What a Week

January 30, 2015

I know I haven't blogged much at all this week, but it has been a week.
Monday was Bella's birthday and we celebrated by taking her to karate class!
(Ha!) Seriously she loves karate and couldn't wait to go.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning & The Hubs falls down our stairs.
Well he missed the last 2 steps and what should happen?!
Oh he broke his right foot.... AGAIN.
This is him on Wednesday at the Orthopedic surgeon's office. Thank goodness no surgery, but a boot on for 6 weeks and no sports for 12.
So that's been our week around here... let's hope the weekend is much better.
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Dear Bella

January 26, 2015

Dear Bella,

Today you turn 8 years old & I cry.
Not because it's your birthday, but because my little girl is growing up faster than I can grasp.
When we brought you home from the hospital, your Dad & I thought we had a long 18 years ahead of us.
Well 8 of those years have flown by at such a fast pace, that I imagine the next 10 will do the same.
Sometimes I wish you could be that little 2 year old girl, dancing in her pajamas to the Mickey Mouse Club & laughing your heart out when you fell down.
But I see you now, the sparkle in your eyes,
the way you love to lay with me at night and not let go.
I see you being fearless in karate & loving every minute of it.
And I think "Gosh we're so blessed to have her."
So Sweet Girl, Happy 8th Birthday.
I can't wait to see where this year takes you,
but mainly I can't wait to see how you take on the world.
Because no matter what age you are, you will always be my
fearless, glowing, happy, sweet, kind hearted little girl.
I love you more than you can imagine.
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Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 25, 2015

This whole weekend was devoted to our baby girl & celebrating her turning 8! 
And it was fabulous!

Friday, Eric & I took off from work to get last minute errands done & to take Bella lunch. She loved it and afterwards, we went and got a birthday cake to take to her class to celebrate at the end of the school day. 
Mr. Tidwell helping her blow out her birthday candle!

All the kids loved the cupcakes & she was excited to celebrate.
That night Aunt Tanya & Cousin Austyn came in to celebrate her birthday & she was overjoyed! They hung out until late Friday night playing Playstation and catching up.

Saturday was the big day! 
She wanted something different than a regular birthday party, so we decided to have it at her karate gym. Premier Martial Arts did an amazing job and all the kids had such a great time! They even got to each break a board! I've never seen them so excited before!
Bella even got to be a black belt for the day! 
She was so proud!

Austyn & Bella are the best cousins together, they love each other more than anything. 

Sunday we took Bella to spend her birthday money, then let her go to JumpStreet and bounce around for an hour. 

She was actually exhausted by the time she was done, so we came home & The Hubs and I took turns going for a run. 
Now we're relaxing before I start cooking dinner. 
Such a fun family weekend, now it's back to the grind!
Happy Sunday!

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Party Central

January 23, 2015

Tomorrow we will celebrate my little girl's 8th birthday.
We're having a karate party for her and her friends & she is beyond excited!
We've done many a birthday party over the years...
Home a few times
Bouncy Houses galore
Jump Zone party
Circus party
You name it we've probably thrown it for her.
Now that she's getting older and more independent, we get to sit back and let her and her friends learn karate and have a blast.
It's my definition of a good time for kids and parents!
So as we spend the weekend celebrating my little girl getting too old too quickly, I will look at the pictures above from every party previously & remember when.
Happy Weekend!
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January 20, 2015

I have read this over and over again.
 Probably a good hundred times over the weekend.
I have officially hit 1 year of running & still have a crazy love/hate relationship with it.
I still run 2-3 miles 4x a week and make sure (or try to make sure) I never miss a run.
I've lost almost 30 lbs since I started running last year.
I've changed the way I eat as well and running.
I suffer from insanely painful shin splints every single time I run.
I get made fun of a lot at lunch because everyone orders something delicious and fattening while I order a salad with dressing on the side.
Don't even get me started on sore muscles, they are a constant in my life every day.
But I have never felt better about myself.
I have never felt more strong.
I have never felt more awesome when I finish my run.
And whether the scale goes down or stays the same, I am making my body healthier, stronger, and more beautiful with every run I take, every salad I eat, etc.
It might have taken me months to finally start seeing significant results, but I kept at it and am so proud that I have made it a whole year without giving up!
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Weekend Wrap Up

January 19, 2015

We decided to start Bella's birthday celebrations a week early, just us 3. 
So we surprised her Saturday morning and took her to The Thinkery. It's a science museum in Austin for kids and everything is hands on. They have people at every station to help the kids learn and play, and Bella loved it!!
Mommy & Bella Belle infant of the Junk Town. 
This showed how you can recycle anything and make it beautiful!

Playing in the water area, this was her favorite!
Playing music with water. This was her favorite and she was really good!

Bella and The Hubs playing with magnets. 

After we played in every.single.area. we went downtown to Cedar Door for lunch. It was amazing and we had so much fun! We finished the day at the LBJ Museum watching and remembering about Martin Luther King and how they both helped changed our nation. She was amazed at how differently people and our country were in the 1960's. 

Overall an amazing & fun family weekend! 
And Bella & I are off today to celebrate MLK Day. 
Have a great Monday!
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Monterey Jack Chicken Casserole

January 18, 2015

It's been quite a long time since I posted a really good recipe. 
The time has come.... and let me tell you it's delicious!

Monterey Jack Chicken Casserole


4 Chicken breasts (we used 2 large chicken breasts and 3 chicken legs)
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese 
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup soup
Stove Top Chicken Stuffing (about 1/2 a box)
1/4 cup of butter

1) Cover bottom of the baking pan with chicken
2)Lay the cheese over the chicken entirely. 

3) Mix 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1/4 cup of milk together.

4) Pour mixture over chicken.
5) Top with 1/2 a bag (or more) of Stove Top Chicken Stuffing.

6) Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter on top.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
8) Serve over rice.

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My Daughter is Amazing

January 15, 2015

I know I always say how proud we are and how much we love our little girl, but lately she has been amazing us left and right.
We signed her up last month for Karate/Krav Maga and she started classes a week ago.
When she went in last month to try out for karate the teachers said she was a natural & we shook our heads because honestly, she's pretty much a natural at all sports she plays.
Here's the thing, ever since she started classes, she has started helping around the house more, getting her own things instead of asking us to get them, sleeping every single night in her bed without fussing (this is a huge one in our house!), the changes are unbelievable.
They teach her not just karate, but self defense.
They hold her accountable for her school work, chores at home, etc.
We are so very proud of this little girl.
She is just amazing.
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Day Dreaming

January 14, 2015

So it's only mid-January and yet I'm sitting here daydreaming about the summer time. We've had nothing but cold dreary weather here since December and us Texans aren't liking it.
I'm so ready to sit at the beach, drink in my hand, relaxing and enjoying vacation.
We have our annual SPI vacation in June and I'm already counting down for it.
The smell of sunblock
Bathing suits
Flip Flops
Cut Off Shorts
Beachy wave hair
It all sounds delightful.
And it's taking too long to get here!
Now I will remember to read this again in July & August when it's hotter than hell here and I'm wishing for colder weather.
Until then I'll be here daydreaming about summer time.
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January 12, 2015

It's been quite a while since I was obsessed over a makeup product.
Since it's freezing ass cold outside, I've been trying to use cream products on my face more than powders, so when I saw this beauty in Target I immediately snatched it up.
I got it in warm tan and love it!
It's super creamy and so blendable!
It melts into my skin perfectly & looks amazing.
I can't say enough about it, but I am definitely obsessed with it!
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I Heart Texas

January 5, 2015

I've done posts like this before (years ago) and noticed that bloggers from other states really don't explain why they are there or what they really like about it. 
Being a native Texan that is extremely weird to me. We all love our state and have no problem saying the hundreds of reasons why... 
I'll just name my top 5!

1) HEB's - It's pretty much the only grocery stores we have in Central Texas & they're finally starting to move up north to the DFW area. They have the best prices, they make their own sushi in house, and best thing of all... That Green Sauce. Look it up... amazing!

2) Buccee's - Yes they are gas stations, no they're not normal tiny little gross gas stations. They are huge and have everything you can imagine inside including a restaurant. Their candy wall is amazing, but my personal favorite is their turkey jerky. Delicious!

3) Weather - We have the best weather here... yes it's hotter than hell in the summer time, but we love it & we love that there's really only 2 seasons here... Summer and 2 months of cold we like to call the Winter. 

4) People - The people here are amazing y'all! We open doors for strangers, say Bless You when we hear anyone sneeze (stranger or not), and are always up for a beer with your neighbor. Pure greatness!

5) Food - Tacos, BBQ, Brisket, Mexican food, Margaritas... the list goes on and on. Everything here is delicious and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

Of course I could go on and on, but pretty much Texas isn't just a state... it's a state of mind. 
Welcome to Heaven. 

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New Years Wrap Up

January 4, 2015

So it's the Sunday evening before going back to reality & I'm a little excited. 
Mainly to get back to our normal routines, but also because I'm getting sick of being home so much. 
Let's wrap up New Year's Eve 1st though...
We ended up having a small get together at our casa for NYE. We've had some type of crazy fun party here every year for new year's but wanted something much smaller & more with the kids. 

My 2 besties came over and we got to ring in the new year together. 
Sandra, me, & Sonia

The 3 of us and our families celebrated with drinks, games, and just had a great time catching up and saying goodbye to 2014. It was exactly as we planned and we all had the best time!

Friday Eric worked and Bella was at camp, so I went for a run in the morning, then shopping and house cleaning the rest of the day.  Kinda boring, but nice to relax a little!

Saturday morning we went to Flix Brewhouse to see Night at the Museum 3. We all loved it and had a great brunch during the movie. Bella really loved getting to eat pancakes and popcorn during the movie!

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful... cleaning, taking Christmas decorations down, etc. Nothing too exciting & another reason I'm ready to get back to normal. 

Although the holidays were awesome and we had a great time, we're ready to get 2015 off with a good start & get ready for Bella to turn 8!! 
Where did the time go?! 

Happy 2015, let's hope it's another great year!

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