Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's almost impossible to fathom, but on December 9, 2011, my baby turned 12.


How in the world has it been 12 years since she was born?  12 years since she was too tiny for newborn clothes and I had to go buy preemie clothes.  12 years since she slept in the cradle that Pepaw handmade.  12 years since we had to bounce her on our chests and pat her bottom just to get her to sleep.


But I guess not, since she woke up almost as tall as me and looking more like 18 than 12.

For her birthday, she got one of the Twilight books, and necklace from Taylor, and a box of Swiss Cake Rolls.  I think those might have been her favorite.

Joey had to work on Ashton's birthday, so I took the kids out to dinner to celebrate - Ashton's birthday, not the fact that Joey was at work. LOL.

Ashton chose Olive Garden.  And she even posed for a pic with her brother - which is extremely rare.

After dinner, I had a surprise for Ashton.  She's obsessed with cupcakes these days, so I surprised her with a stop by a cupcake shop.  She was so excited! (Score one for mom!)

No one was surprised when Ashton chose a chocolate-chocolate cupcake.

Nor were we surprised when Taylor chose a vanilla-vanilla cupcake. My children are nothing if not predictable.

We certainly wish daddy could have been there, but we had a great time celebrating anyway.

Daddy didn't miss out on all the festivities, though.  We celebrated with Joey's mom and Pepaw on Sunday, so Joey got in on some cake action.

Ashton, however, has become rather shy in front of the camera... unless I threaten to take back all of her presents.

Then she'll smile!

Happy birthday baby girl.  We love you so very much!

Christmas Blues

Monday, November 28, 2011

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I’m just not in the Christmas spirit this year.

This is incredibly strange, because Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the tree, the outside lights, the music, the gifts –I love it all. But this year, I’m just not into it.

I put the tree up with the kids last weekend, but it’s just sort of blah to me.

We watched The Santa Clause 2 –and it almost helped me get in the groove, but not really.

It’s sad, really, but I’m not sure what’s causing it, so I don’t know how to fix it.

I’m not all that excited about Christmas cards (which I usually LOVE) or even writing my Christmas letter.

Don’t get me wrong, I know what Christmas is really about, but what I’m talking about here is just the “fun” stuff. Usually I’m like a kid, but this year, there’s just something off.

And I don't like it.

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Pinterest wish list.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When I first heard of Pinterest, I was not at all interested in yet another social media site to keep up with.  I didn't really see what all the fuss was about.

But then I figured it out.  And now I'm hooked.  I pin everything from recipes, to crafts, to decorating ideas, to great hair.

Here are a few my latest pins:

If I can find any burlap in San Antonio, I have to make this.  So stinkin' cute!

When Neri and I got together for our (failed) Halloween/Fall crafting day, this was one thing that we actually accomplished. I added some things to this, but overall, I really like it!

I had high hopes of making this wreath for Fall, but there is a serious shortage of burlap in San Antonio. After searching for 2 weeks, I finally gave up... and had no wreath.

My necklaces and earrings are taking over my closet and I really need a better way to organize them. I have a great wall in my closet where something like this would be perfect!

If I ever get a tattoo, this will be it.

I'm really wanting to make these for the game room. Instead of canvases (because those can get expensive), I bought 3 large foam core boards. Now I just need to choose a paint color.

Snip snip.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last weekend, I finally took Trigger to get snipped.  It was a long time coming, trust me.

Ashton and I picked him up that evening and they said he was such a good boy.

Once we got home, though, he spend the rest of the night like this:

Poor buddy.

Izzy came to visit...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

... and all I have to prove it are these 2 pictures.

It's sad, I know. We had so much fun, I just never thought to take pictures.

We shopped, cooked, ate, worked out, ate, cooked, shopped, ate, ate, and watched the Cowboys v. Patriots game.  I just love getting to spend time with Izzy and wish so badly that she lived closer.  I'm extremely thankful, though, that for the past few years, she's chosen to spend a portion of her vacation hanging with us in Texas.

We love you and miss you!  Come back to Texas!

Crossfit competition.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Saturday, the kids and I went to New Braunfels to support our good friends in a crossfit competition.  It was so inspiring to watch and makes me want to work hard and compete myself someday.

In this competition, they competed in pairs.  Ryan and Stacy did fantastic all day and finished 5th overall after completing 5 WODs!  5 WODs in one day?  That's insane!!

This was the 3rd WOD of the day, which consisted of 100 sit-ups, 21-15-9 squat snatch and clusters, and 100 double-unders.  They killed it!

This was the 4th WOD and it was just a bit strange.  In this pic, Ryan is holding an L-sit while Stacy is doing an Atlas ball lift.  Stacy was insanely fast with these lifts.  So proud of her!

I've never been to a crossfit competition before, but I had such a good time.  I'm so proud to crossfit with these guys!

Pumpkin carving and costumes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I mentioned yesterday that the kids and I went to our friends house to carve pumpkins this year.  The kids were very excited to get started and really did a good job on their own, although Neri's husband and I had to help with most of the scooping and knife wielding.

Some may say that Osman and I carved the pumpkins, but these pictures wouldn't tell that story.

Taylor was so proud of his pumpkin!  He named him Dave and set him proudly on the porch.

Dave barely made it to Halloween before he shriveled up, but at least he was still alive to greet the trick-or-treaters.

Speaking of trick-or-treaters...

Taylor and his friend from down the street dressed in the same costume.  They didn't plan it, but I thought it was hilarious when they showed up on my doorstep together.  (Taylor is on the left.)

Ashton was "too old" to dress up this year, so she handed out candy with me.  We had a great turnout in our neighborhood, but it seems like "trick-or-treat" has gone by the wayside.  I'm not sure anyone said that.  Most of the time they were polite and said thank you, so I guess that works.

Funny story - one of our neighbors handed out soap instead of candy.  There was a note on the soap that said "Have a clean Halloween!"  Taylor's friend was quite, um... well, less-than-thrilled with the soap, but Taylor smelled it and said it was the best thing he got!

That boy...

Stephanie cooks: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Monday, November 7, 2011

A couple weeks ago, I went to my friend Neri's house for a crafting day.  We had plans to shop for Fall crafting supplies, eat tortilla soup, and carve pumpkins with the kids.

Well, the crafting was a big, huge fail.  We couldn't find anything that we were looking for so we kind of gave up.

The kids carved pumpkins and had a great time and the tortilla soup was to die for!  Neri sent me the recipe and I made it last week for dinner.  I've had the leftovers twice already and I'm very sad that there's none left.

Do yourself a favor - make this STAT! (Joey says so.)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

What you need:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp. Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp. salt 
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 jars salsa
  • corn tortillas (white or yellow)
  • shredded cheese
  • avocado

How you make it:

  1. Boil chicken (from frozen works great!) with bouillon. 
  2. Chop celery, onion and cilantro.
  3. When chicken is cooked, remove it from the water, but don't dump the water. 
  4. Add celery, onion, cilantro, salsas, garlic, and salt to the water. 
  5. Shred the chicken and add back into the pot for about 20 minutes.
  6. While the soup is cooking, cut the tortillas into 1 inch strips.
  7. Fry tortilla strips in oil over medium-high heat. (Homemade tortilla strips in the key to having crunchy strips in your soup.  Regular chips will get soggy.)
  8. Pour your bowl of soup, add cheese, avocado, and tortilla strips.

Note: When I made this last week, I cooked the chicken in my crock pot all day, then started with step #4 when I got home.  Next time, I think I'll just dump it all in and let it all cook together in the crock pot.

Also, I made a few minor changes from the recipe Neri gave me, but I'm sure she won't mind. :)

It's been a while.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I think this is a record for how long I've gone without posting!  Goodness, things have been ca-ra-zy!

So let's get up-to-speed, shall we?  (Face it, we all I will never go back and create individual posts, so we're going with the summary approach.)

Let's see, when we left off, I was working on finishing up my media cabinet.  Well... I finally finished it!!

Look, I don't like to brag, but that media cabinet is amazing!! :)

Also in there was my birthday.  Joey took the weekend off before my birthday and we went out with all our friends from Crossfit.  We had Mexican food, drinks, lots of laughs, and coffee.  It was my favorite kind of birthday.

Love these people!  (And the ones that I don't have pictures of that celebrated with us, too.)

Next, there was my last day at my job of 6 years.  It was really sort of bittersweet.  Everyone was so great to me and I really had a wonderful last day.  My boss took me to lunch and also sent these flowers.

I was really surprised because this is just SO not him.  As the card attached should explain...

I died laughing when I read this.  (He really was not happy to see me go.)

I suppose the only other thing to fill you in on would be my new job.  I started my new job on Monday and I absolutely love it.  It's such a great company and I love what I'm doing.  As you can tell (by my lack of blogging and tweeting), I'm super busy - which I LOVE!

So, things are good.  Super busy, but good.  I'm looking forward to next week when my super duper good friend Izzy comes to town.  I haven't seen her in a year so I can't wait to have nearly a week off to just relax and have fun.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Remember the media cabinet that I made earlier this year?  You know, the one I still haven't finished?

Yeah, that one.

Well, this weekend I got the building bug and decided that it was high time I get those doors finished.  My dad, who is my building partner, couldn't help this weekend so I was all on my own.

And let me tell you I am so proud of myself!!

People... I give you progress.

One of the reasons that dad and I stopped  earlier this year and never got the doors on was because we could not, for the life of us, figure out the dang hinges.

So how did I figure it out?  Through hours and hours of trial and error.

Look.  I never claimed to be a professional. Obviously.

So once I figured out the hinges, then I took the doors back off so I could work on the false fronts. 

In case you don't remember, the front of the cabinet is supposed to look something like this:

(I say "something" because I did modify the plans to add height.)

Anyway, I'm well on my way!  I have high hopes to finish up all the doors this weekend and get them painted and installed.

I'm determined.

And just a word to the wise: When building furniture, never move it to its intended location (and begin using it) before it's complete.  If you do, it will likely take you another 6 months to get motivated to finish it.

Family night out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last night Joey and I decided to take the kids to dinner and have an evening of just the 4 of us.  With Joey's schedule, this is hard to do on a regular basis.

We headed over to the local outdoor mall and ate at one of our favorite places, Grimaldi's.  They have the best pizza. Oh my gosh.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Who am I kidding?  I don't need to just think about it.  I have proof!

Mmmmmm... super yummy.

As we were paroozing the parking lot for a spot, we noticed that they are opening up a Cheesecake Factory.  Taylor went crazy and then declared that cheesecake was his favorite cake ever.  (I think he's maybe had it twice in his entire 8 year life span, but ok.)

So after dinner we sprung for dessert.

Do NOT get between a boy and his cheesecake.

I also managed to snap a pic of the two people who hate taking pictures.

It's a shame they're so good looking and hate having their pictures taken, no?

After dinner and dessert we wondered around the mall for a bit and let the kids spend some of their allowance.  It was a really great night with just the 4 of us.

I kinda love my peeps.

Stephanie cooks: Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You may have noticed a few trends around these parts.

One, I'm cooking a lot more.  Yes, this is true.  There's something about Fall that makes me want to cook and bake.  I love it!  My waist does not.

Moving along...

Two, I'm obsessed with my crock pot.  This, too, is true.  It's just so easy to throw something together and so fun to come home to a fully cooked meal!  Wouldn't you agree?

So on that note, here's my latest and greatest crock pot meal, which is found on pinterest. The original recipe is here, but my adaptation is below.

Baked Potato Soup (Crock Pot)

(image found here)

What you need:
  • 2.5lbs Russet Potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Green onions

How you make it:
  1. Add potatoes, onion, seasoning and chicken broth to slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
  3. Remove half of the soup to another bowl and add cream cheese and garlic.  Puree.
  4. Return removed portion to the crock pot.
  5. Stir every 10-15 minutes until soup is well blended.
  6. Top with your choice of garnishes & serve!

This soup was so good, it had to be sinful.  I made it on Sunday for the game (GO COWBOYS!) along with the yummiest bacon-wrapped jalapenos I have ever put in my mouth.

It was a pretty great day all around.

A September miracle.

Friday, September 16, 2011

People.  Do you see this?  It's raining.

Now, I know for some of you this may not mean anything.  Or it may be a reminder of terrible flooding that you've had recently.

For those of us in South Texas, this means that maybe we can get through the day without more grass fires breaking out.

Close to 100% of Texas has been under a severe drought for months and recently we've had horrible wildfires breaking out all over the state.  The worst of the wildfires is just South of Austin and has consumed over 1500 homes (can you imagine?!?) and 34,000 acres.  I can't even fathom.

Thank you Jesus for the rain.

let's get acquainted

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THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
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