Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You'd better not pout...

Things have been a bit hectic this month with Christmas right around the corner!  Ruby has absolutely been loving all of the Christmas decorations, the music, the cookies, and her Elf on the Shelf.  If she's not carrying around her Baby Jesus from the nativity, singing Frosty the Snowman, or helping someone bake cookies, then she's snuggled up with visions of sugarplums dancing in her head. 

She wakes up in the morning and immediately wants to go find "Chaaaaaahlie" her elf.  You pronounce the elf's name like Audrey Hepburn says "Dahling" (*side note - whoever invented the Elf on the Shelf is brilliant.  I want to give them a big Christmas Kiss).  And, since she knows that Chaaaaahlie visits Santa every night with a behavior report, and she also remembers that Santa sees you when you're sleeping and he knows when you're awake, she has been on her BEST behavior.  I'm tempted to keep Chaaaaaahlie around all year long.  But in the mean time, I thought I would write a letter to Santa on Ruby's behalf.

Dearest Santa,

I hope that you and the Mrs. are doing well.  Ruby is very excited for your visit this Christmas.  I thought that I would fill you in a bit on how she has been doing this year.

Ruby is extraordinarily smart.  I know, I'm her mom so that's something that I should think about my kid anyway.  But honestly, it's kind of baffling.  You can read her a book twice and she will recite it, word for word, back to you.  She can put together complicated puzzles easily and quickly.  And she can say various words and phrases in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.  Half of the time I don't know what she's saying..... I need a translator app for my daughter (and an iPad for me while you're at it)!

She is really tall - the girl has almost outgrown most of her 4T clothes already.  Her hair is stunning - people stop us when we're out in public and comment on her hair all the time.  When it's wet, it goes 3/4 the way down her back.  :)  She loves bows, dressing up in her princess dresses, wearing her cowgirl boots and cowgirl hat, and wearing her raincoat.  Not all at once, obviously.

Most importantly, Ruby is the most kind and loving kid that I've ever seen.  She has the sweetest heart and is always ready with a smile and a big hug.  If she can tell that I am upset or stressed, she'll tell me "It's ok, mommy.  I love you."  And then everything is magically ok.  She is the biggest blessing to me and my family.  She truly is a very well-behaved little girl - she likes to follow the rules and she loves to make other people happy or proud of her.  Don't ever tell Ruby that she can't do something, or she's doing it incorrectly, or really to just offer her help in general.  She's incredibly independent and will spend hours trying to prove you wrong.  I have no idea where she gets that characteristic....

Ruby turns 3-years old tomorrow.  She wants a big-girl bed for Christmas so badly.  She has been asking for one for a while, and really has her heart set on one.  I'm fully confident that you'll come through on this one, Big Guy.

We're looking forward to your visit on Christmas Eve.  Ruby isn't sure if your reindeer prefer carrots or glitter, so if you could let us know what to put out for them that would be great.

Fa la la la la,

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Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so very much for which to be thankful this year.  That little girl in the picture above - well, I count her twice.

I am so thankful for the many blessings in our lives.  I am thankful for my amazing family, without them I wouldn't be the person that I am today.  I am thankful for my wonderful friends - each of them continues to be such a bright spot in my life and brings a smile to my face even when I sometimes don't feel like smiling.

I am thankful for my great job where I am continually learning and getting the opportunity to help to make the world a better place for some people.  I am thankful for my home and my health and my comfort.

I am also thankful for the difficult times and trials that I've been through in my life.  They were tough and terrible at the time, but they were a great time of growth, development, perspective, and humility.

I am thankful for God's grace, mercy, sovereignty, and faithfulness.  Very thankful for that.

I hope that y'all have a fantastic Thanksgiving too, and that you're able to count your many blessings.

Psalm 107:1

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey Nana, you're kind of awesome.

So, it's a well-known fact that my mom is probably the most amazing woman that has ever walked this planet.  Seriously, she's pretty awesome. 

I wrote something about her awesomeness, and IT GOT PUBLISHED, Y'ALL!!!! 

So, go check it out.  I'm super proud of her - and frankly, I'm a little proud of myself too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ruby had so much fun at the Morris's Annual Pumpkin Party!

My little angel

Follow the Yellow Brick Road....

Fun times at a Trunk or Treat in Aledo!

Sugar rush commencing......

Ready to hit the road for more candy!

The most beautiful Dorothy ever!

No Dorothy would be complete without her Toto! (Actually her name is YoYo, but she answered to both).

Strength and Dignity

I need this today.  Strength and Dignity.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fun fall weekend!

We had such a fun weekend last weekend!  After making an executive decision on Friday and skipping out from work during the afternoon, Ruby and I had a fantastic lunch with a huge group of our friends - Allie (who was in town from Austin), Lauren, Francis, Lindsay, Nanny Kelly, Addie, Jack, Carter, Blair, and Hogan!  We didn't happen to get a group picture - it was hectic enough trying to wrangle all of those kids.  We also ran into tons of friends there that we haven't seen in a while!  We miss Ashley and Tinsley and need to have a play-date soon!

After our fun lunch, we went to get a quick mani/pedi - and Ruby got her first pedicure with Francis!  They just loved it and were such good girls. 
The cheese-balls and their twinkle-toes.

On Saturday we went to a cookout at the Triplets' house.  Paul cooked some serious BBQ and the kids played for hours!  Ruby was super sweet with Addie.  It's so funny, when you talk to Ruby about her friends she becomes incredibly possessive.  "It's 'MY Addie."  Not just Addie, but her Addie.  She will correct you each and every time unless you say it the way she instructs you to.

Representing the Big 12

All four kiddos swinging at the same time!
Ruby with Carter, Addie with Jack



It was quite the sports-fest that evening too - thank goodness for digital cable multi-view.  Honestly, I don't know how people functioned 15 years ago.  We were able to simultaneously watch the Baylor game, the A&M game (WHOOP!!!!!!!), and the Ranger's game!  To top the night off, a big storm blew in and we got a glorious full night and day of rain! 

We always have the best time at Lindsay & Paul's house - we are so incredibly blessed to have them as friends and love them so much!

On Sunday night, Ruby hosted her first Pumpkin Carving Party!  I'll post pictures of it soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ruby's First Ranger's Game

Yesterday I took Ruby to her very first Texas Ranger's Baseball game!  It was the perfect evening - beautiful weather with temperatures in the 70's, good friends, and the biggest part of the night.....
One of our best friends, Lee Anne, sang the National Anthem!  Ruby and I are SO proud of her!  She did an amazing job and is so blessed with a beautiful voice.  I admire her strength and courage to get out there and do what she did in front of a crowd of almost 45,000 people.  If you missed it, here is a video of her performance on YouTube.  It gives me chills every time that I hear it.

Me and my Mini-Me.
Oversized glasses?  Check.
Curly hair?  Check.
Rangers T-Shirts?  Check.
Coordinating Cardigans?  Check.
Good to go!

Ruby and I in our seats, while she enjoys a ballpark hotdog.
She was absolutely terrified at first - I think it was a combination of the crowd, the heights, the loud noises, and really anything else that wasn't "normal" for her.  She even admitted at one point as she was holding her hands over her ears, "I'm scared of everything!" 
She warmed up to the idea before long and was dancing and clapping.

Ruby and the guys - Kayleb and Tom.
She loves them!

Ruby with the Woman of the Evening - Lee Anne (or LeeLee, as Ruby calls her)! 
Completely unrehearsed or unscripted, when Ruby saw Lee Anne, she said "You did a really good job!"  She later told everyone how beautiful LeeLee looked.

Group shot of the "Veranda Society". 
Ruby and I are so blessed to have such amazing and talented friends in our lives.
We love our little Veranda Family so very much!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall is here

Temperatures below the 100+ range, shorter days, college football (Gig 'Em Ags!), and Pumpkin Spice Latte.  All signs that Autumn is upon us. 

Ruby is clearly enjoying the opportunity to spend more time outside without risk of a heat stroke. 

Seriously?  This face?  And I wonder why she always gets what she wants.  Well played, Ruby.  Well played.  Keep being cute.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shameless Request

Do you want to really make me happy?  Well, of course you do.  Silly question.

It would make me SO incredibly happy if you would vote for me on the Cheap $ally "Bring home the Bacon" competition!  It's a contest where one lucky person will win a "job" as a blog correspondent for a year with a sweet $100k salary! 

I know that I would be the perfect person for this job.  I can form gramatically-correct complete sentences.  I am cheap as heck.  I can get creative when needed.  And I am cheap as heck.  Yes, that one point deserves being mentioned twice.

So, how do you go about making me blissfully happy?  Click here: and then click "VOTE".  Easy as pie.  And if you're feeling especially benevolent, please feel free to "like" my page on Facebook, RT on twitter, or let all of your family and friends know to vote as well.

Thanks in advance!  xoxo

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A day in the life...

Welcome to a typical "Day in the Life of Little Miss Ruby." My name is Mommy and I'll be your host today. The people closest to Ruby also refer to me as the "hired help."

Ruby's day typically begins between 6:00am and 6:30am. I am tip-toe-ing through the house, trying to make a cup of coffee on "stealth mode," and mentally willing my shower to be silent. For the most part, this usually works and I can successfully get ready for work independently. When Ruby wakes up, this girl wakes up. It doesn't matter where I am in the house, I can her the resounding "MAMA, WHERE ARE YYYOOOOOOUUUUUUU????" I spring into action.

After her wake-up notification, Ruby enjoys a leisurly pre-breakfast breakfast of a sippy-cup full of milk enjoyed with a banana. She insists on eating her milk & banana combo in mommy's bed while watching Finding Nemo (for the eleventy-billionth time). It works out well, because I enjoy putting on my makeup while recieving compliments such as "Mommy, you are soooooo beautiful." Great way to start any day!

After this, she excitedly waits for Nana's arrival. I know that Ruby loves me, but Ruby loooooves her Nana.

Ruby and her "Vewy best fwiend in the whole wide world"

I don't have any pictures of what happens between the hours of 6:45am and 5:45pm. During those hours, I'm at work. My day consists of audits, emails, science, meetings, report-writing, grown-up boring stuff, blah blah blah...... Ruby's day consists of FUN! MUSEUMS! STORYTIME! SNACKS! CANDY! WATCHING WHATEVER I WANT ON TV! MORE FUN! BOOKS! TOYS! NANA! FUN! FUN! FUN!

When I finally walk in the door, Ruby greets me with a big grin and a hug. She tells Nana "Adios, Nana! See you manana!" (Yes, she know a significant amount of Spanish at this point - much more than I do.) Then she goes right back to watching Little Einsteins or Dora while I fix dinner.

Yay! It's dinner time!

Oh, mommy, you're so funny!!!

Ruby "taking a picture" of mommy who is taking a picture of Ruby.

Silly faces

After dinner we head out to the trampoline in the back yard. Yes, I brave the 110+ degree temperatures because this face? Totally worth it.

Another self-portrait of the two of us. Single moms definitely need a third arm. Someone needs to work on that....

Bath time! We're both a sweaty, hot mess at this point, so we (I) tend to look forward to this part of our day.

Ruby's "thinking face." You can almost see the wheels turning...

Clean and dry! My little duckie.

Yes, Ruby can scale her changing table. Yes, she can virtually diaper herself. No, she shows absolutely ZERO interest in potty-training. Bribes don't work. Peer pressure doesn't work. Forcing her doesn't work. I think in her mind, she honestly believes that's what the "hired help" (aka Mommy) is here for. I figure, she won't head off to kindergarten in diapers. We'll get there eventually. Probably right after I buy a jumbo-box of diapers at Sam's. Isn't that how it always works out?

All ready for bed!

Ruby tells Baby Ruby goodnight every night.

Eskimo kisses with Mommy.

Ruby in her crib with her entourage. In the corner is Tabby, who was my teddy bear when Iwas growing up. She doesn't really play with him but likes for him to keep watch over her at night. Left-to-right in her arms is Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and her "Bunny" which is actually a little lamb lovee. She's always called it her bunny. I pick my battles. She has a mini-pillow, which I have to fluff every night. She covers up with her Blankie (I have 2 back-up blankies after hearing horror stories from friends). It has to be exactly like this every night, with each stuffed animal in their designated positions, otherwise we ARE NOT going to bed.

We don't like to think of it as O.C.D. We prefer "attention to detail".......

We say our four prayers, then "Sweet Dreams" "I love you" and "Night night". Hearing "I wuv you too, mommy," as I walk out the door puts a smile on my face as I go to bed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Horseshoe Bay

Last weekend my dad was one of the speakers at the Texas Equine Veterinary Association annual conference. The conferences are typically in pretty fun places, so - naturally - we tagged along! This year's conference was down in the Texas Hill Country at the Horseshoe Bay Resort. So much fun!

Since we have a history (and by history, I mean the last 31 years of my life) of attending vet conferences with my dad and hanging out with the other families, we've grown very close to some of them. Gary and my dad met in Vietnam and became fast friends. They've remained close throughout the years - his daughter, Kelly, used to baby-sit me. When we got a little older, Kelly and I became close friends. Now, she and I both have daughters (Elizabeth is almost 4, and Ruby is 2 1/2) who have declared themselves as "best friends." Cutest thing ever.

We spent most of our time playing at the pool, building sandcastles on the beach, and enjoying time with our friends. One day we also ventured out of the resort - we had lunch at the famous Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls (yum!) and saw the Southern Living Idea Home (beautiful!).

On Friday evening, there was a Western BBQ for the conference. We all put on our boots and headed to dinner. Holy cow, was it ever hot! But the food was good, music was fun, and the company was great! Ruby danced her little boots right off.