29 June 2010

Toy Story, Hibachi, and Birthday...Oh My!

So, this weekend was great! It was nice to (finally) be in town for a whole weekend with nothing in particular to do. (Well, I had to work for a few hours, but that was no big.)

Anyway, Friday night, we took my 2 little cousins to go see Toy Story 3 in 3D on the IMAX screen. That was something! They had a great time (and we did too) and I'll even admit that I teared up watching it! It was an excellent end to the Toy Story trilogy. Then, we had some ice cream at Maggie Moos. Oh, it was sooo good because it's been well over 90 degrees for the past month or so. My littlest cousin (of course) gets the Blue Cotton Candy ice cream, and, of course, gets it EVERYWHERE. The important part, though, is that she enjoyed it!

Saturday, I had to work for a few hours, but after went straight over to Scott's and we just hung out and watched TV, namely the USA v. Ghana FIFA World Cup game. Sadly, USA lost in a game (Soccer) with the most confusing rules ever, but whatever. It was relaxing and we got to nap for a little while before getting ready for dinner at Benihana, our favourite hibachi grill!

The chef actually knew Scott, so we got a little extra attention and the food was AWESOME! After that, we said adieu to the family and went on to Underground Pub for $1 wells and beer. Gotta love recession night! Anyway, we had a good little group and sat down and (again...like 3 times in a row) watched the US-Ghana game on the big screen in the pub while talking and hanging out with our friends. It was a very nice, laid-back evening. After everyone deserted us at the end of the night, we went onto MidTown Billiards for a Midtown Burger (which I shouldn't eat, but did anyway...TOTALLY worth it). He dropped me off around 2:30-ish, which wasn't REALLY late, but is late for us.

Sunday, Scott's actual birthday, he came over to the house and we had fried fish, french fries, onion rings, sauteed shrimp, broccoli, and asparagus and green beans with the family. It was a nice impromptu gathering, something that we haven't had the chance to do in a while, and we got to spend time with my family, which we don't get to do often.

We got a chance to relax a little after lunch (again, something that we rarely get to do) before going to adoration. Adoration was great, as always. I love sitting in the presence of the Lord...it's so peaceful and comforting to know he is right there in that room, physically present with us. Praise God for the opportunity to worship in such a way!

After mass, we went back to Scott's for dinner and desert. His sister made Gluten-free peach cobbler, which is sooooo awesome, and then he opened presents. We all watched a Masterpiece Theater Mystery movie in the living room, and then I headed back home.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic weekend. I hope that we have many more just like that! :)
Thank God for great families and great friends!

23 June 2010

The Joy of Family

This past weekend Scott and I went down to the good ole South LA to visit with my family for my parents' anniversary and Fathers' Day. We left (of course) later than we wanted to, but we got a chance to hear Scott's favourite, Jimmy Buffett live from Massachusetts on Radio Margaritaville, XM55. We were well into Mississippi after stopping in the Southaven at Chik-Fil-A (our have-to-stop-on-a-road-trip place) before we hooked up the portable DVD player that we got on my first-ever Black Friday purchasing trip to the auxillary input in the car.

That is freaking awesome, by the way...the whole movie plays through the sound system in the car so that we can both actually hear it. It's like being in a movie theater, only in car. I got to choose since I was the passenger, so I forced Twilight, House Bunny, and New Moon on him. He didn't complain too much, endured it like a (real) rock star.

Anyway, the reason we went down there this past weekend was, of course, Fathers' Day. I hadn't spent a Father's Day with my dad since 2007, when I went to visit him and my mom in St. Croix, USVI. Not to mention the fact that my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary on Sunday!!!! How awesome is that?

We got there around 3:30am Friday morning, which actually wasn't bad. We didn't stop that much, and we really didn't get tired like the last time that we traveled through the night like that for Easter. It was really nice to wake up the next morning to the smell of good community coffee, grits, and eggs cooking on the stove!

Mom and I went to run some errands with my sister while Dad and Scott went to play some golf, and then she and I went to a Physical therapy appointment. Later that evening, we had fried fish, shrimp, and I did beer-battered onion rings, which were awesome. We had a pretty nice spread and my sister and brother-in-law came over with the kiddios. My Godchild spent the night with me, which is something that she looooves to do! She loves slumber partyin' with her nanny.

Saturday morning, we went down to bayou country to visit my grandmother and parrain and nana. It was a good visit, and we stopped for Sno-Balls on the way. I got a dreamsicle with extra condensed milk....mmmmmmm...soooooo good! They definitely don't have anything like that up here in yanksville (as my mom would call it!).

When we got to their house that evening, as a gift to my parents on their 40th, my sister and I and Scott (because he loves doing this) made pizza for them. We purchased the ingredients and did all the work while they got to play with the grand-babies for a change. As my sister, her daughter, and I all are gluten-free, we made everything of the gluten-free variety. It came out very good, actually. We will continue to work on a pizza crust that actually looks like pizza crust for the most part. It was good and they liked it, too!

Sunday morning, we awoke to pan perdu, my favourite!!! Of course, I couldn't have the real kind, but I got the g-free version, which is pretty good. We went to mass with the parents and then came back for dinner. We had grilled steaks, brats, andouille, potato casserole, boiled carrots, and shrimp salad. Oh, it was soooo good!

As always, our trip was way too short, but at least we got a chance to visit. Hopefully, we'll be entertaining them for 4 July weekend, if my dad can get off from work on the Friday, 2 July.

It always fills me with such joy to be around and spend time with my family. We may have our picking, teasing, fighting, and what not, but we are, after all, always family, and we love each other! I thank God for them, though not often enough as I should. In any event, it was a great visit, filled with lots of good food and good times! Can't wait until the next one!

14 June 2010

Tour de Rock 2010

So the day started out great! The ride began at 7:00, and we had to get there for around 5:30 because they were doing a broadcast from the starting line.

I made it to the first rest top about 7:50, but I had left Scott behind somewhere, so I waited until he met me at the rest stop. Apparently, he had gotten a flat somehow and didn't know if it was something that popped the tire or was just a leak. He was able to get his tire pumped and it was going strong, so we headed onward.

We got a horrible headwind, and what had been about 15-17mph was more like 10-11mph. It was definitely hard work getting to the next rest stop, but we made it. At mile 27, the rest stop was there with more water, pickles, bananas, oranges, etc. to keep us going.

We headed out from there for the third rest stop, which was about 16 miles away. At about mile 38, Scott got horrible cramps, and we kept having to stop for him to work them out. It was incredibly hot and the route had little shade from the point of the second rest stop to the third, so we just had to wait it out. I ran out of water about 8 or 9 miles away from the next rest stop, so when we finally made it there, we breathed several sighs of relief and took a long rest so Scott could work out his cramps and I could get hydrated.

We headed onto the Fourth (and final) rest stop, which was about 12 miles away. After about 2 miles, the cramps hit Scott again, so we had to stop again. Once we got underway again, my head was beginning to hurt, but I thought that I would just push through it and keep going. I only made it about 3 more miles before my head was hurting so bad, that I couldn't move it.

At that point, mile 50, Scott said, "Nope! We're not going to do it. There's no way that you can make it 8 more miles with (almost) no water left and your head hurting that bad. I'm calling in the reinforcements to come get us." They did (and I'm so glad!) I totally could not have made it further with the way I was feeling and little water. (I went through nearly 48 oz in 5 miles!) It was also a heat index of 107 degrees! It was hottt!!!

Anyway, I'm disappointed that I didn't get to cross the finish line, but I'd rather that than crossing it and then collapsing (as another rider did). Anyway, there's always next year, and how many people can say that they rode 50 miles on a bike in 107 degree heat?

All in all, it was a good ride, and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to do it, but I do have to admit that I've never been more happy to take a shower than after that ride!

08 June 2010

Wedding Extravaganza

So, Saturday was the end to our galavanting around to weddings here and there. We were actually in this one, so we had to do lots of good prep work for the wedding. We went to the rehearsal and dinner on Friday evening. (I got to leave work early, at least, so can't complain!)

The rehearsal actually didn't take that long. We only had to go through twice and we were finished. We got our instructions for showing up for pictures and dressing, hair, makeup appointments, etc., then headed on down to the big Pine Bluff for the dinner part.
It was really nice. There were twice-baked potatoes (of which I ate 3!) that were sooo awesome, I could have just eaten that and been totally fine! There were steamed veggies, salad, chicken cordon-bleu, roast beef, and a few other morsels. I was too busy eating to get any pictures of them. We got our wedding party gifts, which were awesome! A (super cute) gift bag filled with jolly ranchers, room spray, lotions, hand soap, and jewelry to wear for the wedding the next day. The boys got flasks with their names engraved thereon and chopsticks (some inside joke thing).

In any event, it was an enjoyable evening. Of course, we found the bar located at the rehearsal location and chilled there for a little while before heading back home. We got back pretty late and started all over the next morning (early).

The boys hauled tail to the driving range, while we girls headed onto our hair and makeup appointments (which were all scheduled an hour earlier than we all thought). Luckily, though, the wedding party following us had canceled not only their hair and make up appointments (which turned out great for us) but also their wedding, apparently.

Check out the do. Pretty nice, huh? Too bad I didn't get any pics of the complete ensemble.

Anyway, we were all finished just in time to enjoy a margarita, cheese dip, and fajitas at the local Mexican restaurant. The looks we got while there were pretty interesting, needless to say.

We made it to the church to finish getting ready in ample time for pictures. We even got a chance to wait in our tiny little waiting room for an hour before we processed up the aisle.

The church was so packed that the groomsmen had to bring out folding chairs so that people could have more room to sit. The ceremony was nice (and short), and we headed onto the PB for the reception.

There was dancing and singing and cake cutting and all that good stuff. I caught the bouquet (surprise) and Scott caught the garter (again, surprise). Apparently, that's supposed to mean we're next. (Hmm) It's a good thing I'm not superstitious because I'm sure that the meaning would have been canceled out by the fact that it was purposely done (shock! awe! ;) )

In any event, everything went off without a hitch, except the kind that always happen but no one ever notices. All in all, the wedding was a successful event, the bride and groom made it safely to Hawaii, and no one ended up in the pool (at least not with their wedding attire on. We changed into scrubbies first).

Here's wishing Shawn and Julie and lifetime of happiness and a marriage full of blessings.

Here's to being thankful that we can take a breather from wedding festivities for awhile, and here's to hoping that we don't pass out and/or get dehydrated and/or some other series of unfortunate events at the Tour de Rock this weekend.

Wish us luck! Details to follow.

02 June 2010


Today has not been the best of days, though it hasn't been the worst of them, either. I'm tired, have a migraine, am babysitting for the day, and having a money problem. It's difficult, sometimes, to see the forest through the trees and to remember that more good can come from the trouble if I rely on God and use these issues to bring me closer to him. Faith is so important. Without it, we can do nothing. We must allow our problems and sufferings to draw us closer to God in order that we may benefit from them and offer them up for all the wrongs we have committed against the one who loves us so much.

That is all. Short post today.

God Bless.

01 June 2010

Memphis Adventures and More

Let me start this by saying that I absolutely LOOOOVE 3-day weekends. That being said, I can now begin discussing said weekend.

So, my friend Mandy from LSU got married this weekend. She and I were on the retreat team together at Christ the King at LSU, which is where she met her now-husband.

Anyway, I went over to Collierville (yet another weekend in Tennessee. Maybe God is trying to tell me something. hmm...) We headed out early on Saturday so that we could make it to the hotel and get changed and not smell from traveling at the wedding, which started at 2:00pm. I've gotta say, I hate GoogleMaps. They screwed up the directions from the hotel and we got to the wedding late (although the hotel was honestly 200 feet from the church) but before the lovely bride walked up the aisle.

The wedding mass was lovely and the bride gorgeous (as I knew she would be). The bride and groom just looked absolutely rapturously happy. It was a very interesting and eclectic mix of people at both the ceremony and the reception, as Mandy is cajun, Gerardo is from Honduras, and the wedding was held in Tennessee being officiated by a priest from Vietnam.

As Mandy's heritage is cajun, there were masquerade masks and mardi gras beads passed out to the guests as we walked into the party. It was super cute! The wedding party did the second line as they walked in wearing their masquerade masks. It was lovely, and there was some excellent food, too! Fried fish, grits and shrimp, salad, and BBQ. (Eclectic to match the couple and the guests!)
We had a great time. My friend, Kimberly, and I were happy to see each other again, as it had been 4 years (YIKES!) since we had been together at LSU. After the wedding, Scott, Kimberly, and I all went to Memphis, where we ate at Rendevous:

and had the obligatory Diver Down at Silky O'Sullivan's on Beale Street:

We also had an interesting weekend with signs. There was several that were interesting, several of which I did not get pictures. I did, however, get the picture of a giant rooster car while stopped in West Memphis, AR, and I just could not pass up the opportunity to get that picture!

We went to Riverfest with the bride and groom to-be this up-coming weekend when we got back from mass Sunday and stayed there until it ended. We got a chance to get out to the Flying Saucer after that so we could let the crowds dissipate, and then went on a scavenger hunt for a place to eat. (We went to 2 IHOPs, 1 Waffle House, and a Denny's before we found a place that we could be served BEFORE 5am.) It was crazy! Seriously, the 24-hour restaurants had planned poorly for a night when everyone would try to eat after Riverfest, the day before Memorial Day! We FINALLY ate and got home around 3am.

Memorial Day went by way too quickly! I slept in (for the first time in a very long time) and then went to Scott's sister's house, where we BBQ'd and watched a movie and enjoyed the day with the family. Last night, we watched Father of the Bride, an oldie but goodie, and then I went home and slept until work today. I tell you, my weekend would have been A LOT better had I not had to return to work today, but that's another story.

Got a rehearsal/wedding this weekend and there endeth the crazy wedding/shower/bachelorette/etc. weekends. We've got to simultaneously train for the Tour de Rock 2010 the weekend following this one. We'll see how that one goes. 62 miles...YIKES!

In honour of our fallen men and women, whom we have honoured yesterday, on Memorial Day:

Eternal rest grant unto them, Oh, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

God bless the men and women who serve in our armed forces! They sacrifice the most for our freedom.