Saturday, December 18, 2010

Skate Date

Joe surprised me with a fun ice skating and dinner date. It was super fun and definitely help put us in the Christmas spirit.

I hadn't been ice skating a really really long time so it took a little getting used to. Over all it was super fun but honestly I would take regular roller skating over ice skating (I know, I am partial). My feet got really cold from the ice but it was great fun.

The Woodlands they set up the rink in The Woodlands in between the mall and Market Street. They decorate the outside with tons of lights.

The inside was pretty festive too.

Joe's not a big skater but he was a total trooper and went around a few times with me.

I was a speedster for sure :) (I'm in the blue spot light)



Yea for Christmas! I love this time of year. The bright, happy colors, sparkly ornaments, and pretty packages make my heart sing. Normally I decorate after Thanksgiving but this year I decided to step up my game and get the house festive a little early - just by a week. Unfortunately I have not been as prompt with my posting but better late then never!

When pulling stuff out and sorting it, my house looked like a Christmas had a party and was left with a messy house and a hangover. Thankfully the next day my mood setting wine did not leave me with the same!

The big tree is blue and snowman-y this year. I think next year I've got to incorporate more red.

This tree is at the top of my stairs and is so colorful, its hard not to feel smile when I see it.

Anytime I travel some place new - out of state/country) I look for an ornament or something I can make an ornament that reminds me of the place I visited. This helps me not buy a bunch a dust gathering knickknacks when I travel and its always fun to see what I find that represents the different communities. This tree holds those ornaments, and of course, puts my memories on display.

This tree is made of up Waterford ornaments my mom has given every year. Growing up and in college these pretty guys pretty much sat in a drawer waiting for their time to shine. Their time has come!
My entry makes me happy and cheery everytime I come home.

The wreath on my front door was my creative project of the year. I made it out of a cheap wreath and a box of shatter-proof ornaments - both were bought last year after Christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Prayers for JoAnna and Family

Early this morning my good friend JoAnna's lovely mother passed away after a long fight with cancer. Mrs. Hetzel was a wonderful mother, wife and friend who will be missed.

While there is no doubt that Mrs. Hetzel is at peace in heaven with her Lord and Savior, her family and friends miss and ache for her.

Please keep JoAnna and her family in your prayers in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Porch Oasis

About a year ago my garage was transformed into a cool hang out space, completely with a wicker couch, chairs, a table, games, a tv, etc, etc. This space was supposed to be a place to hang when friends came over.

Due to my incessant buying at garage sales and wedding supplies gathering, the cool hang out space quickly became a storage room, a projects room, and a stressful room (due to the messyness and the projects that awaited me). Needless to say, it was not a cool hang out space.

When the nicer weather hit about a month ago it brought a lightbulb with it (as in, a lightbulb went off in my head). Rather than keeping this fun furniture in the now crowded garage, it should be brought to a space it traditionally calls home - the back porch. My back porch was filled with weathered chairs (that were falling apart), plants (that were mostly dying because I forgot to water them) and a rickety rocking chair that was more rickety than rocking. The furniture was an obvious solution that was completely overlooked. Immediately furniture was moved and an outdoor oasis was created.

Joe strung up some lights around the ceiling and the mood lighting was set.

For my birthday my parents got me a nice, pretty (this is key), new propane grill. Its red color makes is a fantastic fit for the porch. It took about 4 hours for me and Joe to put together but it was totally worth it. The first dinner to come from the grill was Asian seasoned ribs (yum).

Notice the dogs facing outward int he background? They had just gotten in trouble and are in their respective corners for a time out.

The chiminea that was haphazardly placed randomly in the yard was also brought over closer to the porch. Joe gets a little carried away with the fire at times...

Combine this spot that was totally unused before with the porch goodies, goodies, a glass of wine, the dogs, and a good magazine and I've got a relaxing escape waiting for me just outside my back door.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tailgating Shower

This past weekend Joe and I had a fantastic time at our first wedding shower and it was a blast! The fun event was hosted by my aunts and uncles Elvera, Dot and Dan, Marilyn and Carson, Flora and Tommy, my cousins Kristin and Jared, and dear friends Rodney and Jerri. It was a Tailgating shower which is really fitting for me and Joe.

The shower was super fun but it was kind of bizzaro in that I have not had a party centered totally around me since my high school graduation party, and before that my 8th grade birthday dance (and that was even shared with several other girls). We had family from my moms side, dad's side, Joe's family, friends and we were really the only connection for everyone being there. It takes some getting used to.

The event was held at Marilyn and Carson's new house and was decorated so well.

There were lots of outside games for everyone to play and I have to say my cousin Blaine and I completely dominated the bean bag toss.

Later we opened gifts and were amazed by all the wonderful things our friends and family had gotten us. We are truly blessed to have wonderful people in our lives that support and love us.

While every gift we got is appreciated I want to point out one thing I got from my Grandma. As many of you know I am obsessed with pretty antique glass pieces; my Grandma also loves this glass and has gathered an assortment of it. One piece of hers that I have always loved is a bright green bubble glass pitcher and matching glasses. She got this piece from a friend a while back and has lovingly taken care of it and displayed it throughout the years. At the shower I was incredibly honored because she passed the piece along to me and will cherish it in the future. Thanks Grandma, I love you!

Again, I want to thank everything that was able to attend the shower, we had a wonderful time and appreciate your coming and spending time with us.

The wedding is approaching REALLY fast - 149 days to go, WOW! Get ready for a party!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Celebration Sunday

I love my church, Ark Family Church. It is an incredible blessing to have a church home in Conroe where I feel comfortable and am challenged and inspired by on a regular basis. I never expected to find myself in a church like the Ark - its huge. Golf carts offer rides to the front door every morning, there is a book store AND a coffee shop on the first floor. The church brings in famous singers and authors on a regular basis. Needless to say, the Ark is pretty different then what I grew up attending.

Joe and I both grew up in small churches and started looking for a church home after I moved to Conroe a couple years ago. We went to several different churches found one that we both enjoyed. Then some friends from work recommended that we try out the Ark. Joe and I were pretty skeptical but agreed that we wanted to check it out. The band was phenomenal. The preacher and his wife seemed nice. I liked it already... THEN in the middle of the sermon, Pastor Clayton showed a clip from The Office (one of my favorite TV shows ever). With Michael Scott's smiling face on screen, I knew I had found my new church home. Since the first service we attended, Joe and I have found ourselves more and more happy with the Ark and have seen our spiritual lives grow as a result.

All that being said, the purpose of this post is not just to gush over my church. Its to let you know about a super cool event that the church is having this coming Sunday (Oct. 24). Its Celebration Sunday and singer Chris August will perform at both the 9:30 and 11:15.

At 11:30 the outdoor events begin. There will be tons of inflatable bounce houses for kids, rides, a climbing rock wall, yummy food (including funnel cakes), and much much more. At the Celebration Sunday this past spring I was blown away by all the fun activities available for kids.

I HIGHLY recommend attending if you have kids that can walk but aren't old enough to drive. Its a great event for the entire family.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Bo-Hot Ending to the Summer

A couple weekends back the Bo-Hots got together for a trip to Rockport - it was the perfect ending for short summer season. My mom and aunt Marilyn (their name from home is Borchgardt, pronounced bo-heart), along with me, my cousin Kristin and sister Megan really had the best time all weekend.

We kicked off the road trip at Marilyns were we each got our matching, and branded, cups for the weekend. A couple orange juice, bloody marys and mimosa's later we were ready to go.
Destination: Rockport, Texas.

Tools: Drinking Making Station

Several laughs, stories, and wedding planning later we had arrived. After a quick stop by a local boutique/ gift shop to buy hats and look at shoes we headed to our home for the weekend.

Unfortunately mom, who was in charge of coordinating our accommodations, forgot to jot down the condo number. Thankfully she knew it ended in a 7... or a 3... or something like that. Kristin was in charge figuring out which condo it actually was. That consisted of walking up to the random condos, trying out the key and running back to the big blue van when the key didn't work. After several tries we found it.

We were fortunate enough to stay in a fantastic condo on the bay side of Rockport, complete with a beautiful view.

We quickly got settled, changed into bathing suites, filled up the cooler, made the drink of the day, and headed to the water. While we did not have sand, or even steps, we could use to slowly get into the water, we did have floats to lounge on, a rope to connect us to the pier, and of course a cooler filled with iced down drinks.

Time passed by and beer passed through us as we stayed in the water for HOURS. It was a blast spending time with everyone without distractions or to-do lists. That being said, being in the water presented us with a few problems.

First, kids being pulled by boats next to us shouted out that we needed to watch out for an alligator that was in the area. This especially concerned Kristin who would jump anytime a foot accidentally hit the bottom of her float. Thankfully we did not have any encounters with alligators or other animals over the weekend.

Second, the cooler was on the pier (which was about 2 feet - at least - above water level) and there was not a ladder leading up to the pier. This meant in order to get a new drink we (usually me) had to balance ourselves just right on the float, while doing a half pull up and half stretching as far as humanly possible. Then we had to feel around the cooler for a bottle - most of which were laying flat rather than straight up and down. Not only that but there were different types of beers so we had find the particular flavor of choice for the person who needed a refill. Despite our challenges with the cooler, we didn't seem to have too many problems almost completely emptying it. This directly leads to our third, and largest challenge.

We all got in the water by jumping off the pier with the exception of Marilyn, who found a ramp type thing. The ramp was covered in seaweed and really slippery so she placed the float on the ramp, sat on the float and pushed off the ramp. The slipperiness came in handy when getting into the water. However once the cooler was empty we needed to get out of the water. Without stairs or a functioning ladder we were left with the option of pulling ourselves up on the pier or using the ramp which was so handy when getting in the water. Kristin and Meggo pulled themselves up and mom, Marilyn and I (wanting to be helpful and provide a push from behind) went to the ramp. Marilyn slipped once or twice attempted to get up but made it to the top of the ramp first. Mom was next. We had a few more problems because unlike Marilyn who started on the edge of the ramp and used the pier to support herself, Mom started in the center of ramp where there was absolutely nothing but slippy slime to grasp onto. Finally mom got out and it was my turn. My sweet sister came to give me a hand but without a grip (besides her hand) I ended up pulling her into the water with me. I am not sure why at this point we didn't say "hey, its hard to get out here lets just pull ourselves onto the pier", but it honestly did not cross our - or at least my - mind.

At this point everyone was laughing so hard and loud that a nice man from the pool (which was at least 100 feet away) ran over to make sure we were ok. So nice and gentlemanly. After assuring him we were all ok in the best of health he left and I started to help Megan get out, the same way I did with Marilyn and mom. First time Megan slipped like the rest of us and we all dissolved into laughs. Unfortunately on the second try, when I pushed Megan, her foot slammed into the wood post and she got a huge splinter in the big toe and the toe nail on her... umm... pointer (?) toe split in half. Mom, Marilyn, and Kristin had no idea we had an injury so they continued laughing. After convincing them we really needed help, they pulled Meggo out, and I climbed onto the pier. Kristin played doctor (she is one in real life too) and Megan, ever the trooper, limped with us to the pool to rinse off.

So a book later, you know the three major challenges we faced as we floated in the gulf. The 1 minor challenge was take a group picture of all of us while we were in the water. I only bring this one up because it was The Picture of the weekend and still makes us laugh when we talk about it. FYI this took place prior to the ramp incident. The plan was I would get out set the camera up on a post on the pier, position everyone so they would be the shot, set the timer for 10 seconds (the max amount of time), and run and fast as I can down our ramp, over and to the end of the ramp the group was tied to. I would jump in and pop up in just enough time for the camera to go off. Apparently the rest of the group did not fully comprehend the plan because between my running and jumping in they bust out laughing and stopped looking at the camera. Way to go team. Nevertheless, we got a great, fun shot of the group.

After a quick dip in the pool (and the rescuing of a chair by mom) we decided we would get cleaned up, head to Crab-N for dinner then come back to the condo for a night a games. Dinner was fantastic - the crab cakes were to die for - so much so that we got like 8 orders to go so we could freeze them and bring them home with us). Megan, who hates fish, actually ate, and enjoyed, raw oysters. Way to go Megan! Kristin had the genius idea that we should order a bottle of wine to have with dinner. I agreed to split one with her because a bottle of wine was absolutely necessary after mimosas, the drink of the day, and more beers and we could count. Thanks Kristin.

Back at the condo we had a blast playing catch phrase (Megan and I dominated), and Bananagrams, a super fun game mom taught us.

The next morning I think most of us had flu like symptoms so we started slow with breakfast and a few games of bananas. Megan got hit hard with allergies so she decided to take a nap and the rest of us headed to the pool with our new, fruity, drink of the day. Mom and Marilyn enjoyed relaxing in the water and setting up competitions for Kristin and I to participate in. We did synchronized swimming, handstands, breath holding, and every other type of activity they could think of. Once Megan joined us we had a diving competition that seemed to last for 2 hours. Finally we decided we would head back to get cleaned up, get dinner and go out to a local bar.

Once we were ready to go, Krisitin, Marilyn, and mom surprised me a Megan with pretty princessy veils and told us that night would be our pre-bachelorette party. The veil was so fun and pretty and fun to wear and it was so thoughtful of them to make them for us.

First stop was Moon Dogs for dinner. They had the best calamari that I think I have ever had.

After dinner it was time to go out and get the party started. We went to Alice Fays on the Bay- this is the same place that provided us with a bus ride home after Kristin bachelorette party a couple years ago.

The night started out slow but picked up pretty quickly. Not to be boastful but I've got to say that the Bo-Hots were unquestionably the life of the party - and the dance floor! It was a SUPER fun night and set the standard really high when it comes time for the actually bachelorette party. Mom, Marilyn, and Kristin, thank you all so much for the night, it was a BLAST!!!

Sunday come too quickly and none of us were eager to leave. We slowly packed up our things, played a few games of Bananagrams and made the treck back to Brenham.

The entire weekend was a blast and is sure to be an annual trip for all of us.