Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To continue...

We ate supper at Momma's and Daddy's tonight. We never turned down Daddy's fried fish. Never. Not when you are tired. Not when your back hurts. Not when you know you will probably stay late to let the kids play together. Not when you know you have dinner waiting in the fridge at home to be heated up. Not when you want to edit pictures... Daddy's fish trumps all.

Had a good day today. Met a neat kid today... maybe one day I will tell you about him and what I learned about myself through getting to know him. I love it when life introduces you to chances that make you grow. I like growth.

Here are a few more pics from yesterday's fun. I wish I had video of the kids singing and dancing together tonight... over.the.top.cute. Then again, I'm glad I saw it with my own two eyes and not through the lens of a camera. Sometimes it's better that way.

Here are the pics:

Peace, xo.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Merry Monday

Today was a great day indeed. School went well. I seemed to have lots of energy AND I broke out my trusty SLR this afternoon and took a few pics of the boy... the house... etc. Tonight I cozied up in my bed and edited to my little heart's content. Because I can edit a single picture for an hour or more... I didn't get through them all. BUT here are a few that I started with. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Tell me this: Summer is nearly gone! What are your plans for sending Summer off in style? I'll be unpacking... still! So, humor me and let me live vicariously!!!

Have a swell Tuesday,
Peace, xo.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Okay, I know I promised... and I will keep my promise... but tonight will have to just be filler stuff. Good weekend! Lots of entertaining in the new and shiny casa. James has pink eye. He's still adorable. I saw Sugarbutt today, her lean and mean fightin machine hubster, and the ever leary but ridiculously adorable Zane Crue. I say leary because he doesn't know what to think of his newly relocated YaYa. But let me remind him... that a half a year ago, he was pulling at my shirt while I was cooking in my kitchen... he loved me then, he will love me again!!!

Sugarbutt made me the most incredible gifts... some of which you readers may recieve in the mail soon... the other favorite was a mini-book (which by name alone undermines it's sheer greatness) about our 'relocation' from Texas back home to BR. It's chock full of images and memories that I hold more dear than anything. I've been having 'homesickness' creep up on me the last few days... but I've been too preoccupied to fully go with the tears. BUT the album she made me reminded me just how special my home in Kingwood really was... and how no matter how big, new, or how high the ceilings are in this house- or any other house... they will never replace the love and comfort I received at 3710 Wood Dale Drive. *I'm going to post pics soon! We had tons of fun eating and visiting... Maybe we can make it a monthly family tradition. We'd sure love that.

As for me, I have to be up at 5am! A new session at Trinity starts tomorrow. This will be my last class to teach for a while... I'm ready to finish the unpacking and get back to staying home with James Neal.

Pics tomorrow. Yes. yes.

Tell me about your weekend! Please.
Peace, xo.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The NEED for Speed!

Cuddle up friends, I feel a lengthy blog coming on.

I've been missing my blog! I'm a writer... journaler... rambler... thinker... jotter. So much of 'me' has taken the back seat to Life these days. In fact, I've been in this transition for weeks and weeks and weeks... My camera hasn't seen the light of day, my brain hasn't even thought about masks and layers in weeks. Perhaps this could be the longest span of time that I haven't photographed James Neal in his life!

BUT all that is about to change. We've ditched the 'old' internet provider... only a day and a half to realize that we'd die if the service stayed that bad. Now, we are up and cruisin' in the fast lane again. Do you realize how much blog.reading I have to do in order to catch up with my favorite peeps? I feel that a Post.A.Day would be a fitting 'welcome back' gesture. Yes. AND to up the anny, I'll include a pic a day, too.

Today we had our very first dinner party. We had the fam over for the first time and I cooked all things Mexican. It was a nice reminder of Texas and the things I love there. I cooked tacos carnitas with fresh pico, con queso, black bean and corn salad, guac.... and that's it. All homemade, no less. Oh, and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!!! Delish. It was my first time to make that recipe. They came out fantastic! I'll add that one to my recipe book.

Life is good in the house. Still unpacking and settling. I'm making progress each day. We are toying with the idea of painting James' room to yeild to his new decor of vintage sports... I haven't developed that perfect plan yet. But I think I will devote some time on it soon. We are still waiting for his bed to arrive. I plan on ordering his bedding this week.

I believe I may get to see Sugarbutt, David and Zanester tomorrow. Perhaps. They want to make a trip over this way... I have some errands to run in town... but maybe a late lunch/early dinner could be arranged.

Now that life is beginning to settle back in to place, I promise to be better at all the things I love: blogging, pic posting, etc. I'll keep you in the loop.

For now, I sleep.
Peace, xo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


It's been forever, right!? I know. It's been killing me. These are actually taken with Lola. So they aren't great quality... but the images are super cute candids from our life the past week or two. I'm itching to get my SLR out and start clicking and snuggling up to edit for hours at night... *soon... SOON!*

For now, I teach. I unpack. I clean. I live... No complaints! Have I mentioned how much a love my new house? I do. Love it. I hate the interim time of hook-ups and connections and installs and 4 hour delivery windows just for delivery people to show up late. BUT all else points to love.

I watched The Other Boleyn Girl late last night. Too late. I was exhausted but I was riveted. Loved the movie... adored the colors and rich details. Glad Marcus isn't King Henry. But do dig that kingly beard.... *sigh* I have an impulse to throw a bear skin over our bed...

Ate me some chicken schwarma yesterday. James got his own little chicken schwarma plate and ate it up!!! I new he loved hummus and feta but it was cute to see my mini-me eat so well and heartily. James has always been a great eater. Doesn't like fried stuff and thinks all sweet drinks, including most juices, are 'dult drinks.' For now, we'll take it! I love that he actually prefers healthy choices.

He's lamenting not having his 'big boy' bed. It's the cutest bunk and his room will be vintage sports. I've chosen the Land of Nod sets of baseball and football for his two beds... We'll rotate the bedding from the top bunk with each season. Cute, huh!? And who says boy's stuff isn't fun!?!? You should see the vintage prints we've ordered and the wall paper lettering....... OH I can't wait to see it all together.

Marcus is well... and still puff.chest.proud of our new little house and his new job. I love seeing him like this. It's like he's thriving. We've worked SO HARD to get here... and I love him seeing the results of grit, hard work, follow.through, and old school prayer.

Teaching this week is fantastic. I'm a bit tired, though, of burning both ends... BUT I love kids and teaching. My days go by fast and I love learning and working together with kids on the brink of great things.

We are choosing to switch our Internet from ATT... the connection is toooooo slow to actually 'pay' money for it. So, we are having to rework that with another provider. SO it's frustrating to have the wasted two weeks behind us... with another two weeks of 'wait' ahead of us.

!!!!Planning my first dinner party!!!!!Tiger football is soon!!!!!My bffw and her darling boys are coming to stay soon!!!!!Their first trip to Death Valley!!!!!!So much to be excited about!!!!

More later... but for now, pictures. I'll call this set "Proof of Life."

See that look!? See what I mean? There is a difference in those eyes. *sigh* This was our drive away from our Livable Forest and toward our new home in Zachary, La.

The clouds in Lake Charles.

Our 'Welcome Home' Sunset... *wow* This was right when we drove into the driveway with our new keys!!! *special*

And now for the Beaux Jack Show...

Yes, that's a bebe bouncer from Aunt Rae... he loved rediscovering it. You should have seen me having to peel him out of it... crazy kid.

Total ham these days! I love how he's discovered his new smile. After much ado, Tate finally taught him...

Somebody loves his new house...

Three somebodies.
More later, gaters.
Peace, xo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


What a week! I know I've been slow with blogging but all can be explained fairly easily: I've been tackling the task of setting up "shop" here in our new casa. I'd love to report that Im done with the unpacking and have started to pick out drapes.... But, truth be told, I've only finished the master bath/room, kitchen, And dining room. The other places are partially unpacked. Even though we have our work cut out for us, we love our new home. It's perfect... I'm a bit emotional about it. God is good and faithful and has a plan for us here. I love the assurance that comes with trusting in something bigger than me.

I've met both of my neighbors! And I'm so excited to know them. One is an older man- Marcus thinks he's in his 80's. He wanted to do something kind for us so he cut our lawn!!! He choppedup our phone cable by mistake- but it's the thought that counts! What a kind gesture in hundred degree weather!

Today I was just getting in from town when our other neighbor stopped by. It was this beautiful mother, plant in hand, and her bubbly little five year old. We talked forever and the kids ended up playing in the sprinkler together. We've made plans to spend the fall with our family watching football and grilling together. I really do hope we do that.

I love this place. I can't believe it's ours!

I promise to have picks soon! Our dadgum wireless nternet router still hasn't come in. I'm blogging from Lola, my sexy new iPhone.
Okay, off to bed with me. I'm teaching tomorrow.

Peace, xo.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We are IN!

Yup. I'm typing on 'borrowed' internet right now!!! We are in our new house. There are tons of boxes and I have been working pretty hard trying to get things unpacked and in place. But so far, so good! I really love the new place. I hope i can get it sparkly soon. We STILL have no phone... how hard is it to just CONNECT a phone line? It's taken days... still no phone/internet. Oh, Hotness got his TV up, thank goodness. He was a useless/excited/anxious lump until he was able to push that 'on' button. He's pretty much mezmorized.... Funny.

I am digging in today. I don't plan on leaving to go anywhere... I'm just going to stay in my nightnight and unbox, organize, put way, collapse box, bring to garage. *in that general order.

Send me emails! Or comments! It my only real connection with the outside world until we get everything up and running.

Okay... break time up! Gotta run.

Misses and kisses!
Peace, xo.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Endings and New Beginnings

***Heading out! The Dugans and Whittys... Hybrid Family. The moving guy took this one... Thanks E for posting this for me... I'll be sure to blog more on it later and include more precious pics.

It's official. We've moved. Move(d). Catch that past tense? Well, I shouldn't feel too much accomplishment. I've yet to unpack the first box at the new place. But the old house has been packed, loaded, and is somewhere between Kingwood, Texas and Zachary, Louisiana. And, yes, I was sad to leave.

Kingwood was my little refuge... safe place... neutral oasis. I grew up there. Became a mother there. I met new friends there. I'll never forget what a beautiful place and wonderful time I had in the four years that we were in the livable forest.

I'll miss my girlfriends most of all. I fell head over heels with 4 ladies and their boys... my PINKS. I'll miss them most of all. I'll miss my best friend, Erica and her Chris and certainly her Tate. I'll miss the fish and the folded hand towel on the carpet by her back door with her worn out pink flip flops on top- for when she steps outside. I'll miss Tate's pile of books... the boys playing music together... and the times we just rolled around on the carpet talking and tending the boys. I'll miss her garage and the Darty Dugan's Dart board... I'll miss Tecate with lime.

I'll miss my little home nestled beneath the pines. I'll miss my back patio and violets by my tub. I'll miss James' nursery... and the comfort that sweet little home provided us.

I'm sad, excited, and utterly emotionally spent. I promise to get the pics rolling as soon as I can...

Thanks for all the kind words and sweet thoughts during this nutty time. We've been blessed through it all.

More on the home front later.

Peace, xo.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

No house...yet.

Yes, I know. *gasp* Trust me, it was worse yesterday. The fact is... we still haven't closed on our house. BUT take heart and let me explain.

Yesterday could have been one of the worse days we've had in a LOOOONG time. The night before I was up with my hunkster... all night. Marcus had a terrible tooth ache. He hurt his tooth about a week ago. The pain would come and go- but ultimately he thought it would be better to get to the dentist this coming Monday after we close and have to deal with the Texas move. BUT his tooth had other plans. We were up all night. At one point, he was out of his mind in pain. It was pretty hard to watch. I still had to be up at school to teach at 7:30am and he was at a dentist office first thing, too. ROOT CANAL. On the spot. The root was so badly damaged that the pain shots to numb the area weren't very effective. So, you can imagine the pain paired with no sleep... and the anxieties about closing on the house.

We were cleared to close at lunch. We were hopeful. Marcus was high on pain killers. I had to leave school early to take over his job of getting the last things done for closing (final walk through, etc). An hour before closing... still good. Grab him, start heading to the title company- and we recieved a call. Apparently when we submitted some information about two month ago, the loan officer failed to have us sign ONE paper concerning some financial crap... that really amounts to nothing. There wasn't enough time to have that document filled out, signed, and faxed in time to close. Marcus was furious. You can imagine how 'spent' he was after dealing with all of that. Marcus is extremely organized when it comes to tracking money, paperwork, and stuff like that. Heck, that's why he's so good at his job. Everyday for 5 months he would call the loan officer and make sure we were right on schedule and everything was tended to. And what good did that do? Not much.

This house buying thing is really a train wreck in slow motion. I mean, there is so much going on in our economy right now- that it's nearly impossible to make these sort of transitions. And the worst part is that it is all OUT OF YOUR CONTROL. These issues have nothing to do with your ability to afford the house, but the bank's ability to have the money to loan. Scary times, folks. It's ironic really. With our first house purchase, we had hardly anything. Marcus was fresh out of college working his beginning job... I was still in school--- and we were able to buy a house, no prob. Bob. But here we are... as financially independent as we have ever been... as secure as we never thought we'd be at this point... and we have had the worst time selling and buying this new home. Again--- we can't do anything but wait for the banks and their peeps to get their end straight. Nuts.

Good news? We could close before we leave for Texas tomorrow. Worst case scenario, we close on Monday. We are still scheduled for the movers to start packing us Saturday... with move in on Monday. *whew*

All in all, we are no worse for wear. A little exhausted from all the drama... but we had a better day today. We actually are beginning to see that little light at the end of the tunnel.

AND, let's face it... life is good. The new iphones come out tomorrow. Yes, please.

Keep praying until those keys are in my grubby little hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace, xo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wednesday!? Yes, please.

Just a little mini-update... teaching is going great. I love being back in the classroom with the younguns. For those of you who don't know--- I'm teaching summer classes at my daddy's rock.tastic driving school. I love teaching this age group-> 14-21 and up. It really makes you feel like you are teaching the MOST important thing a kid could learn: the life and death decisions of how to be safe while driving on the roads. I get four days to get through to them, build their background knowledge of driving/safety, and help them along their way of becoming adults... safely. *love that*

Guess what!?!? We are scheduled to close on our house tomorrow at 4pm. Holy COW! We did a walk through on Monday afternoon... AND, I'm pleased to report, we still love the place. The family seemed super sweet and were packing up as we checked the joint out. Marcus plans on making the final and last walk through- with everything out of the house- tomorrow at 2pm. Then he'll pick me up from class to head over to closing. There are a zillion little things that could go wrong--- but all of that is out of our control. Say a Texas sized prayer for us that all goes well and we are able to close on the house. Please?

Ohs... cleared for graduation, order cap/gown/invites first thing in the AM! Whot whot! AND we've sealed the deal on the most inspiring dining room furniture known to man... I mean, known to me... or us. *so excited about that. Pics soon!!!

Movers will be in Kingwood first thing Saturday morning to pack us up!!! They say it could take two days- then they will be in Zachary to unpack us on Monday of next week!!! Can you believe it? I can't wait!

James is great--- learning to swim. Seriously. LEARNING TO SWIM. He's diving off the diving board, going under, 'swimming' to me and NaNa. No fear... well, some fear. Just enough fear to keep himself from getting himself in trouble in the water. He'll be swimming by the end of summer--- and will be totally swimming by next summer for sure. *love that. Momma is really good with kids period... but she's really special in the water with them. James is still being totally INDULGED here in Louisiana. My sister, Carlie, even bought him 5 crickets to keep in his trusty BugBox. He keeps them on his nightstand in his room at night to hear them sing. "Twickets"... his new favorite bug. I actually caught my mother giving my two year old an icecream cone after dinner tonight. "James here is your icecream cone... go sit down in the chair in the living room and I'll put Dora on for you." WHAAAAAA!!!??? Icecream cones for two year olds are better eaten outside, necked, with a hose handy. Not inside on new hardwood floors sandwiched between italian leather furniture and hand knotted wool rugs. "MOTHER!? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" She basically said 'what? the child prince does no wrong.' I'm paraphrasing there--- but I'm pretty dead on with how indulged he is.

Anywho, we are loving being at home with momma and daddy this week in the interim process of getting into the house. We've been fed well, rested well... and James couldn't be happier.

Now, pray for smooth closing... I want keys in my hand tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned. Send thosee well wishes now... Thanks in advance, yall.

Peace, xo.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A little effort...

Fourth of July last year...

They say a little effort goes a long way. Perhaps that's true here in blog.land. Maybe not. However, I am in the mood to talk... I mean, blog. I know I've been scattered lately with my overbooked months full to the brim of tasks, list, and deadlines... however, here I lay--- in bed, laptop in lap--- on the brink of something different. I still have a lot to do with moving my household over the great Sabine, here to LA, but the bulk of the work will be done by hired movers. For now, I've just dreamed and imagined how our life will be here in Zachary, back home with family.

This week I've done a good bit of dreaming and planning... hopefully those efforts will help me transition myself and my boys into the new house. My momma and I did a good bit of furniture shopping this week. It's not that I have picky taste... it's just that I am intuitive and know what I like. So, very few pieces actually speak to me, much less set me on fire. HOWEVER, I'm tickled to say that I really think that I may have found my furniture*love. Out of all the places we've looked, I believe our heart can be found here and here and here. It's hard to wait on making our purchases--- but it is best to wait until we close on the house before we get in over our heads. See how adult we are? ;)

*This is just ONE of the many reasons I'm tickled to be back home. The culture is rich. AND, unless you've spent time living somewhere else, you really don't know what that really means... and how much it affects a girl like me. I just love it so.

I can even hear my accent coming back.

Marcus is loving his new job. In fact, I think he pinches himself each afternoon on his drive home. I love that for him. He has taken the lion's share of supporting the family... with his grit and God's grace, we seem to live and love from the bottoms of our feet to the very tips of our noses. Knowing that Marcus' time away from us is spent doing something that he loves, is quite good at, and is spent with other guys who seem to really embrace him really makes me happy.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention how much I'm in love with the new novel I'm reading, Ava's Man by Rick Bragg. He won the Pulitzer Prize for All Over But the Shoutin'... and that's certainly the next on my list--- however, I'm elbow deep in the water of his words. I've begun to 'read like a writer' and the craft that he employs in his writing is absolutely stunning. He's a storyteller... and I can't get enough of the story he's tellin'. This particular book resonates with me. So much of the people in this book remind me of my kin. My grandfather in particular. Reading this book allows me to adore him all over again... chapter by chapter. I love that.

We are driving in to Texas tomorrow on the Fourth. We've been so consumed with our own house move/buy/sell/graduate thing that holidays would come and go unnoticed if it weren't for our friends and family whose feet are firmly on the ground. Time is so funny... perspective is everything. We will be normal again! A little proclamation seems to be fitting.

Enjoy yall's Fourth of July--- and enjoy the weekend. Summer is beginning to wane. Can you believe it?
The 4th last year...

My camera has been quiet for a while... odd, I know. But I'll be inspired once again... hopefully sooner than later.

Peace, xo.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday's Timing

Hi Friends!

I always wait too late at night to blog. I should do it earlier... before my spine starts to tingle telling my head that it's time for rest! However, it's been a while since updating so I need to take a minute to tell you what we've been up to.

Wells... we are currently in Baton Rouge (still). We are staying with my parents during the week and driving back to Texas for the weekends! Since we've been here we've sold our house, moved up closing on our new house by a week... then back again by two days- the new date will be next Thursday. We have the walk-through scheduled Monday! James has *nearly* been ruined by all of this attention from his grandparents, aunt/uncle, and cousins. I've devoted the best part of the last two years to raising my son right... and in a matter of three days, it's all unraveling before my very eyes. We NEED to get into our new house soon- or else all will be lost! ;) He's loving every minute of being over here. We all are.

I've been doing a bit of furniture shopping... it's fun to invision the possibilities of decorating a new house. Marcus has been researching his dream tv for a while now. He's more thrilled about the new tv than the house itself. Go figure. BUT he's really waited a long time to do something this extravagant for himself--- so I'm tickled to see him giddy. Besides, we've got football season coming up. We are the most devoted fans... so it's like a call to duty. He could tell you all the specs about it. All I know is that it's big and flat... and it will go above our mantle. You know, where a big picture of his wife and son should go--- yeah, there. I guess he can just take out his wallet prints when he wants to see his family. ;)

Oh, I spent the afternoon with my #4 favorite person in the whole entire world; Duke Daigle!!! Yes, my hairdresser/other.daddy. I love him more than he'll ever know. He's been such a supporter and encourager for me and Marcus... since I was a kid. Plus now that I'm back in town, I can carry his cards around to hand out to people. I really do get LOTS of compliments on my crazy hair--- and he's the mastermind! I've never told him what to do... or how to color it. I just sit and wait for him to do what he wants. AND, I've never EVER been disappointed.

Ummmsss.... No pictures this week! Can you believe it. It's kinda nice. BUT I'll be sure to get some soon. But just for fun, I looked up old pics that I took on this same date in previous years! WILD!!!
July 01, 2007

July 02, 2006

July 08, 2004

We are driving back to Texas this Thursday through Sunday, then back to BR next week... We are currently bistatial... or bihomeal. *a little Vottlerology for her fans. We should be in Texas for the fourth. I miss my Dugans!

*I'm beat... off to bed with me. I'll do better next time!

Peace, xo!