Friday, January 27, 2012

The perfect day.

Dec. 19, 2011

Who would've thought my perfect day would begin with a mammogram and end with a downpour?

OK, so it didn't actually start with the mammogram. It began with a 2-mile run with Brett early that morning. That was a treat since I am usually on my own for those early runs. After that, I showered and dressed for my annual squish, but before leaving the house, I got a quick shot of our Texas tree for the University Co-op's holiday photo contest:

It's not the best photo I've ever taken, but it's full of Longhornana and even includes a special "little" lady on that tree skirt. (Madame ChaCha, so nice of you to oblige!) I posted the pic to Facebook directly from my phone and headed for Fort Worth.

After my oh-so-lovely appointment (which didn't involve the typical inexplicably long wait--YEA), I drove toward Seventh Street. Since I was alone, I didn't indulge in my most awesomest, favoritest restaurant in the world (Chuy's), but I did notice the drive-through line was crazy short at In-N-Out Burger, the California transplant that has had all of DFW in a tizzy since opening restaurants here not too long ago.

I ordered myself a double-double (animal style, natch) and ate in a parking lot. (It was kind of like when the All-Birdville Band ate In-N-Out in a parking lot around this time last year, but I was dressed far more comfortably.) 

I should mention that I'm not one of those crazy In-N-Out cultists, but it was a mighty tasty burger. The fries were better than I remembered, too. Best of all, my combo reminded me of past trips to SoCal. Good times.

After my delicious, WW-points-filled meal, I waddled into my most awesomest, favoritest store, the University Co-op. (Truth be told, I prefer the "real" one in ATX, but this one's much closer to my house.) I browsed a while, picked up some Christmas gifts, bought some H2Orange, and generally just inhaled the wonder of all that burnt orange.

As I left the store, I checked my Facebook and saw this:

I was the first Co-op Christmas photo winner! YIPPEE! (Or as we say at the games, "Texas, Texas, YEE-HAW!") And how 'bout that timing? I was still in the Co-op parking lot when I found out I had won.

I considered continuing my Christmas shopping at a mall not too far from the Co-op, but after driving a few exits over, I changed my mind. Veering off my planned course caused me to drive past this:

The Wienermobile! YES!!!

Ever since my roommate and I saw the Wienermobile tooling around the UT campus way back when, I have been fascinated by this miracle of transportation. That fascination has led to Oscar Mayer Christmas ornaments, low-speed interstate chases, even a Wienermobile piggy bank. But in all these years of Wienermobile fixation, I had never seen inside one of these beauties.

Until now.

What's cool is that I just happened to change plans and just happened to be driving by and just happened to notice the Wienermobile there in the Kroger parking lot. And it just so happens that the torrential downpour that was coming hadn't come yet. WIN.

Speaking of winning, after I arrived at my next destination, I checked Facebook again, and there I saw the Co-op's new profile picture: our tree!

To make a long story longer, the rest of my day was just as serendipitous. My shopping trip was made even better when I discovered other stores nearby that I'd been wanting to visit anyway. At those places I was able to pick up some hard-to-find Christmas gifts, and it felt great to finally cross them off my list.

Just to give you an idea how my twisted mind works: I was loving every minute of this phenomenal day, but when I called Brett from the mall, I confessed that I thought it was all too good to be true. I couldn't help but wonder what terrible tragedy would befall us that day. It was just inconceivable that so many good things could happen in one day. Isn't that sad? You see why I needed this year's "attitude of gratitude"?

Anyway, with my outing complete, I returned home and checked the mail. There I found an envelope addressed to Ryan from CBS in Hollywood. Ryan and Brett were running an errand, so I texted a picture of the envelope to let Ryan know his prize had arrived. (Ryan won this by asking a question that Survivor host Jeff Probst answered online.) The prize?

A Survivor South Pacific buff!

Ryan had asked Santa for one of these bad boys, but getting one that's been autographed by Jeff himself?
Way better!

The buff commotion caused me to be just a tad late to that night's bunco, but it was worth it to document Ryan's exuberance.

Bunco rounded out this awesome day. It's always great to spend time with those crazy women. We did a gift exchange, and I ended up with a snowman plate that I really wanted. Score!

So the mammo wasn't a thrill, and the rain was a pain, but besides that, just about everything about this day was over-the-top delightful. Well, except for having THIS song run through my head:

Postscript: About a week after this perfect day, I received my Co-op prize: a Camelbak bottle and a couple of ornaments. They shipped with another Co-op Facebook prize I won a week earlier, personalized T-shirts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dub family Christmas.

 Dec. 17, 2011

While Dec. 25 is our foursome's "real" Christmas Day, this annual gathering is almost as sacred. We get together with Brett's parents and siblings, eat taco soup, and open presents.

This year our special family Christmas night was even "specialer" because we added three foster nieces to the mix. It was so much fun to have little ones underfoot again!

Here are some of the photographic highlights:
How long can one fancy light string last?
Katie plays and fluteboxes Christmas carols.

The guys take a breath between conversations.

Memaw opens her gift.

Nana admires her Scrabble coasters
(a Pinterest project from Cara).

Ryan is delighted with his Jeff
Probst bobblehead (a gift from Jeff).

Uncle Mike dons a Mavs Santa hat in lieu of his usual bows.

The precious and very busy Miss Two seemed
to love the little picnic basket we got her.
She even used it to hide her contraband,
Nana's dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses!

Basketball 2011: WMS.

 Dec. 15, 2011

All in the family.

Dec. 11, 2011

For years we have paid a visit to McGregor, Texas, during the Christmas season. This year was no exception.

While the setting and the attendees may change, the spirit never does. We eat, we visit, we reconnect, we celebrate the season.

In recent trips the ping pong table has been a big draw, getting us outside:

Inside, conversations abound:

And Katie provides a musical interlude, this time with "fluteboxing":

Self-portrait with my giant son

Ann Cooper (a.k.a. Ann Coopers). Oh, how we miss her!

Papa and Aunt Velma

Brett and his cousin (and our host) Dana

A staple among the cousins: video games

One year I slept through most of our visit, stricken with the early stages of flu. Another time I was in the throes of morning sickness and thought everything and everyone smelled awful (especially those Corn Nuts my nephew was eating in the van). A couple of times the McGregor folk have traveled north on 35 to celebrate with us in the DFDub. And several times we have mourned together as we observed our first Christmases without special loved ones.

But every year, we're reminded how blessed we are to celebrate this special time of year with our family in McGregor.

Past McGregor Christmas posts:

Saturday, January 07, 2012

NRMS Christmas concert.

Dec. 8
Part 2 of our busy night took us to RHS for Katie's middle school band concert.

 It was close, but she made it on stage in time for the honor band's part of the concert.

Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty rotten that night, so we didn't get any post-concert photos. At least we were able to see Katie during the show!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Basketball 2011: HMS.

Dec. 8:
Part 1 of this night's double-header was Katie's game against HMS. After the game, we had to hustle to get her to the high school auditorium for her band concert. Good thing she's in the honor band, or she would've missed her part of the performance!

Speaking of performance, she had another strong showing in this game.