Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prego Prostitutes

It has been a pretty slow week for me, socially anyways. There are a few things going on that are a big stress, but they are not something I want to post on the web. I feel like I have had a few too many things in common with one of the bloggers that I read on a regular basis - Novelle360. First, we both dropped our cell phones in the toilet (thank goodness my phone survived). Now we both have semi-writer's block due to something private looming overhead. None of it is life-threatening to me or anyone I know. It's just taking over my brain at the moment, so bear with me.

I've been surfing the web a little more than normal now that we have a computer at home. I came across this news story this morning. I cannot believe what people put themselves through sometimes. What gets me even more is that these women are selling themselves while they are pregnant! What sort of wierdo gets off on that? I hope they were using protection because they are also putting their unborn child at risk. I am interested to see what charges are pressed and if any of them have anything to do with endangerment. I'm not sure what the laws are on unborn babies...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trim the Fat

Seriously. What is the US coming to? The CDC recently released the obesity rates of 2007 and they are astounding. To make matters worse, it looks like I moved from a state with 24.9% obesity rate to one with 28.1%. And look, everyone is stuffing their pets too (MOM!):

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Moley moley moley MOLE

Ok, so I swear I'm not a freak, but I CANNOT BELIEVE that Sarah Jessica Parker's chin mole is gone!!! I know, I know. This is old news. But I haven't had a chance to talk about it here yet.

She always made a big deal in the past about how she didn't want plastic surgery just because everyone else was doing it. I guess it's kind of nice that she got rid off that mole though. It was a little distracting. Everyone always says she looks like a horse, but I think she is beautiful. That mole sort of took away from that beauty. Props to SJP!

On a totally different topic, I have gone to the kickboxing class at my gym for the past two weeks. I really like it, despite the pain and dizziness I feel during the first half of the class. The other problem is I think it is too hard on my neck. I have had neck problems since I was in 8th grade and have been going to the chiropractor on and off since high school. Each week, the day following this class I have had severe neck pain. I don't know exactly what it is that I'm doing in the class to cause this. Maybe it's just the strain from all the jumping and moving around? I took a step aerobics class in college and didn't have this problem though. Eh.

ps - I watched The Bucket List last night = GREAT FILM.

Monday, July 28, 2008

All Play and No Housework

This weekend was all play and no work. Actually, I did go into work both days, but I didn't do anything around the house. Friday night I went straight up to Jenna and Seth's after work. Travis spent the whole day up there with Seth helping him do some work around the house. We had pizza for dinner and then hung out until a few other people from work showed up. They bought Rock Band on sale recently, so they broke that out. I lost track of time and didn't leave until close to 1 in the morning. That was BAD because I had to be at work at 8am Saturday. Thankfully, I was only in for three hours, so I had time to run home and take a nap before driving up to Houston that afternoon.

Saturday evening, some old friends from college, Josh and Clarissa, got married at the Hyatt in Houston. We decided to share a room at the hotel with Sara and JR, that way no one had to drive home at the end of the night. We got there a little early so we could drop off our stuff and change into our wedding attire. The wedding and reception were both beautiful. I am SO angry because my camera broke somehow between the wedding and reception. The lens was stuck and wouldn't come out properly. I've been having trouble with it for some time now (even though it is brand new), but this is the first time it went completely kaput.

This is the best picture I got during the whole 15 minutes my camera was working. I'm so bummed because there were lots of great photo opportunities. Our friends Scott and Ashley were there also, along with a few people I haven't seen since college. It is crazy how time flies. Towards the end of the night we went to a bar with the bride and groom and a bunch of their followers. I think we got back to the hotel around 2 in the morning.

I had a really bad weekend when it comes to my technology, now that I think about it. Before leaving for Houston, I dropped my cell phone into the toilet. I was quick to retrieve it (thankfully it was a pee and poo-free toilet) and turn off the phone. I took everything apart and left it to dry. It wasn't back to full working form until yesterday morning. At least it is back to working form. I have insurance on it, but it is always such a pain to deal with that.

The best part of the whole weekend is that I took a nap on Saturday AND Sunday. That is crazy for me. Of course, both days I woke up groggy and feeling like crap because I had to get up right away and get back on the move. I think it helped in the long run though. I feel pretty good today, despite how busy we were.

Aside from running into work for a little bit, I did absolutely nothing yesterday. I spent the day surfing the web and reading magazines. Travis mowed the lawn and began the laborious process of removing the rusty clotheslines from our back yard. He decided to cut the posts down to the concrete and then just bury the concrete blocks. Travis almost broke his shovel attempting to lever the block out of the ground. It will be just as easy to bury it and let the grass grow over. I'm just excited to make use of the pile of dirt that has been marring our driveway for months now!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Final Friday in Illi

Here's a photo of one of my mom's many FAT cats. It is insane how large they are. I put my foot in the photo to give you a better idea of the scale of these animals...

Cats aside, I had a great last day in Illinois. My mom had taken the day off originally thinking we would be going to Chicago to visit my family. We all vetoed that idea when we thought about the cost of gas (we would have had to drive two separate vehicles) and the idea of adding three hours, each way, to my driving for that week. I am really sad I missed visiting my extended family though.

My mom took advantage of having the day off though. First thing in the morning (after coffee, of course), Alex, my mom and I headed out to the yard to tackle the weed forests that my mom has furiously been avoiding. I really regret not taking a before and after photo because these "gardens" were OUT OF CONTROL. Her weeds had TRUNKS. While I tackled the weeds, Alex tended to the bonfire where we were burning all the weeds and trimmed tree limbs from the last time my mom worked in the yard. I cannot get over how much crap there was. I'm pretty sure the neighbors were pissed because we didn't think about the clothes on their clothesline until the fire was in full burn, ashes flying through the neighborhood.

The whole thing was very satisfying. When Travis and I rewired the first half of our house, I felt slightly disappointed. I felt better knowing the electrical in my home is safe, but I was bummed that I couldn't see all the work we had done. Electrical is a hidden art. The less you see, the better job that electrician did. Weeding my mom's yard was the complete opposite. It went from a view of 6-foot green thistles and unwieldy vines to beautiful trees and actually being able to see the neighbor's fence. This took so much work that we only got one side of the house completed. I did go around to all the trees to trim off the lower branches. In doing so I came across some poison ivy that was more like a bush than anything else. I got lucky and only have three dots of rash on my arm and foot. I used to get that ALL the time as a kid. Horrible.

Anyhoo, after taking a break, we all showered and headed to the movie theater. We saw the Dark Knight and I thought it was as good, if not better, than everyone was hyping it up to be. Heath Ledger played the creepiest Joker I've ever seen, by far. Gives me the creeps just thinking about how he licked his lips. Ughhh.

Before dinner, we ran over to a Home Showcase. There were five houses to view and they were all amazing. I took advantage of seeing these new builds to get ideas for my own home. Most of them are too extravagant to do to our current home. We only want to stay in this house for a couple more years, so we are more focused on what will give us the most bang for our buck. These places had central vacuums, home theaters, matte finish pine flooring and the most beautiful appliances I've ever seen. Wow.

For dinner we went to this posh little restaurant and bar that has popped up since I've moved away. They were serving "sliders", which is some other word for small sandwiches. I guess slider sounds cooler. My mom's friend Sara spend the whole evening with us. It was nice because I haven't really spent any time with her since Travis and I got married at her property in 2006.

On the ride home, Alex spotted the strangest thing. There was some sort of a plane doing an air show in the middle of the night, with sparks and fireworks coming out of its wings. We parked on the side of the on ramp to see the show. It was so wild. None of us had ever seen anything like that.

It was a long last day and I was very sad to leave the next day. I had a GREAT week and I can't wait to go back at Christmas. This time I will get to meet Chrissie and Jordan's daughter Audrey!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

4 Star Casa

I don't know what is going on, and I'm not complaining, but Travis has made us dinner EVERY night since I got back from Illinois. Without me having to ask! I can't help but wonder if his being forced to fend for himself for a week broadened his view on the domestic life. I am generally the one who prepares dinner every night and I also do the bulk of the daily work around the house (i.e. dishes, kitty litter, etc). Travis will always help me if I ask, but in general I just do it. He used to make dinner every once in a while, but it usually consisted of tacos or spaghetti or frozen pizza. I am ecstatic to say that he has not made any of those meals ALL WEEK. On top of that he has been doing the dishes and cleaning the kitty litter. Again, without me having to ask!

Sunday night we went out to dinner. It was meant to just be for appetizers and margaritas, but we were both hungry by the time we got there. Monday he prepared seasoned chicken breasts, served over bow tie pasta with a side of green beans. Tuesday he made lasagna Hamburger Helper (easy, but still awesome) and I prepared the salad. And last night, he grilled halibut and baked sweet potatoes. I also had a side of spinach to round off the meal. I found the recipe online and fully did not expect him to prepare it. I told him my plans for the evening meal (don't want to delay making that fish) so he wouldn't make anything else while I went to the gym. He got rained out of work yesterday morning and went surfing with a buddy. That was his workout for the day.

Anyhoo, the fish was delicious. I have never had halibut before and was very nervous about trying it. Fish is a new thing for me, you see. I have tried several different kinds, but the only one I like that I can ever remember the name of is Tilapia. I figured we would try something new. This "steak" was seasoned and served with a cold, corn relish on top. It was DELICIOUS.

Another reason for these meals is that Travis and I have both decided to eat healthier. Travis is trying to eat a more balanced diet, high in protein, since he has begun working out. I just want to cut back on my junk eating to be the healthiest Nikki I can be. It is a little easier to do now that Travis is on board with me. Yesterday, Travis began feeling the effects of his new diet. For some reason he is having random bouts of light-headedness. By the end of the day it was happening every time he stood up. We tried to weed out what is different in his life and came to the conclusion that it may be the whey protein he's been adding to his workout shakes. After looking it up, we found that a possible side effect of L-cysteine (found in the whey) is dizziness and headaches. He's going to stop the shakes for now and see if that helps. If it doesn't, then I'm forcing him to go to the doctor. Stubborn arse.


In other news, I cannot get over how much Callaway LOVES his new rawhide bone. He usually finishes his smaller bones off within a day. He has only chewed off one end so far. We don't let him have it at bedtime because his gnawing would keep us up all night. So every morning, and whenever we let him out of his kennel in the evening, he runs around the house with that bone in his mouth, tail a waggin, running into door jams because the darn thing is so huge. It's kind of cute actually.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Alex's First Car

Alex's first car
Originally uploaded by nrward82
Congratulations Alex!!!

More on Illi

The majority of my week was spent going from restaurant to restaurant eating out and iting with various friends and family. One night I went with my dad and Alex to the nearby park. It is so beautiful and serene there. My only scare was that the trails are all lined with poison ivy. Both my brother and I are severely allergic to poison ivy. Therefore, we spent the entire walk focused on our feet and getting our heads periodically whacked by branches from above.

Dad and Cody

Alex and I

A few days later I met my dad and Alex again for dinner at this awesome restaurant. They have the strangest food, but it was good and the wine was even better.

A walk on the University of Illinois Quad

We finished the evening off with some of the best frozen custard I've ever had in my entire life. That place reminds me of high school dates. That was a teenage date hotspot, at least it was when I was around. I am always so ready to eat out when I go home. There are so many restaurants there that we do not have here. I am pretty sure I gained at least five pounds while I was in Illinois. It always peeves me when I can't fit into my jeans...

PS - My 16-year-old brother bought his VERY FIRST CAR yesterday with my dad. It's a 1983 Mazda 626. I am so proud of him!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Callaway loves his new bone

Originally uploaded by nrward82

My Birthday in Illinois

The evening after Chrissie's baby shower, we stayed at her house and they invited some friends over. Eventually the boys pulled out the beer pong table and I gave it a try at the Illinois-version of the game. I was sure there would be differences, since I run into that from town to town within Texas. I asked how they play and it turned out that the only thing in common was the concept of throwing a ping pong ball into a cup filled with beer. Everything else was completely different. Strange how that happens.

We (the girls) played a few games and then headed over to the TV to break out the Guitar Hero. I haven't played in a long time because our memory card for the Playstation is damaged. I was surprised I could still play. It took me a couple songs to warm up, but then I was back in the game. After a long day of pedicures, socializing and wine-drinking, we were ready to call it quits by midnight.

The day after was my birthday, so I planned a few things I wanted to do. We had a slow morning getting up and ready for the day. Chrissie and Jordan went with me to meet my dad and brother Alex for lunch at my FAVORITE thin pizza place EVER. Monical's. They are only in Illinois, which is a little bit of a bummer. It is always a treat when I visit though. It has been two years since Chrissie has seen any of my family, so it also served as a little reunion. We went to a new location and while I was there, I learned that they are building another one in the town my mom lives in. Does it get any better than that? That place is going to be busy as hell though. They have revamped their signage. Check it out (note Chrissie showing off the building with her baby bump in tow).

After lunch, we split up and I went with my dad and Alex to this new little cupcake place. They serve tea and gelato in these wonderful little combination plates. I had a pistachio-chocolate cupcake and spicy green tea. The bakery itself was very retro-modern. FUN.

For dinner, I invited Chrissie, Jordan, Travis' mom Brenda, her husband Rich, Alex and my mom to an Italian restaurant. I haven't been able to find any good Italian places down here, so I wanted to take advantage of them while I was around. The meal was superb and it was great to see everyone again. I even got birthday presents! I keep waiting for the year when I stop receiving gifts. Still yet to see that day.

After dinner, Chrissie, Jordan and I went to see the movie Hancock. I cannot believe that no where in any of the previews did they mention that Charlize Theron was in the movie. You'd think they would play that up, right? The movie was pretty cute and I will happily see it again when we rent it for Travis to see.

When I got back to Texas, Travis was quick to give me my birthday present. It was a mouse adapted for use with a laptop. I was excited because that is one of the things I despise about using a laptop - that little pad instead of a mouse. We were not planning to buy a computer until I got back from Illinois because we wanted to make sure I would have enough money to get back into town. While I was gone, Travis went to Best Buy and bought a laptop! And he kept it a secret all week! No wonder he was so content to stay home all week. At first I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to be a part of the purchasing process, but once I asked him the stats I was very happy with his find. I am ecstatic to have a place to manage my photos now and we even have the Internet. Can you believe it? I'm finally up to par with the technology of the world.

Well, back to fighting off Tropical Storm Dolly...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pink & Orange

Here's a quickie. I just wanted to put up a better photo of the mobile I made for Chrissie. I told her it's not child-safe and not to hang it above the crib. Those beads could be dangerous in the wrong hands...

Nikki's Back in Town

Hellllooooo Bloggerland!!

I'm back in Texas and attempting to get back to normal life. I got back late Saturday, so I've had a little chance to recoop. Mondays are always a drag though. The drive to Illinois was mostly tolerable this round - I had books on CD to keep me awake. I am a little irritated that I never thought about this before. Time flew by for the most part. The worse was the last 6 hours, both ways. My neck and back were really beginning to ache. We are definitely FLYING to Illinois for Christmas this year. None of this driving crap.

The trip itself was great. I was sad to leave my friends and family behind in Illinois, but I was ready to come back to my friends and family here in Texas. They say home is where the heart is. My heart is in Illinois AND Texas. It's a little torn, I guess you could say.

Anyhoo, the first three nights, I stayed at Chrissie's house. That was wonderful because I had a chance to catch up with her and see the baby's room without a gazillion people peeking over my shoulder during the baby shower. The morning after I arrived, and before the party, we ran to get pedicures. Chrissie said it is getting more and more difficult every day to reach her feet. Teehee. Her friends Jaime (left) and Jenna (right) threw the shower for her. I went to high school with Jenna, but we didn't know each other very well. It was nice to finally "meet" her.

I made Chrissie a baby mobile and my mom and I went together on bath-themed shower gifts. You can see the frog from the mobile hanging behind my head in this photo:

Mi Madre

This is the first all-girl baby shower I've been to. Weird, I know. But they have all been co-ed. This time was fun because it was easier to ooh and aah over all the little baby girl things that she pulled out of the gift bags. This one really stood out - it's a tennis skirt and shirt in one!!! All together now "aaaaawwwww"!!!

And check out the hot-soon-to-be-momma!

We played baby games and ate lots of raspberry chocolate cake. The best part was when everyone left and we carried everything upstairs and organized it in the baby's room. They've decided to name her Audrey Claire. Jordan's family is French and they wanted to honor that. I can't wait to meet her. At the latest it will be at Christmas when Travis and I both get to go home and visit everyone. Chrissie wants to come down before then, WITH the baby, but we'll have to see how that goes. Traveling with a new baby might be too difficult!

Miss you Chrissie!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Motion Sickness

I am sure most of you have already heard about this, but I still cannot get over it. Some crazy Italian architect is planning to build a moving skyscraper in Dubai. What is up with Dubai? That place is blowing up! If it wasn't in the middle of the desert, I might think about vacationing there. But it is, so I'm not.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chicken Wang

I sort of have this thing where I hate raw meat. I still deal with it on a daily basis since I cannot go without meat in my diet. If I got THIS package of chicken, all sanity would have gone right out the window.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Can't get enough of those celebs

This is another fun website that I found through the Go Fug Yourself blog. More celebrity crack for those who might be craving a fix!

Bauer-Griffin: the blog stops here

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wii Beer Pong

This is a new game coming out for the Nintendo Wii. I'm all for the real thing, but I don't quite see the fun in it being a video game. I mean, your opponent doesn't have to drink the beer you scored for him. It could be slightly entertaining if the screen player became drunken and slovenly as the game progressed. Although, that's probably even worse for the kids who might play this game. It is funny though that it is rated for Teens. I guess its not much different than commercials for alcohol? We gotta get them trained for college, right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ciao for Now

Well, I'm off for Illinois today! I probably will not have time to post anything while I'm gone, so don't miss me too much. For your entertainment, there will be a few things automatically posted that I have found online.

For example, if I am ever in Portland, Oregon, I'm looking up this restaurant: Nutshell.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Food

Last night Travis and I had a bunch of people over for a BBQ. We bought an 8lb brisket at the grocery store and knew we would need some help eating it. I broke out the citronella torches and candle from the camping trip and we were still attacked by mosquitoes. Thank goodness for fragrance-free bug spray. It was a little weird because the mosquitoes were really small. There is a running joke around here that the mosquito is the state bird because they are so large. So the small ones were a little strange... We ate lots of food and I plan to finish off the pasta salad for lunch today. Mmmm.

Since my birthday is on Sunday, Shannon, Chris and Dylan brought over cupcakes and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Unfortunately, I only get to enjoy them for a day. I'm leaving first thing in the morning for the 17-hour drive to Illinois.

We have been fortunate enough to spend a lot more time than normal with our friends Jenna and Seth this summer. Their two children are still in Maryland for a few months. For some reason, all of my beautiful friends hate having their photo taken. So I'm pretty sure they are going to hate these photos, and me for posting them for the world to see. Oh well. =)

Seth, Jenna and Sara

Shannon and her son Dylan

Later in the evening, my husband and the guys tortured my dog. Here's the proof:

The guys played washers for a little while. Until Logan took over, that is...

Good bye for a week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Stress

I am quickly becoming more and more stressed about a trip I have planned to Illinois. I always love going there. The hard part is the drive. I had originally planned to fly, but it became difficult when there was the possibility of Travis, Ariel and Robert going also. I kept waiting to buy the tickets in hopes that they would find out if they could get off work. I finally made the decision to drive. That way, if anyone could go last minute, they would still have the opportunity. Unfortunately, here I am three days from my departure and no one can go with me. That means I have to make the entire 17-hour drive on my own. I've done it before, so I know I can do it. But I also know that it is VERY hard. I have to hype myself up on NoDoz the whole trip so I don't pass out on the wheel. Sounds safe, huh? It's not that I'm tired because I am usually very well rested before the trip. It's more like hypnotism or being mesmerized by the road. There is this long stretch of road in Mississippi where the interstate splits, so it's just me and the trees and the blip-blip-blip of the dashed center line. That will put you to sleep quick. I can stay awake with the NoDoz, but I end up feeling sick by the time I reach my destination.

This time I have a better plan. I am going to get a bunch of books on CD to help keep me entertained and awake. I can spend the rest of the time listening to the radio and calling people up on the phone. That can be tricky in itself, since I don't get very good reception on part of the trip. Alexa recommended renting the books on CD from Cracker Barrel. I ran up there to see what they have and it looks like they have a few I would be interested in. I'm going back later this week to actually get them since you pay by the week. I am kind of excited about it.

The trip itself will be a little stressful, but it's fun stress. I am staying the first weekend at my friend Chrissie's house. She is having a baby shower the day after I get there. By staying there, I'll be able to help set everything up and clean up afterwards. Sunday is my birthday and we'll be running around meeting various family for lunch and dinner. Then for the beginning of the week, I'll be going back and forth between my mom and dad (they are divorced). I think at the end of the week I'm going up near Chicago to visit my extended family with my mom and brother. The only bummer here is that I'm leaving Saturday to come back to Texas and I don't want to add three hours onto my trip in ONE DAY. So, I'll have to drive up separately.

Stupid gas. It's going to be an expensive trip!

Monday, July 7, 2008

BBQ's Galore

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was packed full of entertainment. Friday night we went to Jenna and Seth's neighbors' (Lillie and Greg) house to celebrate Independence Day. Travis spent the first half of the evening grilling. Don't worry, I know he loved it. After we ate, the guys played a little beer pong.

Of course, soon after, Lillie broke out the shot glasses. Yikes.

We didn't go watch big fireworks anywhere, but we did get quite the show on the street. It's weird because I'm used to it being illegal to shoot fireworks off in town. I'm guessing that's either not the case in Jenna and Seth's neighborhood, or no one cares to follow the rules. I swear to you there were two houses per block shooting off fireworks. There were Roman Candles and smoke bombs going off everywhere. We went to watch down the street and ended up running back to the house because I was worried we were going to get hit by fireworks. Flippin crazy. We had a nice evening and headed back home at a decent time.

Saturday afternoon we headed up to our friends Ashley and Scott's house. We met them through JR and Sara, so they are some of our newer friends. They just bought a house a month ago and were finally settled enough that they wanted to have some people over to check it out. I cannot get over how large that house is! We had a great time eating too much and drinking too much. It's a regular pattern in our life. It's a wonder I'm not the size of a whale. We ended up playing a drinking card game - I cannot remember the last time I did that. It was pretty hilarious. I didn't get any photos, but I'm hoping to snag a couple from my friend's website whenever she gets them up.

Sunday was another busy day for us. We slept in until 10. Awesome. Then I cleaned house for an hour before getting ready for lunch with Chris, Alexa and Blair. We went to The Spot in Galveston. It was a pretty laid back meal with plenty of Blair play-time.

After lunch we drove up to the dike to watch kite boarders. Sadly, they were all beginners just learning how to board, so there wasn't anything exciting. We just ran around avoiding fire ants and rogue kites. I don't know why he was so tired, cuz he wasn't the one doing all the running, but Blair passed out the second we got into the car.

We finished the evening off by letting JR kick our butts in Liverpool Rummy. Travis said if we keep going at this rate we're going to have to take out a loan to keep playing. =(

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Ah, today, I almost have off from work. But not completely. I'm hoping it will be quick and painless, as I am sure I will be thinking about all those people out there who are NOT at work. I hope everyone has a day full of sun and burgers and fireworks and maybe some beer. =)

I am proud to be an American. Especially when I see places like this. The idea of eating on a toilet just does not appeal to me. Is that weird?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Farewell, Sveta (til August)

I haven't been to a smoky bar in so long, I had forgotten how much my eyeballs hate it. I have chronic dry eyes (Rachel is rolling her eyes right now). It usually only bothers me when I sleep, and especially when I first wake up from sleeping. I use special gel eye drops that are supposed to last longer than regular, but I think its all bunk. It does help, at least. But THIS morning, I woke up with a horrendous case of red eye. I swear to you I could hear my eyes scraping on the back of my eyelids when I opened them. They were THAT dry. Eh, my eyes are bothering me just thinking about it.

Last night, we skipped working out to have dinner with Chris and Shannon at a Vietnamese place near where we live. That food is awesome. They seem to have attempted to update their menu a little since the last time we were there. Instead of serving chips and salsa prior to the meal, like they do at Mexican restaurants, they served rice cakes and some sort of a creamy salsa. As strange as it sounds, it was actually pretty good. The food was great, the service was horrible. We are all convinced our server was stoned. Listen to me! I sound like an old man already.

Anyhoo, after dinner we went straight to the smoky bar where a friend from my work was having a temporarily-going-away party. Sveta is from Russia and is currently here on a work visa. She got accepted to graduate school and now needs a student visa. But in order to do this, she has to go back to her homeland to apply. What?! They are making her fly all the way back to Russia ($2000 plane tickets, by the way) so she can trade out the piece of paper that states she can live here? Crazy. It's all crazy. I'm sure someone, somewhere has a reason for this. But I don't know what it is. Anyways, she has allotted herself two months to apply and receive the visa. Hopefully she gets it in that amount of time, because I don't know what she'll do otherwise. AND I don't know what I'll do for my coffee breaks while she's gone.

Travis came with to the bar and since we were a little early, we played a few rounds of pool while we waited for everyone to arrive. We only stayed until 10:30 because old man Travis was falling asleep on my shoulder. Then came the dried up raisins I like to call my eyeballs. How can I be so sensitive to AIR? Especially considering that I live in the middle of the most polluted area in the country (darn oil refineries)?

On a totally different topic, check out these freakin' ridiculously cute photos that Stephanie took of Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rollin' on the River

I finally got the photos back from the river. Just like last year, they mostly turned out blurry. The lens was either covered in condensation or there was a drop of water obscuring the view. This is the best I could get with a disposable camera.

We got on the water around 10am. The water was FREEZING. After a couple minutes, someone said we should have just brought a bag, filled it with beer and let that hang in the water. It was that cold. After my ass went numb, I applied sunscreen and cracked open a beer. Yes - we started drinking at 10 in the morning. And it was awesome.

The river was at a complete standstill, so it took us at least an hour to get around the first bend. At that point we didn't mind though. We were just chilling outside, sipping on a beer. Chris got frustrated after a while and said he was just going to walk home. Here's Chris walking home (behind Jenna):

It really is very pretty there. We enjoyed the majority of our toob trip. It wasn't until the last couple hours that we were miserable with sunburns. I swear to you that we had group sunblock time, where we passed around the sunscreen so everyone could have a go. And yet none of us made it out unscathed.

There were people on docks on the side of the river, mooning us. There were people down stream throwing jello shots around. I think Shannon even caught one. There were people with their dogs on their tubes. There were people with radios built into their coolers. There was even a woman who I am pretty sure was doped out on some sort of drugs. She was squirming around in her tube, with vomit stuck in her hair. And then Jenna and I got wedged between her and another group of people. Disgusting. There were SO MANY people there. Do you see all these people behind me?! INSANE.

About half way through our trip (probably because that's when all the partiers finally got up for the day), the river suddenly became filled with all these people. Towards the end, we passed a campground called Rainbow Campgrounds. Ha! There were some very butch looking women sitting in chairs in the water. And do you know what happened? Jenna, Shannon and I (all drunk), ran RIGHT INTO THEM. I'm sure they thought we were trying to start a conversation. They just looked at us and said, "you gettin off here?" Ahhh! Noooo! She didn't seem to hear us and asked again. Again, I said NO. After accepting our decision, she got up and gave us a good shove back into the flow of traffic. Narrow escape.

Ladies, it's time to be jealous. Yes. This is my sexy husband and I am damn proud of it. Some girls even talked to him about his tattoo. Silly girls. Don't they know he's with me?

We're all still nursing our burns... Except Travis. Boo on him.

**Update** I forgot to mention how we nearly lost the cooler for the second year in a row. We lost it last year going over a three foot waterfall. This year, a bunch of us were tied to the cooler tube. At some point (after plenty of beers), Jenna and Shannon went on one side of a rock, and Travis and the cooler went on the other side of the rock. The result was a torn rope and a spilled cooler of beer. I tried to grab a rope that was tied to the handle to right the cooler, but I just tore off the handle. The top got knocked off and all the beer spilled out. Along with our bag full of IDs, clothes and snacks. I was more concerned with the beers floating away than our bag (drunkenness is bad) so I focused on collecting those. There were a bunch of people standing on the side of these "rapids", and they helped us grab everything. Nice people. When we got to the end, we had everything. Thankfully someone thought to grab our bag. We found out later that the same thing happened to our neighbors at the campsite. But whoever grabbed their bag, also took the liberty of removing all of their debit cards. Not nice people. That's what started that whole fight that I mentioned several days ago. We made it away WITH all of our stuff. Including the beer!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How We Met

Wowzer. I came across this website recently, where you can sell jewelry given to you by ex-boyfriends. I guess that is something that I will never fully understand. Travis and I are high school sweethearts and therefore do not really have an extensive bank of exes. I had two "serious" boyfriends prior to Travis, one more so than the other. But neither of those breakups were horrible, excruciating situations. Ya sure, the first guy was not the most faithful. In the end, I realized that he was not that important to me and I had to cut my losses.

The second boyfriend was more serious. We dated for over a year. It got difficult when I was still in high school and he moved an hour away to go to college. I was sure he would find some college hottie to leave me for, but he never did. He really was a great guy and I'm sure he still is. Eventually, I just felt like we were growing apart and we didn't click anymore.

Not that long after, I met Travis. His mom introduced us, in a way. His mom was my manager at the pharmacy I worked at. Travis came into the store one afternoon to wait for a ride home after football practice. It was only my third day on the job, so when things got busy, they just set me out of the way to label vials. Travis got stuck helping me and I am so glad he did. It wasn't a hugely memorable experience, sitting in the back at a folding table, labeling vials together, but I guess I made an impression on him. The following day, he walked through the whole school until he found my locker and he passed me a note. We started off talking like this, mostly by notes, a little in person between classes. He was only a Sophomore and was still limited on what he could do outside of school. We talked on the phone a lot and hung out a few times at friends' houses, but only as friends.

I remember one day, just before I was about to walk into my biology class, he asked me if I would wear his jersey. I don't know if this is common tradition elsewhere, but it is a huge deal at my high school. I said yes and was so excited to have jersey to wear to that Friday's game! The following week, he asked me another question before that very same class - would I go out with him? Ahh! I was so excited! I told him I would think about it (just through that period, of course). Later he admitted that he was so nervous I would say no. Honestly, I would have said yes immediately, but we had a mutual friend that I thought liked Travis. I'm always worried about stepping on toes, so I had to talk it over with her first. She didn't seem happy, but what was she going to say? After that class, I told Travis yes. (And was guaranteed a jersey every Friday!)

Travis and I dated throughout the rest of the school year. I decided to go to the community college at home before transferring to Texas A&M to help save money. That gave us two more years of dating before we had a huge choice to make. Travis graduated from high school the spring before I was set to start in Texas. Was he ready, at age 17, to move away from his family and start a whole new life with me? In the beginning, he said no. We were going to try to keep it going, but after my experience with Boyfriend #2, I knew that probably would not work out. A month before I was going to make the move, Travis changed his mind and said what the hell! I quickly made arrangements at an apartment complex for us to live in together. It had two bedrooms, so that if worse came to worse, we would have our own rooms. Thankfully, it never did. I found out later that Travis' grandpa told him that I would probably find some college guy while I was away at school and then I would leave Travis. Thank goodness for Travis' grandpa, because that's when he changed his mind.

I am glad we had a chance to live together before we got married, even though it is not quite the "proper" thing to do. I'm sure it helps that we were both young and still developing daily habits and routines, so we were able to mold together. We have done a lot together and I am grateful for everyday we have with one another. I know this turned into a cheesy story pretty quick, but I'm happy with my cheesy story. =)