Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We had a great Thanksgiving week. Jake's parents and little brother flew in last Tuesday morning, and we had such a nice visit. Besides just hanging out and enjoying each other, we had some Texas BBQ at Dickey's and played at the park. We went to see The Bee Movie (yes, with Tessa. My mother in law said she thought Tessa would be just fine. I guess I'd never really thought about it. She was fine. She watched most the movie amid going from lap to lap and munching on snacks. Yay!).
We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal and redefined the word "relax". I ate too much pie and unfortunately enjoyed every minute of it. Jake didn't let me forget one tradition he married into. When I was 19 and my brother was 17, we had Thanksgiving over at my sister's house. When we were nice and stuffed to the brim, we couldn't just go around and say what we were thankful for like Grandma D wanted us to --nope, not like nice normal families do. My brother instead punched me in the belly. (Not hard, folks, but it doesn't take much to create serious discomfort in the abdominal area when it's packed too tight) Needless to say, I wasn't going to take that without a fight, so it resulted in a stomach boxing match with both of us groaning and laughing (Grandma was appalled). I think that's a big reason why now I am a little more careful about eating too much on Thanksgiving, not because I just shouldn't, but because it hurts more when you get punched. Every year someone starts the punch war, which usually ends in a truce....and then after a few more punches and groans/laughs, a real truce.
Anyway, on Friday we had a pretty big day. We went to the Fort Worth Zoo --which I love. It was cold, but worth going. We enjoyed On the Border food later on and then made our way to McKinney for the Dickens of a Christmas festival on main street. I love that downtown McKinney, too. Tessa did not sleep much that day, but she did so well and seemed to have a lot of fun, especially when she got to sit at the restaurant table with us in a booster seat. Big girl. My hands stayed busy keeping her hands from yanking everything off the table... which got easier once I tied her to the seat with Jake's jacket. :)

We were so grateful that Jake's parents and brother were able to join us for Thanksgiving. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I know Tessa loved it as well.
On Sunday, my good friend Katie and her family (from Utah) were able to come for dinner. That was so much fun. They were staying with family in the area and made sure to come visit us. I was grateful for that too. Semi off topic for a second....I wanted to make soup and have it in bread bowls for dinner, but neither Walmart nor Albertson's carries the bread bowls. What in the world?! Are they more popular in Utah, or have I never really thought about it before and shopped for them? We ended up getting frozen dough and doing our best to make the bread bowls. It worked just fine, but now I know what I'll do differently next time. Anyway, it was nice to have a friend who has known me for so long see where I am and get a feel for our life here. Plus, good people make good company.
I have been slowly but surely getting my Christmas set up. I have to have a strategy this year for my decorations, especially with two babies in the house who like to dump EVERYTHING on the floor. It's getting there. Tessa was enthralled with the decorations when I started to get them out last night. It's such a mess to have to practically empty the closet to get to the Christmas boxes, but she sure didn't mind.

Finally, Happy Birthday, Ashley! Twenty-nine for the first time! We'll see if it continues. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

No Christmas Music until AFTER Thanksgiving

A couple weeks ago Jake and I were in the mall where Christmas had already taken over. Jake said, "Have they no respect for Thanksgiving?" The answer is no. Thanksgiving doesn't sell. Nobody, except me, will pay to have their kid's picture taken with a turkey. The end. There has been Christmas music on one radio station for at least a week. Whatever......Well, I, for one, am excited about Thanksgiving. Christmas comes soon enough. Let's take this one holiday at a time, people. Jake's parents and little brother are flying in on Tuesday morning. Yay! We're very excited to have them come. Also, I get to take my china out again this year.....the leaves are finally changing.... I love it.
Nothing earth shattering happened this week, except for my dream about a space shuttle falling into the atmosphere and exploding right above Dallas. THAT was not a normal dream for me. Jake has been upping the study time for finals and has been working on a paper about the WTO and economic development. Blech. That's been one I haven't asked him to talk to me about. I've been reading some YAF Stephenie Meyer, enjoying cooking more than usual, and trying my best to get to know my neighbors. It makes me sad that I don't know the people who live around us. We don' t have "cup of sugar" or "chat while doing yardwork" neighbors --or even neighbors who know our names. I don't know how much that can change, but I'm working on my end of it. Slowly, but surely I'm building up some nerve.
We only took one picture this week:
Her hair is starting to hang in her eyes, and I'm just not interested in a haircut right now so we've started the piggy tail stage. We had a great time this week going on walks and to the park and library with Hudson. Those two babies keep me busy, what with throwing socks in the garbage can and singing songs --I always feel like I'm laying down some serious rhythm when I start reciting "Peas Porridge" with the both of them clapping and bouncing. I'm glad Tessa gets the chance to hang out with a friend during the day time. She's not AS possessive of her things as she was a month ago. I realize that could change with the development of the word "mine" not too far off.
We send out our love to the Johnson family.
Okay, to those reading this.....what is your favorite fiction book? I'd like to know. Seriously. I want to know what you would recommend. It's time for a new book. Just FYI: I have a bunch of favorites...but three I can think of right now would be Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, The Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver, and Milkweed by Spinelli.

Beat It

When Tessa is having her dinner, I sometimes choose a random CD for her meal music. Last night's was Michael Jackson's History. We had a fun post dinner boogie. I love Michael Jackson. Yes, I know he's a freak. I know. But no one, in my opinion, can outperform the 1980's Michael Jackson....however, I can't promise anything beyond that decade. I just have to remember him as he once was.
Anyway, I thought we could all use a flashback to the MJ glory days with Beat It....you know, when gang members could get away with wearing the ever fashionable sweatpants with accessorizing chains and one dangly earring. Michael Jackson brings peace to the streets in this video through his sage advice, "It doesn't matter who's wrong or right. Just beat it."
I dedicate this song to my brother. I can remember him as a three year old gettin' down in the living room to this song.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

82 Degrees

So, it's been kinda hot here. I'm not complaining, I'm just still trying to get used to it. I love that I've been able to be outside in a t-shirt and capris and I'm totally comfortable. It's been perfect yard work weather. That getting dark early thing is still throwing me off, though. I'm just not used to playing in the park and then seeing Christmas decorations in the stores on the same day.
Tessa McBessa has four teeth! The top two are making their grand showing. Her own personal stalactites, or stalagmites? I can't keep those two straight. Anyway, she has been biting on material (clothes, washcloths...) and then pulling it away to test out the strength of those chompers. I've given her a toothbrush to chomp on. She thinks it's funny when she sees me brush my teeth, so she's been more excited about having her own than most kids.

This picture was from one of those days where I attempted to pull her hair back. It takes a lot of effort to keep the back from standing straight up. I'm wondering when her hair will have some weight to it. It just wants to stick out.

This is a Jamestown Corndog picture and video. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just ignore me. We don't make sense a lot in our house. However, we do think we're funny.

Today we went to the SMU tailgate party. I tried my first bratwurst. Halfway through it, I realized it would also be my last bratwurst and left it alone. Those tailgate parties are always interesting and sometimes good people watching events. Many people bring their dogs. It takes a certain kind of person to carry a dog around in a designer purse. There are more people on Earth who belong to that category of certain people than I had previously realized. That's all I'm going to say about that. There was an alumni jazz band. They were actually good, and Tessa seemed to enjoy the music.
This morning we went over to the park to exercize. I ran two miles. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but people, I don't run. I walk, I dance, I saunter, I aerobicize, but I don't run for an extended period of time unless I'm being chased. So it was a big deal. I even enjoyed it! I want to be able to run a 5K soon. I think I could have been just fine doing it this morning, but I didn't want to press my luck. I'll get to it by next week. Music makes such a big difference for me. Whenever I've gotten desperate for exercise in the past, I've gone running, but it just gets so boring! I really enjoyed myself this morning (and a few times in the last couple weeks), so maybe I've opened a new chapter on this method of exercise. Thank heaven for the Ipod. The only problem I had was tripping over my feet a couple times because I wanted to dance and run at the same time. Doesn't work.


Jake has his finals coming up here pretty soon. We were discussing today how that means he's almost halfway finished! Go, Jake!
Have a fabulous week everyone!

I've been tagged!

The rules:
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. It takes me a while to REALLY figure out how I feel about things and make a decision as to where I stand on an issue. I tend to make my friends and family listen to me ramble on about a subject, and then somewhere in that rambling, I find out how I view and feel about a certain situation. Usually after this process, I stand firm in what I've decided and am not afraid to share it when asked. When asked in the middle of deciding, though, get ready for some incoherent strings of thought!
2. I get really shy around shy people --or people who just don't feel like talking to me. You can only comment on the weather so much. Then I just start to feel stupid. I'm a lot less sure of myself than I appear to be. I used to struggle with eye contact, and recently I've found I'm reverting back to that --looking down or away from people I'm talking to who I don't know well. So now I'm consciously working on it.
3. I love the little details in life. I think they are part of what makes a great story (however, not everyone thinks the same, so I have to be careful about my tendency to get wordy). Facial expressions are the best.
4. I find a lot of things funny. I used to think that most people had the same sense of humor I do --because, come on, the things I find humorous ARE funny! Well, it's not true. People do not have the same sense of humor, and some people don't have a sense of humor at all.
5. I can do a lot of things, but I'm not exceptionally good at anything I do (except creating self serve icecream cones). Well, I can't play competitive sports, so we'll take that one out immediately --oh yeah, take out singing too. Other than that, there isn't anything I necessarily shine at doing, but I can get by okay -and I usually really enjoy myself in what I've chosen to attempt.
6. I collect Hard Rock Cafe pins (I still need a Dallas one!), not specific styles, I just like having them from different places. I don't display them or anything. They're just in a Minnie Mouse mug in the office. I collect nativity sets too. I'd like to have sets from all over the world.
*I tag Christina, Lisa, Alex, and anyone else who reads this who hasn't been tagged. Please don't make me hunt you down. If you don't feel like being tagged, then quit yer cryin' and just ignore me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Finally Feels Like Autumn

I love Halloween. Halloween was a big deal growing up at my house. I think my favorite Halloween memories, besides going to haunted houses every year, involve going to my grandma's house after trick or treating. Grandpa opened the door with the same ugly mask on every year. Grandma had caramel apples, glazed doughnuts, and hot apple cider ready for all the grandkids. I loved that I could count on the same tastes, smells, decorations, and family fun every year. Plus, we'd trick or treat some more in her neighborhood, and some guy gave out mini loaves of Wonder Bread, which was pretty cool. Jake's favorite Halloween memories..."I had a couple of Halloween/Birthday sleepovers growing up. All my friends would come over to my house in costume, go out trick or treating, and then come back for my birthday party and sleepover. Also, I could never understand how JJ down the street could have Halloween candy left by the time Thanksgiving rolled around."

Onto what we did this week... We dressed up on Friday night to visit some Halloween celebrators for a few minutes. We grabbed wigs and decided we would just tell people we were "wiggin out". Tessa did really well with keeping the wig on. I couldn't stop laughing at her. We decided it was going to be included in her official Halloween costume, too. Jake's brother Matt came into town for work last weekend as well, and we were so happy to be able to visit with him. We picnicked and took a walk in downtown McKinney (I love that place)on Saturday and just enjoyed the night air. Tessa shared her first icecream cone with me. She would stick out her tongue and wait for me to swipe some icecream across it. :)
Sunday we drove around downtown Dallas before taking Matt back to the airport. I hadn't been in some of those areas of Dallas. There are so many places I still need to discover.

Halloween was a blur for the most part. I was little more frazzled than I wanted to be by the time I got Tessa to the Trunk or Treat party at the church. Among many other things, Jake's snowglobe from New York was pulled off the bookshelf and shattered. The destructive ability of my child has been grossly underestimated until now. I had never smelled anything like the snowglobe liquid that seeped into my carpet. That was bad news...and a lot of work to get it taken care of. Anyway, I finally got Tessa and myself to Trunk or Treat (along with chili and Jake's costume). It was an all day school day for Jake, but he braved the traffic during rush hour to see Tessa for her first Halloween --plus he was part of her costume. He was with us for about forty minutes before running back to night class. We enjoyed our ward members and friends....and my first trunk or treat ever. I still think that's a whole lotta candy in a short amount of time. Where's the work ethic we used to put into Halloween candy gathering? Why, back in my day.......

Lastly, Jacob turned thirty-one today! Since he had a cake and cookies at work, I decided not to overload on that stuff, so I made Jello jigglers to go with our pizza and movie party. I tried to cut a birthday cake in the Jello with a steak knife before Jake realized what I was doing, and, well, you can see the outcome for yourself. At least he got a good laugh out of it. Happy Birthday, sweetie!