Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Birthday Celebration

We had a great time on my birthday. This year we sort of haphazardly through our plans together and it turned out to be the best birthday ever! Jeff wanted to take me to the Studio Movie Grill where they bring your dinner to you in the theatre. I wanted to see The Ugly Truth. Jeff invited Guy & April to come along with us and Hilari & Lewis kept the kids over night for us.

I had heard about The Glass Cactus being a really nice and happening club. I mentioned to Jeff that I wanted to go there some time. He did a little research and found out that an 80's band called the M80's was playing. So we made plans to go there too.

April is the queen of "good deals". She stayed up until 3AM one morning searching for a good room rate at the hotel that owns the Glass Cactus, the Gaylord Texan. This is a very posh and expensive hotel. She was able to secure a rate for us for $79.

With all of these great plans, April & I needed a new outfit. We went shopping separately and both ended up buying little black dresses, completely coincidental and totally awesome. We both had the same idea of wanting to get dressed up. I bought jewelry and shoes to match. I did let Jeff pick out the shoes. He has great taste in shoes!

After dropping the kids off at Hilari & Lewis', we met at Robert & Tina's house (April's parents) to take some pictures before heading off to the movies.

It isn't often that we get an entire over night sitter so you can probably understand why we went a little over board with pictures and planning this event. It was fun just being together and focusing on us having fun and not entertaining children. So much of our lives have been about what the kids want. I think we are starting to figure out how to make time for the two of us.

After taking pictures, we left for the Studio Movie grill. The movie was really funny. It didn't get great reviews but we thought it was hilarious and we laughed out loud. All of us agreed we thought it was a fun movie and it just really set the tone for our evening.

We left the theatre and made our way to the Gaylord Texan. We valet parked the car and checked into our rooms.

On the way to our rooms we stopped for a quick picture in the enormous atrium. Look closely at the green contraption. It is actually a person dressed as a giant walking plant. You can see her face just above Jeff's head. It was a little freaky when we passed by.

To avoid a cover charge at the club, we quickly headed to our rooms, which were right next door to each other. We put our things away and then popped open a bottle of wine and a bottle of beer and relaxed a bit. There was a big leather chair in the room that looked really fancy. It reminded me of a chair that a Texas oil tycoon might have in his room. Jeff and I decided to pretend we were rich and took turns posing in the chair for photos.

Jeff says that if he were rich this is how he would sit in his leather chair and drink his beer. While we were having our little fantasy, Guy & April came knocking. We let them in and they played along too.

After our little photo shoot, we headed down stairs to meet the shuttle to the Glass Cactus. Once we got there we were greeted outside and asked if we had reservations. We explained that we did not have reservations. Bare in mind that there was no one in line at this point to get in the door. Without reservations we had to "step to the left" and walk through a winding railway like you would wait in if you were at Six Flags. Again, no one in the line. We did as we were told and walked this way and that through the meandering walkway and in through the front door. It was so funny. Why we couldn't walk straight on the path to the front door without a reservation just cracked us up.

Once inside, we quickly learned that there were few to no options for seating inside. Jeff and Guy decided we should attempt to get a reserved table. The rules for this table meant that we had to pay $50 per person to reserve it. This would make the table $200 for the four of us. The reservation fee went toward our alcohol purchase. We were basically guaranteeing that we would spend at least $200 sitting at that table. Here is a picture of our table.

While we waited for the band to come out, we took a walk around the club. There was a beautiful wooden decked patio that over looked the lake. Guy ordered us a round of drinks and we stepped outside to watch the sunset over the lake. Another photo op.

As the sun fell, the band started to play and we headed back inside to sit at our $200 table. The band was awesome. They were dressed in all 80's attire and did a really great job making us feel like we were kids again! I think Jeff danced to every single song, even when the band was on break. Jeff danced even while he was sitting in his chair.

I couldn't believe my feet held up. I was wearing the tallest high heeled shoes I have ever worn. The shoes captured a bit of attention on the dance floor from a few girls.

Jeff loved telling them that he picked them out as they complimented them. As it got later, more and more people crowded the dance floor. Jeff wanted to be right up front by the stage. He would drag me through 100 people just to be up close. People would look at us like we were crazy. I would just apologize as I am whisked past them. A couple of girls shout back "we'll let you get in front of us because we think your shoes are cool". People are so goofy some times.

Here are some really bad pics of us dancing. It was fun dancing, but hard to take pictures.

We tried to carry on conversation, but it was impossible to hear each other over the loud music. I was really trying hard to hear but hated to keep saying "what?" so I just pretended to hear what was being said. I hope it wasn't important LOL.

I love this picture of April laughing. She has such a pretty smile.

We loved the 80's music. We were joking around when the song "Turning Japanese" came on.

Jeff wore us all out dancing. I think he danced every single song that played. He asked perfect strangers to dance. He even asked the guy in a business suit seated at a table next to us. I should probably also include that we had all had a lot to drink and Jeff had a lot more!

The lemon drops might have been the thing that did us all in, but they were fantastic!

I think my husband might have issues. He has always had a thing about shoes. I think he would wear them if he could get away with it!

The next morning we got up pretty early and headed out to pick up the kids. I had several errands to run before going to a birthday party and I needed to finish an outfit for Elli. On our way out we took a few pictures of the hotel. The picture below is of a mini train that runs through the atrium. It is incredibly detailed. The next picture represents the other side of the atrium.

Near the train is a coi pond and over looking it is a woman made of Texas post cards.

We had a great time. I can't remember when I have had so much fun. Especially considering how our plans all came together at the last minute. Jeff's birthday is next. I think we are going to try to find this band again!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our 4th of July

The 4th of July was a great time. We had a very informal barbeque at our house. We made fajitas and April and her family came over. We ate, swam and drank. When it began to get dark, we all dried off and piled in the cars with our lawn chairs and drove out behind our subdivision to watch the fireworks on the lake.

We had a really good spot. Jeff, the kids and I have been watching the city fireworks display from this location since we moved to Little Elm 5 years ago. We are on the side of the lake that is inside city limits. Personal fireworks are not allowed. However, the city has a really nice display and big event called July Jubilee. There are always too many people and it is just too hot in July to try to get downtown and get a spot to park and then wait in the heat for the fireworks to start.
This little spot we found is just 3 blocks from our house and we have a perfect view of the city's show. In addition, the other side of the lake is not inside city limits. There are a lot of personal fireworks that pop all over the lake. We have the perfect vantage point to see them.

We were excited to take April and her family with us to our secret spot. Once there, we set up our chairs and placed a blanket on the ground for Kai, Elli, Maddie, Maycee, Addison and Kennedi. As we sat in anticipation, other cars are pulling in... our secret spot isn't so secret.

One truck pulled in beside us. They were loud and annoying as they piled out of their car with all of their children. They did not seem to have any respect for anyone around them. While this was very aggravating, we ignored it because the fireworks had not started yet so they really weren't hurting anything.

Another truck pulls in moments later and faces this last truck. Both trucks turn on their headlights just as the city fireworks begin. The light is very distracting and is affecting our ability to really see the colors of the fireworks. I look over to see what they are doing just in time to see them lighting a huge string of black cat fireworks. This startles the kids and the rest of our group. Still we do not say anything and the trucks turn off their lights and things seem to quiet down.

As we regain focus on the big fireworks display, I notice these two groups of people are doing something on the dirt road in front of us. I dismiss it and go back to watching. All of the sudden fireworks are firing over the top of, toward us and very loud. They lit some kind of canister full of fireworks. I don't think they realized how close they were firing to our children. The kids were screaming. There was a huge cloud of smoke that billowed up and completely blocked our view of the fireworks.

At this point, I don't remember who spoke first, Jeff, April's dad or Guy, but Jeff said "Hey, would yall mind waiting until the show is over because we can't see through the smoke." This is when the feud began. These people were incredibly rude and continued to curse at us and inform us they were on their property as were we and that we were trespassing. We asked where the property line was. We were half on and half off of this line. We immediately moved our vehichles 5 feet forward so that we were on Army Corp of Engineer's property. We pointed out that if they would shoot their fireworks on their property then it would not be an issue for us. They had actually shot them off on the road which belongs to ACE.

The discussions continued to escalate and they became very threatening. The finale presented and Jeff and I scooped up Kai, Elli, Maddie and Maycee and put them in the back of the Hummer. April called the police. Jeff and I drove the children back home and tried to get them to think about something else. They were clearly upset, excited and shaken about all that they had heard. It was definitely not a place for children to be.

The rest of the group returned to the house. April & Tina (April's mom) were the last to arrive. They informed us that the police came and in perfect time to see those people lighting up fireworks. They were ticketed. The fine is $2000! There is justice!

We did not let this little upset get us down. We drank a little more and played a lot of Rockband. It was so much fun. I was so impressed to see April's mom and dad play right long with us. We all took turns singing and playing different instruments. Guy was cute. He was having a really hard time sharing his time on the drums. Tina really seemed to like the drums and she was good at them too. Guy is used to just the four of us playing all of the time. In that case, he never has to share. I kept reminding him that if he didn't share we would never get anyone else to play with us. He did share but you can tell he was pouting about it.

You can see him in the background pouting here. Aside from the pouting it is also a little endearing in that he can have so much fun playing a game and hanging out with his friends.

The main thing that I love about this photo, though is it is so candid and I think very sweet of April and Robert, her dad.

Here is a picture of Tina on the drums, Ashley on the mic and Guy on the guitar. Tina & Robert thought they were leaving early. I don't think they meant early in the morning, but that is what ended up happening. I believe we played until 2Am or close to it.

The kids played in the other game room on the
Wii and with the air hockey table. We let them play a few songs in the beginning so they were good about leaving us to our game.

We had a great 4th of July. Who could ask for more? We had good food, lots of beer, a little bit of drama and a lot of rockin!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dinner With Miles

Jeff, Kai, Elli and I spent last Monday evening with Miles in his new apartment. Well, technically it isn't that new. He moved into his place in March but this was the first time we have all had a chance to get together. Miles may have been later than most to move out on his own but he went out in style. He spent a lot of time thinking about exactly how he wanted his apartment to look.

Miles talked a lot about the colors he would be using and I remember being so worried about everything being too dark. I suggested that he consider using accents of the colors that he spoke of rather than painting all of the walls. I was also concerned about all of the dark furniture. After seeing how his place turned out, I decided that I need to just leave him to his own decorating sense. He did a fantastic job with everything. I am so proud of him.
Contemporary is not a style I normally like, however, Miles' apartment was clean and fresh and organized. His style was very consistent throughout the apartment. Even in the bathroom. Elli noticed this picture of Albert Einstein and asked if that was "the Joker" from batman.

While we were there, Miles cooked us dinner. He made sausage and Zataran's spicey noodles, cheesey pasta & vegetables and green beans. It was really good. Kai & Elli even liked it. They think Miles is so cool, anyway.

After dinner, Miles did the dishes. It was very interesting to observing him in his own place. He seemed proud and happy. I liked watching him and I was very proud.

Miles is very neat and orderly. He always has been. I would have to tell him to clean his room when he was little, but as he got older, his room was always tidey. It did stink, though. I think he was hiding old socks somewhere. Jeff and I always said Miles had his own smell and it permiated throughout his bedroom and some time crept into the hallway.

The apartment, however, smelled very good. You could tell he was very methodical to the placement of his items. There wasn't a speck of dust or a piece of clutter anywhere.
The bed was made up with a black comforter. He had a small entertainment center and some workout equipment strategically placed off to the side. He has been working out a lot and taking supplements and I could tell his arms were significanly bigger.

Looking around the room, I noted his entertainment center and it made me giggle. Of all of the items he had carefully found a spot for, he had neglected to hid his socks & drawers!

I realized then that he did not have a dresser. I guess this is as good of a spot as any to store your underwear and it makes good use of the extra shelves inside the entertainment center.
Also, in the room was his closet. He has a pretty big area to hang his clothes and still have room for extra storage. His clothes were neatly hung across the racks. And then, on the shelves were my first grandchildren, Bill and Peaches.
Bill is a Bearded Dragon and Peaches is an Albino Python. I am still too young for human, grand children, right? So, I am happy to have Bill and Peaches as my first.
The play pens are side by side on the shelf in the closet. Bill has issues when he sees Peaches and throws some very odd tantrums. So, Miles put a book between their aquariums.

A little while after dinner Bill came out to play. It was odd, I must admit to have this lizard running around the living room on the back of the couch. Miles treats him like a puppy and he has full reign of the place. Bill sat with each of us for a minute before moving on to the next person.

Here are each one of us holding Bill. The Kai and Elli were a little unsure at first, but it wasn't long before they warmed up to the idea of holding him.

Bill got a little tired from all of the excitement so he turned in early. Jeff and I got a nice surprise in the Miles thought it would be fun for Kai and Elli to have a sleep over. Kai and Elli were so excited to be able to stay at Miles' apartment without Mom & Dad hanging around, so they urshed us out relatively quicky.
We are very proud of Miles and his new place. The pictures really don't do his apartment justice!