Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy hearts.

Valentine's Day should never fall on a Monday. It's bad enough that Feb. 14th is at the end of our high school trimester, when grading and stress are at all-time highs. But a Monday? Cupid doesn't stand a chance of delivering the goods before breakfast, especially on a Monday.

However, at dinner time, after our busy Monday at work and school, we took a little time to acknowledge our sweethearts.

Although Brett and I stuck with our tradition of NOT going out on Valentine's (we celebrated the previous Saturday night), he did get me this gorgeous bouquet.

But in many ways, Valentine's was just another day—just another day filled with reminders of how very blessed we are to have our hearts and home overflowing with love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Changing seasons.

The seventh grade girls basketball season drew to a close this weekend. Katie's team played in the silver bracket of the district tournament, and absolutely pummeled their opponent in the first round game. 51 points? Yowza.

Winning that one meant the Lady Wildcats advanced to that bracket's championship game on Saturday afternoon (sparing us from having an early morning game!).

It was a close, hard-fought contest, but our girls came away with the win.

And check out that score: 14-12! I guess we used up all our points on Friday afternoon!

The girls were so proud of their medals,

and all of their adoring fans were pretty proud, too!

So now we've survived volleyball and basketball seasons. Next up: TRACK AND FIELD!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super weekend.

A week before Super Bowl XLV, I was driving home from a scrapbooking retreat and felt compelled to see the stadium where all the excitement would be centered. I pulled into a parking lot and shot some pix, excited to know that our Metroplex would soon be the center of the sports world.

But then the ice and snow hit, and the Metroplex was frozen over. All those restaurants and bars that had been banking on huge crowds were soooooo disappointed—until Saturday.

On Saturday, the sun was out, the temperature inched toward the 50s, the roads were clear, and millions of cabin-feverish folks flooded the streets of DFW. And we were among them!

Since my birthday was the night before the big ice storm, we still had a family celebration to get to. We stuck to our original plan and headed to our (relatively new) local Chuy's.

Man, oh MAN, do we love that cream jalapeno sauce!

From there we went across the street to the University Co-op to really add to the ATX feel of the day.

Next we braved the stock show crowds to go to the Modern Art Museum. Photos weren't allowed inside the Modern, but at least we could get a shot from the inside of Vortex, the massive metal structure in front of the museum. It was so nice to see the all the works, especially the "Ed Ruscha: Road Tested" exhibit.

And just because my family loves me more than I'll ever comprehend, we went downtown to see all the Super Bowl hoopla. All week I'd been itching to be a part of the excitement, so to humor me, Brett drove us through the traffic to Sundance Square.

Our primary goal: to see ESPN's Sportscenter.

Of course, we weren't the only ones with that idea.

(Good to know I'm not the only Casey Hampton fan!)

I wonder if this "Cheesehead" ever found some tickets?

We ended up getting pretty close to the announcers, including Keyshawn Johnson. Ryan and Brett even got on TV!

The camera that kept zooming above us certainly got plenty of attention from the crowd:

Even though it was crazy crowded, it was fun to see the Green Bay and Pittsburgh fans.

Since ESPN was headquartered there, downtown really had its chance to shine.

The excitement was palpable,
except with my own family. Truly, they endured the insanity to appease their sports freak of a wife/mom. When I showed them how deflated they looked in that picture, Brett tried to get a little animated.

Fake frivolity aside, I think they had a tiny bit of fun anyway.

Before leaving Sundance Square, we checked out the football field set. Filming was over for the day, though, so we headed home.

For Super Bowl Sunday itself, we were excited to join some church friends for football and food.

DELICIOUS! In spite of all the mishaps associated with "our" Super Bowl, we were able to enjoy a good game, some fun commercials and some great food. Spending Sunday night with friends proved to be the perfect ending to a super weekend.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snowpocalypse 2011.

Unlike thousands of Metroplex schoolchildren, I went to bed on Jan. 31 hoping against hope that we'd have school the next day. Because my classes had computer lab time scheduled for that Tuesday and Wednesday, I did NOT want a snow day. As rare as snow in Texas may be, time in the computer lab is almost as hard to come by.

See, the senior research paper was supposed to be due that Wednesday, Feb. 2. Because the paper my seniors write will be revised before the end of our trimester, I knew we desperately needed to have school that week so those papers could be turned in and I could have time to grade them all.

But then I awoke that Tuesday morning to see this: ...and we all hit the PAUSE button.

It didn't take me long to get past my school angst. It's always fun to see sleet and snow in our corner of the world.

Since we get maybe one or two good icings a year, it's quite novel for us to get a true "winter wonderland."

Not that this was a "good snow." Unlike last February when we had a decent accumulation that yielded lots of snowpeople around the neighborhood, this one barely gave us a good snowball.

But that didn't stop us from trying to throw 'em! (Notice Ryan's cold weather gear.) By the way, Ryan was THRILLED to have the time away from school. Katie was happy to have a break, but she wasn't so crazy about being away from her friends for so long.

Frisco had a little separation anxiety, too. Her favorite toy ended up being frozen in the water dish on the back porch!

When the rolling blackouts hit on Wednesday, we realized we should figure out how to turn on the gas logs in our fireplace—just in case.It took me a bit, but we finally got to have our first fire in our new house!

During one of the blackouts, we huddled in the living room to get into some trouble. Make that Star Wars Trouble.

Speaking of trouble, Katie had a little mishap on Tuesday, Day 1 of our iceventure. While trying to carve a mini skateboard out of wood, she cut her index finger pretty badly. Since we were iced in, we had to make the call: Would it be worse to brave the icy roads or not get her finger stitched? We opted to stay home and watch the finger. By Wednesday, the cut still didn't look good, so Brett's amazing sister, Kelly, paid us a house call. She agreed that it really didn't need stitches, so she cleaned it up and bandaged it for her. Awesome!

We were prepared to brave the roads to get to Care Now if we needed to, but it was so nice to avoid the ice altogether! We were so impressed that Kelly came over so nonchalantly. (Watching her slide out of our driveway told us we were lucky to get to stay home, however.)

Being housebound led to all kinds of improvising, like baking a Halloween cake in a Christmas tree pan!

By Thursday we were all suffering from cabin fever, and the appointments we'd been rescheduling for three days really couldn't wait any longer.

For much of the drive, we had a lane with good ruts to drive in.

On some of the hilly stretches, we saw evidence of sanding. Although some areas were still solid ice, most of the well-traveled streets weren't bad. But just as we started to think we might have school on Friday, we passed a high school.

One look at the skating-rink-like parking lot and we knew we'd miss Friday, too.

As it turned out, it snowed early Friday morning anyway.

Apparently we had a little visitor early that morning!

Friday morning we played in the snow with Frisco. At least one of our "kids" was willing to play with us! (For the record, Katie walked to the swings that morning, but she wasn't hip to hangin' with the 'rents.)

The snow was pretty, but with every step we were reminded that there was still a layer of ice underneath.

Every foray outside meant wet footwear!

By Friday afternoon, the sidewalks were much clearer as the temps started to approach freezing.

Brett and I headed to the trails to explore. The streets by that point were really slushy since snow had been dumped on top of the ice.

Here are a ton of pix from our little field trip:

As we walked deeper into the park, we could hear all kinds of commotion. Eventually we found the party:
It was the neighborhood's sledding hill!

We stood there a good while, just watching people slide in their sundry contraptions.

One part of the park had this vast expanse of glittering, pristine snow,

which Brett felt compelled to spoil!

"This is the closest I'll ever come to anarchy!" he said as he put his mark on that section of snow.

We spent more than an hour exploring our park that afternoon. It was cold but the sun kept us from freezing, and all that natural beauty enticed us to keep walking just a little bit farther.Craziness at school ensued once our snowcation was over, but for those four freezing days, it was nice to trade our busy-ness for coziness!