Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 09 Edition

Halloween was a blast this year. Lauren was totally into it from the get go even picking out what she wanted to be. A rock star! Which actually turned out to be pretty fun. We went with rocking out via the 80's. Friday started our Halloween festivities as we hosted the playgroup Halloween party. It was so much fun to see the kids really getting into it. We had a Rock star, a Witch, a Dorthy, a Butterfly, an Indian Jones and a Strawberry Shortcake. The kids ate mummy pizzas, did some indoor trick or treating, made a cute spider craft and decorated cupcakes. The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves and I think the adults did too. I did anyway.

Craft time


Witch, Rock star, Butterfly and Dorthy

Saturday, Doug surprised Lauren and I with a trip to the South Texas Corn Maze. Also another great time. They had so much for kids to do. We petted some goats, bounced on the a big bouncy thing, played on the playgroup, went down the slide, climbed through hay and found our way through the maze after getting lost. Oh yeah, we ate some pretty good food there too and came home with a bag of the most delicious kettle corn ever. It was a beautiful day in the mid 70's, perfect for a family outing. So thankful, that I have such a thoughtful husband who planned that day for us.

Huge Homemade Slide

On the big jumpy thing

In front of the maze

Duck races (Lauren's favorite part)


Saturday night we went to the Cabral's for some yummy BBQ and trick or treating with the girls. They were so cute going up to the houses so confident, with their "trick or treat" followed by "thank you", which was followed by "rock n roll" by Lauren. She was in full rock star mode! Pretty sure she had a great time. In her prayer that night she thanked God for "the beautiful butterfly, the nice witch, the cute Dorthy and the rock star". So sweet.

Groupie #1

Rock star

Rock start and a Witch

Groupie #2

Trick or Treating

Here is a little video, sorry it is so dark, I took with my camera.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Playgroup Pumpkin Patch (A look back)

It's hard to believe we have been going to the same little pumpkin patch for four years now. Here's a look back.

Year 1 Look at those chubby cheeks and dark hair. Can you believe that is the same kid? No pictures of the whole group this year, never would have worked, since they weren't sitting that great on their own yet.

Year 2! What a differance. Look at the blond curls!

The whole group! (most of them anyway!)

Caroline, Lauren, Jenna and Ryan.

Sweet friends already. Caroline & Lauren.

Year 3! Still blond curls and long legs!

She learned the art of the silly face.

The gang!

My Kitty Cat!

Still sweet friends!

Year 4

Looking so grown up!

Jenna, Caroline and Lauren

The gang!

And once again the sweet, sweet friends.

Momma and her girl.

My little puppy.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I recently turn ummm 34. Crazy. I can't believe I am that old. Not that 34 is ummm old, but you know, I feel like 20 something on most days. I had a great 34th birthday. My husband went out of his way to make it a special one. So let me brag on him for awhile. He took the initiative to get a babysitter last Friday. (Not so out of the ordinary for him, because he is awesome.) Went for sushi, which he hates, and I love. Went to Cowboys and saw my favorite cowboy, Aaron Watson perform. Saturday, we drove to Houston. We went to the fair in the rain with our besties, their kids and of course our kid. That night the adults dined at Lupe's. After that we went back to the fair and saw my favorite cowboy, again! All planned by my man. He is such a sweetie. I so often take his planning, hard work, and love for granted. But I hope he knows this weekend I did not. Sunday, the girl bestie (Becky) took me for a girls day for mani, pedi and lunch. Monday I hung out with Lauren and the MIL and later we drove home. Tuesday, the actual day, was like most, until the evening. Doug brought me home a yummy cake, cards from him and Lauren, picked roses from our bush and took me to a great dinner and The Scenic Loop Cafe in Boerne, and had a nice glass of wine waiting for me after I put little L to bed. What a fantastic day. What fantastic husband and kid. What a fantastic weekend, with fantastic friends! Love to you all who made it a fantastic birthday!

And now for a list....... Last year it was 33 things I am thankful for. Since none of those have changed much, I'm not doing that again. I thought about doing 34 things I had done this year, but pretty much all of those things are on this blog somewhere, so uh boring. So here are just a random 34 things.

1. I'm not really a lazy person, but I love days, like today, where it is cold and rainy, and little L and I snuggle for hours.

2. My favorite cowboy guessed it Aaron Watson.

3. I love my family more than anything, and you try to mess with any one of them, you will regret it.

4. I'm really good a making customer service reps wish they had a different job, and getting their managers to give me free stuff. (I only do this when they really should have a different job.)

5. Another shocker, I love to run, which makes me sick or confused or troubled or all of the above.

6. I have very few close friends, but the ones I do have I love to end of the earth and back. I am very loyal and they know that.

7. My biggest two joys of each day : hearing Lauren say she loves me and knowing that she means it, Doug getting home.

8. My favorite thing to wear is my comfy under armour shorts and a t-shirt. Don't judge me, that is just who I am.

9. My favorite place to be is home, outside of home, it's the beach.

10. I wish I was outside more and don't really know why I'm not.

11. I am so content with my life right now, but I know there is more out there.

12. I really like to cook stuff, and I am getting better at, learning to tweak things to my taste.

13. I really hate cancer.

14. I love to read other peoples blogs. I guess I am nosey that way.

15. I am really looking forward to this next year. It seems that big changes happen in our lives about every 3-4 years, and this would be year 4. So it's time for something to happen. (GOOD THINGS ONLY)

16. I'm a TV junky. I watch it way too much. I love The Office the most. This year's new show that has me hooked is Flash Forward.

17. I can't wait for Lauren to start sports, I hope she loves it as much as Doug and I.

18. I don't like the phrase "hubby".

19. I believe things like love and happiness, hate and bitterness ARE feelings, but are sometimes a choice and alternate between the two.

20. I'm a facebook addict, I'm trying to cut back.

21. I have very little regrets in life. I really can only think of two. One can be fixed, the other can't. I'm not going to share those, because I don't deal well with regret. Ok......the one that can be fixed......I should have gone to Paris last year with Doug, and he has my permission to take me there some day.

22. I can't stop listening to U2, Gary Allan and Taylor Swift. All very different, so that's a little odd.

23. I think Glen Beck is a nut job.

24. I really think Chick-fil-a make the best chicken sandwich.

25. I wish I could take better pictures than I do. I'm really not gifted like that. My sister on the other should be a photographer.

26. My dream house, would be a house where everything was on one floor with a huge game room upstairs, a big back yard with a pool. I would want 4 bedrooms plus a an office, no formal living room, a dining room, and big family room, huge kitchen. Anyone got a spare couple of million dollars?

27. We just paid off my Tahoe and have no car payments, that's a first for us.

28. For my birthday, I got new boots, cowgirl jeans and two shirts.

29. I really would like to see snow in person this year, and really would love for Lauren to see it.

30. So tired of hearing about the flu, the swine flu, H1N1......all of it.

31. I love to hear Lauren sing anything. Her new favorite is "Happy Birthday".

32. I really think everyone has the potential to be good a something, even if that something isn't a good thing.

33. A few things I don't like.......going to the dr., traffic, birds, my next door neighbors barking dog, family and friends being sick, watching my teams lose, ironing, bad people.....

34. And these are a few of my favorite things.......Live music, good friends, really good food, my sweet husband, my perfect little girl, my beautiful family, a good movie, a good book, lazy days, busy days, sand and sun and water, running, sleeping, loving.

U2 in Chicago

About a month ago Doug and I took an incredible trip to Chicago. WOW! What a city! Did you know that Chicago became known as the windy city not because of the gusting winds, but because of the one time "windy" lawyers. Just an interesting tid bit I learned. I think Chicago should be called the "cool" city. Because well, it is super cool. It's the kind of place where you assume everyone IS SOMEBODY, like in the star kind of way. Everyone dresses cool, walks cool, talks cool, etc. I just did my best not to stand out, and settled for "Mom" cool, cuz well, that's what I am. The city is rich with history, beautiful architecture, and really good food. So much good food, so little time, so little stomach space. Sigh.....guess some of those good food places are reason to go back and go back I must. Here are some of the highlights.

1. Our hotel was amazing. We stayed at the Sofitel. Here is the view from our room:

2. Fun dinner at Lux Bar, sliders, beer and football

3. Horrible seven mile run around the lake, which was beautiful, but run was lacking.

4. Train ride to the Cubs game, I love public transportation

5. Food at Murphy's which looks to be a billion years old, and built on to a billion times. Charming.

6. Cubs game. Not a cub fan (shocker) but being in that old ballpark, without the modern day whistles and bells was pretty awesome. And they have great fans that make watching the game very enjoyable. And even cooler, guess who was sitting behind us? Nope not Bono, but Bo Duke from the original Dukes of Hazards. How cool is that? I remember watching that show, I was so in love with Luke Duke, but Bo was ok too. Know he is old and looks old, plays jazz and lives in New York City. He seemed pretty genuine and nice.

7. Catching up with old college friends (At Lux Bar, very much a coincidence that we ended up going to the same place twice) Tons of thanks to Missy who came in from the burbs to see us. And to Josh whose extreme knowledge of the city help us choose what to do in our limited time.

8. Dinner a Graham Elliot UNBELIEVABLE! If you didn't know he was on Top Chef Masters and is super cool and very talented. To give you some idea, he is famous for making fois gras lolly pops coated in pop rocks. He has very interesting take on comfort foods. It's a classy food in a casual atmosphere, with loud music and truffle popcorn. It really not priced all that bad. We sat somewhere on this row......

9. Architectural boot ride, lots of info

10. Roaming the city, taking in the sites and people

11. Chicago style pizza, yummy. Didn't think I was a fan, but it is actually good.

12. The main event: U2 at Soldier's stadium. A long train ride, one mile hike, couple of t-shirts purchased, standing, singing at the top of our longs for the ENTIRE show, long one mile hike back to the train station, too short train ride, collapsing in bed. Incredible Show! Those almost 50 year old rock stars, know how to rock. Before Doug I wan not all that into U2, but he loves them in a psycho school girl kind of way, so like the Astros, the Rockets, (and sort of) the Texans, the have nudged into my heart. But seeing them live, you gain a whole new perspective about them. They really do put on a show. It one thing I find amazing, is a song you make hate, when hearing it live, turns into something different and it because love. This is my second time seeing them. We saw the Vertigo tour some years back. So what is really awesome, is how different the two shows are. Much of the same music, but totally different feel. The stage is crazy, the lighting awesome and of course the music stands on it's own. We are going to see them in Houston next week and I know it will ROCK!

(Thanks to the besties for watching little L for us, you guys kinda rock too!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Big Day

Yesterday was Lauren's first day of school. We have been waiting for this day for so long. Last spring we went to check out the school and sign up and ever since then it has been THE topic of discussion. I have looked at this day as bittersweet. Sweet, because honestly, 2 free days of whatever I want. And sweet because I knew how much she would love it. And then there is the bitter. Bitter because, the world is already starting to take my baby away from me. Something I never want to happen. But I know over the years it slowly will, in this is the beginning. In the end the sweet won out, seeing the joy and excitement fill her smile as the days got closer. And I got to say, I was pretty proud of myself. I feed off her excitement and not one tear was shed from me on the big day. She had a fabulous day. First thing she said is, "I want to go back!". Of course in true Lauren fashion, when I asked her what she did, I got the shoulder shrug. But with more questions on my part, I got that she.......played outside, made an apple, colored a lady bug that she put on a tree, learned about the numbers 1, 2, and 3, learned about Jesus, didn't sleep at nap time, (but was quiet) ate lunch, and was very proud about getting on and off the potty by herself, (but in her words "I had some bad news, she couldn't reach the toilet paper by herself") and made new friends but didn't ask their names. Oh and playing with the beauty shop was the favorite thing she did. Sounds like a pretty fun day!
(Sorry, no pictures for now, I could not get them to upload)

Friday, July 24, 2009


Dear Texas Monthly,

How dare you make this the cover feature and then have the nerve to deliver it to me on the very day I recommit to my dear friend Weight Watchers. You make me sad TM and hungry.

Your salivating friend,


Hi, my name is Leslie & I'm a bad blogger

Yes, I know, it has been forever again and I know all 2 of you that read this are really sad! I feel like this summer has been really busy, but as I write this I find it hard to remember what has been so busy about it........

Oh, yeah. In May my Dad had his successful stomach surgery. He now has a new stomach and esophagus formed from his large colon. He has done remarkably well and is now on his second and prayerfully, his final round of chemo. My Dad is a great man, I have always known this. But this illness has given me a new picture of him. He has always been the one to stay positive through this whole thing. "Shield" us kids from some of the more scary stuff. But after the surgery the stories of his faith really came out in a way my Dad has never really shared and it was/is amazing. He shared with visitors the confidence he has in is Dr.s. Here's the story.

When my dad first learned of his diagnosis of course my mom took it hard. She was crying and my dad leaned over and said, "God never gives you more than you can handle, and he has a plan and we need to trust in Him." When the went to meet with his surgeon, my mom got a little choked up again and the Dr. came over to her, put his arms around her and said, "God never gives us more than we can handle, and He has a plan, and we need to trust in Him." They both knew at that moment, that they had the right surgeon. And they did. Wow, what a man this Dr. is. He prayed with them, prayed for God to be with them in the surgery and gave Him the glory publicly when things went well.

Another story I remember.....When I first went back to see him in ICU, he already had his humor back saying "I still don't know why yall were all so worried, I told you I would be fine!" Still protecting. And later that evening when my Aunt and I went back to see him. He talked about the AA sobriety prayer. (Not that he is or has ever been an alcoholic, but my Aunt gave him a plaque with the prayer on it back when he was a 30 something VP and needed some guidance) He talked about the line that goes something like "Give me the strength to fix the things I can and let go of the things I can't." He said that helped as 30 year old and it helped him get through this. Just giving it to God, because he knew he as a human couldn't do anything about it.

Those are a few of the stories that stand out. But I give praise to God for what HE has done for my dad, and know His healing hand is still watching over him. I am so thankful for my dad and his quiet faith.

So, that was May.......

In June, the most memorable thing was our trip to Port A for the Second Annual Beach trip with the Heflins. (I say beach trip now, instead of Port A trip, because I'm not sure Doug will ever go back there) Before we left, Doug had what he thought was a zit in his nose, that might have become infected. Well, it was a little more than that. Upon arriving to Port A, he was in so much pain, that we went to the lovely Aransas Pass ER. Where waited and waited only to be told to come back in the morning. Well, Doug went back in the morning and turns out he had a staph infection. He received IV drugs and was sent home with some more drugs. But by evening he was running a high fever and feeling worse. The next morning we got up went home and straight to the ER. Where he received more drugs. He was REALLY sick. It took him a few days to get over it, but he finally returned to normal. (Normal for Doug, anyway. HA HA) But Lauren had a great time at the ONE day (instead of 3 days) that we got to spend at the beach. (See pics below) She is now a beach fan, which makes me very happy, because I could LIVE at the beach. She was not scared of the waves at all, and would have stayed in the ocean all day had the sand not been almost as much fun.

Sand is fun!

Running Carefree in the water (also fun)

Chairs dug into the sand, yep, fun. (See poor Doug in the background?)

Sand & Water, double the fun!

Feeling the breeze through the hair, pretty fun.

At the end of June Doug and I went to Seaside, FL. If you haven't been or don't know what it is, look it up. It is amazing, a little piece of Heaven on Earth. We usually pick Cabo for our adult vacation, but decided to stay stateside because of the chaos that is Mexico these days. At first I was completely bummed about that and about driving to our vacation spot, but it only took a few minutes of being there, to figure out it was not such a bad place after all. Completely relaxing and fun. We played golf (I had a once in a life time hole, where I eagled on a par 4), laid at the beach, ate great food, relaxed in the pool and just enjoyed hanging with each other. Loved every minute of it. Here's some pictures.

Wish I could say we built this, but I can't

Sandy toes.

Bud Alley's.

The Eagle

The Pool

The Gravel Road. Good food with a duo playing guitar and singing.

Doug in the water on our last beach walk of the trip.

The Red Bar. Yummy Food and tons of fun.

That gets us to July. When we got back Lauren went to her first ever VBS. She loved it and is STILL talking about it.

And then, there was last week. Remember me like forever ago writing about the hole in my ear? Well, I finally got it fixed. Last Tuesday I had surgery to repair it. Have to say, that lake trip, while it was very fun, when all was said and done, probably not worth it. I had previously stated, it was worth it, but I lied. It's not so much the pain, but the constant state of motion sickness I felt for the first week. I am finally feeling back to normal, but man this better work, because I will not have ear surgery again. So I am sidelined from doing anything that will make me sweat. Meaning no running. I'm hoping I can catch up in time to do the SA Rock N Roll half marathon in Nov. And I've gotta say thanks to the In laws who not only kept Lauren while Doug and I went on vacation, but also all last week when I was bed bound. What a blessing they are. And gotta give my shouts out to all the friends who have provided rides and dinner and/or help with Lauren while I go to my many Dr. appointments. Ever since the surgery, I have been getting shots to boost my white cells so I can heal from all this. (You remember that mess, right?) So I have been going 3 days a week and have needed lots of help. Love you, my SA friends!

So we've got a few things coming up........My Uncle's Benefit next weekend, then Lauren and I are headed to Ft. Worth for a week. Lauren Starts school 2 days a week in September. Doug and I are going to Chicago for a U2 concert (the same week). And, once again, I will try to do better at this blogging thing. Yikes!