Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I am so excited! For the first time in my life, I have a real, live Christmas Tree! Its perfect. Logan and I went last weekend to pick it out from the Christmas Tree stand down the street. The guy said we picked the kind that sheds the least and is the most fragrant. I think its a noble fir? Anyway, after we first got it into the condo I was a little worried about all the pine needles everywhere, but it really hasn't shed much since then. Of course I'm terrified I'll kill it. I didn't inherit the green thumb gene. Mine apparently is black. As hard as I try I just can't keep plants alive. Although, surprisingly my poinsettias are doing very well. I was at home depot a couple of weeks ago and saw the most beautiful poinsettias I've ever seen. They are some special "breed" of poinsettia - I can't remember what they're called... Ice Punch or something? Anyway, the leaves are bright red with white swirls in the center. Sort of like peppermints. Anyway, I wanted the larger $30 arrangement, but decided that it made more financial sense for me to kill off the $10 plant instead. I told my mom about my flower find and she said that the trick to keeping poinsettias alive is to put about 4 ice cubes on the dirt every day instead of watering them. Apparently they like the cold. It must be working because they're still living - and still looking good. Back to the tree. Check out my cute tree skirt I found! Its sort of velvet with different sizes of red sequins along the trim. I love it! While its all worth it, I've realized that putting a tree together is a LOT of work. I now understand why after begging her grown children to help out (and not getting any help) my mother decided to just throw some lights on the ficus a few years ago. (Not that I condone this mom, I just understand.) Lucy has completely ignored the tree. Its like she doesn't even know its there - even though I had to rearrange furniture and everything, and its supposed to be very fragrant, she just doesn't notice. I guess I should be thankful. Rather than her knocking it over, or eating it, this just means her daily doses of doggie xanax are doing their job. Even still, I had to try to get some cute pictures of her in her Christmas collar in front of the tree. Logan makes fun of the collar and takes it off her every chance he gets while I sneak it back on when he isn't looking. Hey, its the only time of year I can dress her up! She definitely needs to be groomed, but I think she's still pretty darn cute. Last night Logan and I were supposed to go see the Gaylord Ice exhibit with Mike and Leanne. The traffic was unbelievable, so we ended up pulling over and getting dinner at Don Julio's instead. (The boys had a hard time containing their excitement over the good fortune of not having to see the ice sculptures.) We had a great time with Mike and Leanne as always. Since I've only bought one Christmas present so far, I guess I should use this day off to get some shopping done. I'm not officially a procrastinator if I still have 11 days until Christmas, right?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! This is my favorite time of year: the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love how festive everything is. I love the Christmas music that you can't seem to escape. I love how friendly people are (except when shopping). I just LOVE Christmas! But before I jump the gun and go in to full-on Christmas mode, I want to post some pictures from Thanksgiving. Seems like Thanksgiving always gets the short end of the stick by being overshadowed by Christmas, so I want to take a minute to appreciate my family. They absolutely mean the world to me. I love them all to pieces!

This year we went to my parents house for Turkey Day. We were lucky to get to have Jessica and Logan with us too! Jessica's family was celebrating in New York, and since she had to work the next day we got to have her with us. Logan's family decided to have their family Thanksgiving on the following Saturday to give all his sisters time to make it back into town, so we got to have him with us too. Mamaw and Papaw came, and of course brought tons of yummy food. It was one big happy family! (Well... most of the time...)

This first picture explains that last comment. My dad was in "Vacation Ron" mode, which means he was more hyper than a kid that just consumed 4 gallons of Coke. Jessica and I were trying to get a picture together, and my dad kept jumping in behind us and squishing between us. After a few times I'd had enough, which is reflected in my favorite picture of the weekend. (Love you, dad!!)
Here's what we finally ended up with when my mom got my dad under control. ;)
Now Ross and Jessica.
Here is a picture of Papaw, Ross and Jessica about to dig in!
Next, I decided I HAD to have a picture of my dad's plate. My dad is a metabolic mystery. The man can consume an unimaginable number of calories and never gain an ounce. It is increadibly frustrating for the rest of us. Anyway, every year he loads his plate up - at least twice - and this year I got a picture of the first round. He looks a little scary in this picture, but he's just really excited about eating. Oh, and apparently we should be proud of him. He "only" had 6 rolls, one piece of apple pie, and two servings of my 4 layer dessert. This is an improvement!After lunch comes my favorite part of the day - the Cowboys game and nap time.

Logan and Toby dozed off waiting for the game to start. Who doesn't love that dog??
Later that night we played the new edition of Trivial Pursuit that Logan and I bought. That didn't last long though. Jessica and I gave up on it, so we played Battle of the Sexes instead. (Great game, by the way.) After that was Scattegories, my favorite game.
Lucy chomped on her bone and ignored everyone, as usual.
And Toby was still worn out from the hours of stalking the kitchen for dropped food.
The next morning my mom made her world famous homemade pancakes. Mine were shaped like Mickey Mouse because she loves me... and I'm spoiled. ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Coldplay Concert

This past Wednesday, Logan and I got to go to the Coldplay concert with Chris and Leslie, and Jason and Laura. It was ah-maz-ing! They are such a great band, and even better live performers. You know how some musicians sound terrible live? Chris Martin sounds exactly the same on his albums as he does in concert, which is hard to find these days in my opinion. Their drummer is also ridiculous. Chris Martin even made a joke at one point about how they have the loudest drummer since Animal (from the Muppets).

In addition to the live show being performed by Coldplay, we were "fortunate" enough to have our very own personal entertainment just two rows in front of us in the form of Drunky McDrunkerson. This woman was WAAAAAY too old to 1) be that drunk in public, and 2) be "dancing" like she was. Seriously, I have never in my life seen such horrible out of control moves, such ridiculous girations - and I just got back from Vegas! On a scale of 1 to 10, the lady was constantly at a 14, and every time a new song came on, she shot up to a solid 20. You had to see it to fully appreciate it, but trust me when I say it was unlike anything I've ever witnessed. I was fortunate enough to catch an action shot for your viewing pleasure, and while it helps, it still doesn't provide the full effect.

Back to the concert, the set was great. They had these giant colored balls hanging from the celing that changed colors and had moving pictures and things reflected in them. They were definitely one of my favorite parts.

At one point, Chris Martin did a great piano solo on this runway that came off the stage that was closer to our side, so that was cool. The entire band also went and did a couple of songs from the middle of the second level of the audience too.

This is one of the huge screens that was on the other side of the venue hanging from the celing. I thought it was a good picture, plus, it has one of those great colored balls that I love so much next to it. :)
Towards the end of the show, they released a TON of confetti from the celing all over the crowd. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, they released more confetti and turned on the blacklights!

We had a fantastic time, and I think we'll definitely go see them again the next time they come to town. Next concert coming up: The Killers!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vivaaaaa Las Vegas!!

Well, we just got back from Vegas yesterday. Our friends Glenn and Jenny got married at Mandalay Bay, which was beautiful. This was my first time to go to Vegas, and I had a BLAST! It was so different than I expected. I thought it was all about gambling and drinking (and it is), but there's also tons of other things to do that I didn't know about. So sit back and relax - this is going to be the motherload of blog pictures.

You know how when you get on an airplane, you always hope there won't be anyone sitting in the seat next to you - and if there is, that they'll at least be normal and not talk to you too much? No such luck. After we'd been seated for a good 10 minutes we thought we were in the clear. Next thing you know there's an old man with a long scraggly white beard coming towards us. I really thought he was homeless. Turns out after hearing his story (and smelling what can only be described as the worst breath ever) he had been hired by a mall in Sacremento to play Santa Clause for the next 45 days. Apparently a Santa with a real beard is a rarity. Who knew? Here's Logan taking a breather (from the man's breath). See Santa?

We stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, which was gorgeous. Every room is a suite, so it was pretty big. My favorite part was the bathtub. It was so deep and relaxing, with a perfect view of the flatscreen TV on the wall. Aaahhhh. Anyway, our room had a view of the other side of Mandalay Bay, including the beach area which has sand, a wave pool, and a lazy river. We couldn't believe there were actually people in the water. I know its the desert, but it wasn't THAT hot. The next picture is of one of the chandeliers made from blown glass in the hotel lobby. I loved it.

After unpacking, we hit the slot machines! It only took ten minutes, and I'd already won $100!! The next day I won another $50, but was sucked into the trap of trying to win more and ended up losing it. (It was still fun though.) My favorite game ended up being the spinning money wheel. I have no idea what its actually called, but you basically just guess what dollar amount the wheel is going to land on, and if you're right, you win money! I won $88 on that one! Here's Logan and me playing the slots that first night. Well, I'm playing, Logan was... being Logan. :)

Later that night, we went to see Cirque Du Soleil's "O". This show was by FAR the most amazing thing I've seen in my entire life. It had tons of acrobatics, dancing, diving, synchronized swimming - you name it, it was a part of the show. Our seats were increadible. We were on the third row near the middle. On the ticket, it actually said "wet seats", and there were several times the people around us got splashed by the dancers or the diving during the show. We lucked out and only really got wet during the "storm" part. I dont' know how they did it, but it felt and sounded like we were in the middle of a thunder storm. Wind and everything.

Here's the celing of the "O" theatre. It was beautiful! And here it is again with a dancer twirling from the celing. After that, they said there were no more pictures allowed.

The night before the wedding, there was a get together for everyone that came to meet each other if they hadn't already. I have no idea what or why Patrick was wearing what he was, but he was excited about it, and it was the hit of the party. Especially the belt.

The next day was the wedding day. The girls spent the afternoon at the spa. I had my first hot stone massage, which was great. We hung out in the jacuzzi for a while, and then headed back upstairs to get ready for the big event. The wedding was in one of the chappels at Mandalay Bay, and it was really pretty. Short and sweet - just my style. The wedding reception was at Border Grill where we all had a fantastic time.

Here's Glenn and Jenny, and then a picture of the ring! I didn't get a close up of Glenn's ring, but I know he's excited to finally get to wear it. I hear he'd wear it at home and beg Jenny to let him wear it in public for weeks before the wedding. :)

The girls at the reception, and then Logan and me.

I thought the celing at the reception was cute. So are Logan and McNolty. :)

After the reception, we all went up to Mix, which is the club at the top of THEhotel. We got to sit in the VIP area, and had bottle service - both of which I've decided I like. Haley and Chelsey always tell me I make really good drinks, so I played bartender all night. Forget the whole nursing thing, I think I've found my calling!

Here's the girls, and then Logan and me outside on the patio with a fantastic view of the strip behind us. (Pics of that to come later...)

Here's a close up of our bottle service being set up, and then Chelsey modeling it.

A few of Haley and me... as usual!

Chelsey and me, then Logan, Tony and McShann.

And now for the fantastic views from Mix! The first is the view you can see from practically anywhere in the bar through the wall of windows. After that, I zoomed in and took closer pics of some of my favorites. They're pretty self explanitory.

The next night, Logan and I had a date night at Rum Jungle. Its similar to Texas de Brazil in that they bring you skewer after skewer of different kinds of meat. Not only was the food amazing, the atmosphere was unlike anything I've ever seen. The entire center of the restaurant was a gorgeous floor to celing bar that had lights slowly changing colors behind all the bottles. Between each side of the bar was a catwalk with a platform on each end with a DJ booth. The place turns into a club after hours, and they have dancers all on the catwalk. There were also lots of clear walls with water flowing down them that were really pretty too.

See the DJ booth and catwalk?

Here's another wall I liked at Rum Jungle. Then is the bathroom celing. I know thats a weird thing to take a picture of, but it was so cool! There was only a half wall between the men's and women's bathroom, so when you look up you can see the stars in your bathroom and theirs.

We all spent the last day in the Sports Book, which is basically a man's heaven on earth. It is covered wall to wall (at least a couple of stories tall) with giant TV's showing just about every game being broadcast, and all the scores and odds of every game in the universe.

The end of the Steelers vs Chargers game was extremely suspenseful - if you saw the game, you know what I'm talking about, and you'll completely understand this picture of the boys jumping up and down, screaming and celebrating their victory. You'll also appreciate the picture of Logan looking happier than a kid on Christmas morning since he won that bet.

And FINALLY, the last picture of the trip: Logan and me on the way home. We. Are. Exhausted. But a good time was had by all!