Friday, July 30, 2010

I feel....WICKED

Do you know that feeling? When you've planned an event and your expectations are so high that you know something is lurking behind the corner waiting to spoil the magic you vision in your mind. Well it didn't happen. Not to me. Not to us. IT WAS PERFECT!

Tickets to Wicked:....$100
Dinner at Artista:.......$45
Cute outfit for your niece's first "Girls Night Out":...$150
Overpriced "Wicked" t-shirt:....$39

Watching your favorite niece's face glow in amazement.......PRICELESS!
This trip was five years in the making. In 2005 Brooke and I saw Wicked in Dallas. Loved it! I then told Tricia that I wanted to take Grace to see it when the tour cycled back to Houston. She called me in April to give me a heads up about pre-sale tickets that she could possibly get from Dale, her fantabulous designer boss! AND, he wanted to come with us! Even better.

Magical. That is the best way to describe our evening. We got dressed up. Ate delicious food. Laughed. And the music. Oh, the music. It was....WICKED!

Grace spent the first 30 minutes of the show wrapped around my arm, head nestled on my shoulder. I could hardly watch the stage because her face stole the show. It was heaven. It was our moment. Biting back the tears, I took her all in. The smell of her clean hair, the curve of her nose, the glow of her piercing eyes and the feel of her hand entwined with mine. Moments like this are fleeting and priceless. I savored it. Tucked it away in my "This is what life is all about" file where it will hopefully be joined with countless other memories of her, as well as my own two angels.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Sometimes in life you meet "friends" that feel more like family. That is what Jake and Kelly Adams are to Jake and I were friends first, at Louisiana Tech, and he is the cupid that hooked me up with Nick. When I met Kelly for the first time at Florabama several years later, I knew she was the perfect match for "the Snake."

When Nick suggested a weekend in Pensacola it was a no brainer!

There are a few MUSTS for us in P-Cola.
#1 - we MUST eat at Scenic 90 Diner!
#2 - We MUST eat tabbouleh and hummus.
#3 - we MUST play at the beach! It's not Pensacola unless you spot that beach ball tower!

Friday morning we frolicked on the beach as a family! Baylor quickly took to the water and waves while Harper bounded through the surf like she was reuniting with an old friend. In a way she was. We saw no visible signs of the oil spill as the headlines read "Oil Contained 100%."

The magic happened when a school of dolphins visited our area of the beach. Only 3 waves away they splashed and bobbed, teasing all of the onlookers lining the beach. Cameras flashed and moms and dads held their little ones close, finger stretched out trying to get them to see "right there!"

Saturday afternoon we swam in the bay at the Adams family condo. The view was reminiscent of a corona commercial. Minimal surf and shallow waters created a perfect baby pool for the team of toddlers commanding our attention. Nick kept us laughing by picking out "hurricane debris" from the shallows. A shingle here. Some siding there. No big deal.

Unfortunately I've developed a food allergy over the past few months. I thought it was triggered by shrimp, so I avoided the fried deliciousness and chose only fish, slaw and beans. (Jake's dad is an AWESOME cook!) Not even 5 minutes later my mouth began to swell. We hurriedly snapped pics of the girls in their matching dresses with high hopes of our Christmas card photo. Didn't happen. I downed some Benadryl and Nick drove us back to Jake's house. We crowded onto the couch and I suggested that we rent a movie. From there I just woke up the next morning in my bed. Guess the meds hit me hard. Have plans to schedule a food sensitivity test ASAP!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Freakin' Fabulous Fourties!

Ever since I graduated from college I've been drawn into friendships with women who were born before me. (notice, I did not use the "o" word!)

I guess it started with Tricia, obviously. We bonded through long walks around her neighborhood during my high school years when she was pregnant with Gary. Begrudgingly, she watched a few volleyball games, high school and collegiate, and then we reconnected when she moved back to the ranch to care for Mamaw. Books bonded us then, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" to be precise. And the Pulpwood Queens! Tiaras, boas, leopard print and hot pink seemed alluring to me after so many years in a jersey and sneakers. The connection was a strong one. As a newlywed couple, I even convinced Nick to move to Houston to be close to her and my grandmother. The move wasn't the best decision for us and we have since moved 4 times. We now reside in Ruston, our cozy little college town.

Between Houston and Ruston was McKinney! We actually lived in Little Elm, TX, but I taught 6th grade English at Faubion Middle School in McKinney, TX. God had a plan! There I was under the teaching influence of Brigid Callahan-Wollack, a creative mastermind in the classroom. She mentored me, counseled me, questioned me and pushed me into the teacher I am today. Any success I have in the classroom is due to her influence and God's plan! Brigid and I had an instant connection despite completely different backgrounds. We had a blast in the classroom. I know that sounds insane, but we loved the kids and loved to make learning fun! It was fun! Our strongest connection, however, was our passion for Christ. She bought me the Bible I use today. We cried together, ran together, prayed together and laughed. A lot! Since I've moved she uses any free time, and I mean ANY free time, to teach at Lifetime Fitness or teach children about Christ. Last time I saw her she was rockin' a size 2 with adorable Ugg boots, no muffin top in sight! We laughed and listened while strolling around Jefferson, TX at a Christian book event. I miss her and the big, mouth open wide, belly laughs that accompany her.

Ok, I gotta back up. Because Tricia moved to Houston she introduced me to a whole circle of women that are FFF! (see post title) To Mary Ann, Robin and girls are like extended sisters. This post is my Valentine in July to each of you. Collectively, you all make 30's look like a hand-me-down sweater!

Fast forward to Ruston. Luckily, there are so many "young women with children" here. Several are "from here" and there are transplants like me. There are tight knit circles and others with loose borders. I've got friends all over town but of all the women in town, the three I am blessed enough to call my "work out partners" are all FFF! Sharon, Theresa and Nancy. Each of these women push and uniquely inspire me. Sharon empowers women all across the Delta through her women's boot camps. She is organized and persistent, but her passion comes from a desire to honor God with her life. She inspires me to set goals and reach them. You'll never reach any goal that you don't set, or publish any book that you don't write. Theresa, my neighbor, is a woman I feel like I've known forever. She has prayed for me and shared her amazing story with me. She inspires me to put complete trust in God. If I do that then I really will be able to handle anything life throws my way. Nancy is the most recent FFF in my circle. I know her the least yet she has already made an impact on me. She home schooled her children, speaks her mind, loves her friends and family, and kicked my butt in a sprint yesterday. I love it! Her little gymnast figure matches her fiery passion.

To my girlfriends who are not yet FFF. WE WILL BE! You know, these ladies make it look good. Not scary. But for now, I still want to embrace my thirties. I have a lot of goals to reach and a lot of boogers to wipe and ouchies to kiss. My back hurts from carrying around my 16 month old chunker and my throat hurts from yelling, "Harper stop!", but I love it! I've embraced the fact that I may need to wear Spanx with a dress, but I don't have to wear them with jeans! (yet) Right now, my coffee is cold, I'm still in a t-shirt with no make-up, and the girls think that the chair I'm in is a new mountain to climb. The computer is the prize. Play time is upon me and that is just what I need to do. For now!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm not Bored. I'm INSPIRED!!

It happened by chance. As I prepared dinner last night for friends, I noticed a recipe contest on the back of the pizza crust package. $5000 and a trip to Disney World! Heck Yes!
After a great Insanity workout this morning, two cups of coffee and a little quiet time, my belly started speaking to me. Summers give me time to be creative in the kitchen. There is nowhere to hurry off to. No schedule to follow. Pajamas at ten...fine with me. So I took the bait. With the possibility of Disney, how could I deprive my little princesses even the chance?

After 20 minutes and 6 ingredients, this delectable dish came out of the oven! I don't trust my own taste-buds so I called in an extra set for a critique.

"You see, "Even Mikey likes it!" Baylor gobbled up 2 pieces of yummy breakfast pizza!

To recreate this masterpiece:
heat oven to 450
mix 2/3c cream cheese with 2T raspberry -chipotle preserves,
spread over wheat Mama Mary's pizza crust
cook 5 pieces turkey bacon until crispy, crumble and sprinkle over crust
scramble 2 eggs and sprinkle over crust
top with 1/4 c shredded mozzarella
bake for 10 minutes