Where to Stay/Coffee – Denison, Texas

It’s been a week since we got back from vacation. A WEEK. How on earth did time fly so fast? Seriously. So much has happened in this past week. We finally, thank the good Lord, got Rain! We needed it. Our AC went on the fritz and came back again. Don’t know, don’t ask :). Hubby got home with us only to turn around Monday and head back to Boston, more on that later. Tbug started School. My parents left on vacation. It’s just been a whirlwind of things.

p.s. I might have been dragging my feet about packing myself after packing 3 other people for our trip…

The leading up story

Hubby’s work took him out of town to Boston the week before we were to leave on vacation. Our scheduled departure date was Sunday, August 5, 2018. Hubby’s work trip was supposed to bring him home on August 3, 2018. Supposed to…

Hubby was supposed to board a Delta flight in Boston in the evening on Friday, get into Kansas City late, and potentially drive home to be home around Midnight. A storm threatened the Eastern Seaboard and all Delta flights were canceled in a 150-mile radius around Boston, although hubby said no storm ever hit where they were. All of his co-workers who flew on Southwest Airlines, their flight was delayed, but they got out.

His travel partner and he jumped on trying to scurry and find flights home. The earliest they could get home was Sunday. His travel partner wound up getting home around 4 pm into Kansas City on Sunday. He got rerouted finally through Northwest Arkansas and got home around noon on Sunday. No flights were to be found for Saturday. Oy! (more…)

Chuy’s – Rogers, AR

What is the significance of this picture? To prove that hubby was HOME! Wait, what?

Let’s back up… So 2 weeks ago hubby was in Boston for work. He was supposed to be home Friday, August 3, 2018. I state “was” because his flight got canceled as did every flight Delta had that night within a 150-mile radius of Boston. There was some storm and instead of postponing like Southwest Airlines did, Delta just canceled and apparently that’s what they always do. UGH!

Why did I really care? Well because Sunday, August 5th we were supposed to be leaving on vacation. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right? So hubby and his co-worker who were traveling together looked into multiple routes to get home and both didn’t get home until Sunday. Hubby left out of KCI (Kansas City) and finally found a flight into XNA (Northwest Arkansas) at noon on Sunday. His co-worker got home Sunday at 4 pm into KCI.

Hubby was looking for every route to get home on Saturday and couldn’t do it. Our plans included us leaving between 5 and 6 on Sunday evening. It was a fuster cluck. With him rerouted through XNA, my parents and I drove up to KCI to get his truck because that’s a 2ish hour trip. Then Sunday morning we headed to XNA to pick him up and bring him home, quickly do laundry, finish packing him, and leave here on time. It was stressful! But we accomplished it, even with eating lunch at Chuy’s Tex-Mex.

Chuy’s Tex-Mex – Rogers AR

Chuy’s actually originated in the early 80’s in Austin, Texas. For what feels like months, our friend Jared has been telling us we needed to try this restaurant. A week earlier my parents tried this restaurant and raved about it too. So when they found out we were going to XNA, he suggested going with us and we could try Chuy’s. They raved about it so much they said we needed to find one in San Antonio (which there are like 3 or 4 locations). (more…)

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge Friends… freak? Fanatic. That’s a better word for sure. But lately, I’ve been watching one of my hubby’s favorite shows… Gilmore Girls. I kid you not. I had watched episodes here and there, but he made me watch it start to finish. I’m now watching it a second time. Catching bits and pieces I missed the first time around.

One of which caught me off guard this morning and I laughed. It is in Season 5 Episode 2, I think (maybe episode 1… but I think 2), Luke was off helping his sister and brother-in-law at a renaissance fair. Lorelei called him, stating he was supposed to already be home. Then she started saying you’ll be home when this happens or that happens or this happens. Those this and that’s were things that may or may not happen but the time frame kept getting pushed further out. Then she said, “See you when Hilary is president.” Now, this episode aired in 2004. Hilary actually ran in 2016 presidential election.

Now, the whole world knows she didn’t win, but I still couldn’t help but giggle when Lorelei said that. I guess because prior to the 2016 election there was always speculation she may run for president, but she never had. So it was funny to me that had Luke not come back until she at least ran, that would have been 12 years he was away.

Oy, such trivial stuff… haha. That has nothing to do with anything. And to add to that… November 2016 is when Netflix released the Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life. Hey… Luke came back then… obviously, he came back from the renaissance fair long before that but still. Okay, I’ll get off the coinkidinks for now… At least I’m not quoting Friends… yet… but…..

With that thought, here’s another one. Lately, I’ve either been channeling my inner Monica or my inner Suki. Baking makes me happy. I mentioned that yesterday I think. I think I want to be Suki or Monica but dress like Lorelei because heck, that woman can dress. I know, I know, it’s all tv, but still… she can dress. (more…)

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Mmmmm, chocolate chip cookies, straight out of the oven. Oh yum! And then… add coconut and oatmeal. And if you say, I’m not a fan of coconut, I’m telling you… you don’t taste it. It just tastes amazing!

My dad sends me recipes quite often. This particular email really jumped out at me. But I kept forgetting to make them. Until… I got my Birthday present early. What?!?! Well… My birthday is Monday (next week). I’ll be 35. Holy cow… when did I get so old? When I wake up every morning I feel about 80. But we’re really not focusing on that aspect right now.

So why did I get my birthday present early? Well, because my darling sweet husband has to be out of town for work on my birthday. I’m not saying this to make him feel bad, although truth be told, he does. I understand. I really do. I’m not really a fan of birthdays anyway. I like having them because it means I’m still on this side of the ground, but otherwise, my birthdays usually suck. I hate to say that, but if tears aren’t involved at least once, it’s probably not my birthday.

One year I got put down by a family member on my birthday. Yes, those are the types of birthdays I have. One year my whole family except my mom and dad (pre-hubby days) forgot about my birthday including my grandma who shares my birthday. Sadly, birthdays just aren’t fun for me. They are just another day if not worse. But… again, let’s not focus on that.

Let’s focus on my Birthday present!!

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Family Fourth of July

I’ve talked about our Family Fourth of July quite a bit this week between the Spumoni Cake, the Wacky Cake, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. A lot of food talk huh? I also made a Greek Pasta Salad. Holy Yum! But hello, where are the pictures of the fireworks? I’m so glad you asked!

I spent quite a bit of time coming up with what desserts we were going to take. Then making sure I had all the ingredients. Finally, the execution.

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Spumoni Cake

I broke my blog this morning. I could get to the actual blog, but to write new blog posts, that’s what I broke. I couldn’t even get there. I don’t know why. Thanks to my brilliant husband, he fixed it. I made him think. So here we are, back up and running, again. I joke that I keep him around to fix my blog. It is a joke but he has fixed it for me more than once.

Back around the 4th of July (which was last week… wow!), my husband’s family had their yearly get-together. I got busy trying to decide just what I wanted to make to take. If you’ve noticed, here lately I’ve been really into cakes. So of course, I had to choose a cake. I also chose to make Cherry Cheesecake French Macarons because I had a bunch of egg whites just sitting around. I’ll explain later… obviously. (more…)

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Better late than never, right? I guess taking a week off from blogging last month didn’t help and then needing to blog like 5 times per day to either keep up or get caught up… whew! So we’re going to learn about Memorial Day Weekend today, the first day of July because that’s how I roll. I also woke up this morning to thunder and rain. OMG, we sooooooooo need the rain!

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Going into Memorial Day Weekend, we weren’t sure where we’d sleep. Maybe the bed of my truck. Seriously, no idea, but then Jared bought a horse trailer with living quarters and BAM! he let us borrow it and we got to sleep in a bed. Whew!

Like most of our Memorial Day Weekends since 2014, we’ve spent them at the lake. This year was a bit different because Tbug didn’t get to go with us. Bummer! This is our first MDW without her since 2014. She started working on her SCUBA certifications that year. And prior to that year, we were elsewhere. (more…)

The Ultimate Birthday Cake

It seems like a lifetime ago, but I took cake decorating classes. They were the Wilton ones through Michael’s Craft Stores. And I loved them all at the same time they felt overwhelming. Almost to the point, I really didn’t do cakes for a long time. Every now and then, the special occasion I could be talked into it, but for the most part, I avoided it like the plague.

A year ago, I got convinced to do a birthday cake for a friend’s friend. Gosh, I was so stressed out I thought I was going to cry. Then… something changed. I can’t explain it, but I made my dad a birthday cake with the help of my girls. Then we made my mom a birthday cake. Then Abug and I made my aunt a birthday cake. And slowly cakes started coming back into my life.

And then one day in May, I decided I was going to make birthday cakes to take to the lake for Memorial Day Weekend. Somehow, somewhere I got hooked on a blog called Liv for Cake. Her cakes really and truly impressed me. And that passion, that desire to decorate cakes just came back. Sure, I can buy icing in a jar (although I don’t) and a box cake mix and make a cake. But there was something about her website that drew me in. It was nuts!

I knew there would be a lot of kids at the lake, so I was afraid that they may not like the Chocolate Dulce de Leche, and that’s when I also found a funfetti cake recipe to try… but I was all the sudden hooked. Even with the few mishaps that happened.

And lately, my husband has been feeding this “addiction” for lack of better word. I upgrade my cake turntable to the above picture. I got some 6″ cake pans along with a few more 9″ and bam, I’m cooking up a storm, mistakes included. (more…)

The Birthday Party

This sweet little girl is 4 today. 4. How did that happen? I seriously don’t know. It seems like just 4 years went by in the blink of an eye. I’m sooooo proud of how she’s turned out and some days she leaves me shaking my head wondering how her mind got where it got!

Only having her sister around certain times and with trying to plan a birthday party around our hectic at times schedule, we actually wound up celebrating her birthday 2 weeks early. Hey, a girl is allowed to celebrate her birthday for a month, right? I think so!!

The Birthday Party

I knew the theme was going to be Unicorn’s since sometime last fall. It’s random. It’s so totally her! I did some research online looking for party decorations. I started to order offline but then went to town to Party City to see what they had. They had everything I wanted and I could walk away with it in hand so I went ahead and changed up the unicorn pattern a little and bam, we were set! (more…)

Let’s Dish

Also known as… Let’s Chat :).

The picture above showed up in my Facebook newsfeed this morning. Now it wasn’t a still photo, it was a video, but it wouldn’t let me add the video, so you get a screenshot.

Those words, “Never stop trusting God and His plans.” Wow, they ring soooooooo true right now. Since December there has been a lot of ifs, ands, or buts in my future and it’s really been stressing me out. I’ve mentioned it a few times but said how much of a hypocrite I am because I wasn’t ready to talk but was asking for prayers. That’s the thing that annoys me the most when people do that. Yet, here I was, doing just that. Shame on me.

But one aspect that I’ve been dealing with, I’m finally ready to talk about. I told you I would and I’m going to try and do this as openly but as honestly as I can without whatever. I’m not really sure, I don’t want it to sound like I’m petty and childish or something. But… Here we go. Bear with me! I’ll give you some back details too. It’ll help fill in some of the dots missing.

Backstory

When my parents bought the property they (we) live on, we became really good friends with the neighbors. At that time, we lived in a rental house just on the west side of the property. That house shouldn’t have had tenants living in it 20+ years ago, yet we did and more people have since then. Another story for another day.

Around 2009 he was losing the house to the bank. At that time, my dad told me I should have bought it. They wanted something like $67K for it. I was afraid then, being a single girl, that I couldn’t make the payments. The guy I was dating wasn’t close to even proposing to me and I wasn’t about to live with him, unwed. So I had no one to help with the bills. Needless to say, someone else bought it. Looking back, I should have bought it, but with what I made at the time, I couldn’t do it and didn’t want to get myself into a bind.

Jump forward a few years

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