20 posts categorized "Daily Life"



Loving that Cody and I have been able to cook dinner together three nights this past week. It always seems like such a treat when we are just in the everyday moment, him taking on the meat and me getting the side dishes together.

Loving that our house is 90% decorated for Christmas. (I have a couple things that aren't done, but I'm embracing that maybe it just won't all get done for this year.)

Loving that we got the baby furniture delivered this past week and that no assembly is required. (Cody is probably loving that more than me!)


Loving that my hip pain has disappeared since Dr. U reset my alignment during my 32 week checkup yesterday. Even though she scared the living daylights out of me when she did it. (Imagine an 8 month preggo woman, laying on the table, and her doctor yanking her left leg as hard as physically possible when the preggo woman yelps out of surprise and then turns bright red from embarassment. Then her husband laughing at her.)

Loving the idea of my family possibly coming over for Christmas. This whole baby thing has me appreciating and loving my parents more and more and I definitely want to spend the holidays with them.

Loving hot chocolate.

Loving the two ginormous wall stickers I got in the mail from Leen The Graphics Queen. A big chandelier for the baby's room and she even mailed us a free wreath sticker with a big "M" in the middle that is just amazing. (I'm imagining a big antique window with the sticker on it, for above the mantle next year.)

Loving finding out that my tetnus shot I got last year for Africa covers me from whopping cough/Pertussis. No extra shot for me and our little girl is protected.

Loving that all the kicks (even those to the bladder) are reminders that our little girl is healthy and moving.


As Usual, I'm A Little Late to the Game

You can ask Cody, but I tend to be late in discovering really anything. I'll hear a "new" song, just to find out it was released a year before. Or, find some great new product, to be told that there are already newer and better products out there. The worst is movies. I didn't watch the 1970's Star Wars movies until high school/college. A bit embarassing . . .

To add to the embarassment, I have to admit that I just discovered Amazon.com. Not that I didn't know it existed, and I had even used it a few times, but I just found out how wonderful it can be to order something that you normall wouldn't purchase online and have it delivered driectly to your front door. I mean, Amazon.com is not just for books!

I tell people, "Yeah, did you know that you can order pretty much anything from Amazon.com? Did you know that if you're a Amazon Prime member, you get free two-day shipping? I mean, this stuff just comes to your door! And I'm getting it cheap!"

Then, they look at me crazy like, "Uhhhh, yes Jackie. I've used Amazon.com for a long time and already knew that."

I'm discovering that Amazon.com could possibly be the best place to get diapers and wipes. I got a HUGE box of diapers (delivered, for free, the day after I ordered it) for only $20.27 and a three-pack of wipes for $10.15. I got free Amazon Prime membership for joining their Amazon Mom program which means an extra 30% off some of their baby item deals.

Of course, I didn't stop there and so I've gotten some books, Cody's Christmas gift, and some other things (which, I'm sure, is the idea behind the whole give-a-pregnant-lady-free-two-day-shipping-and-she'll-order-a-crapload-of-stuff marketing campaign).

So, I'm a little late to the game, but it seems that it's just how I roll.


Cooking At Home? Well, It's A Good Start

As I mentioned before, our lives since we got back from our December 2009 trip to Kenya, Africa has been pretty hectic. We were sick for so long, and then we got Spangler, so our lives have just not quite been the same. And either has our eating habits.

We got into the bad habit of eating out. Not that we didn't cook at home, but we'd eat out far more than our twice a week goal.

Last week I was at my parents for my Dad's birthday and my Mom gave me a copy of Cook's Illustrated Cooking for Two. I got into reading it this past Sunday and thought we'd use it to kick start our eating-at-home-more-often-adventure.

I planned out four meals for the week and Monday night I headed to the grocery store and picked up the goods.

(A quick story change . . . I was at the grocery store Monday night and got in line about 7:10pm. There were two women in front of me and the first lady disappears to "get the correct" price of a sponge. Then, the next lady in line checks out and then SHE disappears because she grabbed the wrong kind of Hot Pockets. I got to my car at 7:34. It was a huge test of my patience.)

Anyway, I'm over that now.


Overall, I'm a huge fan of eating at home. I love cooking with Cody and it's so significantly cheaper. And you control what you're eating (I'm sure if I know half of what goes on in restaurant kitchens I'd be shocked!).


Such a mess though. And I'm not very good at cooking yet. I have yet to master, after six years of being married and attempting cooking on a regular basis, the skill of getting everything done at the same time.


This is chicken pasta with broccoli. The sauce has wine, chicken broth, herbs and spices, etc in it. Way fancier than I ever thought I could cook, but it only took 40 minutes. I was pretty impressed with myself.


I'm definitely a messy cook.


Here is my clean-up helper, who I suspect is more excited about us trying to cook from home more than anyone. He even ate parsley.


Spilled Juice: I Should Have Learned My Lesson

Spangler gets really restless late in the afternoon. In the mornings we go on a 30-45 minute walk, which gets him pretty tired. He then takes a long morning nap in his crate while I have my morning meetings. Then, during lunch and in the early afternoon, he’ll play inside or outside, then he settles down for another afternoon nap. By 4pm though he’s rested and ready to play, and I’m usually trying to finish up my workday, hoping Cody will get home soon to play with him.

A few weeks ago was no exception. I was having a pretty stressful day at work and I was downstairs in the living room since my meetings for the day were over.

I poured some V-8 Fusion Splash, or whatever the juicey V-8 drink is, and had put my cup on the coffee table.

Spangler (who is rapidly growing, but still little for a lab) was sniffing around. He’s big enough now where he can reach most of the coffe table without much effort. As you can probably guess where I’m going with this, his nose knocked over my almost full glass of juice.



My frustration level went through the roof. I stuck him outside so I could clean it up and Cody walked in the door just a few minutes later.

Fast forward to the following Friday. Similar situation. It’s late, about 6:30pm, and Cody is gone for the weekend working and I’m supposed to meet my sister and her fiancé for dinner at 7:15pm but I’ve got three status reports to finish and get out before my workday is done.

I head into the kitchen for seriously 30 seconds, and come out to this:


Now since time has passed from the whole incident, I can laugh a little more about it.

Haha. Ha. Eh . . .


It is the exact same cup and exact same juice on the exact same table. Just a few weeks apart.

How does it go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?

Yeah. I should have learned my lesson.


We Missed the Memo

I mentioned we had a wedding this past weekend for Cody's coworker. Saturday started off great. The warmer weather was a nice break from the cold and rainy days we'd been seeing. Cody worked in the backyard and I got some much-need house cleaning done.

Saturday afternoon got a bit more lazy. Cody laid down to take a nap and my little sister and her husband stopped by since they were already in town for lunch with a friend. They came over around 3:30pm. I knew we needed to leave for the wedding by 5:15, but didn't really think about it too much.

My sister leaves at 5pm. I realize we have a wedding 35 miles away that starts in one hour. I wake Cody up from his nap. We're in a full sprint to get ready.

I had been trying to put my outfit together in my mind throughout the day, and had decided on white pants, a navy shirt and my (killer) cute multi-colored heels. Cody, of course, grabbed his clothes and was ready in 2.45 seconds.

Spangler was in the back yard, enjoying the nice day, and I went to get him inside so we could leave. Unbeknownst to me, he had been playing in the mud and immediately put his dirty nose right on my white pants. It was 5:17 at this time and I didn't have time to change, since I had nothing ironed no back-up plan.

(And ladies, you understand this--you can't just "throw" something else on. If you have your mind set on an outfit, it can totally ruin your night to have to change.)

Anyway, I grabbed a wet hand towel, a bleach pen and we took off. Almost 10 minutes later than our 5:15 out-the-door deadline.

To briefly digress, I don't know if it's just our relationship, but I am chronically late and Cody always wants to be early. So here we are, speeding over to downtown Dallas because we know we're not going to make it to the wedding on time. Cody was not happy about being late and I was not happy that the bleach pen wasn't working.

We got to the church and quickly figured out we didn't make the best wardrobe decisions. I think everyone was in a suit and tie except for Cody and I totally missed the memo on the black dress.

Am I that far behind in fashion? I had no idea you're supposed to wear a black dress (or similar dark color) to a wedding. Wasn't that saved for funerals?


The wedding was beautiful and went off without any problems, except for that annoying couple (who was WAY under-dressed and the woman had this huge mud-stain on her pants) that walked in 2 seconds before the procession started. (Ahem.)


And next time I know that an evening wedding in Texas means dark dress and Cody in a suit.


My Name is Jackie, and I Have a Problem

I love taking pictures. I don't really know what I'm doing, but there is something about capturing everyday life that I enjoy. A year and a half ago Cody bought me a camera for my birthday (a Nikon D60) and I take it everywhere, even though I know it's probably annoying to the people around me!

A few weeks ago we were out shopping and I picked up a flier to the West 7th Spring Bash, celebrating the grand opening of a new mixed development in the Cultural District of Fort Worth. I just happened to see the flier in the kitchen last Thursday morning, and sent out some invites to see if anyone wanted to go. I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout.

But, of course, I had to grab my camera.


Reckless Kelly in concert. Always in the mood for some Texas Country even though I was a little disappointed in the structure of the event--I thought it would have more booth-type things set up, but any free concert is always fun. And with people you like to hang out with makes it even better.


I had to get one of Jace and Jenni dancing.

Hey, I said I liked taking pictures. I didn't say I was GOOD at taking pictures!


After hanging out at the concert area for a while we headed over to the Love Shack for some dinner. I hadn't ever been there before, but it was just an awesome experience and awesome food. They even had a veggie burger for the vegetarians in our group.

I was sneaking in pictures at this point. It's like you need to feed your addiction, but you don't want be totally obvious that you have this huge camera pointing it around restaurants taking pictures. Awkward . . .


The only seating is outside and rumor has it you get a 50% discount on your food if it's 40 degrees or colder. They also have leopard-print snuggies available if you get cold. Really!

I had already ate my delicious Dirty Bird hamburger (with guacamole) and fries and was reminded I hadn't taken any pictures yet. Poor Megan (whose head is in the picture and who I'm still getting to know) probably was thinking, "Weirdo!" but I wanted to capture how cool the place was.


It even comes with a live band.

Perfect for me to take table shots of.


A good night.

And a good dose of picture-taking.


Well, that's one way to do it.

I've moved a lot in my life. This weekend at church our pastor had us raise our hands if we've moved more than five times in our life. Then he had us keep our hands raised if we moved more than ten. Then more than twenty. I wasn't 100% sure how many times, but I figure it's more than twenty.

Now that I think about it, I'm really not sure. Let's see . . .

  1. Omaha, NE to Fairbanks, AK
  2. Fairbanks, AK to Lexington, MA
  3. Lexington, MA to First House in Burke, VA
  4. First House in Burke, VA to Second House in Burke, VA
  5. Second House in Burke, VA to Apartment in Albuquerque, NM
  6. Apartment in Albuquerque, NM to East Side of Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM
  7. East Side of Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM to West Side of Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM
  8. West Side of Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM to Tucson, AZ
  9. Tucson, AZ to Gough Dorms at Tarleton
  10. Gough Dorms at Tarleton back to Tucson, AZ
  11. Tucson, AZ to "New Apartments" at Tarleton
  12. "New Apartments" at Tarleton to LoneStar Apartments at Tarleton
  13. LoneStar Apartments at Tarleton to Dublin, TX
  14. Dublin, TX to Apartment in Arlington, TX
  15. Apartment in Arlington, TX to House in Arlington, TX
  16. House in Arlington, TX to Plainfield, IL
  17. Plainfield, IL to Rockwall, TX
  18. Rockwall, TX to Dianne's House in Arlington, TX
  19. Dianne's  House in Arlington, TX to MY HOUSE in Arlington, TX

Oh my gosh! I lied at church this weekend. Hmmm . . . not good.

Anyway, we were headed to lunch this past Sunday and Cody and I spotted this girl driving near downtown Fort Worth. My guess is that she was moving?

Crazy, right?


Sugar Strikes Back

My Dad can be pretty focused on mess-avoidance. Growing up, if we wanted to make Kool-Aid (or any other powdery drink) or if we needed to mix something, he'd make us do it outside. Even spraying PAM cooking spray had to either be done outside or over the sink (weather dependent).

Last night I'm filling up the sugar dish and look what happened:

See, if I had just done it outside or over the sink, this whole craziness! could have been avoided!

And I'm not even going to talk about what happens when I mix Crystal Light . . .


All You Need is Love

And some fresh flowers. And a full stomach.

I had a bad day yesterday. Nothing really specific, just feeling grumpy. Not a fan when you know you're being difficult and yet you continue to act that way. Cody called to say "Hi" yesterday morning. I was dealing with a very mouthy dog (does he really need to put EVERYTHING in his mouth?) and a frustrating day at work.

He comes home with these:

My favorite! It's love when you are grumpy to your husband and yet he still does something sweet.

Then we headed to dinner at Hoffbrau Steaks. We ordered some Brau Chips for an appetizer (we never get an appetizer). I got shrimp wrapped in a jalapeno and bacon with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, called the Sweetwater Shrimp Dinner. Cody got the quail. It was an all-out Texas feast.

(I cheated for this picture. I had Cody's and my leftovers for lunch today and snapped the picture of the good eats we had last night. Man, I think those jalapeno's got 10x's more spicy overnight. Whew--could barely take the heat!)

After dinner we then headed to Wal-Mart. I'm sure you're thinking, "How romantic!" but I actually love grocery shopping with Cody. Plus, we had important things to get, like a dog water-er (or whatever it's called), a baby gate (to keep the dog out of our bedroom) and non-dog related items, like food.


Meet Spangler

I’ve never considered myself to be a dog person. We had a dog growing up. She was an Irish setter named Kelly—a wedding gift from my Mom to my Dad. She had to be put down when I was 8 from old age.

But we started seriously talking about getting a dog last month. I work from home and with no kids, it seemed to be the right time to dive in. I had wanted to get a smaller (less than 50 pounds) dog, that was female, and light in color.

Meet Spangler. A black, male Labrador retriever that will likely land around 80 to 85. Cute, isn’t he? We haven’t decided on a full name yet (and we need to do that before we send in his paperwork to register him).


A somewhat convoluted story, but Cody’s coworker owns two labs and last year on a weekend camping trip with them, we joked about getting one of their puppies. Mollie had 12 puppies last November (lost one of them) and I enjoyed looking at the pictures on Facebook, and went on with my life. A few weeks ago I heard they were trying to get rid of the last of the puppies and Cody asked another coworker, who adopted one of the dogs, about his puppy. All was not well in their household. “Just not a good time to get a puppy. Kids are in too much extra activities.”


Two days later we were meeting in the parking lot of Dick’s. I walked around the truck to take a look at the new member of our family and was shocked at how big he was for 10 weeks old.

So we now have a dog.


(Note Sage is looking on, getting as close as she can . . .)