Friday, January 30, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Absolutely brilliant. One of the best movies I've ever seen. Easily in my top 10, probably in my top 5. I've not seen the other Oscar contenders, but I am declaring this the winner.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Anna's birthday festivities

So last weekend, Anna invited 7 friends over to have a tea party for her birthday. We decorated the dining room table and used some china tea cups that were Anna's great grandmother's. Before tea, the girls each picked out a straw hat and some silk flowers to decorate them with. I hot-glued the flowers on. They also decorated placemats. Claire and her friend, Jenna served three courses to the girls: heart-shaped pb&j sandwiches, fruit, and dessert which included shortbread, sugar and jam-filled cookies, and the cutest little tea cake that served 8 exactly. The girls had a great time!
Tuesday was Anna's actual birthday. Jack was in Atlanta and got back home around 7pm that evening. On top of that, Claire had volleyball practice until 8pm, so poor Anna had to wait all day and evening to open presents and have cake. She was SO patient.

Homemade (ha.....out of the box is homemade to me!) strawberry cake with chocolate frosting, per Anna's request.

Jack arrived home with a bouquet of flowers for Anna.

Happy 8th birthday Anna! more birthdays until June in this house. But it's a big one. Gulp.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Anna!

Eight years ago today, our only Texas baby was born! Five weeks early, she was true to her home state's reputation (everything is bigger in Texas) and weighed in a healthy 6lbs, 8ozs. I can't begin to imagine life without our Anna B! (The B stands for banana, and no, that is not her middle name. Do you think I am crazy? I'm not Gwyneth Paltrow.)

I will post pictures of the cute tea party she had on the weekend and also her birthday celebration this evening. We are squeezing it in between Claire's volleyball practice and Jack arriving home later this evening from Atlanta. Stay tuned......

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I watched the inauguration today. Whether you voted for Obama or not, it was a pretty awesome spectacle, no? I felt like I was witnessing history. And what a great orator. His speech was moving and forceful. I just hope he can lead this country through all of our trevails as well as he can give a speech.

More importantly, what did you all think of Michelle Obama's dress? I'm on the fence. Loved the design and the matching overcoat with the cute tie. Not sure I liked the color though. And the gloves? Ugh. HATED.the.gloves. Green... seriously? I used to have a car that color. We called it monkey-shit green. Not kidding. Who told her those gloves were remotely stylish?

Adorable. Absolutely cute, cute, cute. The Obama girls are the ages of my youngest two daughters. How fun is it going to be to see them grow up in the White House? Loved when Malia pulled the camera out of her coat pocket and took pictures during the swearing in ceremony.....that is so something Claire would do.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I got nothing....

Two and a half weeks into the new year, and my accomplishments have amounted to a whole lot of zip. I have not been very goal focused and I am trying to figure out why. It seems my greatest accomplishment any given day is doing 2-3 loads of laundry, but who wants to read about that on a blog? Seriously, I have got to get my act together and do something.....anything......or I am going to lose my blog readership (all 4 of you.....yes, I am talking to you mom and dad.)

I did finish this book last week and met with my book club to discuss it. Great discussion! It seems most of us either loved it or hated it and that always makes for the best discussions. I was in the "love it" camp. I thought it was epic, haunting and beautifully written. It is not a feel good book, nor is it a quick read, but it's the kind of book you think about for days afterward. Those that did not like it thought it was poorly edited and thought the ending was pointless. I could not have disagreed more. What a great evening though with the two sides arguing their points about the book. That is one of the reasons I love being a part of a book club.

So I picked up another book a few days ago based on my friend, Becky's recommendation. She is an avid reader and we have shared many good titles with each other through many, many years. The book is....

Perhaps you have seen the author's video called Transcending? It has been making the email rounds and though I have received it no less than 4-5 times, each time I view it, I choke back tears.

So, anyways, I am anxious to read this. I'm about 10 pages in and already love her writing style. I'll let you know what I think. And thanks Becky!

Let's see......what else? Right before Christmas I discovered this music website. Anyone else know about Pandora? I shared it with my dad who quickly became a fan and spurred me on to use it more. I have been creating several new stations of my own and really enjoy the features on it like giving a song a thumbs up or down. (If you give it a thumbs down, it will never play that song again.) To create a station, just start with one song or artist you like, and it builds the station around that artist/song using similar artists/songs. You can share your stations with friends, find other listeners with similar stations.....lots of cool stuff. And, it's free!

Okay, I am on my fourth cup of coffee......time to get my day really started. Hopefully my next post will have something more blogworthy to share!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year! New Diet!

Today officially began my goal to eat better and lose weight ( The kids went back to school, Jack went back to work, and I pitched most of the cookies and candy last night.

Here's how the day went:

2 egg whites
1 bowl of instant oatmeal with almonds and cranberries

1/2 chicken breast seasoned with fajita seasoning in a tortilla (not whole wheat, but we already had them) and 1 tbsp salsa

10 almonds

glass of red wine

another glass of red wine

sliced some baguette (whole grain!) while cooking garlic shrimp in pasta.
ate some of the baguette with a little butter (real butter) while waiting for pasta to cook.
poured another glass of red wine.
another baguette slice with butter and shredded Parmesan.

Garlic shrimp with pasta
Salad with ranch dressing (intended on balsamic vinagrette, but whatever)
a couple more slices of baguette with my own personal butter dish for dipping
maybe another glass of red?

Normally I don't do dessert, but Anna wanted Raspberry Sherbet and it looked so good, I decided on a couple scoops. And threw on some chocolate chips for good measure.

I am eating that right now.

And planning my new diet tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Four Movies and a Book

I saw four movies over the Christmas break. Jack and I went with friends to see Four Christmases a few days before Christmas. I liked this movie better than I thought I would. I figured this was the kind of movie that you see all the good parts in the movie trailer, but I was pleasantly surprised. Some parts were hysterically funny. And I just love Vince Vaughn.

The next two movies I saw were with the kids, and one I liked a lot better than the other. We saw Bedtime Stories on Claire's and my birthday. Very cute....a good family movie. Definitely one we will buy when it comes out on dvd/blu-ray.

A couple days ago, I took the girls to see The Tale of Despereaux. I dunno....I didn't really like it. The story was just not that interesting to me. I am not exactly sure what the girls thought of it, because I started making fun of it as soon as we got out of the theater. I think Anna and Claire may have liked it until I started imitating the peasant girl and generally poo pooing the movie. (My bad.) It has a large cast of actors voicing the characters.....Sigourney Weaver, William H. Macy, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Emma Watson. I guess it just didn't work for me. It's beautifully done, but the story was ehh.

Today, on the last day of Christmas vacation for the girls, Claire and I went to see Marley and Me. Meghan had seen it earlier this week with friends, and I promised Claire I would take her. I did like this movie. I thought both Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson were very good in it. However, I did think parts of the movie were not cohesive and at times there was too much marital angst and not enough Marley. Overall though, it was good. And kleenex was a must. This is definitely a tear-jerker. It makes me want to go back and read the book, which I started a couple years ago but never finished. I did not get to see Seven Pounds, which is the movie I really wanted to see. Meghan saw it yesterday and said it was good, but she didn't rave about it. I guess that will go in the Netflix cue when it goes to dvd. Meghan also saw Yes Man and loved that one, as did everyone she saw it with. So, that one will also go in my cue as well.

OK, the movie watching is done for now! It is time for me to get serious about my book club book. Some fool (um....that would be me) decided a 500+ page book would be just the thing to read over the holidays. I have until January 15th, and I am 100 pages in, so there is still time. I picked....drumroll......

Yes, I know, Oprah picked it. (Does that turn anyone off now? To me, it just seems like a lemming-thing to do to read one of her picks.) Anyways, despite that, the story really intrigued me. And our club needed something heavy to read after a light Christmas read in December. So, we shall see how the discussion goes in a couple weeks. So far, it is holding my interest. I am going to power-read this week with the kids back in school and Jack back at work.

So, did any of you see any good movies or read any good books over the break? Do tell. I love recommendations!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Oh Nine!

Happy New Year everyone! We had a busy last few days of 2008. December 30th was Claire's 11th birthday (and my 42nd.) We celebrated together and with a couple of Claire's friends. First, we were off to see Bedtime Stories and then it was a fun birthday dinner at The Melting Pot. We were too full for cake (haha...see Meghan's masterpiece below) and ice cream, so the girls had it for breakfast the next morning.

Our birthday picture together. 2 things: 1)That Wii Fit needs to come out of the box. Now.Or 15 pounds ago. 2) My 11 year old is almost as tall me! She has about an inch to go to reach Meg.

Yesterday was New Year's Eve and we celebrated with friends at their house. We played poker, ate lots of yummy food and shot off some fireworks (Texans love their fireworks.) At midnight we toasted 2009 and called it a night. Fun.

Today, instead of being super organized and goal-focused like the New Year often makes me, I am being lazy and just enjoying the day. I slept until 8:15! (That is unheard of for me, who likes to wake up before the birds do.) Then I made a big breakfast for all of us of bacon, eggs and biscuits. I have been debating over taking down the Christmas decorations today. I think we will light the tree one more time tonight and then take it all down tomorrow. The season just seemed so short this year!

So friends, family and bloggers, I hope the start of your new year has been as content and relaxing as ours. I look forward to posting a lot more in 2009. I have books to share, quilting and bucket projects to show off and another family birthday coming up at the end of this month. Till next time!