Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tara's La Hacienda Ranch Birthday Celebration!

My "awesome" friend, Tara (we have decided that we share the same "awesomeness"), threw herself a super fun 31st birthday dinner at La Hacienda Ranch, and we had a blast helping her celebrate the amazing friend and person that she is!


Good friend, Chrys was there, too! She's the reason I know Tara! Chrys and I met in childbirth class when we were both pregnant with our first children. It was through her blog that I met Tara (and Sundee...and Anne, who were also there).


Tara and her friend, Jessica


Tara and Sundee!


After "knowing" Anne for about 5 years (I started reading her blog when she was also pregnant with her first, Penelope - who is only a month or two older than Jillian), I FINALLY got to meet her!


And what a way to meet someone! Anne did her best with a Shake Weight that was (strangely) in someone's office at the restaurant...


What? Did you seriously think I could resist trying it out myself???
Why of course, I had to try my hand at it...


I was told I had good form.


The birthday girl got to wear this super-sexy, rockin' sombrero and sit on a saddle, as we sang "Happy Birthday" to her, in celebration of her "21st birthday"!!!


Tara and Sundee...who knows what these two are laughing about!


A non-Olan Mills pic of us! So glad we're friends! Love you, Tara!!!!


What a great evening! I had the privilege of meeting lots of wonderful, fellow mommies, had great conversation, and great food! Perfect!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Michael Buble!!!!

After having Starbucks brought to me by Richard and the kids, I got up and found this presentation on this bar:


Very sweet. I'm so lucky to have a husband that really tries and is so thoughtful. He is absolutely fantastic and more creative (with crafts) than he would probably ever admit to being...

Anyway, the previous day, at my surprise celebration Richard gave me Michael Buble tickets. What a treat: a night with Michael Buble. Ever since hearing he would be in Dallas the day before my birthday, I had been determined to somehow go.to.the.concert. I didn't care where the seats were, but I was sure that I wanted to experience this event now knowing many more of his songs than the last concert we went to of his.

Before going into the arena, I was compelled to have Richard take a picture of me and my "boyfriend..."

Unfortunately, I had to wait until this poor child was done having her picture taken. Richard and I felt like the only ones that weren't taken by how "adorable" she was...because we could see that she was merely a means to an end of her caregiver's desire to have an autograph (which they got during the concert, for all to see...we were shocked that they had a pen, paper, and camera ready to go, after Michael Buble couldn't avoid seeing noticed the girl holding up a sign).



Anyway, so we went, hoping that even though the seats were in the very highest section (though still in the lower portion), that the fact that they were in the center would make it better...and the seats were GREAT! I'm honestly not sure there's a bad seat in AAC! Given that, however - and I'm not complaining by any means - I wouldn't be opposed to getting closer seats the next time we see Michael. Luckily, though, I had my super, duper camera and my ginormous lens. Hey, that's what these types of lenses are for, right?


(I also brought the "regular" lens and a hand held camera as well...I'm sure I looked like a total nut job!)

Something I realized at the last concert was that the parts where he talks to the audience are some of THE most entertaining!!!! So I decided that I would record video of all of those! When I first tried out the "big" camera's recording abilities from the distance we were at, I guess I thought it wasn't all that great (even despite the bazooka-like lens on it!). So I switched to using the "little" camera's video. Well, toward the end of the concert, for whatever reason, I switched to using the big camera for video and immediately began kicking myself for stupidly not using it for everything else! Sigh. You can still hear everything, but it can be a bit of a struggle, so a high volume level is definitely best. As far as clarity with the picture, it can be a bit fuzzy at times, as the camera is constantly trying to focus. Another sigh. Live and learn though, right? Now I know better for next time! (and there WILL be a next time!)

Here are some still shots I took of handsome, charismatic, cutie Michael Buble:



After the concert, we had our picture taken by some nice, fellow Buble fans:









It was SUCH a fun, entertaining concert, and I was so, so thrilled to get to share it all with my amazing husband...courtesy of said amazing husband! :)

Even though it would have ordinarily been way to late to eat a meal, we were both very hungry, and agreed that Cafe Brazil would be a fun place to go to; for me, it was neat to visit the same place I so often hung out at many, many nights in high school, often times with my friend Erin. And, just as Erin always did, I ordered the Vegetarian Migas. O.M.G. SO. FREAKIN'. GOOD.
Here is a picture Richard took shortly after I officially turned 30:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 30th to ME!!!!

Wow. 30. Unlike many (I've heard), I'm actually very excited to have turned 30! I guess maybe I feel like that age "represents" me better than what a number in the twenties did. Or at least, in my opinion. Not because I feel "old," but I guess maybe because I feel like so many other people in their 20s are at a completely different stage in life. Since having Jillian at age 25, I've always been one of the youngest (if not THE youngest) Mommies in my various social circles. And at the same time, many of my friends in their 20s are still enjoying "DINKY" life. Or are pursuing a higher level of education.

And honestly, the number isn't all that important...but I feel like sometimes, people don't take someone (especially a mother?) in her twenties as seriously as they might take a person in their thirties.

Besides, I'm PROUD to have been around this "long," and I cherish every, single day I have here, on this earth, with my amazing husband and 2 sweet kiddos! (Even though sometimes, it's a bit difficult to do so...).

Anyway, moving on to my birthday festivities...

Richard surprised me with a dinner at Blue Mesa Grill! LOVE that place! We arrived (oh, about an hour late...babysitter didn't have our address or phone number...long story!) and our good friends Megan & Jude, Lynette & Anthony, and Richard's friend, Jason and his wife, Lorrie, were there waiting for us!!!!!! It was so sweet to know that Richard had started to plan a big celebration about a month and a half ago! Unfortunately, the combination of various summer vacations, difficulties in getting babysitters, and whatever else - pretty quickly affected the number of people on the Evite that were able to respond "Yes."



Ultimately, though - it was the best celebration EVER. Megan and Jude are always a blast. And Lynette and Anthony are a couple that we've been wanting to get to know better (I've known Lynette since 1st grade, when we met at Lakehill). It truly was the perfect group of people, and it was so fun to see friends from two, totally different times in my life, relate and have fun! Of course, they were both waiting for a good, long while for us to show up, so I guess they had no choice!

Anyway, after chowin' down on some AWESOME sweet potato chips, adobe pie, and more yummies that can only be enjoyed at BMG, the waiter brought out a cake:


Simply AMAZING. Richard was so, incredibly thoughtful to have ordered a cake from the local bakery - Say It With Sugar - as he knew that I'd been eying their creations since their shop opened in recent months. What a beautiful surprise!!!




After a night of chatting and eating, Richard surprised me with a birthday card...that was extra special because it contained a sweet poem he wrote that told me we would be going to the Michael Buble concert the next night!!!!!!! If only we could have taken a picture of my excitement over THAT!!!!!

It was such a fun time, and I am so grateful to my wonderful friends and to my seriously amazing and thoughtful husband! He later said that he doesn't ever want to do a surprise of any kind again; he felt like he was "cheating" on me, as he had to talk to my friend Crystal "behind my back," and just plan stuff without me. :)

On our way out to the car, I realized that we completely neglected to take pictures of us and our friends at dinner! The only pictures we got involved the cake! ARGH! So we did a little post-dinner mini-shoot outside the restaurant:

L: Richard carrying the remainder of the cake back to the car (showing the uneaten side).
R: One of the last pictures of me as a 29 year old...what a WONDERFUL night!

When we got home, I gave in (as if there was a struggle) to temptation and picked up the top tier of the cake (chocolate chocolate chip!) by the dowel that still remained and had at it:



A couple more collages from the evening:





Thank you for all of the thoughtfulness and planning you put into this, Richard! I love you!!!

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