September 22, 2014

amazing weekend with my hubby!!!

We had such a fantastic time in Dallas over the weekend!!!

We drove to Dallas on Friday night, and after stopping for pizza along the way, we arrived at our new La Quinta hotel and it was so nice! We hit the sack because we had to get up early early the next morning!

On Saturday, we woke up at 6:30 and arrived at the Texas Motor Speedway around 8:00 for a full day of fun, noise, and new experiences! We walked around a bit, found our seats (which were awesome!), watched a few of the early races, and then headed into the pits to see the cars being worked on, put together, preparing for the race. What a neat experience! Chris was able to have a few drivers sign his tshirt, and we saw John Force too!

We ate a lot of yummy junk food, tried to stay cool in the very hot weather, and watched all kinds of different races. The top fuel cars were my favorite...the long skinny ones, that are really really loud! Chris had me listen to the first one without my ear plugs in, and holy cow! It was like a jet taking off right next to me! The ear plugs helped with the rest :) I loved how you could feel the cars in your chest, what an experience! It makes me very happy that he wanted to experience this first with me -- it isn't something that one would think I'd enjoy, but I must say -- it was an incredibly fun time!! :)

This is my husband -- I have to say, in the past 11 years, I have never, ever seen him so GIDDY!!
Me enjoying the races for the first time!
All the race cars were so cool -- bu this was my favorite of the day :) LOVE this, would love to have it :)
It was fun in the pits -- and Chris was excited to see Courtney Force's car :) She, by the way, ended up taking the title for the funny cars! Gooooo girl!
My favorite thing ended up being the top fuel cars -- so cool!
We left the races around 4:00, and as we were driving back to our hotel, Chris pulled something out of his backpack. I looked over (I was driving) and saw that he was holding tickets -- to the LUKE BRYAN CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a huge surprise to me, I thought we were going dancing that evening. Luke Bryan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a very short time to get ready, and then we headed to the Gexa outdoor theater. Our seats were amazing!!! We were so close!!

Opening act was Cole Swindell, followed by Lee Brice! And then....Luke came on and entertained us thoroughly for the rest of the night!! He was incredible! And my sweet husband even took me into the aisle and danced with me :) We danced while Luke sang for us!!

An incredible ending to our incredible day!! This man is too good to me!
I was super excited :) See how close we were? That's Luke behind that horrible tall man!
Luke moves around a lot when he performs, so it was difficult to get a good photo with my phone! This was on the screen right above us!
Loved every minute of our weekend together!! We are so blessed to be able to do things like this...life is good, indeed!!! Love you so much Chris!!!!

weekend details coming soon!

Howdy!!

Had a GREAT weekend and can't wait to tell you all about it!

Will post this evening...after getting home from Dallas last night, I had to do laundry and get the grocery list made...so no time for blogging!

September 18, 2014

long week

:: This week -- whew, it feels like it's been long. It's been a week. For any number of reasons. It's 8:48 and honestly, I am just ready for bed.

:: Did 45 minutes of pure cardio tonight, and that felt great. It was so nice to work up a sweat and veg out to Sex & The City and E News! I need to shut my brain off like that more often. I burned 450 calories, and I need to do more of that.

:: Dinner was delish tonight -- buttermilk chicken nuggets (I find that buttermilk is the very best marinade for chicken, it makes it soooo tender!), spaghetti squash with cilantro, and zuchinni spears with parmesan cheese. Nom nom. And some leftover for lunch tomorrow too. Can't beat that!

:: I'm ready for our weekend in Dallas! We leave tomorrow after work. It is so nice to just get away from reality sometimes. I'm looking forward to my first drag race, and I think we might find somewhere to go dancing Saturday night too. Yes, please!

:: I found out some upsetting news last night. Winkflash, the website I use to print all of my photos and where I layout all of my photo books, has closed down. Unexpectedly. The bad part here, for me, is that I have been working on my project life album since last September, and I was just about to add in the final two weeks and then print it. A full year's worth of work, and now it is stuck in cyberspace and I can't print it. I'm just sick about it. I have emailed them about it but I don't expect an answer. We shall see. Then, I have a decision to make. I can either chalk it up and say screw it, or I can copy out all of the text from the online book and then redo the album on another website. Which is going to be a lot of work. How badly do I want the album? I haven't decided yet. Once my upset level has gone down a bit, I will be able to think more clearly!

:: I've got an hour left to my evening...I will pack up our snacks for tomorrow, and then I think I might read a magazine. Good night!

September 17, 2014

boring

:: Had one of those days where I felt disconnected with my body...just a little off all day. Luckily those days don't happen very often.

:: Took a quick nap at lunch, snuggled with Poppy. That always helps.

:: Had life group this evening and we had 5 new couples join. Looking forward to getting to know everyone better. Tonight's ice breaker question was "what is your guilty pleasure?" What's yours???

:: I was really surprised that Betsey Johnson did not go home on DWTS last night! Agreed that Lolo was no bueno, but really -- Betsey was insane! I would have given Lolo one more chance to prove herself. Hmm.

:: We had our book study today -- it is our mid-management group and our CEO Kris lead us for this first section. It was a great meeting! We have four more sections to go...

:: That's all I have -- I'm feeling boring this week, sorry readers!

September 16, 2014

normal day

:: Ok! Who watched Dancing with the Stars last night?? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the first episode :) Here are my thoughts...Alfonso (Carlton) was insanely good, he is probably going to take the whole shebang. So fabulous!! Love his pro too, she is from SYTYCD. Thought Lea Thompson was also very, very good. She was a surprise! I think Sadie has potential (minus those awful faces she was pulling) and that fighter/boxer? guy was actually pretty decent. Allison and Jonathan were good. Derek and Bethany were good. Poor Betsy Johnson...she's a bit loopy! And poor, poor LoLo Jones...really like her, but her rhythm is questionable...

:: Productive day at work, and a good back/leg workout after...then home to a delicious crockpot dinner!

:: Tomorrow we have life group and I am looking forward to it -- lots of laughter and fellowship!

:: Today Randy had his second surgery, and mom says that it went well. He is sore, but he is home. Now he begins his recovery...we are praying for you!

:: That's about all I've got...more tomorrow!!

September 15, 2014

quick

:: Had a lovely lunch with my sweet Kim today and thoroughly enjoyed it! Except for the fact that I smelled like Subway for the rest of the afternoon :)

:: Great zumba workout after work! Then dropped Chris off on the way home and he ran three miles. Tomorrow he begins half marathon training!

:: Watching Dancing with the Stars...woo hoo! Betsy Johnson, whoopsie!!

:: Made a so-so dinner tonight...a different kind of fish. Chris liked it better than tilapia, I thought it wasn't as good. I roasted sweet potatoes and eggplant. Not so sure about that eggplant still. Edible but nothing to write home about. Thought I guess it did make it to the blog :)

:: I have some book study reading to do, so this is all for tonight!!

September 14, 2014

baber weekend

:: The weekend has flown by, at least to me. Back to work tomorrow already???

:: Friday evening, Chris and I had dinner at Red Robin. Afterwards, we walked around Old Navy and Academy for a bit. I found a few things at Old Navy, so that was nice :)

:: Saturday, Chris worked with the boys on his side project, and I took care of some errands and such. When he got home around 6:00, we went to dinner at Duetchlanders for catfish. Yum yum! Aspen worked until 9:15, and then came home to tell us about her 7th grade d-group leader training. She was super excited about this new chapter of her life, and I think she is going to pour into those girls with all her heart.

:: Sunday, our church service was great! Aspen went to early service and then had her first d-group gathering. She said that it went great and all the girls are fun. She is looking forward to it even more now. Chris ran and then worked in the yard, while I grocery shopped and did some cleaning. I made a simple dinner and now we are getting things ready for the week ahead.

:: Please keep my mom's husband Randy in your prayers -- he is having a second surgery tomorrow, to have two additional hernias fixed. Speedy recovery!! We love you!

:: This coming weekend, Chris and I are going to Dallas for the drag races :) It will be my first time experiencing anything like this, and I am excited! Chris is SUPER excited!!!

:: This Wednesday, my mother has a milestone birthday!!! I won't tell you the number :) We love her!

:: I'm having lunch with Kim tomorrow and can't wait! It has been way too long since our last one. A little girl time is in order!!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

September 11, 2014

i see you weekend

:: Today is nearly over...

:: I woke up snotty this morning...and then it rained a smidge. And the weather is changing...105 yesterday, 75 today. These kinds of things wreak havoc on my allergies. It will be a two Benedryl night tonight, to ensure good rest.

:: Today I nearly caught up on my to-do list at work...nearly.

:: Casual day tomorrow! Looking forward to comfy shoes :)

:: Dillards is going great for Aspen so far! She is having her third training session tonight. Last night she got to work the register a bit. She came home excited and bubbly. She loves wearing cute clothes to work instead of her black uniform for Olive Garden - I think that excites her the most! I think this will be a good fit for her.

:: I tried the Miracle Gel polish from Sally Hansen -- it claims 14 days of wear with no chips. I painted my nails on Sunday evening, and today, Thursday evening, they still look pretty good. Four days. I noticed a chip just now on my thumb, but I was using some cleaning chemicals for a lengthy time and that may have done it. I don't think they will make it 7 days, let alone 14. But, I will say it has lasted longer than all other polishes I have tried. It is worth it, I suppose...

:: That's about all I've got --

September 10, 2014

random wednesday

:: We were back to Life Group this evening! It was a great time, we laughed a lot. I really like our leader a lot, and enjoy the people in our group. I realized that I really missed it over the summer during our hiatus. I am so glad that it has started up again.

:: Beyond that, not a lot to share today. Work was good, no workout due to Life Group. We ate a quick dinner at Subway before our meeting and I came home starving. So I just had a snack and am now about to have a coconut water pop!

:: The sunset was absolutely glorious this evening!! Sometimes God just stops me in my tracks with his beauty.

:: Please say a few prayers for my mom's husband Randy -- he recently had an apendectomy and a hernia fixed, and on this coming Tuesday he will be having two additional hernias fixed. Some good recovery is in his near future and he will need some prayers!

:: Mimi bought new toys for our pups today -- each was $0.25 at CVS :) They are really enjoying them! Ocho won't let his out of his sight.

:: Something I am looking forward to this season is Dancing with the Stars. I rarely watch that show, but I am excited about some of the people that will be on this time around. I love Julianne Hough and can't wait to see her judging. I also like Derek. I am super excited about Pro Allison Holker - she is from SYTYCD and is amazing! Also excited for Lolo Jones and Sadie Robertson! So it looks to be an entertaining season! I just set the recorder!!

September 09, 2014

augusta, missouri

Oh Augusta -- you charmed us! We had such a lovely time there. It was the best anniversary gift that I could have planned for my wine loving hubby!! The wineries were great, the bed and breakfast was great, our time together was great! Loved it all.

Our first stop upon arriving in Augusta was Montelle Winery -- we were greeted by a very nice man who gave us a free tasting. We were pleased with Missouri wines! They had a great Norton, which was new to Chris, and I really enjoyed the Icewine.
We purchased a few bottles of wine to take home, and each took a glass onto their fabulous patio area. We sat our here for awhile, enjoying the amazing view, the wine, and incredible food!
From their cafe, we ordered some delicious pepperoni pizza that was incredible, and also some baked brie with cherry sauce and slivered almonds served with a baguette. Oh my, so very good!
The view from the Montelle patio was breathtaking!!!!
Us, on the Montelle patio
From Montelle, we headed to the second winery -- Mount Pleasant! The buildings here were bright orange/yellow with moss green accents and red roofs. The color scheme was kind of crazy! There were multiple buildings on the property. We started off with a tasting (Chris liked the Norton better here) and then took another glass out onto a gazebo.
The view at Mount Pleasant was nice but not nearly as overwhelming with beauty
My studly hubby by a chartruse door of the water tower
From there, we headed to our bed and breakfast -- Apple Gate Inn -- to check in -- we were so blown away by this quaint place! Lynn, the owner, was amazing and was so passionate about what she does. The house was immaculate and perfectly decorated for the time period of the house. It was perfect.
Lynn showed us to Suite 3 and explained everything to us...and she left us with these incredible gooey butter cookies and some deliciously strong iced tea! Those cookies -- they were to die for!
The beautiful canopy bed was impressive and comfy!
The living room in the main house
The kitchen area in our suite
The tv area in our suite - so cozy!
Suites 2 and 3 entered through the same door. Suite 2 was on ground level, and Suite 3 was above. Suite 3 was definitely the best suite, it was a good choice! Suites 1 and 2 were good, but Suite 3 was special!
In the dining room of the main house, there was a wall where all guests had signed over the years. It was so neat to see! There were messages and years and we added our name too!
After getting settled, we walked right down the street to the Augusta Brewery -- we sat outside and had some cheeseburgers for our dinner. And some beer and wine!
After dinner, we walked around the town a bit. We stumbled upon this area that had a baseball field surrounded by corn! It was just like Field of Dreams! Oddly, it was also a little like Children of the Corn, which is a scary movie and had me a bit freaked out! :) Chris ran the bases!
Here I am doing my Children of the Corn impression :)
Chris atop a stump, surveying the land!
Chris' impression of Children of the Corn, ha!
Me on the bridge...crossing back over into town from the baseball field
A huge, old building right off the Katy Trail...
The next morning, we were treated to a gourmet breakfast by Lynn! We were the only guests on this morning, so we were treated like royalty. We started with a variety of fruit with greek yogurt dip, then moved on to a monkey bread cinnamon roll. Yum! We finished off with an egg muffin topped with hashbrowns, pico, and avocado (above). Everything was incredible! We had hot tea and coffee, along with orange juice. The perfect way to end our great trip to Augusta!
If you live in the area and have never been to Augusta, we definitely recommend it!! Especially the Apple Gate Inn -- loved it!!

September 08, 2014

doozy

:: WHEW. I had a doozy of a day back to work today. I spent the first half of the day sorting through my emails and trying to figure out what was done and what wasn't while I was out. Then I had an hour and a half "touch base" meeting with my boss Jeff, which was good -- and then spent the rest of the day trying to get some work accomplished. There were also a few issues that came up and I will have to look into those more. I am hopeful to have a productive day tomorrow!

:: I am enjoying a frozen pop made of orange coconut water -- it is quite refreshing!

:: I made a yummy dinner this evening -- grilled chicken breasts, roasted purple potatoes and radishes, and seasoned homegrown tomatoes from Missouri -- nom nom!! Back on the healthy food train...St. Louis came with a few unwanted pounds (too much good food there!).

:: Aspen starts her Dillards training tomorrow evening -- please say a little prayer for her! She is excited!

:: I will work on sizing our Augusta photos this evening, and may be able to post about it tomorrow if all goes well.

Hope you had a great Monday!!

September 07, 2014

st. louis in photos

Howdy!!

Are you ready to see photos from our trip? Look on! :)

Sweet Roxy -- we enjoyed spoiling her all week!
Amy and Jonathan's wedding was beautiful!! These were the programs that I designed, that she printed and made into fans -- a great idea because it was HOT HOT that day!
Me and Chris in our wedding duds...
The Boathouse, where the wedding was held -- thankfully my grandma informed me that there are TWO Boathouses, and we would have gone to the wrong one. Whew!
My beautiful, beautiful friend Amy -- she was absolutely glowing, and her dress was gorgeous!
This is sadly a little blurry, but I really still love it! She is so happy, and I love the way he is looking at her!
The classy wedding cake
Me and my longest friend...so very happy for her!
On Labor Day, my mom hosted a BBQ at her house and we invited the Repps and the Olenders...what a fun day! We had delicious food (thanks Randy and mom!), chatted, and played lots of washers! It was a great day with friends and family...above, me and the Repps! Clarence, Angie, Fonda, Greg, Dronda, and Maisie!
With mom and Randy at the BBQ
With Clarence and Fonda at the BBQ
 With Angie, Maisie and Greg at the BBQ
I cornered my uncle Steve and made him hug me :)
With my grandma Gene and grandpa Al at the BBQ
With my cousin Kasey and her boyfriend Brendan at the BBQ



We met Shelly and her family at Massa's and had a delightful dinner together!
Drew, Bradley, Kevin, Shelly, and us
Kevin and Shelly - they are adorable!
We spent a fun evening at Karen and Steve's house, with a taco buffet, mud slides, and lots of laughter! My cousin Katie has such a beautiful family! Jason, Jaci, and Kaden...they entertained us!
My sweet McCarthy clan -- my grandma Flo, aunt Karen and uncle Steve!
Me and my grandma
This is pretty typical :) Katie, me and my crazy aunt!
During our last day in town, we went for a sushi lunch with mom and Randy and played some farkle -- we are so grateful to them for always letting us stay with them when we visit!
We had such a great week in St. Louis!!
I'll be back this week with stories and photos from our overnight trip to Augusta!!