Fiesta with all the yummy trimmings, including a PINATA! This was definitely a grown up pinata- gift cards and chocolates on the inside! After everyone left, several stayed around and helped clean up. Donna and Lindsie definitely did the most and I'm BEYOND grateful for them! Our house looked perfect after their scrubbing efforts- thanks ladies!!

Needless to say, I crashed hard that night. Saturday was busy, too, but in a different way. My parents are getting to the end of their home remodeling project. Michelle and I picked out their backsplash Saturday morning while Ant did the lawn. Then he played golf with some buddies that day while I went swimming with the boys. Michelle and I taught Jake and Josh how to chicken fight. They loved it! This was a great idea while I had Josh (he's 5) on my shoulders. But then we switched and I had the almost-8-year-old Jake on my shoulders- my neck is so sore! It was really fun, though! Saturday night we met up for a late dinner with some college friends at El Tiempo- one of my fave places! It was soooo good and the perfect way to go to bed- a full tummy of Mexican food!

Sunday we went to church. We absolutely LOVE our Honeymooners Bible Class at church. Every week when we see them, we are reminded of how blessed we are to be in such a wonderful group of people. God has truly blessed us beyond belief! After church Ant, Tex, and I napped on the couch some- it was a GREAT Sunday afternoon. Then, I met Michelle and Mom at a downtown photographer's studio to take some pics of Michelle for beach volleyball stuff. She needed some headshots and action shots to hand out to potential sponsors. By the way, she's a GORGEOUS girl and incredibly photogenic. I had so much fun piping in during the shoot and pretending I was a judge on America's Next Top Model! So fun!!!! We got some great shots and I can't wait to see the final products! In case you want to look at his work- the photographer is Kerry Beyer and he's incredible. He's a former model, actor, and now director. He's got an incredible eye for photography and will have an ad featured in the upcoming Vogue. kerrybeyerphotography.blogspot.com Check him out!

I will post pictures as I upload them. This is our LAST week of school- my last Monday EVER at Spring Shadows! It's pretty surreal to say the least... So I am busy packing this week and getting ready for our class party and moving my room!