Friday, May 28, 2010

Take me out to the ballgame...

If you know me at all, then you know that my favorite pastime is attending a Texas Rangers baseball game.

This was the view from our seats on our anniversary.

If Nick and I have the means and ability, we'll go practically any chance we get.

Married 8 years!

And it's even better when we don't have to pay for the tickets!

We sure do love us some Ian Kinsler!

So thanks to one of our customers that is a former Texas Ranger, and thanks also to our dear friend whose law firm has season tickets available for use, we were able to go to two separate games last week for our anniversary.

I took this picture on Friday night from our actual seats, 
just to show you how close to the field we were.

We even had a couple of extra seats on Friday night, so my sister & brother-in-law joined us.

And of course, these trips to the ballpark would not be possible without the help of our children's grandparents, because as much fun as we have at the games, our children? Not quite yet.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Easons - 0, Dallas Zoo - 1

Nathan was missing his best buddy Carter, so our families decided to venture out to the Dallas Zoo this past Saturday.  All of us loaded up in our Explorer (yay for fold-up third row seating and saving an extra $7 bucks on parking!), and we headed towards the giant giraffe statue on I-35E.

The morning was cloudy, overcast and residing at a nice 80 degrees.  Perfect zoo weather, in my opinion.  However, the drive over brought much sunshine, zero clouds and a 15 degree spike in the temperature.  Don't get me wrong here; I've lived in Texas all my life.  I know hot.  But in mid-May? with an overcast morning? Let's just say it's not what I was expecting. If I'm going to traipse around in nine thousand degree weather while pushing a 30 lb. toddler in a stroller, I like to be prepared.  And prepared for the heat, I was not.  (Side note: can anyone tell me when I aged fifty years?  I mean, seriously? An entire paragraph about the weather? Sheesh!)

So anyway, we whipped out the strollers, slathered on the sunscreen and off we went.  Seeing the people passing us in the parking lot already leaving the zoo at noon, drenched in sweat, looking exhausted beyond all get-out should have been my first clue that this wasn't going to be a walk in park.  Oh, and this?  Trying to get a decent picture of the three kids?
Should have been my second clue.

The first thing we saw were the flamingos.  Carter vividly remembered this familiar animal from our visit to the aquarium last fall.

Then Nathan showed us his intelligence by pointing out this blue-and-yellow macaw.

"You want me to smile, Mom?  Not a chance."

Then we stumbled across the Bird & Reptile building.  [Oh sweet, blessed air conditioning.]  And can you guess what we saw there?  You got it: birds. and reptiles.  But pictures of those aren't near as interesting as the "Ghosts of the Bayou" exhibit.  Here we met Boudreaux, a 9-foot albino alligator and his swamp friends.

Nathan and Carter were also able to fulfill one of their requests for the day: to pet a snake.

That's Carter's hand on the bottom.  Purell, anyone?

Then we went into a butterfly garden.  And I took a picture of a butterfly.  The end.

Moving right along, we were able to see anteaters, monkeys, more birds, a tiger and a turtle.  Is this not the most boring picture ever?
(even now, looking back, I can't tell which end is the front and which is the back.  Still looks like a giant rock to me.)

The boys stopped to watch some more fortunate children riding a camel, but no way was that worth an extra $5 bucks to me.  Instead, I asked the boys to pose for a picture by the fence and this is what I got:

I know.  Precious three-year-olds.

On our way to the gorilla exhibit, after we stopped for some refreshments in the Zoofari food court, we tried again to get a picture of the three.  Notice Olivia's giant souvenir Icee cup.  Yup, definitely MY daughter.

The gorilla exhibit was basically a bunch of trail walking with a slight chance to see a gorilla.  Which I did not.  Nick and Carter may have seen one, but I was waiting with Olivia in the shade.  Did I mention how hot it was?

And this, my friends, is the closest we got to any elephants.  I know!  No elephants? At the zoo?  Well, actually, the elephants were there along with the giraffes & the lions, but they had already been moved from their previous habitat to their new home, the Giants of the Savanna.  Which doesn't open until Memorial Day Weekend.  The weekend after we were there.  But hey, for the small price of a zoo membership ($99+), we could have seen them while we were there.  No thanks. (I have to admit here, that Leslie, Ryan and I were plotting how we could sneak past security and slip into the new exhibit unnoticed, but then we came to our senses.)  And I told Carter they were sick.  It was the best I could come up with.

You all know that kids never want to leave anywhere fun, so we bribed them with a ride on the endangered species carousel, took this really awesome picture, and went home.

Oh and the best part about all this?  I had two vouchers that would have given Nick & I free admission.  Annnnnd I left them in the car.  So, I guess we'll be headed back to the zoo before the end of 2010.  And you better believe I'll be seeing some elephants.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

I heart my boss

I stepped out of my office for a few minutes and when I returned, this was waiting for me on my desk:

A Route 44 Diet Coke makes a good day even better.

Lori - via my iPhone

P.S. Do you pronounce it rout or root? I always seem to get corrected by the car hop if I say Root, but that's just what comes natural to this Texas girl.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Hubby

I came across this meme/survey/cheesy Q & A on another blog and thought I'd throw it over here on mine.  Most of you know my husband, so you might appreciate some of these answers.
I'm not going to "tag" anyone, but please feel free to copy & paste it to your own blog; I'd love to hear about y'alls husbands/significant others as well!

1. He's sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen? If I'm in the room? House, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory or Biggest Looser.  If it's just him? Sadly, probably WWE, Family Guy or Pawn Stars.

2. You're out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch. Always ranch.  And he doesn't put it on his salad until he removes tomatoes, cucumbers or any other veggies that made their way onto his bed of lettuce.  But hey, at least he always saves one crouton for me!

3. What is one food he doesn't like? Only one? How about this, I'll name the foods he does like: meat and potatoes.  That's about it.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? Bud Light, in a bottle.  Though he'd really like to order a Pomegranite Margarita but won't actually do it because, well, "that's a girly drink."

5. Where did he go to high school? With me!, at dear old McKinney High School (back when there was only one in town).

6. What size shoe does he wear? Eleven.

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Slowpitch softball bats.  & comic books.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Ham and cheese, with only mayo and bread.  He'll also do turkey too, but again, no veggies.

9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could? I'll refer you back to #3.  If it's meat, preferably beef, he'll eat it.

10. What is his favorite cereal? Grape Nuts with Corn Flakes on top.  Or, Cocoa Dyno Bites.

11. What would he never wear? A sweater vest.

12. What is his favorite sports team? Depends on the sport; Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, obviously.  Or, any sport the Arkansas Razorbacks may be playing at the time.

13. Who did he vote for? Ooops!, I knew there was something he forgot to do last November.

14. Who is his best friend? ME! Or Michael Bruner.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Wake him up.  Ever.

16. How many states has he lived in? Four: Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, California.

17. What is his heritage? Razorback all the way, baby.  Oh wait? Probably not what you meant.  Indian-ish.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind? Chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  No frills.

19. Did he play sports in high school? Early on, he did.  Then he developed (pun intended) into an excellent photographer for the school newspaper & yearbook.  Basically and extra curricular activity that doesn't involve much actual work.

20. What could he spend hours doing? Sleeping.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So excited!!!

Thirty days from today, the family and I will load up in the in-laws Excursion and set out for the greatness that is Orlando, Florida.  More specifically...

I am beyond excited, ecstatic really.  I find it hard to put into words.  Not only have I never been, but unless you count maternity leave as a vacation (which, for the record, I do not), then this will be my first real vacation in four years.  And most certainly, our first vacation as a family.

Now I know some of you are probably thinking that that 20+ hours in the car with a one year old and a three year old followed by a week away from home walking miles around crowded amusement park(s) sounds like anything but a vacation.  I hear you.  Believe me, I do.  But when the opportunity presented itself, we couldn't say no.

When my step-father-in-law's dad passed away in September (we miss you Grandpa Irek!), his wife graciously offered the last stay in their timeshare in Florida to Dave & Gwlynda (my in-laws) so that they could take us kids & grandkids to Florida.  So with travel & lodging covered, and being that we had enough time to prepare (i.e. save money from our tax return), we couldn't pass it up.

Here's the resort where we're staying:

Now, I am in full-on vacation planning mode: new shorts & tank tops to buy, for Disney, you know... and "we have to have this such-and such for Florida, of course" and an all-around giddiness at the thought of it all.  I've even been researching iPhone apps for use inside the parks to determine closest restroom locations, wait times in line, and where to find the best food.  (How cool is that?)

I realize that this place will be unlike any other.  Or at least I think I do.  I'm trying to prepare myself for what it will be like, but until I'm actually there, I guess there's no way to truly know.  I am so glad that we will have the in-laws and my sister-in-law & her family there with us, who have all been there [several times] before.

So, to my dear friends that have been to Disney in the past or to those who have taken a 20 hour road trip with two little ones, got any advice for this newbie?  I'm all ears.  And so excited!


Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17th, 2002

I can still remember the day very clearly.  My closest friends had spent the night in the tiny, 750 square feet apartment I would soon call home.  We woke up to a call from my dad telling us to get up, throw on some clothes and meet him at I.H.O.P.  Not even the steady downpour could keep us college-age girls away from free breakfast at 9 am. 

We met my dad for pancakes, and I distinctly remember how sweet the gesture was for this man who, for the better part of my life, could be found in his pasture feeding the cows, delivering calves, repairing electric fences and pretty much any other task that had to be performed to get the job done.  And now, we were eating breakfast, my dad and six girls, chatting about the days' events and how excited I was.  A moment for pause on what would be, what is, the biggest day of my life.

The rest of the day was spent, rather calmly, I might add, showering, packing, primping, and simply enjoying these moments with my friends, before I became a married woman.

Once we arrived at the church, things seemed to move pretty quickly, but still, my memories from that time are good ones.  No real stress, just hanging out in the church parlor waiting for 7:00 to finally roll around.  Pictures were taken, visitors stopped in to say hello.  When it was finally time for the wedding party to take their places, it was just me and my dad, waiting.  Even now, I remember being excited, yet the whole feeling was surreal.  I had planned for this day for months, and now the time was finally here. 

Walking down the aisle with my dad, I remember everyone looking at me.  I was happy at the faces I saw, and I was filled with gratitude that these people were sharing in this moment with us.  Finally, I could see Nick (I think his eyes were blotchy, already), and he had the biggest smile on his face.

The ceremony went off without a hitch.  The unity candle was lit,* we both made it through our vows, I didn't cry when Nick performed a song he had written for me, and no one tripped or passed out on stage.  A true success in my book.  And at the end of that day, eight years ago now, I couldn't have been any happier to finally be Mrs. Nicholas Eason. 

And I still am.


*If you've ever used a dripless candle, then you know that it's a candle with a metal casing on the outside, so the wax stays inside and doesn't drip on your hands.  Well, apparently, when pulling the tapered candle out of its candelabra, it is entirely possible that if it is stuck, and if you pull too hard, then you can be left holding a metal casing while the wax candle, still burning, drops out of bottom and onto the floor.  Feel free to ask Nick how we know this.

P.S. Stay tuned; I'll try to do a recap of the reception in the next couple of days.  But as I've said before, we have no digital photos from our wedding, so I'll have to channel my inner-Flinstone find time to show you the pictures the old fashioned way: by scanning them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Weekend of Moms

I've been a mom for three and a half years.  In those years, I have tried on countless occasions to capture snapshots of my children in [somewhat] concrete format whether that be via professional photos, video clips or even this blog (as I do not scrapbook).  But I have to say that some of my most treasured possessions are the crafts that the kids bring home from school with their pictures and hand prints on them.  Even though I know that the teachers do most of the work, somehow they manage to capture my children's expressions and personalities in such a manner that is priceless.  Even if that picture is framed with yarn and craft sticks.

This Mother's Day was no exception.

Carter "showing" me his present; Olivia in shorts that do not belong to her.

Carter: "Look, Mommy, what Ms. Juliette made for you!"

Olivia made me a recipe book:
Apparently, 2 hugs, 2 kisses, 2 cups of TLC, 1 cup of understanding, and 1 dash of patience* blended all together yields this little beauty.

*understatement much?

Saturday morning, Nick had to work, so after dropping Olivia off at Gigi's house for a bit, I took Carter to baseball practice where he swung a bat three times his height...

practiced his expert sliding skills (terrible photo, I know; he's the blurry blob in the middle.)...

and posed for one last picture when practice was over.

Afterwards, we went to cousin Jackson's baseball game, then my sister & family and I took Mom out to lunch to celebrate Mother's Day.  We dined at Crow's Cafe in downtown Anna, and for the two of you that live in the area that read my blog (Whitney & Sarah), you NEED to go if you haven't already been.  It's delicious.

It was such a beautiful day, so we decided to sit on the patio where the kids ran wild all within the confines of the gated patio seating.  It was glorious. And because I am an awesome mother, Olivia drank sweet tea...

and played with knives...

And Carter was really happy to pose for a photo with dear old Mom...

Mindi and I were super excited to give Mom her gift, and that probably had nothing to do with the fact that we were actually on the ball this year and ordered her gift weeks! ahead of time.

Jackson & Grayson were anxious to see it as well.

She loves it!

[click on photo to zoom in]

Jeremy (who is apparently really excited about this picture) & Mindi

Sunday morning before church, Nick informed me that the kids had left something for me on the table.
My children know me so well...

A couple of new Rangers t-shirts, some snickerdoodle cookies...
I told Carter these were grown up food.  
Sharing and generosity have never been my strong suits. 


After church we headed out to see Nana & JaJa in Rockwall, but apparently, this mom was off-duty at that point because I didn't take a single picture. boo!  So I snagged one of her off facebook.  yea!

Carter picked out a lovely plant and bright yellow pot for Nana, and he even signed the card himself (Gwlynda: take a picture of it, would ya?).  We celebrated the afternoon in one of my most favorite ways, relaxing after lunch on the grill, Texas Rangers on the tv, and the kids running amuck, though not actually breaking anything (this time) at Nana & JaJa's house.  The perfect end to a great weekend.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The View From Our Table

One of our sweet friends, Lorin LaPrade, tied the knot last month.  She married Mr. Logan Lowry, and the wedding was a blast!  They got married at the Dallas Arboretum in front of a large crowd of family, friends and a little bit of rain.  They did such an excellent job of planning, and the reception was definitely one of the nicest ones I've ever been to.  (Lorin: that event lighting certainly paid off.)  Congrats to my sweet friend who I know is already enjoying married life.

While at the wedding, I had my camera out, but as I look back on the pictures I took, they were all pretty much of the same 9 people, and of course, I took pictures of the cakes (why do I always do that?).  In fact, I'm pretty sure the only picture I got of the groom was him dancing with his bride.  Anyway, the title of this post, as you can tell, is the view of the wedding from our table, #4... or was it #7?  Doesn't matter really; it might as well been called "MHS Class of 1999 & Guest" table because that's what it was.

So, to not bore those of you who don't know these people or don't care to scroll through 40 pictures of me and my same fake smile, I threw the pictures into a little slideshow.  Watch it if you're interested, or I'll catch you next post if you're not.  (Oh, and the background song has nothing to do with the Lowrys; I just used it because it's currently my #1 favorite song.)  Enjoy!