Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home sweet Home

... at Don Juan's.

Don Juan's (the Original) is by far my favorite place to eat. Not only is the food amazing but I love the staff. We have become friends over the years... I mean, I did eat there 3 times a week (or more) when I was in Tyler. So, there was no question about where to eat for lunch on the 23rd.

We called a few friends and gathered for a wonderful lunch. It was great to see Angel, Debbie, Angie and everyone else. AND it was great to have the queso, oh the queso, hot sauce and some yummy food.

Kristina and I have been friends for 8 years and I cherish her friendship and the laughter we share when we are hanging out. She welcomed me into her life as a young woman who loved Jesus but had no idea how to walk with Him. Thank you for years of encouragement, learning together and friendship. I love you!
Kathryn (my sis) and Ashleigh (pretty much our adopted sister)...

Aunt Rachel and Maddie Kate. I miss this little girl but will get to spend a week with them very soon!!!!

The precious couple (they became official on facebook after they had matching converse :). I absolutely love them. Ashleigh and I met 3 or 4 years ago. It has been a blessing to watch God work in her life and draw her near to Him. I had the privilege of serving with Kendall in Egypt this past summer and in Galveston the spring break before. His desire is to serve God with all that He is. Thanks you two for coming to lunch. I love you both!

I know Kristina might kill me for posting this but we were attempting to get a pic of Maddie and Kristina. Maddie had other plans. She wanted to see her daddy who was on the other side of Kristina.

I am so glad this little girl likes Don Juan's.

Me and Ash with Maddie. Such fun times.
I am not sure how Luke (my brother-in-law) escaped the camera but he did. He was there. Trust me. Without him, we would have missed a lot of laughter as Kathryn described his obsession, I mean preference, for ZooPal plastic forks and spoons. We laughed. A lot. Thanks Luke for being such a good sport.

Until my next trip to Tyler... I will just have to dream about the food there and settle for Ted's here in OKC.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lights, Camera... and Granny

Granny and I love lights. Luckily, OKC has some great places to look at them. So, we grabbed Chick-Fil-A for dinner and drove around town. Here are some snapshots from our evening.

Introducing the Smurfs' house:
I have never seen so many blue lights. I am thankful we do not live next door to them. I am not sure anyone would sleep.

And Barbie's house:
Emily & Allison would love for my brother to decorate their house in pink lights. Maybe I should show them this picture and let the begging begin.
The next two were a couple of my favorites. I am a fan of the simple white lights and I love the wreaths on the windows.

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Surprise

Let me start by saying I have no idea how I did not capture one memory on my camera from this weekend. :( I am counting on my sister having some to share.

Thursday morning my mom and sister drove up to OKC for the weekend festivities: Beth's graduation and my cousin, Matt's wedding. I received a text at 4:30 A.M. that said they were leaving Whitehouse. This would typically mean they would arrive around 10:30 A.M. But in true Bitter women tradition, their road trip took a little longer due to about 15, or maybe it was just 6, stops along the way. Every time I called, they were laughing hysterically. I must admit I was a little jealous. However, I knew they would soon be here. There are few times that Mom, Kathryn and I are together without laughing uncontrollably... about nothing at all.

Around noon they were finally here! It was so great just to hang out and chat. We helped my aunt prepare goodies for the rehearsal dinner guests and then Kathryn and I were on our way. We had no agenda... other than Target. We spent the evening shopping, eating some amazing fajitas and talking.

Around 9:45 or so we were leaving the mall to return to Target. My mom, who graciouslly stayed with Granny and gave us no time limit, called in a request for a double dip hot fudge sundae from Braum's. Who can argue with that???

We rounded the corner to Granny's house and spotted a car that looked just like Kathryn & Luke's. Luke was at home (or so we thought) with Madelyn for the weekend. We were pretty sure it couldn't be their car. I mean, what man would voluntarilly drive 6 hours with a 15 month old, by himself????? I opened the door to the house. It was a wreck. There were blankets everywhere, books and Violet (Madelyn's talking puppy). As it was all sinking in, Luke and Madelyn stepped out from behind the door.

I was simply beside myself. Kathryn was the first to get a hug from the bright eyed baby girl and then she was ALL MINE! She giggled and we hugged... the longest hug ever. I have missed that baby girl so much. I soaked in every moment I could with Madelyn. She was even my snuggle bug two nights in a row.

Luke definitely gets brother-in-law of the year award. Thanks Luke for surprising us with Maddie Kate. I cannot express how much it meant to me (even though I know you had alterior motives since her mommy was here).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of all my crafting projects

Scrapbooks are my absolute favorite. Here are pics of a Christmas 2010 Brag Book (6x6) that I made last night. To order, visit www.bitterberryboutique.com.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I absolutely love to watch my nieces play with my mom and they absolutely adore "Gamma." From the time Emily, the first in the family, was born, she has been head over heals in love! She works very, very long days and then spends time with one, two or all three of her granddaughters every chance she gets.

I love the way she lets the girls explore... even if it is messy.

I love that even when she has a million other things to do, she simply plays.

I love that she lets the girls bake and pour an entire container of sprinkles on three cookies.

I love that her house has become their play zone.

I love that she encourages their imagination.

Tonight I skyped with my mom as she was watching Emily and Allison. Emily was decorating a pink foam tree with fun art supplies while Alli was running around with green cookie dough on her hands. At one point, mom had to check on Alli in the bathroom because she heard the water come on full blast. All I could do was laugh.

Yes, the house ends up being a disaster and yes, there are probably new stains in the carpet after tonight. But, if there is one thing that is true, the girls had a blast playing at Gamma's house tonight.

Gamma, you are loved.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shhhh... don't tell the girls

but they have surprises in the mail now! I absolutely L.O.V.E. children's books! My mom and dad still have a bookshelf full of books they read to us when we were young. I am so grateful for parents that shared their love of reading. The other night Emily and I were discussing favorite Christmas books and I knew I had to send some to the girls. These are just a few of my favorites! I hope they love them. :)

Olive is for Maddie. You will notice Alli and Emily also have ornaments. I mailed Maddie's the other day with orders I was sending to my sister.

Here is Alli's ornament. I just LOVE my ornaments from over the years with my name and I know they will too.

Sorry this one is turned... blogger is not really a good friend of mine. I thought Alli would love the one about Little Critter. It even comes with a CD.

Emily Claire... my buddy. She is growing so fast.
I adore Fancy Nancy and could not pass up Auntie Claus. Emily LOVES to read! She is always asking what letters spell and is at a point where she really enjoys reading to us. I miss her crawling up in my lap and reading the same book over and over and over again to me. I cannot wait to read these with her at Christmas.

What are some of your favorite children's books?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sometimes she approves

Sometimes she doesn't.

Granny approves of outings during the day,

Starbucks coffee & sugar cookies,
hanging with Beth during her lunch break at Barnes & Noble,

chili smothered in cheese,
and "baked" apples* with vanilla ice cream.

However, she does not approve of me calling her Granny. I learned this while walking around at the mall on Friday. I called her Granny in front of another lady on the elevator. As soon as the woman was away, she looked at me and said, "please do not call me Granny again."
My heart sank. I love calling her Granny. When I told her this she decided it would be okay.
It has actually become a joke around the house. If she says something wrong or does something that she thinks will bother me, she calls herself Granny and just giggles.
*For a sweet treat- peel and cut up a Granny Smith apple or two. Put apples in a bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (or splenda) and microwave for 3 minutes. If you want an extra treat, add ice cream.
Sorry about no spacing. Blogger is not being my friend.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Do Not be Fooled

This is what my work space typically looks like...

While I would love to tell you that I am tidy when I craft, my friends that have seen my space would be quick to let the truth be known.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Simply UH-mAzing

Introducing UH-mAzingness in a pan. These apple dumplings were so tasty. Thank you Kristi (Missy) for the yumminess I experienced tonight and might just have for breakfast in the morning. Srum-diddli-umcious!!!!!

Kristi, Thank you for a night of laughing so hard I have a headache, incredible dessert, crafting and wonderful conversation. Love you and so glad to be close for a while!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

In Business

After many (MANY) trips to Target and organizational products from Stampin' Up, my work space is complete... until I find something else that sparks my interest. Thank you Grandma for allowing me to take over part of the sunroom in order to create the perfect crafting area.

Inspiration... some pics from my adventure last year in South Africa. Man, I miss each of them so much.

Every scrapbooking girl needs pictures of family, stamp pads galore, the Big Shot, and ribbon (hiding in the corner).

The itso storage line at Target was just what I needed to organize my paper and many other items needed while crafting.

Stamp Central!!! With the new clear mount stamps from Stampin' Up coming in DVD holders, I was able to find this really cute DVD basket (on bottom shelf) for storage.

Because the sunroom is not always the best spot for Grandma to spend time, I was on the lookout for a portable work space. I found this perfect activity table for only $15 at Target (of course) that allows me to work on projects no matter where we are sitting.

The perfect view... Christmas tree & the TV set on the Hallmark Channel. I am not sure what I am going to do when the tree has been packed away and holiday movies are no longer showing 24/7.

While I miss the evenings of crafting with my sister or having Ashleigh (& sometimes Kendall) watching me craft for hours, I am loving time to explore my creativity while spending time with one very special lady.

Check out some of my recent projects at http://www.bitterberryboutique.com/.

Beffy and Rach hit the Town!!!

My cousin Beth is a couple of years younger than me and such a dear friend. Growing up, we would play for hours... setting up a Barbie city around the house, playing babies, rollerblading and so much more.

As we have grown older, I am so thankful for her friendship. Thankful for someone to talk to when things in life are not going so well. Thankful for times of laughter (literally about nothing at all). Thankful for her love for life and for other people.

Needless to say, in this season of life I am thankful for close proximity. Beth, who is graduating from college two weeks from today and who works ALL the time as a Merchandise Manager at Barnes and Noble, has been such a blessing in my first two and a half weeks.

Whenever she has time off work and no school work to do, she comes to hang out. Last night, her mom & my Aunt Sharon, came to stay with Grandma so that I could have a night out. I often get out during the day with Grandma or to run a quick errand but going out at night is a treat.

Here are just a few moments we captured from a great night out!

This is so fitting for the two of us... I love her personality.

We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Musashi's Japanese Steakhouse thanks to our amazing (non-Asian) chef Curtis. Too bad he was only 20.

Edamame anyone?

This was my first attempt at actual raw fish... Rainbow Crunch Roll (I think). It was AMAZING!!!!

Modeling the super cute antlers at Michael's. We considered purchasing them.

A little excited about being out on a Friday night.

We eventually returned home and began working on her graduation announcements while enjoying (you guessed it) a Hallmark movie.
Thanks Beffy for a fun night out and thanks Aunt Sharon for hanging with Grandma!

ALICT 2009

ALICT 2009
27 students... 24 nations... 3 months in South Africa


Closing Ceremony

Closing Ceremony
The Joy is in the Journey



It's just juice