Monday, March 31, 2008

Not a Retraction

Conrad read my post and he said I should print a retraction. Not gonna do it. He HAS become somewhat fanatical about his teeth. I'm not sure though, why he just won't take a trip to the dentist and let THEM determine if all is well in Conrad land ....

The mudbug festival went fine, mighty fine. Conrad even went so far as to the suck the heads/body just "getting all of the juice" and NOT, he says, to freak me out. It did freak me out though. ICK!
I also tried the gumbo, even though it had shrimp in it. I ate around them- ate the sausage and the big chunks of rice. I wish I remembered how to get that rice to clump up like that. I dated a Cajun once and I learned how to make a pretty good jambaylaya ... and it was clumpy, like it's supposed to be, but darn if I can remember how I did it.

We are down to something like 26-27 days before the wedding. WOO HOO. Conrad made our hotel reservations for the wedding night. We are not going on a honeymoon just yet- it seems like so much to try to do.. plan a wedding, get a dog sitter, pack, get passports, etc... and have all your family and friends in town and not to mention the actual wedding. So we are going to mosey on back to the Galleria (I work in the Galleria area) and stay at the Hotel Derek for our wedding night. Google it, it's NICE! It's very similar to the W Hotel in Dallas- same sort of premise ... the place to be "seen". Anyway, they had a nice wedding night package with the strawberries and all that... AND free parking. Well when Conrad heard that, he pulled out his credit card and said SIGN US UP! :)

As for the honeymoon- Spain and Morrocco in October!!!

The DJ called today for his conference call ... all the RSVP's are flowing in- whether people can make it or not- which I LOVE- because I just need to know, are ya coming or not? I should be able to work on the wedding programs this week either here at lunchtime or at home at night, and get those out o' the way ... and then really we are just on to stuff like getting the marriag license and calling the venue to give them the final RSVP amount. It's really really happening!!!

...... and of course, the Houston bridal shower is this Satuday and I'm very excited about that. So much so, I am not even going garage saling that day! I had a MAJOR haul this weekend though. WOW, I bought some good stuff and spent a grand total of 6 bucks. I am THAT good!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Mental Dental


So I guess earlier this summer when I had all that dental work done, I must have scared Conrad. He has never gone to the dentist, since that time- but he has become PSYCHO when it comes to his teeth. He will deny it. He will read this post and force me to print a retraction, but just know that when I do, I am being FORCED.

I noticed a few weeks ago, Conrad was being very diligent in the cleansing of his teeth. He would go into the bathroom, in the evenings and brush and floss for several minutes, which I have never seen him do. He even breaks out the mouthwash. I knew we had trouble when last Thursday he started texting me, with hardly contained excitement : " Kohl's is having a sale this weekend on Oral B mechanical toothbrushes !!!!!!!!!!!!! "

Hmmm.... so we went to the Early Bird sale at Kohl's, cause we are just THAT cool ... and he picked one up and some extra heads. I really have been teasing him, but last night he went to far! He came out of the bathroom last night, holding my long hidden and long forgotten bottle of Periomed the dentist was making me use. He wanted to know wasn't I supposed to be using this every day?! Ok, so since August I haven't really... and so it's almost all the way full....


I said "It tastes awful!"

He said "Well, I am going to put this where you can see it."

When I went to bed last night, the stupid thing was propped up on my pillow. He is an evil, evil, wicked genius.

This morning, I swished with the dadgum Periomed.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Grand Parents

I've been thinking about my grandparents a lot lately ....

I happen to have 6 of them, Conrad has the normal 4.

These days though, we are each down to 1. I've been thinking about it, I guess, because of the wedding coming up. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought they wouldn't be here and I'm not quite sure what to do with those feelings. Part of me says that's just life and we accept it and move on and the other part says if there's ANY way they can be there, they absolutely will be. I don't know what God allows for this sort of thing, and I do believe in SOME paranormal and supernatural things- I just don't know if they are from God or from the Other One. I just know that if He does grant them acccess, none of them would surely miss it for the world.

Conrad and I are going to be sectioning off some time during the wedding to honor ALL of our grandparents, because we do have some remaning, but we're doing a special "In Memory Of"... I plan on unveiling this at the rehearsal dinner, to give the Mom's time to cry it all out... but I'm sure they'll cry it all out AGAIN at the actual wedding. :)

Tonight I have a dinner with our sales team. It starts at 6:30, so I have to hang around the Galleria in Houston for awhile after work. Not a problem- SHOPPING! Saturday is the big crawfish boil. Really, the entire IDEA of a crawfish BOIL is just awful. Nothing against all you delightful Cajuns out there, but um- crawfish are not shrimp. They are not fish ... they are bugs. If you have to dig them out of the GROUND to throw them in the pot, then that does not constitute "seafood" in my mind. They are bugs... that's why people in Texas call them MUDBUGS. DISGUSTING. Conrad eats them until the sauce drips down his chin and please do not even get me STARTED on those "seafood" lovers who suck the heads. VOMIT VOMIT

So I get to go on Saturday and watch people who I work with on a daily basis suck the heads off bugs and go into some sort of "bug-induced" coma after they have each eaten 50 pounds of the suckers ... and really, eating them is a lot of WORK. I know when I belly up to the table to eat my hamburger, I'm not really looking to skin, grind and prepare the cow meat ... it's not part of my dining experience. It takes them HOURS to eat a few pounds of bugs. You don't see me out in the front yard on Sunday's rounding up butterflys, beetles and praying mantis' to complete my Sunday feast. I don't have any idea how this got started. All I can say is I know most Cajuns descended from the French and I'm HUGE on being proud of your heritage ... but if your heritage is known for eating snails, well ....

I just don't understand it ....


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Press On!

Ok, yeah ... I will not be having the dry cleaners press the centerpiece fabric. They cost $50.00 for all three dozen of them and the dry cleaners wants to charge $98.00 to press them. Um, NO. I spoke to Conrad and he said we could each start ironing ... a little at a time. Sounds good to me. I'm not paying over double what they're worth. WOW.

But the dress looks great!

We had our first pre-wedding altercation. If you know us, you know that Conrad and I don't fight- we don't even bicker. Until yesterday. Out of respect for Conrad and our relationship, I will not divulge what the fight was about, but let's just say I'm TIRED and I'm STRESSED. I work 8 hours a day and commute almost 3 hours a day between the back and forth to work. Conrad works the same amount and on most days does 2-3 hours commute as well. We both work hard .... and then to throw the wedding on top of it ... well, for the most part, I have done most of the day to day detail work, etc... which is not to say Conrad isn't helping, isn't concerned and doesn't OFFER - but what I mean is, I keep the to do list and because I am a first child, a Type A personallity, a control freak and former event planner- I sort of taken the job upon myself. I pretty much laid out what I wanted, I have taken over most of it and I divy out jobs as people ask, or as I see fit. The entire thing is really my fault, because I just refuse to delegate. It's easier and I know it's done and done the way I want it to be, if I do it myself.

So yesterday I called Conrad about a small detail and I caught him at a bad time- when he was right in the middle of something and he kind of snapped at me... and it hurt my feelings and upset me and I carried it around with me the rest of the day. If you think about it, we have gotten through six months of relative calm, no hurt feelings, no fights, very little drama. I was just SO upset yesterday after that happened ... but now I can look back and say well- it was the first time, how lucky are WE?!

........ and also, every weekend from here on out is booked. We have the work crawfish boil this weekend, the Houston wedding shower the next weekend, the dry run on my hair and makeup the next weekend and I think sometime the next weekend- all the parents and grandparents are coming. Any free, wedding-less weekend is pretty much gone from now until the big day. So it's a little stressful and I guess we are both intitled to be a little snappish here and there.

One month from today, folks.
Am I nervous? Yep
Stressed? Yep
Excited? Yep
Happy? Yep

......... and I'm sure the entire thing will be a big blur when it's all over. Thank goodness for photography!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Panic! at the Disco

As predicted, I went home yesterday and crashed out. I made a gourmet meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, played with my dog and finished my tags for wedding favors and then went right on to sleep. I slept so hard I never woke up in the middle of the night, which I normally do. I woke up right when the alarm went off. Slept GOOD!

So, yes, mild panic has set in. I have 32 days to find fabulous gifts for the wedding party and parents and I'm not having any ideas. Normally I am so good at this, but for some reason, this one is stumping me. I have my Dad figured out and probably my Man of Honor... Conrad is in charge of HIS dad and HIS Best Man... the mom's I guess are up to me ... and I am almost finished with the hosts of the rehearsal dinner. I made my invitation list for THAT last night. 33 people. THIRTY THREE. Where on the earth will they all sit, WHAT will they eat, etc, etc ... so much to think about.

But SERIOUSLY - what do you give the man who is selling out like $7000 for your wedding? Certainly not cuff links, a tie, a tie organizer, a flask, a cigar cutter. Nothing feels quite right. How do you repay him for the most special day of your life? I am really struggling with this one.

Going to pick up my dress from the cleaners tonight and dropping off the fabric for the centerpieces (to be pressed) at the same time.

I seriously, really and totally need a day off, from life. I need a day to just go to a spa and eat quiche and sit in a robe and drink cucumber flavored water and - and sit around with the other women and talk about horse racing (that seriously happened to me one time). I just need.... something.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Back to the Grind

I didn't hardly sleep a WINK last night. About once a month or every six weeks, on a Sunday, night, I will have a bout with insomnia. I did some wedding stuff late last night and I should have known better, Of COURSE my brain was consumed with wedding stuff last night- all the stuff I need to do, haven't done, money I need to put into it, things I need to tell people, RSVP's to enter into the spreadsheet, picking up my dress from the cleaners (the stains CAME OUT!!!!) and so on. I should have known my mind would wander all night.... and it did. I need a strict rule to put ALL wedding stuff away by 9 or so at night and read a good book or something.

Ok, so the dress I bought was from Craigslist. It was a $1000 Alfred Angelo and I picked it up for $100. It laces up the back, so fitting was very very easy. I just had to have it taken in a bit, shortened and have the bustle put in because it has a big ol' train which I didn't care for. I'm not a train kinda girl. I'm actually not a wedding dress kinda girl. Anyway, so it looked like the girl who wore it before me got into a fight with a catsup bottle.... or maybe a small child with catsup on his hands, grabbed her and hugged her. It was in various spots on the dress- front and back. So ... I took it to the cleaners this week and it's not ready yet (not been steamed) but they did let me see it on Friday and it was CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN- nary a stain to be found. WHAT A LOAD OFF! I was a bit worried about it- since the dress was used almost a year ago, the stains could have set. But now not a problem. All is well.

We enjoyed our Easter, Blanca enjoyed her birthday and I promise to download her Huggie Buggie pics soon. I'm just so tired from not sleeping ... and work is tough this morning- lots o' emails. I guess that's the price for being closed on Friday- all of our customers weren't... so they were still sending out requests ...

33 days ....


Sunday, March 23, 2008

All About Blanca

Happy Easter to you all! It's actually a beautiful Spring day here in Houston and we've got the windows all open.

Today's post is all about Blanca. Today my precious angel turns 4 years old! We are having big time birthday stuff going on today. This morning I made french toast for me and her daddy- and then afterwards I presented her with a new toy- it's a ladybug rope toy we call Huggie Buggie. She loves it. I took pics and will post them soon of her with her new toy. She appears to really like it!

Then for lunch today, I am going to saute her some garlic shrimp. She loves shrimp, but her mama doesn't like paying for it! I bought a bag of frozen cocktail shrimp to add to Conrad's pasta and stuff, so I'm going to thaw and cook her about ten of them- for her birthday lunch. What a lucky girl!

In tomorrow's post I will tell you more about a business opportunity I may go ahead and move forward with today. It involves, of course, garage saling and thrifting and crafts ... Conrad and I are heading to a craft mall later today to check out some things. I am feeling pretty inspired and pretty hopeful. Putting together all these gifts, on a budget, for the people helping out with the wedding as really helped me get a better idea of what I can and want to do ... more tomorrow!

.......... and some pics of the baby and her birthday!


Friday, March 21, 2008

GOOD Friday

Conrad and I are off today - the both of us. We're both slow moving to get going this morning, but that's ok- it's a free day. We're about to go and find something for lunch and bum around town, but I thought first I would do the obligatory Good Friday/holiday post.

I took a long bath this morning and was thinking that this is an ordinary day, but I think that those of us who have the same viewpoint, should totally think about today for what it is. I will first of all say I am a Christian and I do believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died for us. But I respect all religions and viewpoints- my own family is filled with many many different beliefs. We're a mixed bunch for sure. I heard on the radio a few weeks ago that most people have the beliefs they do, because they were born into them. Few people stray from what they were brought up believing, or from what their parents believed and practiced. I guess that makes sense and makes me respect people who have gone out on their own personal convictions that much more... I am also not one of those Christians who is also a missionary or believes that all of us should have missionary tendancies. I am happy to talk about my beliefs to anyone who asks but I never cram things down other people's throat. I believe that turns away people more than attracts.

But for me, this is a day of reflection and in the past two years, I've had more blessings than I think one person deserves and I do believe they come from my Heavenly Father, who loves me.

Today, for those of us Christian believers, was the day that Jesus was crucified for us on the cross... and I pretty much saw it firsthand when I saw Passion of the Christ several years ago. Clearly, not Jesus's best day- or the most fun day of His life - but for those of us left behind, the most important day of all. That movie was extremely hard for me to watch, excruciating even and I've never seen it again. I guess maybe because of WHAT I believe, I believe some of that pain was because of me ... and it's hard to stomache. But all the same, I'm appreciative and I don't think about it enough or live my life in such a great way enough .... to really honor what this day means ... the symbolicness of it. Sunday is a miracle day- the Risen Day, but today is the Sacrafice and Love Day... I hope that no matter what your beliefs or relgion, you can think on that today - and sacrifice and love other people today. Especially the ones you take for granted the most- your friends and your family. Too often we treat those people the worst, because we know no matter what we do, they are "required" to love us and we spend too much of our goodness and our thoughts - by being good to people we don't know so they won't think "badly" of us. Pretty sad.

So I hope you'll go out and have a GOOD Friday and send nice thoughts, prayers, emails, letters and phone calls to all the people you love.

Peace, Love and God


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ghost Town

WOW, is it a ghost town here at work today. It's very quiet and I would say only 1/3 of the people are here today. Those of us who ARE here are hoping, hoping they let us out early, but since they normally announce it the day before, I doubt they are. I think it's going to be one boring day ....

We did have a lady quit on Monday and she had a ton of filing to do, I offered to step in and help clean up her area. I guess I could do that today ... and one of my salespeople put in their notice yesterday. I sort of feel like my work life is falling all down around my ears. If you know me, you know I'm not the best at change. It scares me and anything uncertain- unsettles me .... so these two people leaving in two days has sort of turned me on my ear.

The good news is, this week has been pretty slow, so I've gotten out at lunch and gotten many errands done. I also have been getting home earlier because there's not as much traffic, so I can run another errand, usually, before I get home. So I am getting things done left and right .... and as much as this is such a happy and fun time, I will be sort of glad when it's over. It's sort of like Christmas- you love it and you love being in the seasonal mood, shopping is fun at first and getting to see your family - but that's over after a month. This wedding planning thing, by the end of it, will have been going on for seven months. It's a little long to be thinking about details and budgeting and worrying and wondering. I think I will be sort of half happy when it's behind us and we can start thinking of our actual life.

I am just beyond grateful there have really been no fights, no emotional displays, no hurt feelings, nothing like that. It has really, by the blessings of God, been very minimal in the area of drama... and cost too. In the meantime, we have been working on the house. We're making it the way we want it and then also thinking ahead and resale. I would say in the next three years or so, hampering any recession side effects, we'll be building the house we want and the house we want to stay in ... but in the meantime, making the house we have really nice and comfortable and you'd be so surprised the small changes you can make that can add lots of money to the sale price. Lucky for us, I watch a lot of HGTV and have a creative flair and Conrad owns and knows how to operate all of his tools. He's actually very handy ... he does a good job and I'm hoping at the next house, we can give him his own workshop out back. I need one as well- for all my crafts and yard sale junk I drag home. :)

37 days!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

STOP the Madness

........ I don't understand March Madness. Ok no, I KNOW what it is, I just don't understand what all the fuss is about. I know the people at Pro Pac (my former workplace in Dallas) are a little fanatic about it both with their clients doing MM events and with all the brackets going on .... and I thought with my move to Houston, I had escaped the Madness .... until I finished a book last night, walked through the kitchen and saw Conrad filling out a Bracket Page. OH NO! I hope this doesn't mean two weeks of basketball like Bowl Game time means three weeks of football. I usually search through the memory pages of my mind and come up with Syracuse and Duke - it seems over my 32 years on this planet, I hear their names a lot in connection with basketball. So I vote for them!

Gracious sakes alive! The wedding is a mere 38 days away and my Houston bridal shower is less than three weeks away. I have GOT to get myself together and find some gifts for the people helping me out. My boss is hosting and cooking, a girl I work with here did the favors and invites, then the VP's wife is decorating, two co-workers are supplying the liquor (Yes, I have a bad feeling about this one), one coworker is supplying the less powerful drinks (i.e. water, Coke), one coworker that bought plates, etc... and one coworker is bringing the cake. So *sigh* I have several gifts to pick up in varying states ... I mean, you HAVE to get the boss who is cooking/hosting and the coworker who spent ALL that money on favors and invites something a little more high-faluting than the others. Not that anyone has contributed LESS, but these other two just went way above and beyond .... so of course, I am stuck with ideas. So many running around in my head. I am hoping this long weekend perhaps presents some opportunities to get this cleared up. It's more stressful than Christmas!

Conrad and I are still muching on that fab cheesecake I made this weekend!
Here's what I did:

1 can of apple pie filling - 3/4 of can in the bottom of a graham cracker pie crust and 1/4 of it in a pot on the stove. Add about 1/4 caramel ice cream topping to the apple in the pot and let that simmer on low while you put the rest of the cheesecake together.

Then in a bowl do: two cream cheese blocks, at room temp, 1/2 cup of sugar, two eggs and about 1/2 tspn of vanilla. Cream that all together and pour over the apples in the pie shell. Bake for about 35 minutes on 350.

Add the stuff in the pot, on the top, sprinkle with chopped pecans or nothing, if you so choose. Refrigerate for a few hours so it sets up. HEAVEN! Don't be like us- in such a rush to eat it, you don't let it set up and have runny, yet delicious!, cheesecake all in your plates. Now that's sat for a few days it's WONDERFUL. My first cheesecake ever! I am too good to that boy. :)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Short Week

This is a short week- we're off on Friday for Good Friday. I'm trying to make the most of it by jamming lunch and after work with all my errands. I don't want to HAVE to do anything this weekend, although I did tell Conrad I would make a ham for Easter dinner. I'm also tossing around dying eggs, but that's just for me. :)

I dropped the wedding dress off at the cleaners last night and called the guy this morning. It will be ready on FRIDAY instead of the original three weeks he told me it would take AND he quoted $120 but this morning told me closer to $50. SCORE!

I found out my friend at work has a sister who has an artist and many easels at her disposal. I needed an easel to put up the sign that people are going to sign when they get to the wedding- it's our "guest book" that we'll now be able to frame. SO if the sister will let me spray paint the easel, then we have a free easel folks. :)

I don't know where I got it from, because I'm a HUGE believer in heredity. I'm pretty convinced I am who I am because of people who came before me. My cousin Matt and I both have the compulsion to dig through and purchase other people's junk- and that came from our grand dad... who pretty much made his living, after retirement, fixing up other people's trash. I love it, Matt loves it- we have PROBLEMS! I also like to go off and be by myself a lot- I can lock myself in a room or house for days on end with no other person, no TV, nothing but a book and I get that from my dad ... I can read books endlessly - I can just get through one after another after another. There is NOTHING, to me, like the feeling of getting ready to open a new book- I get that from my mom. So where do I get this urge to make list after list? I don't know - but I do. I have them for everything- books to read, movies to watch, things to do, wedding list, Cd's to buy, things to do this weekend, things to do long term, things to do to the house. It's never ending. So let me tell YOU that getting wedding dress altered, wedding dress cleaned and easel all checked off my list- it's almost like eating a carmel covered cheesecake,. HEAVEN for me! I also like to check things off in a color like RED so I can see that this is OFF the list. I know, problems, right?

Back to the to do list this week- I have to take Blanca to the vet- I got her an appointment on Friday. She has this bump/lump thing on her hind leg. It looks like a pimple that just got clogged up and schnuazers are known for skin problems. She DOES get what they call Schnauzer Bumps which are just these crusty pimple things and they says LOTS of her breed get these... but this is different. This is like a dime sized thing and it's not a tumor I don't believe, because I can grab it and it's really just on her skin, NOT growing out of her body. But you know me- KRAZY- I want to make sure my baby is ok and it's been on my mind. I made a committment to her to be her moma and take care of her, so off to the vet we go!

Conrad just found out he's off on Friday too, so I don't really know what that means in terms of us going out and doing something- but there's probably plenty to do and even though it's a holiday weekend, I'm hoping for some garage sales on Saturday. I need some baskets for a wedding project for the mom's.

Wedding. Wedding. Wedding.
It never stops. We really SHOULD have gone to Mexico or Vegas


Monday, March 17, 2008

Retraction and Weekend

First of all, Happy Monday and Happy St Patty's Day to you all!

Second of all, you can go into my Comments section on the last post. My good buddy, Jeremy corrected me on my Derek Zoolander quoting... Jeremy, if you know him, is the Movie King and MIGHT, I mean just MIGHT know more quotes from films than any human I have ever known. Despite that, I still love him.

Alrighty then- well this weekend was FABULOUS! We had such a great time. Last summer, in the sweltering heat, when we would take naps and wake up drenched in sweat and ten pounds lighter, we decided it was time to buy solar screens for the house. They are great.... they conserve energy, make the house darker and really keep it nice and cool- and oh, did I mention MAKE THE HOUSE DARKER?! Oh man... I told Conrad the other day, I think they're making me depressed! For awhile, I was leaving for work in the dark, driving home in the dark and then on the weekends, sitting at home in the dark. It was REALLY getting to me ... so this weekend I was out and about!

On Saturday morning I got up and hit my first garage sales of the year. Major score! I got a new Paris picture for the house and all kinds of really neat finds... I found a giant serving bowl that was very Eastery and springy ... and some brand new photo frames for $.50 each and those will come in handy when we start framing wedding pictures for the parents .... and then that afternoon, I had my hair done. If you all know me from my younger days, you know I have very dark hair- but over the years I've highlighted the heck out of it and it's really now very blonde. So slowly this gal has been helping me get back to my "roots" so to speak. It looks great... it's more brown now than blonde and I'm very happy with it. Then I came home and we grilled hamburgers.

Sunday we got up and headed to Old Towne Spring which is a great little shopping area. We got some lunch and then headed to this antique mall were I scored a Southern Living Cookbook from 1968 for $3! That was quite a find- I bet the desserts in there are fabluous and speaking of that, I also made a Carmel Apple Cheesecake from scratch, for Conrad.

We also found the time to replace the knobs on the cabinets in all the bathrooms and laundry room AND hang a ceiling fan in the new guest room. It was a completely fabulous weekend... I enjoyed every minute of it and am looking forward to the long weekend in four days!

I haven't felt so relaxed and refreshed in forever.

And big thanks to all of you who have sent in your RSVP's ... keep 'em coming... I think we're down to something like 40 days out. It's really getting to be a lot of fun now!


Friday, March 14, 2008


Zoolander was on TV last night and I have no idea why, but we watched it. There ARE some funny lines...

" The Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Don't Read Good"
"Hey, they're break dance fighting!"
"Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?"

Funny stuff.

Anyway, there was a commercial for a new Owen Wilson movie called "Drillbit Taylor" and for some reason it struck me as funny. So I decided to name Conrad and tried to come up with some names that sort of fit what he likes, etc... and here are some I came up with ... and on some, he was less than pleased...

Sawblade Hopkins - First of all he has developed some kind of saw fascination. He got one for Christmas a year or so back and now, he continues to add on. He even has hand held versions ... Every time something has to be done at the house, he goes and gets a new saw, or a new sawblade. "Conrad, let's hang your diploma." ....... "Ok, let me go get the miter saw". No, I'm kidding. But really it's kinda like that.

Mouth-Piece Hopkins - He appeared particulary bewildered by this one. But um. HELLO ... he used to play the trumpet, his dad is a band director and HIS DAD still plays the trumpet. I think it's good. I liked it.... but he pointed out to ME he hasn't played in 15 years... still, I say your heritage is your heritage.

Hair Trigger Hopkins - This one doesn't really fit because Conrad doesn't really have a temper. He's always calm, always even keel ... BUT he does love guns and so you know "trigger" = "guns" ...he thought that one was stupid.

So finally, I came up with and he decided it was ok- to call him Shrapnel Hopkins. so Shrapnel it is .... he said perhaps it would be more fitting for me- since I'm always going "all to pieces" and then get this- the pieces stick straight into his heart. VOMIT VOMIT What a corn ball ... :)

Then we decided I needed a name and after much debate - and with the inspiration "Glitter"- we decided on Sparkles.

So for now, I am Sparkles Abercrombie and very soon, in 43 days actually- I shall be refered to as Sparkles Hopkins.

Ah- we have the most INTERESTING evenings, eh? Are you jealous?


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Processional Songs

Three to choose from...

Trumpet Voluntary
Canon D- violin



I'm at home sick today- it might be my first sick day in about three years. I'm not dying, but I sure don't feel well... I had a really bad headache yesterday - woke up with it- so I went on in and as the day progressed, I started to feel really sick to my stomache. When lunch rolled around and I tried to eat something- MISTAKE! By 3PM or so, I was pretty much laying on my desk.

I came home and went straight to bed and here I have been ever since. I always dreamed of day after day in bed but um- yeah, not that much fun. I'm bored, I'm hungry and I still feel pretty rotten. When I'm down and still, I am ok- but when I get up and move around I start to feel bad again and the headache is BACK. Ugh!

So I am here at home, checking my work email and trying to take care as much as I can from here.. I don't like to inconvenience my coworkers.

The plus side is now I can see what Ms Blanca does all day and that is NOTHING. She got up this morning and went outside when her daddy asked her if she had to ti-ti. I guess the answer was yes. Then she came in and laid with me and was snoozing within minutes. As the sun came up, that must have bothered her delicate eyes, so she burrowed underneath the covers and stayed there. I did get up about 30 minutes ago and got into the bathtub and she took that opportunity to go have some breakfast... and now, she's back in bed. She has all the pillows piled around her like a fort and she's sound asleep. I wish I had her life.

Back to the bath- I KNOW I must not be feeling well. My bath is one of my life's great pleasures. I have favorite products and candles and I always take my books in there. I didn't even crack my book open this morning. I just laid there, cleaned up and got out. I must be on my deathbed! :)

Big thanks to my sweet Conrad for going to get me tummy medicine and supper last night.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Higher and Higher

My sweet Conrad took me to Gringo's for dinner last night. It's this chain in Houston- they own the Mexican Gringo's and the Cajun Gringeaux's restaurants- clever, eh? They have this wonderful thing there called Citrus Tea, makes my heart sing! It's really probably just tea and lemonade but they give you a cherry in it and that makes all the difference in the world.

Conrad took me out because I got a raise yesterday. My company is really, really neat because they REQUIRE a yearly review, always in February and in March, the raises come in. It's a very neat process and unlike some other places I've been, you don't always wonder if you're ever going to get a review again. Anyway, I was VERY pleased and I know I'm doing a good job and am valued here and it makes it worth getting up and coming in - in the morning.... and it's always nice to know where you stand, what you are doing right, what you should improve on, etc... So Conrad took me out to celebrate.

Whilst at dinner, we talked about just things, money, etc... and he had been to his tax man earlier in the day. WOW, did you know in this country you are pretty much punished for being married? Our joint incomes are going to push us into another tax bracket, so he has to go meet with his guy again in June to see where he is (he is a commissioned salesperson) and see whether we need to file married joint or married separate.... because apparently this will effect his deductions, etc... UNBELIEVABLE. The tax man was advising him about both of us maxing out our 401K's and getting all the pre-taxable income help we could, which I understand and which, of course, we will do. The thing is, I don't think you should have to be punished for being married and I'm not really fond of having to pay more taxes just because we make more money... I think it should be a straight _____ % that everyone pays. Ridiculous....

This weekend I will be out and about looking for wedding programs. They are SO expensive to have made... so I'm doing it myself. They'll at least be what I want then... I just can't decide if we're going to do pictures or not... and if we do, are they good pics- like professional. Are they good pics- but ones we've taken out on vacation or something - or are they silly, stupid pics? I don't know... still thinking on it.

I think he would want this one:

and I am more apt to go with something a little nicer, a little prettier... like one of the ones we took in Hawaii....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well I am much more calm this Tuesday morning... mostly because I can see my brother has logged onto his Myspace page and clearly, was not kidnapped or mugged at the bus station. I know I mother him and I know I worry about EVERYTHING- but leaving him at a bus station in that area didn't sit well with me. I think I'm REALLY going to push him over the edge by asking him to put a piece of paper in his wallet with my name and number and "in case of emergency" because I truly don't know how anyone would know if something happened to him. Am I morbid thinker or what?!

... I also want to add that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Daylight Savings Time! It was so nice yesterday to drive home in the sunlight. When it's dark before you hit the doorstep, you sort of feel like you should put on your PJ's and go to bed... but when it's light outside, you feel like you should put on your running shoes and take a stroll around the neighborhood. It's only March, so I don't yet feel like I'm on safari in Africa, although by May, I'll be wishing I lived in parts North of here- but right now, it's the perfect time of year, perfect temp, perfect everything... I really do believe there's something to that seasonal depression the doc's all talk about. I don't have it, but I can see how some people would be effected by it. Strange to me how the best time of year for most people- Christmas and the holidays can be sort of a downer too because of the darkness and weather... but right now, I'm pretty much lovin' everything.

Tomorrow I pick up my wedding dress and take it straight to the cleaners.... we really only need to purchase presents at this point- you know, for the mom's and dad's and the two people in our "wedding party" if you wanna call it that... it's causing me some concern because I want to get the right things, I'm just not sure yet what that is... any ideas are welcomed and appreciated!

We have three dads, three moms, a grandma, a best man, a man of honor and two rehearsal dinner hosts (women). Any ideas?


Sunday, March 9, 2008


This weekend was sort of disappointing. I just didn't have a good one.

First of all, I needed to get to Austin to see my brother and drop off some boxes to him... and I had plans on calling my Aunt in Round Rock and my uncle in Austin and maybe having a family dinner... but we were so rushed. Mickey (my brother) had so many errands he needed, since he doesn't drive, and that was TOTALLY ok. I'm happy to provide him whatever I can and so we went to the bank, we went clothes shopping, ate lunch etc... but we were on a strict time schedule (bank closes at 1, etc...) and then he made plans to meet up with a friend downtown at 3PM. So he kept asking what time it was and we were running all over the place trying to make sure he had time to meet this guy... we came in at 11AM and had no plans to stay past 5 or so... and yet, we were on the road by 3:30 and I was a mass of tears...

I know Conrad was getting irritated and he NEVER gets irritated. I don't know enough about Austin anymore to know where to eat, etc... and I had like a great little burger or pizza place downtown- near University of Texas- in mind, to eat and hang out ... and we just drove and drove and we were in SUCH a hurry. I basically got flustered and pulled over the first place I saw- a Thai place and I HATE Thai food. HATE IT. I thought though I could grab some fried rice or something and be ok. No, it was not ok. It was beyond gross. I didn't even eat and Conrad was annoyed and my brother was rushed and frenzied and then, to top it all off... my brother tells me he is meeting this guy at Congress and 11th- the State Capitol at a BUS STOP... and he made me leave him there. So I rush through the day, can't call any of my other relatives nearby and I am forced to leave my brother at a bus stop to meet up with some guy I don't know. Well, you know me- I cried all the way back to Houston. I was so upset... I don't understand my bro's bohemian lifestyle. It seems to empty and so dark and sad... and it makes me so worried and scared and uncomfortable. To drive away and leave him on that bench, I can still hardly think about it. I had plans to also enjoy the drive back and stop at these cute little boutiques and places on the way home and I was so upset, I didn't.. I wanted to stop at some neat little steakhouse away from home and enjoy dinner, but Conrad was still full and I was so hungry ... it would have never been enjoyable... so I just drove on home.

I am just disappointed in this entire weekend and so so so sad about my brother and the state of this side of my family. I can pretty much put it out of mind a lot of times and sort of move on with things, but once in awhile it hits me what all is going on with him and other people in the family and it's almost like I can't stop crying...

I hope Monday is better. I know Saturday will be, because the all consuming passion of my life- junk-shopping, garage saling, bargain hunting will begin again for me. My first garage saling of the year!


Friday, March 7, 2008


Rebecca, from This Reading is Manic, (see links to the side) commented on yesterday's post that Conrad is being superman this week. TOTALLY. I could not agree more.

Really he's been superman this entire relationship. It cracks me up because we did know OF each other in high school and I don't know why we never talked- we just didn't move in the same circles. I never knew much, if anything about his family and while I could definitely point to him and say "That is Conrad" in high school, I never knew much about him either.

Fast forward 13 years and we up again in at a party. Which is SO weird because he went to Texas A&M with a TON of our friends and I went to College Station quite often to see them- and never saw him. Just so many odd things...

Anyway, so we meet at this party and do the long distance from Dallas to Houston thing for awhile... I meet his family and I have to honestly say I could NOT have gotten luckier and it's so funny to me that he was pretty much under my nose this entire time. My sister and his sister even went to our high school at the same time. It's just crazy...

But he has always, always been superman. I am a very emotional person. I don't know why and I have gotten it under control. It used to be much much worse. I was one of those little kids who was scared of everything... and it probably had a lot to do with my mom and dad being so far away from each other and me going back and forth every summer.. it made me sad all the time and that probably carried over into my adult life. I tend to look at things in the worst way possible FIRST before calming down and being more rational later. Now, this is not an every day or even every week thing- it's just how I react to certain situations and things like that... and I have to say, it's probably been a huge turn off to a lot of people I've dated, not that they were all that wonderful all the time either... but when you're in your 20's- the men (boys, really) you are hanging around don't like to sit there while you fall to pieces about something or another. Thankfully, I have a wonderful family who knows me and can sort of pet me and soothe me and roll their eyes at each other over my head and move on... so to find someone who can take all that in and still love me anyone is a pretty amazing thing.

He always seems to know what to do to soothe me and honestly, he HAS rubbed off on me... and I'm not quite as psycho (ha ha) as I used to be. I really am much more calm. My parents, my friends, everyone has commented on that... and then back to his family- also amazing people. His dad and my dad have the exact same sense of humor... they all get along with each other and I think they love me too... so I really did luck out.

So yes, Conrad is TOTALLY superman.


Thursday, March 6, 2008


Wedding Crisis # 1 AVERTED!

Conrad went to the post office and two different clerks weighed the invitation. One got 1 ounce and one got 1.1 ounce .... our fear was that other postage places may periodically weigh the invites as they are making their way to you, and some would be sent back .... so he went ahead and bought $.17 stamps (they DO make a $.17 stamp) and labeled them all and sent them out.

My friend at work, Sherry, is working on the Houston bridal shower. The theme is kitchen ... and I think it will be pretty cute... I'm so lucky- two showers! I guess when you get old and no one thinks you'll EVER get married- when you do, everyone is so shocked and dad-gummed happy they just celebrate to the hilt! :)

Nothing much more to report today. Conrad worked late and I stayed near the Galleria and had dinner with a friend from work- Tosha. We both came home and crashed. There's something about eating a lot, and eating a lot late that just sends me to bed!

I am going to head over to Bath and Bodyworks this afternoon because they have the cutest bag with purchase over there... and I MUST have one! I told Conrad I didn't have a cute overnight bag and I really really NEEDED one. You know what he said? "Then register for one". WHAT?! No... the answer should have been "What color? I'll be right back... I'm going to go get you that bag ... " I'm kidding... but I am going today to get that bag. I can make that bag look gooooooooooooood.

......... and EDITED TO ADD: I just went and got my bag. I love it. I am going to be so stinkin' cute... well, cuter than I already am. Big shout outs to Sunny, who emailed me about it in the first place. Always looking out!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Break Down

I had my first wedding-related break down yesterday on the way home from work. First of all, the past two days have been INSANE at work. INSANE. I don't know if I've ever been this busy or multi-tasked quite that hard. Not a big deal, but it takes a lot of you.

When we first got our invitations a few months ago, I gave Conrad the invitation in an inner envelope, then the outer envelope and then the RSVP card. He had the entire package. He took it up to the Post Office and they said $.41

Awesome. So he bought the postage and this week, we finished them up... I mailed them yesterday at our neighborhood post office and went to the doctor and then to work. The postman called Conrad (on his cell phone- how weird) yesterday afternoon and told him the postage was not enough, he was bringing them back to the house. Well after twelve hours, I have a little more clarity, but at first I was SO upset... first of all, thank GOODNESS I went to the neighborhood post office, because they were able to just send them back home with our mailman and second of all, because it's a small town post office, they didn't stamp all that RETURN TO SENDER stuff all over my envelopes. It's like my worst nightmare come true. I literally have NO extra envelopes and so if they mark them up and send them back, I am going to have to reorder and there's no time- we're seven weeks out.

Well, of course, at first, when I walked back into the house and saw the invites on the table I burst into tears. I do NOT want $.17 more cents all over my envelopes... it will look so ugly if I have 3 more stamps on there. Conrad said he will just get $.41 stamps and put them on there, that way it won't look quite so bad- with one more stamp vs. however many I would need to get to $.17- I don't like spending the extra money, but what am I going to do- and what is the POINT of taking them to be weighed the first time if they are going to make a mistake ... which is what the man obviously did at the first post office Conrad went too. This is clearly why people send E-cards and use UPS and Fed Ex at Christmas..... I can not stand the post office.

I know, I know- if this is my biggest problem, then I have no problems. I don't want to get into it here, but I did have a biopsy yesterday and I am going to have to have some procedure that scares me to death- so really, this is NOT my largest problem, but the two combined have stressed me to the max... and the procedure will most likely be right around the wedding it takes about 4-6 weeks to heal. Lovely!

Big shout-outs to Conrad though that came home (from 65 miles away) to handle the situation and who always seems to keep me under control when I'm not dealing well with things. This is one of the reasons I love him. I am by no means difficult to get along with, but I am emotional and every once in awhile, I get overwhelmed and it all comes out. So he sat with me and petted me while I cried and then he never brings it up again, when 20 minutes later, life gets back to normal. Some days I wish I could have a little more testosterone and not so much estrogen. Yesterday was like that... but I am very lucky that Conrad looks at all of me and not just the crazy part of me that shows itself sometimes...

My friend, Tosha, said that clearly Conrad must like the crazy part too... because it has manifested itself in many ways. If you are new to the blog, then please direct your attention to a November post entitled "The Crazies" where I completely lost my mind over a Hot Ham n' Cheese sandwich from Hardees ... and there are too many more to list...

All I can say is, Conrad is a good man.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I am so super proud of me. Yesterday after leaving the tailor, my friend Tosha and I headed over to this Greek American deli that we've passed a hundred times. I had the special of the day- mousaka.

If you know me, you know I'm not an adventurous eater. Meat-wise, if it's not a chicken, pig or cow, I'm not touching it. I also don't like those "exotic" parts of the chicken, pig or cow- such as tripe or pigs feet or any such nonsense. As much as I adore you all, I don't want to eat the duck you shot, the wild pig you tracked down and I want NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to do with a deer you maliciously stalked through the woods. I cringe when I think of the old time southern fare- squirrel, snake, turtle... I watched my dad, in Philadelphia, suck the meat off some rabbit bones one time and I almost ran for the hills, maybe Mount Vernon (it was closer).... GROSS!

So I was particularly proud of myself that I went out on a limb and had the mousaka yesterday. I normally avoid Greek places because I'm convinced they try to force you to eat lamb, usually secretly. They had this hanging advertisment talking about their ALMOST pure beef gyros, with "just a touch of seasoned lamb". A touch, a pinch, a bit- ALL too much lamb, if you ask me! NO THANK YOU.

But the mousaka is actually ground beef, eggplant, potatoes with this eggy/cheesy sort of topping. It was VERY good. Very rich, but great and that Greek pita bread was top notch! I would go back there any time but I will be watching very carefully for any lamb contamination.

Don't try to slip it past me! I can smell wild game from a mile away...


Monday, March 3, 2008

Takin' It In

Just back from the tailor!

It is absolutely beautiful - I had to have it taken in and shortened and the bustle put in. All for the magical price of $100! I said SIGN ME UP!

Anyway, I got to see it finally, looking as it should and it's great... from the front I look very slim, the back looks good too. Not sure about the side, but I think it's really the style of the dress and what the bustle seems to do to your frame... you look sort like you have "junk in the trunk" you know what I mean?

Anyway, VERY pleased and at the bargain price of $100, I could not pass up the dress. For those of you just joining... I got the dress on Craigslist for $100- and it was originally $1000 on the designers website. Now $100 alteration and $119 cleaning and we're on our way. QUITE the steal!


Tea Time

There is a restaurant in Waxahachie, Texas that my friend Sunny and I just love. It's called The Dove's Nest- it's a restaurant and a little shop. Super cute!

They have this orange spice iced tea that is to DIE for. Any of you ladies that like the spa or maybe spa food would LOVE this tea. We have lusted after it for years...

Well Sunny just found out it's widely available- it's a Bigelow Tea and the flavor is Constant Comment and it is WONDERFUL! I happened to be at HEB last night and picked it up. I literally can not wait to get home tonight and make some. I've always drank it cold, but I imagine it would be just as delightful hot. They said the only change is that they add a little bit of orange juice to it there at the restaurant. I'll try that too ... but right now, just so happy that my home can now feel like the spa!

At lunch today Tosha and I will go to the tailor with my wedding dress and see about getting it cut down a bit. I'm happy to say it's too big!!!! ... and that will be one more thing OFF the list!


... and OH MY GOODNESS! I just found out the Dove's Nest has a BLOG!!!! I am adding it right now to my links!