Monday, November 30, 2009

New York City

I am on an 85 person charter bus traveling to our work training center, and this drive turned into a nasty commute. I landed this afternoon and waited forever at baggage claim. I got nervous that I was going to be borrowing business casual clothes from a friend all week, but thankfully it finally arrived. After filling the bus, we were on our way to fight rush hour traffic. It was unbelievable, and the bigger shock was the $8 tolls . We went through NINE tolls, and I am just curious how people afford to drive around town, let alone live here.

So, I thought I would reminisce on my favorite restaurants this past week on the drive. I know I talk about eating at my favorites places while I am home, A LOT, but this trip proved that it was eventful once again before getting out of dodge and heading to NYC. I ate Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bueno (wish I had a meal that wasn't already planned because I would have loved it again), Dickey's BBQ, La Madeline, and had Sprinkles cupcakes, too! Yummy!!!!!

I am thrilled I ate enough food this past week to tide me over through the week because the food here is rough. Unfortunately, the food isn't anything to write home about when feeding thousands. Total bummer.

I landed almost three hours ago and just now finally getting to our hotel. I wouldn't be able to survive in NYC. Over and Out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fun with 21.5

Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving in Texas :)

Proud to see my cousin who just delivered
baby Berkley 5 days before!

The precious angel herself

Glad to see my twins again!!  We are 5 months apart and are use to seeing each other more often!  Ginna just had her baby on the left, and Gaylen will have a little girl, Paisley, in February.

While the girls play with the newborn,
most of the boys were MIA.... AKA in the cave!

Lots of hanging out time

love .... love my hubby

I am so sad I don't get to see these girls more often!

Funny faces with the sister, or maybe just mine

GG/Aunts/Girl Cousins

Fat and happy!

Always being entertained by Griffin (20 mths old)

Thanksgiving Day appearance -- how cute!

I wish I could take credit for all the dedication in the kitchen, but luckily, coming from Seattle, I just got to consume!!!

Early Christmas surprise from PP and GG

What a natural .... I need one of these soon!  pretty please!!

Jordan, Arrie, Gabe, and me ...
before all the hand holding began!!

Pa and Granny Gari with their favorite grandchild ....
 boy is Griffin lucky with these two who have so much love to give!

and of course me getting one last goodbye since I won't see him until March!
THRILLED for their next Seattle trip :)

Oh my goodness, what an amazing Thanskgiving, with so much to be thankful for.  Our Brooke tradition is to go around the room and share what we're especially thankful for this past year, and of course only a few dry eyes in the room.  I had to pass the first time and had to compose myself by the time it came back around to me.  Most importantly, we couldn't be more thankful for a growing family of healthy individuals.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

All 21 family members from my mom's side of the family made it to Midland, TX ..... which is absolutely a blessing in itself.  AND, since everyone is officially here, the real Thanksgiving festivities can be fulfilled tomorrow!

I will be waking up to my Granny Gayle's most FABULOUS biscuits and gravy.  It is seriously on my list of last meals to devour before I die (if I had the choice).  None of us know how to make it, but the family has watched her make it for probably 30 years!!!  It is a real treat, and I know not to ever order it at a restaurant  because it won't even compare.

Then, we will eat a little more ..........

turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rolls
(my favorites)

Watch a little of this ....

and end with this ....

All images found on Google and

It's the one day I won't fill guilty enjoying a plate or two of some turkey and casseroles and lastly ending the night with some pie crust!  I don't eat pie, but I do go around the kitchen picking to find crust I can take and not get caught :)

Hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving with their family/friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Say it isn't so

So sad to say this, but I am skipping WW for the next two weeks.

I will be spending time with my family this week (and hope you will be too) and then traveling the following week to NYC for work.  The Seattle Smith's will pick up after that!!


Weekend of Worship

Hubby and I wanted to be able to get plugged in at our new humongous church, and thankfully our newly married class ended up being the best place for exactly that.

My title of "Weekend of Worship" could not be more accurate!  From small group Thursday night, Worship night Friday, Jeremy Camp Saturday night, and church on Sunday with brunch at our favorite restaurant after .... it was a perfect weekend (besides the fact that I may have lost some hearing!!!)  We did other things too of course, but these were the highlight.

I am SOOOO blessed to have met these amazing ladies (I knew Jessie already!) through our church small group!  I asked them if they got sick of seeing me four days in a row :)

Jessie, Jenay, Channah, and me

Hanging out after Worship night and roughly 250 baptisms!!
*Tyler (in the hat) - was one of them -- yay!!!

Kristin came to play too!

Then, the boys were starving and insisted on Denny's at midnight, classy!
It was packed for some odd reason .... lol!

Majority of "the group" went to Jeremy Camp's concert!  Bebo Norman and Natalie Grant opened for him.  It was incredibly inspirational and takes it to a new level seeing them live.  If you ever get the chance ... go!!

The only photo I took that turned out

'I Still Believe' has always been one of my favorite songs of Jeremy Camp's, but it means so much more now.  After being married a little less than six months, his wife died of ovarian cancer, and he wrote this song two weeks after she passed ..... (that video isn't the best version since it's live, but you can hear the story behind it) .... First, I can't imagine my spouse dying, and secondly, to write a song during such a painful and vulnerable time that will always remind him of her and what they went through.  I would be one mess with puddles of tears every time I sang it.

God definitely tugged at my heart all weekend, and it couldn't be better timing a couple days before a holiday of thanksgiving!

Ahhh, it's Monday,
but only a one day work week for me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The funny honking car

This little guy loves his Opa!!  How cute are they!

*I just learned how to upload a video from my camera
and all I have to say is, it's about time!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ETA 3 hours

My brother came across Jeremy Camp randomly at our college bookstore music station my freshman year, and then shared the CD with me.  I use to fall asleep listening (now I need peace and quiet and a Sleepmate to fall asleep) to his music .... Stay (2002) was played till I couldn't listen to it any longer.  I then moved on to Unplugged (2004), and lastly Beyond Measure (2006) was my absolute favorite!

Hubby just put Jeremy Camp's Speaking Louder than Before CD (2008) on my ipod, and it is awesome, too!

Jeremy Camp has been one of my favorite Christian singers, and I can't wait for his concert in just a couple hours with girlfriends!  YAY!

Anyone else a Jeremy Camp fan?
Perfect mix of Christian Rock if you ask me!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Slumber Party 2

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I just have to add that I am so thankful for being able to spend time with my favorite brother, sister in law, and 19 mth old nephew while I was in TX.  They moved into their house about six months ago, and I am so proud of their happy life in the burbs'!  Life changes way too quickly, and the next thing I know I have missed out on too much of this little boy's life ..... living in Seattle :(

My sister in law outdid herself with hosting and even surprised me with waking up (we had a slumber party) to Chick-Fil-A breakfast.  Talk about a real treat!!

Here are some pictures from our weekend together!

Mexican food and margaritas - Arrie's favorite two things!

Trip to the park was a blast

Look at the joy on our faces

Three little models, haha

Feeding the ducks.
Notice Jordan changing the settings on his mack daddy camera .... I am planning on stealing it over Thanksgiving.  Shhh, don't tell.  It takes the most AMAZING pictures, the good old' Canon Rebel.

Griffin having fun on Opa's motorcycle

Making faces at his favorite auntie (me!!)

Griffin spent the afternoon bringing dad all the balls ..... he asked for them!

and reading with Granny Gari, such a smart little guy!

Handsome little guy

I am so sad we don't get to have weekly dinners like we would if we lived in the same town .... maybe someday, right?!?!  Although, just a few more days, and I get to see you twice in the same month for Thanksgiving!

**Speaking of family, my sweet cousin was induced this morning and has been in labor for almost ten hours with her first baby.  Please pray for a healthy delivery of baby Berkley.  I get to meet her next week -- woohoo!

Can it be Tuesday already?!?!

Wishful Wed ....Genre

I love love movies, so I was all over this topic!

'I wish' .... my life was a movie, 
and I would want it to be 
a romantic comedy adventure!

I instantly think of The Hangover and Wedding Crashers.  Absolutely hilarious!!

If I was going to depict how my days ahead would be, I would be sure to include the romance aspect because my love language is Quality Time and I am truly a sucker for attention.   We talked about this a couple weeks ago at our small group get together, and Gabe said I can't make up "attention" as my love language.  So, hubby (since you read my blog), refer to this link to reference it is part of the Quality Time love language.  Even better yet, check out this quote from Gary Chapman's book .....

"A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared."

NEXT, Everyone needs a little laughter, especially with the end goal being 70+ happy years together.  AND, this goes hand in hand with the adventure portion of things.  Something has to spice up the day to day reality when you live an eternity together, and thankfully .... then, eternity in a better place :)

*This is a fun and easy one, so write a quick post and link up below by clicking "YOU ARE NEXT!"

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