Thursday, June 26, 2008


Around mother's day, I decided I would like to create a cookbook with all of my family's recipes. I found a website - - where you upload your pages and print your book. I thought this was a great idea except that I was going to need to create a template to type all my recipes into. While reading Holly's blog the other day, I read about her blurb books and decided to check out that website. I had heard mention of it a time or two before, but for some reason, I think it was actually seeing images of her printed books, I decided to check it out. I am now obsessed! I am a great procrastinator and so instead of studying during my lunch break these last two days, I've been creating blurbs. All of a sudden I have so many projects that I can use a blurb book for - family cookbook, my dad's 50th birthday celebration (over a year ago), my grandparents 50th anniversary, and a scrapbook of my pregnancy. At the rate my list is growing, it will double by the end of next week! I love the blurb software and I love that I can upload pictures, change the layout, and add whatever text I want. If you haven't checked it out yet, I would definitely recommend it. I know I should be studying this next month, and I will, BUT I think on my lunch breaks, I'll work on my blurb projects! Thanks Holly for the idea! If/when I finish a complete book, I'll post pictures of the actual book!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Long Weekend

This past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I attended a seminar to help me prepare for two of my architecture exams. I think my brain has officially been fried! I sat and took notes for 9 1/2 hours on Friday, 11 1/2 hours on Saturday and 10 1/2 hours on Sunday! All of this and the professor still recommends studying another 80 hours before taking the 2 exams! Looks like I'll be pretty busy for the next 5 or 6 weeks! If I don't blog very much over the next month, at least you'll know why! That also explains why this post is so short - I don't have much to say unless you want to learn about structures and how to design for steel, wood and concrete structures!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

99 bottles...

99 bottles of beer on the wall...oh wait, wrong words!

99 days 'til Mackenzie's here.
99 days 'til she's due.
sleep at night, take one a way.
98 days 'til Mackenzie's here!

My pregnancy countdown is below 100! Don't get me wrong, I love being pregnant, but I cannot wait to meet Mackenzie. She's become quite squirmy and kicks quite a bit. The doctor was unable to pick up her heartbeat clearly for me to hear because she was moving around too much and kicked right where the Doppler microphone thing was! This isn't the first time she squirmed when the doctor is looking for something. Her ultrasound at 20 weeks took a little longer than usual because the technician was waiting for her to get in a certain position to see something. I think this could be a sign that little Mackenzie is going to be either very active or very stubborn...possibly both! :) My mom is probably laughing right now knowing that I'll probably have a stubborn girl just like I was (am) and I get a taste of my own medicine! :) I'm not sure how Brandon was as a child, but he'll admit that even now he can still be a bit stubborn just like me! We shall soon see what kind of personality Mackenzie has. As my counter and my song say...only 99 days left til Mackenzie's here!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mackenzie's Book Shelf

For those of you interested, I've added a list on the side of my blog showing all of the books Mackenzie has on her bookshelf. We have received so many books already, not to mention the books I had already bought. I'll keep it updated, so that you book lovers know what books she may or may not have. Let me know if there are any "must have" books that we "need"! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Have and Have Nots

I took this idea from Holly's blog. Below is a list of 200 items that I have or have not done. I've highlighted in bold the items I HAVE done. I've also added a little commentary when I feel it's necessary! :) I think it's neat to see what you have done and what you might want to do in the future. Feel free to copy the list and play along yourself!

My 200 Have and Have Nots!
1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars - I think once when I was in girl scouts.
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins - I'm going to count feeding stingrays in the the Caymans for this one! :)
8. Climbed a mountain - does the hill at Camp Hensel count?
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise - I've stayed up all night and I've watched the sunrise on my WAY TO WORK, but I'm not sure about both together.
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking - isn't that what junior high is all about - looking like a fool!
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving - I've gone snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain - I'm sure Brandon and I have kissed at somepoint in the rain, probably not a downpour, but rain nonetheless.
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school - after a summer off?? :)
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four feet
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band - if highschool marching band counts
119. Shot a bird - if Mario's duck hunt counts! :)
120. Gone to an arboretum - like the Arboretum Mall in Austin????
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need - 9 conch shells in Jamaica!
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place - is Houston historic???
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking - what is this????
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss - I've been in charge of someone at work, but I don't know if they would have considered me their boss.
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint - does cross stich count?
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
84. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Trip to Dallas

This past weekend Brandon and I drove to Dallas to celebrate his birthday with his family. After cake and ice cream everyone surprised the two of us with our first baby shower! We had a lot of fun opening gifts and saying, "ooooh", "aaaah", and "it's so cute!" It was so much fun to get home and unpack all the gifts we had received and look at them again before putting them in their place. Brandon and I laughed at the little outfit that I hung in the closet because it looks so small compared to what our clothes look like in the closet. :) I need to hang up more of the clothes we have gotten, but I don't have any baby hangers yet. :) We (mainly Brandon) also put together our pack 'n play and unpacked the carseat to take a closer look at them. I didn't take a picture of all our gifts we received, but I did take a picture of the diaper bag, because it's our first gift with Mackenzie's name on it! I love it - thanks Bryan and Susan. Thanks also to all of our family and friend who knew/planned the shower. We are so thankful for all of you and your love of us and Mackenzie!

Monday, June 9, 2008

7 years!

7 years ago today Brandon and I were married amidst Tropical Storm Allison here in Houston. Not that I could forget our wedding day, but for my scrapbook, I wrote down the events of the day and all of the special circumstances that friends/family went through to make our day special. Below is the description of the the day that will go down in history - at least the history of the two of us! :)

On Saturday, June 9, 2001, Tropical Storm Allison was causing problems in Houston. After flooding Houston on the Tuesday before, it turned around and was causing even more damage. Brandon awoke Saturday morning to Charlton calling him and telling him through her tears that they were going to have to find a new hotel, because the one planned for was most likely flooded. Charlton received a call shortly after that from the Photographers saying they weren’t sure they would be able to make it to the wedding. Charlton then called Mark and Trent (2 of the ushers) to tell them not to brave the water to come to the wedding. She also called Adam & Mandy (friends from Ft. Worth) to tell them not to come as well.

Charlton went to her hair appointment at 8:30 and began to relax and not let the storm get to her. Her hair stylist had stayed the night at her fiancĂ©’s house knowing her own apartment would have flooded during the night. After their hair was done, Charlton and her mom headed to Charlton’s grandparent’s house for the Bridal Luncheon. Just after doing her make up, the photographer called and said they were on their way to the church and would make it after all. With that stress gone, Charlton enjoyed the luncheon with her Bridesmaids and family. At 11:45, Charlton’s Grandfather took her and her Bridesmaids to the church where Brandon and the groomsmen were already there. The florist arrived just as the pictures were about to begin. She had had to stay at her shop overnight because her house had flooded for the second time in one week.

In the minutes before the wedding started, Mark and Trent arrived and changed into their tuxedos and began ushering people to their seats. Adam & Mandy also ventured through the rain all the way from Ft. Worth, despite Charlton’s warnings. The wedding planner also arrived after using a kayak to get to higher ground in order to drive to the church.

The wedding ceremony went without flaws and Charlton and Brandon were pronounced Husband & Wife shortly after 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The reception also went as planned with the buffet, cake cutting, throwing the bouquet and throwing the garter. Knowing there were many guests that still had to travel back to Ft. Worth, San Antonio and Austin, Brandon and Charlton quickly prepared to leave. Everyone gathered under the awning to wish them well and to avoid the rain that was beginning to fall again.

Since they had to change hotels for the first evening, Brandon and Charlton stayed in the South Shore Harbor Hotel less than 3 miles from the church. On Sunday, all flights out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport were canceled due to Tropical Storm Allison. Brandon & Charlton had to fly out of Hobby in order to catch a flight in Dallas to then go onto Miami. Monday morning Brandon & Charlton flew from Miami to Jamaica and began their Honeymoon.

7 years later, all is well and we are expecting our first child! I look forward to many, many, many, many more years to come! I love you Brandon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Work in Progress

At the beginning of the year, Brandon and I made a list of house projects we wanted to complete this year. Soon after we made this list (about 2 weeks) we found out I was pregnant, so the list was expedited! In the last few months we (meaning "we" hired someone) have painted the exterior of the house and removed wallpaper/painted both our kitchen and masterbath. We also replaced some door hardware and a few miscellaneous items around the house. In addition to those, these last two weeks we've been getting Mackenzie's room ready for her arrival. We bought her dresser last week and her crib yesterday. Thanks to my parents, I have all of her bedding as well! I haven't washed all the bedding, so in the picture below, the crib isn't fully made up, but you can still see the pattern. Our house and her room especially is in a work in progress, but here are some pictures for you to see the efforts thus far.

Kitchen before

Kitchen after - no more viney wallpaper!

bathroom before

bathroom after - no more green/gold wallpaper!

bathroom after - new light fixtures

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