Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Congratulations Ross and Jessica!!

Well, it finally happened. My little brother got engaged!! To her complete surprise, Ross proposed to Jessica after dinner this past Friday. They went to Maggiano's under the pretense of celebrating Ross's promotion at work. Maggiano's is where they've always gone for their anniversaries (all four of them...) and for any other big events they've celebrated. I know they like the food and all, but I personally think they go for the chocolate cake - and frankly, I can't blame them. Anyway, the past few weeks Ross and I had been working on a scrapbook full of pictures taken of he and Jessica through their 4 years together. On the very last page was a picture of the ring (which is gorgeous, by the way!) with Ross's proposal typed out.
Immediately after dinner, they came to Jessica's parent's house where tons of friends and family were all waiting to celebrate the happy news. Family even drove in from out of state to be there to congratulate them. They are both so excited, and Jessica is already in full planning mode. I think they're wanting a Spring wedding, and she'll be posting more details on her blog at http://www.ineedonetogo.blogspot.com/.
So without further ado... the tons and tons of pictures!!

Just like the new ring holder she got says, "Bling Bling, She Got the Ring!!"
This is the picture of the ring that was on the last page of the scrapbook:

Jessica showing off her favorite pages of the scrapbook:

The girls in the family... plus Ross:

Of course, Logan came to celebrate too:

As Jessica calls it, "her NEW family":

The was the cutest cake I've ever seen. And it tasted amazing too!

And obviously the evening wouldn't be complete without the requisite self portrait of the two of us:

I'm so excited to have "inherited" my first sister!! If any of my two readers (hey Dad and Shelby!) are interested in seeing the rest of the pictures from that night, you can see them at http://picasaweb.google.com/lorinlaprade/RossAndJessicaSEngagementParty?authkey=bl-4HrDIW7s
I couldn't be happier for Ross and Jessica. Congratulations you guys!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ahhh, The Beach

Well, after spending the last week in South Padre Island, we're finally back to the real world. Doesn't it always seem like the time leading up to a vacation just crawls by, and when its finally here it just flies by? Logan and I went with Mike and Leanne to their condo on the beach again, and had a great time. We were a little nervous that the hurricaine would be a problem, but we actually had clear, sunny skies the whole week.

Mike and Leanne got engaged the night before we left and surprised us with the news when we met them at the airport. The ring is beautiful - Mike did well. Usually when we go to Padre, we just kinda lounge around at the pool, or inside watching movies, but this time I got out of the condo and did some of the touristy things.

Logan and I did a dolphin watch boat tour one day. It was about 100 degrees outside with very little wind, so it was pretty miserable at first. Once the boat picked up speed, we went to the top deck of the boat and enjoyed the wind. The first hour of the tour was spent trying to spot dolphins, which isn't easy. It seemed like they were swimming around all the other boats out there and staying as far away from ours as possible. There was one cute dolphin that swam right up next to us, but he poked his head out of the water for literally about 2 seconds and then was gone again. It was practically impossible to catch any dolphins in a picture, so the pictures I have of them look more like sharks... and barely. Apparently we chose the "dolphin watch and eco tour" boating experience, so the last hour was spent "trolling" for sea creatures. They tossed a net off the back of the boat, and we literally floated around the bay at about 2 miles per hour for over 45 minutes, waiting to catch something good. This experience did not go well with the 100 degree heat and no wind situation. When they finally reeled the net in, we got to see what we caught. Seaweed!! Lots and lots of seaweed. In all of that time, the only living things we caught were a catfish, a baby stingray, an itty bitty crab, and a sea horse. The other people on the boat were all too eager to touch these nasty things, but I decided taking pictures was good enough for me. I don't like slimey things. And at this point, Logan was miserably hot, so I'm not sure he even came over to see our "big" catch.

Another day, Leanne and I decided to go horseback riding on the beach. I LOVE riding horses, but Leanne had never been on one before, so she was pretty nervous. She did well though. I'm not sure she'll ever do it again, but I'd go back in a heart beat. It was actually a prety cool riding experience. They took us from the bay side across the highway to the beach side where we rode up and down the beach for a while. Then we went riding through the sand dunes and foliage, which felt like we were in the desert. After that we went back to the beach and rode around there for a while again. I kept trying to get my horse to walk in the water a little, but he was having none of it. He'd get one foot near the tide and be done. I'd love to go riding there again next time we go. I'll have to pay somebody to go with me though. :)

Oh! I cooked while we were there - twice! One night I made my famous chicken with special green beans and corn, and another day I made taco salad. I don't know how to cook a whole lot of things, but these two things I've got down, and everyone liked them. Even Mike enjoyed them, which means they must have been edible. Logan's sister Lacie came over a couple of days, and we all went to eat at this place called Dirty Al's, which is known for having just amazing food. (You know, the good and greasy stuff!) Logan ordered oysters, and Lacie decided to be brave and try them. You can tell by the look on her face how she felt about them. He wanted me to try one, but I just can't. It's that whole slimey thing again. I did try Lacie's fried catfish, but as I was eating it I remembered an episode of Dirty Jobs that I'd seen where they fed catfish poop. I wont' be having that again.

On the day Logan and I did the dolphin watch, we stopped at a random restaurant for lunch called The Pelican. I had the BEST sandwich I've ever had in my life there. It was called the London Pub, and I have no idea what made it so great, but it was amazing. Logan got a blue cheese and bacon burger and said it was great too. We liked it so much that we took Mike and Leanne back there Thursday night to have wings and watch the football games. Later on in the evening, they had karaoke too, which was quite entertaining. I've never figured out why people who absolutely cannot sing get up there with a mic.

I had to board Lucy while we were gone, and when we picked her up she was ecstatic to see us! (I love that feeling.) They said she did great in doggie day care, and didn't try to eat anybody. Progress! Since I've had her home though, I've noticed she's drooling a lot. Its not like draining from her mouth or anything, but her face is always just soaked. And she smacks a lot, and is hacking sometimes, I'm assuming from the extra drool draining down her throat. When she was eating a rawhide yesterday I noticed it was pretty bloody, so I looked in her mouth. It looks like she's either broken or severely worn down at least 4 of her teeth - two on each side. I'm guessing she sat there and chewed on the door of her kennel the whole time she was in it at night. (We all remember how when I first got her she'd throw her body onto the door of the crate until it came open so she could get out...) She just hates being contained. Anyway, today I looked again and it looks like she's got several sores on both sides of her tongue too where those teeth are missing. So she has a vet appointment on Thursday. Hopefully she'll get used to having 4 less teeth and stop all the drooling by then, but if not, I guess we'll have to see what the vet says. I've never met a dog with more issues than Lucy. But I sure do love her. :)

I have the rest of the pictures from vacation online, so if you're interested in seeing them feel free to take a look!