Thursday, December 6, 2012

October, November, December... Oh My!

I've not posted since October.  We've had a rough last few weeks.  I'm not going to go into detail about it because most already know.  For those who don't, Nick & I will have to meet our little one in heaven.  I miscarried, and we're both pretty upset.  The Lord is helping us through this.  Some days are harder than others, but He's holding us up.  I had written a lot of this post already but hadn't published it yet.  So, I'll just alter it a bit then add to it.

Our church is doing something a tad bit different for our Directory.  And I'm so excited about it!  Instead of the usual Olan Mills photographs, they are having Jessica at Treasured Moments take family shots around town.  They are more "lifestyle" than backdrop and smile photos.  We took ours Friday, October 26th.  I got a facebook message from Stevie, Jessica's assistant, on Thursday, November 1st, telling me that our pictures were beautiful, and she couldn't wait for me to see them.  Jessica always does an awesome job, so I knew I'd be happy with them.  :)  I ended up buying a disc of all of them because I couldn't decide which ones were my favorite.

We were going to go to the football game that night, but it turned FRIGID.  I was not up for freezing my tush off, so Nick & I went and ate dinner with Joe & Melanie instead at Chili's followed by yogurt at Diddy's (don't judge, we were INSIDE where it was WARM!).

Saturday, October 27th, Nick & I were going to attend a costume party with the Maybens, but we ended up backing out.  I hadn't been able to get all of the pieces of the costume together, and I was just plain tired.  I wanted to sit at home and do nothing, so that's exactly what we did.

Halloween night, we skipped town.  Nick had been working on a job in Longview, and was having to stay late to finish up some loose ends.  AND, the entire town of Pittsburg thinks it's a great idea to bring their children to our neighborhood and stock up on candy.  Soap box for a moment...  I'm fine with Trick-or-Treaters, but Halloween is not the time to get your kids out and load them up with enough candy for the next 12 months!  There are numerous activities around town (I knew of at least three chuches doing something and the businesses downtown were participating in Trick-or-Treating), yet people just hit every activity then go to the safe neighborhoods and hit all the people up there for candy.  Last year, I bought over $50 worth of candy, and we ran out in less than an HOUR.  Mind you, all of these kids already had full bags from going all over town.  We ended up turning off all the lights in our house, and locking ourselves in the back of the house.  Seriously, go to a couple of events, go around YOUR neighborhood, then GO HOME!  Don't depend on everyone else for candy!  Off soap box.  I met up with Nick after doing a little bit of shopping, and we had dinner at Taco Casa.  Nick was in heaven! 

Thursday, November 1st, Nick & I FINALLY booked a vacation for the year.  It's a little work and a little play.  Nick has a conference he goes to every year.  It's normally in December, but it falls on the last week of November this year.  SO, we'll be headed to San Antonio for a few days, followed by a night in Boerne, then maybe a night in San Marcos or Austin.  Then we'll head back home.  A good week of relaxation (for me), books, shopping, sightseeing (Nick & I have never been to the Alamo together - and I want a picture of us there), and hanging out with each other.  I can't wait!  It's been since July 2011 since I've had a week off.  It will be HEAVEN!  We're both excited to take our first real vacation with just the two of us.  I was able to score a night at a fun inn in Boerne on Groupon.  I've never been to Fredericksburg (or that area), so I'm pretty excited to go see that area of Texas.  We're also going to go to Austin for a night and visit the Capitol and Bob Bullock Museum.

Friday, November 2nd, Nick & I had dinner with Joe & Melanie.  Nick had finished his job in Longview, and he wanted to drive by and see what it looked like at night.  He did a lighting project on this job as well which is why he wanted to go by at night.  Make sure everything looked right.  So the four of us went and ate at Country Tavern in Kilgore followed by seeing Nick's latest install.  I took pictures for him to put on facebook.  I think they turned out pretty well. :)

Saturday and Sunday were both days where I relaxed most of the day. :)  We got caught up on our DVR'd episodes of NCIS, I slept some, cleaned some, Melanie helped me trim Tex's nails, and just hung out.

We're going to fast forward and skip all the sad stuff.

Saturday, November 17th, Nick & I went out with a lot of our friends to the winery to celebrate one of our good friend's, David's, birthdays.  He was turning the big 3-0.  We ate and hung out for a few hours followed by Rock Band and more hanging out at the Fink's house afterwards.  I got to meet some of Kelley & David's college friends too.  We all had a lot of fun.  I don't have any pictures, but I do have a pretty good video of David and Johnny serenading us on Rock Bank.  Don't worry, I won't post it.  You're welcome.  Happy birthday David!

The next day, Kristen came over to help me start decorating my house for Christmas.  Since Nick & I were both out of town Thanksgiving day till Sunday and then left Monday and weren't getting home until December 1st for vacation, I wanted to get everything decorated for when we got home.  Kristen helped me out TREMENDOUSLY!  We got so much accomplished.  Thanks friend!
I've also added something to the mantle. :)
Monday, November 19th, we celebrated Joe's 60th birthday at Texas Roadhouse in Longview.  We had a good time and ate lots of good food. :)

Thanksgiving day, Nick & I spent the day with the Bray family.  We ate lots of delicious food, took naps, watched football, visited with family... everything you are supposed to do on Thanksgiving.  That evening, I left with my parents, Sister, and Satchel to head to Mississippi to visit family.  We had such a good weekend with all of them.  Nick went on his annual goose hunt with a bunch of his friends.  They also had a good time and even ate at Mary's.  I was jealous, but Nick was nice and brought me a Mary's t-shirt. Such a good Husband. :)
Me & Miss Charly going to the flea market in Southaven.
Peyton was trying to "squish" her mother's head.  It was funny from where I sat. :)
Satchel was worn smooth out the ENTIRE way home.  He spent the next week in NB with my family while Nick & I were on vacation.
Speaking of vacation... WE HAD AN AWESOME TIME!  Nick & I both got home on Sunday.  We pulled out of Pittsburg around 11:30am on Monday.  Nick had to get his guys going on that week's jobs, and I had to finish packing.

Monday, we ate lunch at Taco Casa in Rockwall, then headed towards San Antonio.  We stopped for about an hour in Waco to visit with Nick's Memaw.  Then we got back on the road, drove through a torrential downpour, took the loop around Austin, and arrived in San Antonio around 8:30pm.  We ate at a Texas bistro restaurant on the Riverwalk for dinner.  I don't remember what it was called, but the steak was DELICIOUS!  We stayed at the Marriott that is on the Riverwalk.  We got to stay in an awesome king room on the 24th floor with a wonderful view of the river.  Here's a few pics.

Tuesday, Nick had to be in class all day, so I shopped the Rivercenter Mall.  It's more of a tourist attraction than anything, so I didn't buy much.  I did have fun perusing though, and they had a Starbucks so I got my daily caramel apple spice.  Yum!  Once Nick got out of class, I went with him to the trade show then to cocktail hour, both of which were included in the conference he was attending.  Afterwards, we went out for dinner (again on the Riverwalk) and ate at a nice little Mexican restaurant. We decided to make a quick walk down to the Alamo to take some pictures.  They had a great, big tree out front.  At first glance, we thought we saw a "TSU" ornament.  It was "TSU," but it had a wildcat.  Meaning, it was "Texas State University" not "Tarleton State University."  Punks.

The "TSU" ornament is center and up to the right a bit.

I was giving my cousin, Mady, a history lesson the weekend before in Mississippi.  She was looking at all of my charms and asked what the Alamo was.  I explained it to her, then I took this pic.  I texted it to her momma, Emily, and told Emily to tell Mady that this is the real Alamo. :)

The hotel where we stayed. :)
Wednesday, my dear friend, Jess, came to visit me for the day.  We ate lunch, shopped, and also visited the Alamo since she's never been before.  I'm awful and forgot to take any pics.  Darn it!  That evening, Nick & I ate at County Line BBQ (I believe that was the name) on the Riverwalk.  It was AMAZING! We were both so full when we left, but it was the best food we had while in San Antonio.

Thursday, Nick finished up his conference, and we were packed and headed out of SA by lunch.  We stopped at a Panda Express to eat lunch, then headed to Fredericksburg.  I'd never been to Fredericksburg, so I had a lot of fun looking at all of the shops, smelling the food, and even doing a wine tasting at one store.  I ended up buying one item while in bottle of wine.  We haven't opened it yet, but I hope it tastes good.  After exhausting all the stores, we headed to Boerne.  We stayed at a cute little inn called "The Crescent Quarters Inn".  It's in the "French quarters" style.  We stayed in the Hill Country suite.  We also went to eat at a charming little restaurant called The Dodging Duck in Boerne.  We were planning on staying in Austin the next night, but we didn't have a reservation any where.  Now, for a Bray to go somewhere without that planned is just crazy!  I was living on the edge!  I downloaded the Priceline app, and with the aid of my Yelp app, we got a hotel booked for the next night.  Whew!

Christmas tree in Fredericksburg.

Coolest public library every!

Friday, Nick & I woke up, ate breakfast then headed to San Marcos to do some serious shopping!  We did stop in at the Bass Pro in San Antonio, so Nick could mark another one off of his list.  We did get some Christmas shopping done though.  Then I had a BLAST shopping at the outlets in San Marcos.  I tallied up everything I spent there and saved 65% of what everything actually cost.  I got some AWESOME Christmas presents for a few people.  We then went to Buda to shop at Cabela's.  We actually didn't buy one thing, but we had fun looking around.  We ate at a Logan's Steakhouse right in front of Cabela's.  It was AMAZING!  Best service I've ever had, quick turn around, and reasonably priced.  Wish we had one close to us.  Then we headed into Austin for the night.  We stayed at a DoubleTree hotel.

We woke up Saturday morning and got going.  We met up with Nick's cousin, Niki, for brunch at a little cafe called Kerbey Lane next to campus.  Niki attends UT.  We visited her for a while, then she went back to her apartment to go take a nap before having to work on a German project.  Nick & I went and toured the Bob Bullock museum.  Both of us have been before, but it's been a few years and was still fun.  Then we trekked up to the Capitol.  We took pictures and visited the gift shop.  We bought an ornament for our tree then headed back to the car.  Nick drove the whole way home (bless him), and we stopped to eat at Freebirds.  We got home, and I went on a cleaning spree.  I guess all day in a car plus a 2-3 hour nap refreshed me quite a bit.  I cleaned out two closets, under the sink in the bathroom, and did three loads of laundry.  Might I add that we got home around 8:30??  Nick said I'm driving next time so I'll want to go to sleep when we get home. :)

We took the tripod with us so we'd get a good shot of the two of us and not have depend on some stranger.
Sunday, my Mom and Sister came down for church and to bring Satchel back to us.  He was uber excited to see me.  I feel loved. :)  We ate lunch at Peralta's then they headed back to NB.  Nick & I picked up Christmas lights for the house, and Nick put them up while I worked on the project below (Thanks Pinterest).  I really like the way it turned out.  It gives off a lot of light!  Nick likes it too.

 We woke up and went back to work on Monday.  Satchel and Tex were worn out from their weeks at our parents' houses.  Satchel was so tired, that Nick threw his clothes on top of him, and it didn't faze Satchel one bit.  He laid there for at least 20 minutes with the clothes on top of him.  He only got up because I needed to make the bed.  Poor little thing.  But he was back to his normal self within 24 hours.  He pestered Tex and myself all Tuesday morning while I got ready for work.  :)

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