July 31, 2008

Happy 9th Anniversary!

Today is Marcus and my 9th wedding anniversary. We celebrated last night in Denver at Lime, a cool urban restaurant I had visited last April on business. It was just as yummy this time around and it was fun to experience it with Marcus.

We took our annual picture showing how many years for the wall. For those of you that have not been to our house, we have taken a picture every year holding up the fingers that relate to the wedding anniversary and have them all framed in our hallway. I am happy to fill the empty hole that has been awaiting this picture.

I know we both feel very very blessed to have each other. Since both of us have divorced parents, we take our marriage very seriously and celebrate each year as a major accomplishment. We recognize that not everyone has a happy or lasting marriage and do not take ours for granted. I would not trade it for all the shoes and handbags in the world!

Marcus boarded a plane this morning for home and I am in Denver for work until August 10th. It will be a long 10 days! I plan to work, eat, sleep and watch lots of Nancy Grace, a show I seem to always get hooked on when in a hotel room. Marcus will no doubt be a Guitar Hero professional by the time I make it back to Austin.

Vacation Day Three: Garden of the Gods and Denver

Wednesday was our last official vacation day. We kicked off the morning visiting Garden of the Gods. It was an amazing spectacle of mother nature's finest work.

These work formations and many stories high and were formed by plate tectonics millions of years ago. We watched a short video to see how they were formed and then drove through the park to see them up close. Many people were hiking, biking, and jogging through the park. Marcus and I were still out of breath from the walk to the car- the elevation is killing us. I also can't breathe through my nose due to some random cold or allergies and am having extra difficulty. The view from the car was still amazing!

After Garden of the Gods, we drove 45 minutes north to Denver. We had booked a room to stay in Denver on Wednesday night since Marcus had an early flight out Thursday morning.

Of course, no trip to Colorado is complete without a stop in the Broncos team store. This time, instead of buying new stuff for Marcus or I, we focused on Baby Jenk. They are ready to go with a new orange and blue pacifier and sippy cup. Go Broncos!

We also walked over to the brick walkway to see my brick. Marcus bought this brick for me when the stadium was being constructed about 7 years ago. Good to know it is still in the same place :)

July 29, 2008

Vacation Day Two: Zoo and Cripple Creek

On our second day up here in Colorado, we started off by driving to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

At the zoo, we got to see one of the main attractions...the giraffes! I let one lick my finger. ick.

The zoo was really great in doing hands on stuff....not only feed the giraffes, but also feeding the birdies too.

The one of the really cool things was the little guys that looked like God just had some left over parts "hhmm...I have some Zebra legs....only ONE horn...and some mismatched brown....whelp. Here we go. Figure that out Darwin...."

We also got to go on a ski lift that takes you over the zoo. I of course...had no problem with this ride. At all. None. Just don't even bring it up.

Finally, we drove up to Cripple Creek, a small converted mining town that is good for two things...gambling, and eating. The drive was ....adventurous. Nothing like taking a Dodge Caliber through the mountains.

Vacation Day One: Air Force Academy

Yea, we are on vacation! We jumped in the rental car shuttle and quickly grabbed our turquoise economy car and hit the highway south to go to Colorado Springs.

The drive down was about 45 minutes and was beautiful. The mountains on both side, the blue skies, cool temperatures, green grass, all so majestic.By the time we got out of the car, I had sneezed multiple times and couldn't breathe through my nose- change in air pressure, airplane germs or a head cold that wanted to see Colorado?

We arrived at the Air Force Academy at 3:00 with 2 hours to tour the facilities.

There are multiple look out points within the AFA. In this picture, you can see the athletic facilities, the tall chapel, and the mountains in the background.

I visited the AFA when in junior high school and was excited to see the chapel as an adult and as a Christian. It was magnificent and the camera just couldn't do it justice. Between each blue panel you see was a tall piece of stained glass of every color. It even smelled like an old church.

We also toured the Catholic chapel, Jewish synagogue and the Buddhist temple equipped with zafus on the floor.

As we got ready to leave, we were able to observe students practicing their marching and formations. You always see them perfected in parades.... we saw crooked lines :)

July 27, 2008

Week 19: Our Tomato

Monday kicks off Week 19. After next week, we will be half-way. I think this is when the fun and the panic sets in. The fun is knowing more about your baby- boy or girl, planning their nursery, buying things for him/her. The panic is realizing how quickly 20 weeks have flown and knowing in that same time (or less) we could have a baby here!

This week the baby will travel out of Texas as we head to Colorado on vacation. I am looking forward to the cooler temperatures (high of 75, low of 47 in the mountains) and to sleeping in for a couple of days. We'll also buy the baby a special outfit for next fall when we visit the Broncos Team Store in Denver. My challenge will be to drink plenty of water on the flight and rest.

from Baby Center:

Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, taking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom —about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

July 26, 2008

Swimming Pool Fun

This afternoon, we had reserved our neighborhood pool for a church swimming party. Our pool has a great area for the kids and is free to rent!

Check out our friends Connor and Katie. They are taking swimming lessons this summer and were all decked out and ready to swim!

We also got to meet the newest member of our church, Isaac. He is just 10 days old and a hefty 5 pounds. I sat in the shade and practiced being a new mom. I had to place him in Marcus' arms and capture a picture. Marcus was so nervous to break him. I'm confident he'll be a pro before long!

Coco's Basketball Game

Marcus and I drove to San Marcos this morning to see Coco play in his basketball league. Watching 3-4 year olds play basketball is a hoot!

Cohen did make a basket, but seemed to have the most fun while running up and down the court and waving and showing off for the crowd. Last week when he made a basket, he would loudly proclaim, "I pumped it in!" Today, he would watch his feet while running and then have to stop quickly to avoid running into his teammates. Very cute!

After his game, we met the All Star for lunch. The game obviously did not wear him out much as he was hyper and ready to run wild in Wendy's.

July 24, 2008


I can say without a doubt that BBQ is my favorite food. I can eat it for just about every meal. I am not picky- I like most Austin places. I eat brisket, turkey, sausage, it does not matter. I do not eat cole slaw. Cabbage stinks.

My very favorite BBQ is Red Hot and Blue. They were in Austin for a short time and I alone could not keep them in business. Now, I must go out of town for the smoked sausage sandwich with double potato salad. Lo and behold, I looked and there is a RH&B in Colorado Springs where we will be next week. It is 5 little miles from our hotel. I could not be any happier, unless, that is, Marcus agrees to allow us to eat there more than once :)

Wii are Celebrating...

our 9th Anniversary!

Can you tell what wii got each other?

Yep, we have joined the craze and purchased a Nintendo Wii. Marcus chose Aerosmith Guitar Hero as his game and I took the recommendation of a co-worker and bought Big Brain Academy. I am not as smart as a 5th grader!

Wii decided this would be a fun game for Kyleigh and Cohen when they visit and may give us a good activity to do together when we are home more with a baby. We welcome your suggestions on additional games we should buy.

July 23, 2008

Fill Your Freezer Night

Last night the ladies at my church met up at the church kitchen to prepare some frozen meals to make dinner time easier in the coming weeks. Our friend Jenny, with the help of Christi, organized the night by prepping the food, grocery shopping, choosing recipes, etc.

Lauren, Melanie and Christi are making lasagna!

Heather and Natalie were chatting over herb crusted pork chops and bacon cheeseburgers. A big thanks to Heather for crusting my chops for me- I hate touching raw meat! I think I promised her a player in fantasy football.

One of the benefits of the evening is dinner for all of the pregnant women in our class. These meals will be great to deliver to new Moms and Dads.

Four of us pregnant girls were participating in the assembly-

R to L: Jenny (boy in September), Natalie (surprise in October), Alice (boy in November), and me.

Somebody thinks it is a GIRL

When I arrived at the hotel on Tuesday last week, I found a present waiting for me. Many hotels deliver gifts to meeting planners in their rooms to thank them for their business- Marcus says this is a benefit of being a buyer. I spend money at hotels (at least my company does).

This hotel knowing I was pregnant did something extra special- they had a box full of Gymboree clothes waiting for me. Here is the funny part- they are the prettiest, frilliest girly clothes I have ever seen. There are dresses, bloomers, bonnets, scrunchies and more. If we have a boy, he is going to look mighty funny in these outfits!

July 21, 2008

Week 18: Bell Pepper

Thank you all for your kind words as I departed to Houston on my guilt trip. It was wonderful reading and then quoting your words as I thought about moving a box or picking up a sign case. I followed your advice as best I could. I'll admit I was sore on Thursday after moving so much on Wednesday, but I survived. I think that my KW training made this conference seem so much easier, even if I was pregnant!

I had a wakeup call about 5:00 each morning, but managed to make it downstairs on time each day. I also was nausea free for the most part. I think felt the baby move on Friday night in my focus group. I grabbed my phone and ran out into the hall to tell Marcus. I haven't felt it since that night, so I might have been wrong. We'll see!

from Baby Center:
Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

President's Party 2008

I love planning special events- the linens, the food, the decoration, invitations, fun colors. Most people think I get to do this all of the time, but in reality it is once a year. Our annual President's Party is the fun themed event that I love to plan. This year, our president wanted a casual event that was family friendly, so we planned a circus theme.

We had fun neon linens in lime, orange, hot pink and bright yellow. For extra flair, I had polka dotted table runners and gerber daisies. On the tables we scattered red clown noses for everyone and placed rainbow clown wigs on the chairs. We were skeptical that the serious doctors would play along, but they went crazy wearing noses (even as earrings), sporting wigs and playing games found at the carnival. It was like the Bozo Show from our childhood. The games involved tickets and the tickets were collected and prizes, including a Wii, were given out.

Planning food for an event like this is half of the fun. We had mini-corn dogs, caramel apples, cotton candy and a build you own french fry bar. For the more serious adult, we also had BBQ sandwiches, corn on the cob, baked beans and fruit kabobs.

Along with all of the fun and games, attendees were able to take pictures in front of a green screen that super imposed them in the circus ring. Here is our entire staff in our fun photo.

In case you have heard me talk about any of these people, here are their names:
back row L-R: Robert, Kate, Jonathan, Jessica and Tom, our CEO.
front row L-R: Anna, Mary, Juleah, Laurel and Kathy, our COO.

Next year's party is in Arlington and we are already talking about a private suite at the new Texas Stadium. I can plan a football party, but I'm not so sure about it being navy and silver with stars. I'm thinking blue and orange :)


Our baby got lots of blueberries this weekend, courtesy of an attendee at my convention.

Dr. Curran is a family doctor in a small East Texas town and lives on a farm. He has blueberries coming out of his ears and shares them with staff when he visits us. I had not had them before, but man were they good. They were the sweetest berries I have ever tasted.

One of the things I love about being a meeting planner is the nice people you get to meet who show you such gratitiude for planning a meeting for them. Dr. Curran always thanks staff for a job well done! He also learned I was pregnant and every morning told me how pretty I looked and made sure I was resting. What a treat to see all of these members again!

Jean Grey

Marcus recently let Jean Grey discover life outside the walls of our house. She enjoys rolling around on the back patio in the heat. We let her out and leave the back door cracked so that she can let herself in. Now, if she could only learn to shut the door behind her!

July 16, 2008

and on tap for the weekend....

So I know that in the case of being a bachelor for a week, most guys would have a crazy crazy week lined up. I ....am quite interested in completing some quests for rep in the world of warcraft game so that I may get some new gear for my undead mage...this way I will be even stronger!
Yes. Im a geek. and I am proud.

July 14, 2008

Self-Induced Guilt Trip

I am struggling with guilt. I am making myself feel guilty for trying to do my job well and be good to my body and my baby.

Being an event planner requires some sacrifices- skipping meals to attend to your guests, lifting heavy boxes, traveling away from home, being on your feet for long periods of time, keeping your composure when attendees become angry, and then some. Although I am sure lots of other jobs face this daily, we event planners face it in a crunched time frame when sleep deprivation and stress levels are high.

I have been feeling this crunch a lot over the past two weeks. Mind you, my employers are wonderful, my coworkers are understanding, my staff is supportive, but my own mind feels guilty.

I feel like each time I turn around I am telling my employer that I can't lift this box, I need a true lunch break on the staff schedule, I can't travel to this meeting, I'll miss this conference call, and the list goes on.

I appreciate Rosie and her "We Can Do It" attitude- I just need my mind to get wrapped around the concept. I welcome thoughts from other people struggling with this balance. How do I convince myself it is okay to do less than 100% of my job in order to have a healthy pregnancy and baby?

Houston, We Have A Turnip!

I can't believe we are at 17 weeks. Marcus and I were talking this weekend about how it is flying by and dragging at the same time. We are almost half way there.

In my understandings about pregnancy, I am at the point where my raging baby hormones are drastically dropping and that seems to be creating a constant headache. It ranges from dull to pounding. It was pounding this weekend, so I enjoyed sleeping and lounging all day in my pajamas. The exciting Anna that went all over town- shopping, eating out, and scrapbooking is temporarily gone. We all knew it would happen and that is okay. This Anna is saving money, the economy may suffer!

from Baby Center: Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

July 11, 2008

Round Rock Doughnuts...

... are not my friend! At least not 2 doughnuts to kick start my day while pregnant.

I had a 3 hour meeting yesterday morning and someone brought in RR doughnuts, which I love. I had 2 of them about 30 minutes apart and felt bad the remainder of the day.

I am guessing they didn't give my body much to work from and the lack of sugar I have had in recent weeks made it more of a shock to my system. Whatever the case, I don't recommend them to my 15 pregnant girlfriends!

July 08, 2008

Wholly Guacamole!

Our baby is now the size of an avocado, which is slgihtly larger than an apple. There was a debate on Saturday as to the size of each.

I commented to Marcus last night that I felt a lot less nausea than I had in recent weeks. I also slept really well last night. I am hopeful I am turning a corner at 16 weeks. Next week will be the big test when I am at my convention and on my feet for 16 hours per day. I definetely plan to "take it easy" as best I can, but a meeting has to be planned and I am a meeting planner!

from Baby Center: Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

July 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Mackenzie

Saturday we joined our friends Bill and Kay to celebrate their daughter, Mackenzie's 2nd birthday. The party was held at RadiJazz which is a fun indoor play area.

Bill threw Mack all over the "lava", foam squares.

Later in the day, we all enjoyed pizza, cake and presents.

Happy 2nd Birthday Mackenzie!

Marcus and I took a picture together, something I feel like we have not done in ages. It made for a good belly shot! :)

July 05, 2008

Why Us?

UPDATE: The dog escaped our backyard (yes, via a closed gate) while we were out this afternoon. We got a call from the family who has him and then a call from the original owners. We are very glad they are a nice couple who will be repairing our fence tomorrow and paying for the damage to our door. Their fence is damaged in the exact same place! Cabo is home with his family.

Last night when we got home from the party, a nice little Golden Retriever puppy greeted us in the driveway. I went on to bed and Marcus walked around the neighborhood trying to find his owners. I understand dogs freak out over fireworks, but owners are responsible for securing their dogs. This is where the fun begins.

Since no owner was found, Marcus gave him some food and water on the front porch and came in to go to bed hoping the dog would go to sleep, wander off or something. Here is what he did.... he destroyed our door. Keep in mind, this door sold me on the house. I love it, now we are going to have to find someone to pay to replace it. The wood has peeled up and he has scratched it at minimum 20 times. This is the best phorographed area.

Before Marcus could get to him, he scratched at the outer portion where the door opens enough to tear up the doors insulation as well.

So, Marcus moved him to our back yard to get him away from the front door overnight. Mind you, it is midnight at this point. Here is the damage he did to our fence.

Now, Marcus is out placing flyers around the neighborhood and we have the delicate task of finding the owner, giving them back their dog and getting all of their information to have them pay to replace the damage done on our 3 month old house.

Oh The Fireworks We Saw!

Marcus' coworkers are big fans of the 4th of July and invited us to celebrate with them. Here is Ed, showing us how he throws a washer like a Frisbee.

We started the afternoon off at Ed's house. It was a casual time of swimming, BBQ and our handy portable washers. We taught a few others how to play and the fun ensued. I hit a couple of ringers and worked on perfecting the bounce onto the platform as learned 2 weeks ago.

To avoid the "situation" that happened a few weeks ago at my family reunion, I sat in the shade most of the afternoon and drank lots of water. I also made sure to eat regularly- handfuls of grapes seemed to do the trick. As you can see in the picture, I don't have a big round baby belly yet, but I have a lot more gerth up high.

The heat still managed to give me a headache, so we left around 7:30 so that I could cool off and rest before the 2nd party.

After a little rest, we drove over to John's house, Marcus' boss, for his annual fireworks show. John can talk a big game and I was excited to see if he could back up all this talk about him buying lots of fireworks. Holy Moly, he did.

His neighbor also likes fireworks, so we had a little competition going between John and his neighbor. Being competitive, John had already scoped out the competition and knew what they had. He allowed his neighbor to get started first by prompting him with the free fireworks John was given for such a major purchase. Once the neighbor had his grand finale, which would have put anyone else to shame, John got started. HIS SHOW STARTED BEFORE AND OUTLASTED THE CITY OF LEANDER WHICH WE COULD SEE A FEW MILES AWAY! I am not kidding.

It was unreal to sit directly below such amazing fireworks. The sky would light up to the point that you could clearly see the person sitting next to you. I have seen professional shows in Austin, Lubbock, Chicago and at a Round Rock Express game and nothing compared. There were fireworks I have never seen before. We could see the fire as it took off the ground and then hear the boom as it exploded. Unreal! We have a new home for fireworks shows! The 2008 round goes to John.

Favorite Party Dish

I haven't added a recipe to the blog in ages. I must admit, it is because I have not cooked in ages. My dear sweet husband has taken on the task so that I can rest after work.

Since Friday was a holiday and we had parties to attend, I decided to make a healthy dish and we whipped up my favorite special salsa.

Here is the recipe:

6 salmonella free tomatoes (we use Roma)
4 large avacadoes
1 onion (I but this one already chopped)
1 can drained black beans
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Chop all ingredients and mix well. Chill and serve same day.

You will rarely come home with leftovers!

Dinner at Moonie's

Thursday night we were invited to join our friends The Masons at Moonie's Burger House in Cedar Park. It is a yummy burger joint with sweet potato fries, homemade buns and even an indoor play area for the kids.

Here are the boys showing their patriotic sprit.


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