2014 Wrap Up

Reflection.  Perspective.  Blessings.  Challenges.  One little word.  Goals.  All of these things make up my thoughts as I wrap up 2014 and prepare for 2015.  My word for 2014 was Dare which was inspired by Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly.  To recap my year, I made a list of all of the major happenings I could remember.

January – I couldn’t remember this far back!

February – Toby, 24th birthday, Cowtown 10K with Lauren (2nd 10K for me)

Did you know I picked Toby up after a tough Saturday at work?  I had already been considering getting a pet and decided to go get perked up by some cute animals.  Once the shelter staff told me that kittens never stay long, I decided I had to have him.  I got him at a Super Bowl special rate too! $15 for loveable kitty who eats chunks of meat!

   

March – Child Life Month, Girls 5K, wedding crafting

  

April – more craftiness, cousins, Night Trail Run 10K

I will never do the Night Trail Run again.  It was at a really cool pecan grove; however, picture swallowing bugs and breathing in dirt while you run…not my kind of fun.

    

May – more wedding crafting, Pittsburgh, Robyn’s graduation, Kathryn’s wedding, Camp Reynal

  

May leading into June was one packed month!  I flew to Pittsburgh to hang out with Robyn, see her graduate, and help her pack up to move back to Texas.  At the end of the month was Kathryn’s wedding and a week at Camp John Marc to serve as staff for Camp Reynal.

     

Toby….the great and mighty traveling kitty.

     

June – Whitney’s wedding, Robyn lives in Austin

   

  

July – Lavender and peach picking with Robyn, Robyn’s craigslist dresser, did I mention more craftiness, Lexi’s baby shower, Summer Bash at CHOSA, TCH interview

      

Fun fact: Robyn made Lexi’s baby shower invites.

 

Giant syringe art painting.  One of my contributions to Summer Bash!

 

Dialysis patients’ spin art

 

When I came to Houston for a doctor’s appointment and interview at TCH, Megan and I chalk painted her buffet.  Quite a difference!

  

We also ate the rainbow while I finished my portfolio.

 

August – Announced TCH news, goodbyes with patients and coworkers

   

I received a phone call from TCH on the morning I had a flat tire. Two days later I had a job offer!  I made croissants for my coworkers before leaving CHOSA.

      

Robyn got a new bed when she moved to Austin.  I took her college headboard to recover.  A little extra foam and new fabric made all the difference.

   

In the meantime, I sold my old headboard on craigslist and found a new dining table for $40.

 

Newly upholstered piano bench and Toby’s stash of mice under the couch.

 

One last trip to Austin to see The Oh Hellos & Needtobreathe and spot the cutest paper donuts at Paper Source.

  

September – move to Houston, start at TCH

 

One of my favorite parts of TCH-West is all the bright dots.  The big blue dot below echos when you stand in the middle of it.

  

October – Drive in movie, meeting Jack (Lexi’s baby), first year anniversary as a Child Life Specialist, Round Top, 4th 10K, Fall Festival at TCH

      

    

You know I love pumpkins!

      

November – discovering Houston, Nutcracker Market, Thanksgiving in Austin, croissant making, Canton

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Spice, a store in Waco, had real popcorn as part of their display.  I couldn’t believe it!  Think of all the kids trying to eat it.

  

December – Advent, Ann V. Christmas book tour, Toby turns 1, car accident, new car, Christmas, New Years

 

This night was filled with readings from Ann’s book, worship from Ellie Holcomb, and poetry from Amena Brown.

 

Toby never climbed in the tree, but he did enjoy gazing at the lights.

   

At the beginning of the month, I was in a car accident and my truck was totaled.

 

Toby acting like a dog in a cat’s body.

 

I negotiated and shopped around to find the best deal on a Rav4.  I used the insurance settlement and some childhood savings bonds to buy my first car all on my own.  It was a proud moment.  For anyone looking for good deals on Toyota vehicles, Tegler Toyota in Brenham is where it is at!

 

My first stop in my new car was downtown Bryan.

 

I swung through College Station to see Kyle Field before they imploded it.

    

My favorite shop in Bryan had something I couldn’t resist in their clearance alley.  This mantel fits quite nicely over my bed.

 

Robyn drove in a few days before Christmas to hang out.  We continued our tradition of homemade panini’s, hot chocolate, and Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  She brought dinner to work before we went to look at lights.

  

I don’t have any pictures of family Christmases.  It was a wonderful year having everyone in Angleton.  We got together with Kathryn and Emilie.

  

 

For New Years, I gave the girls in the office Izze soda.  I enjoyed mine on New Year’s Eve at work!

 

If you hung in through all 12 months of pictures, bravo!  I’m looking forward to more regular blog posts in 2015.  Happy New Year!

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Hello Houston!

Many of you know or have seen pictures, that I made the move to Houston.  More to come on the blog regarding my job and Texas Children’s Hospital.  As per every move I make, I have a blog devoted to new apartment pictures!  I’m hopeful this is the last apartment I show off because I want my next move to be into something I own.  Anyway, I live in the south west quadrant of Houston and have found myself equally spaced between Katy and city center – basically, everything is easy to access.  As for my apartment, I love it!!  The floor plan is what sold me on it.  It really has a house feeling – despite the fact that I’m on the 3rd floor!

Enough narration, I’ll have more blogs sharing and recounting the many happenings since I moved.  Welcome to my home!

   

Off the foyer, there is a utility room (complete with bunting!).

The foyer opens up to the living room.

   

To the right of the TV, is a hallway that leads to the bathroom and an huge hall closet (AKA the craft closet).

   

The living room then opens to the dining room and kitchen.

   

   

The door off the kitchen area goes to my bedroom.

  

   

This is only a small portion of the closet.  It could be another bedroom.

The bedroom then connects to the bathroom.

   

   

Between the door from the hallway and bedroom, was the perfect wall space to create a jewelry wall.  I love how this turned out!

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Please let me know if you would like my address to send some happy mail my way!  I have hosted family already, but would love some friend visits too!  Praying for joy and peace for all of you.

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Sweet Aggie Friendship

Way back in May, some of my closest Aggie friends and I planned a pretty special day.  The last of “our” group was graduating and we wanted to give her something extra special.  I couldn’t count the amount of texts we sent to each other brainstorming what we should give Liza for her special day.  In this random brain of mine, came the idea of an Aggie scavenger hunt.  The hunt would lead her through memory lane and end with a big surprise.

So the night before the big day, Desta and I spent several hours creating clever clues to include all 8 spots we had in mind.  The rest of the girls took Liza out of the house so we could have time to plan.

  

Then Saturday morning started with a little bit of crankiness, homemade breakfast from Lauren, and more anticipation than I could contain.  If you don’t know by now, I’m easily excitable and pretty perky in the morning!  We started on the right foot with a selfie posted to Instagram.

Photo

We contemplated blindfolding Liza to arrive at the first location, but strayed against that idea.  Less than a hour later, we arrived a little outside of Hearne to have a quick photo shoot at the Aggie Barn.

We waited our turn for pictures (there were lots taking pictures on graduation weekend) and passed the time with a few iPhone pictures.

Then it was time to go!

These two provide distraction behind the camera!

Liza quickly warmed up to the picture taking.

Then we got in the action!

Lauren was responsible for making us laugh.  “Grump cat” got laughs every time.

Liza received her first clue once we were back in the truck.  We made a pit stop at the best place to take pictures in downtown Bryan before heading to Casa Rod’s for lunch.

After catching lunch with a few of our girls who couldn’t come on the scavenger hunt, the 3rd clue led us home to decorate graduation caps.  Lauren and Liza both decorated their caps and had a little break from all the running around.

With caps done and Liza’s secretly stashed in Lauren’s purse, we read the 4th clue and headed to the Chicken.

We walked from North Gate over to campus to hit a few landmarks.  Pond hopping was up first which took us back to freshman year!

Then we went to put a penny on Sully, headed to the flag room, and Kyle Field.  Those clues blended into each other with the impending downpour of rain.

Liza thought meeting her sister at the giant Aggie ring was the surprise at the end.  When actually there was a little something more.  Lauren pulled out Liza’s newly decorated cap and gown for pictures.  Then we made our way to the ring association office.  That’s we she got the final clue telling her all her friends were giving her a diamond to add to her Aggie ring.  She was so shocked and had tears falling as she realized what was happening.

While all of our Wild Ramblin’ Women couldn’t be there, they were felt in spirit.

We loved celebrating you, Liza.  Keep spreading your joy!

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Crafting with Gretchen

As we continue down memory lane, now we’re stopping off in November.  Gretchen is a long time family friend that lives in Blanco (which is close to San Antonio).  While I was in grad school, we made a couple visits to each other and now that I’m back in central Texas it was time for another catch up.  Gretchen is basically the 10 years older version of me.  She’s into Pinterest, crafting, kids, southern hospitatlity, and has the sweetest charm.

On my drive, I took a snap shot of a color combo I liked.  It was intentional.

After dinner and the boys going crazy, we dug right in to crafting.  Kelly, Gretchen’s husband, kept Max entertained while the rest of us got busy.  I brought colored bakers twine, washi tape, and pre-punched Christmas paper.  Jake wasn’t into making bunting so he got busy making tangles, key chains, and unraveling the twine.

  

Gretchen loved the idea for some Christmas garland.  This was mini-sized, but she knew she could layer it with bunting to make it substantial.  For her garland, the used a tape runner to stick two ovals together with the twine between.  No measuring or pattern – just eye ball it!  I went with a washi tape mini bunting.  I made flags by folding washi tape over the twine and then cutting a triangle out to make a flag.  Again, I didn’t measure the washi and made it work!

    

Jake soon discovered HE could use the tape runner, hole punch, and make something.

So he made me a washi tape, twine, and paper ring.

Finished results!!

    

I couldn’t miss out on hanging out with Max too!  We had fun discovering how to take selfies on my phone.

  

He found the button….

and got to snapping!

Gretchen planned to hang her garland over the mirror in the dining room.

Before we knew it, play time was up and it was time for some Christmas stories.

  

I can’t wait to visit again in the spring.  How about Easter crafting next time Gretchen?

 

What crafty thing have you made lately or pinned on Pinterest?

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Megan’s Art Party!

Back in December, I packed my bags to head to Houston for an art party.  Instead of attending the class, I was teaching it!!  My friend, Megan, had invited many of her friends to come and paint two canvases.  We did a ornament for Christmas and a collaborative canvas.  Here’s how the class turned out.

I prepped a LOT of canvases the night before.  Sixteen to be exact.  Did I mention this was a BIG party?

At Megan’s house, we set up 3 tables in addition to her kitchen table.  Each spot had everything each girl would need, a palate, paint, brushes, water, etc.

Most of the teaching took place with the ornament canvas.  I demonstrated shadowing/highlighting and complementary colors.  Most of these girls knew exactly what they wanted and had no hesitation to jump right in.

 

While the ornament backgrounds dried, we started on the collaborative canvases.  I set up each table with different tools to try.  The idea of a collaborative canvas is each person gets a chance to try new tools or techniques and has a piece of art that everyone contributed too.

We had stencils, brayers, stamps, sprays, foam pouncers, toilet paper rolls, a comb, and lots of other choices for each station.

One of the goals was to give up control on your own canvas.  It was the choice of whoever was working on it to decide paint colors and design.

That was more difficult for some to follow.

 

While the background of the collaborative dried, we moved on to the foreground of the ornaments.  Almost everyone wanted glitter for their ornament.

This was all, but 5 of the girls who attended.

 

A few more close up shots of collaborative painting results.  Once the backgrounds dried, it was up to each person to decide it they wanted to add anything, highlight certain features, or leave it just as it was.

It was a really fun group and party.  My goal is to do more Saturday parties either for children or adults.  If you are interested in hosting a parting, please let me know.

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