Friday, December 28, 2012

greatest hits

i am so grumpy today.  the exterminator came at the wrong time, so we still have ants.  crosby spilled a bowl of mini-m&m's all over the living room floor, one of my christmas gifts just stopped working and i have spent all day looking for one of ben's new gifts that was lost during an eventful playdate yesterday.  it's probably in some dark corner of the house having a party with our cordless phone and one shoe from one of the two pair of crosby's shoes that actually fit.  hmph.  i hate, hate, hate looking for lost things.  it makes me grouchy, obvs.

i saw a friends episode where ross' travel shampoo bottles leak all in his carry-on.  upon finding them, he exclaims, "why do bad things happen to good people?!?!?!?!"
i am ross right now.
whiny ross.

and now i feel silly complaining about my third-world problems.

this morning may suck, but my christmas was ah-may-zing.  seriously, so good.
here's a peek at what went down (out of order).

1) when jenn's two angels were struck down with god-knows-what, her book exchange party for the kids relocated to my house.  the "big kids" made crafts,
 we snuggled brand new baby layne,
 joe ate a lot of icing,
 ike let me love and sniff on him for the first time,
 and two of my very best girls introduced their new babies to one another.
 2) barry a. martin painting, inc. hosted their annual christmas party.
 the men enjoyed bbq, pumpkin bread and our gratitude.
 addy made sure it all went off without a hitch.  she's a boss.
 2) christmas eve is my favorite day of the year.

 cute, huh?

3) santa visited.  ben loved his gifts.  crosby also loved ben's gifts.  he still does.

 4) ben has been predicting a white christmas for a month now.  he's a genius.

this post made me feel a little less scroogy.  so thanks for that, friends.  
i'm looking forward to my brunch with the lovely ladies in my family and going on a date with my handsome husband (complete with dinner, a concert, and a hotel room.  say whaaaaaat???)

how was your christmas?  what are you looking forward to?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

merry christmas from the family

merry christmas from my family to yours.  my christmas wish for you is a full belly, a warm bed and a holiday full of love and lots and lots of laughter.  sounds good, doesn't it?

here are a couple of christmas songs from me to you:

much, much love,

Friday, December 21, 2012

greatest hits

i start christmas shopping before thanksgiving.  for one, i am crazy the only way i can afford it is by starting early. i love finding good deals, making lists, making sure the gifts are meaningful, getting free shipping, finding online coupon codes.  i. love. it. all.  i also start early to lessen the absolutely unavoidable stress that creeps in the week before chistmas. in the midst of christmas programs, parties, teacher gifts, company parties, baking forty loaves of pumpkin bread, last days of school, etc. i begin to feel stress knotting (literally) between my shoulder blades.  when a package full of gifts for our family was lost in the mail and another package that i santa ordered on november 19th has yet to arrive, i could sense my holiday spirit deflating.  and all of a sudden i couldn't turn my head without pain shooting down my back.

so last night i decided to go to the gym early to get a thirty minute chair massage.  as the masseuse beat my back to hell (oh my word, it hurt so good), i worked hard to clear my mind and focus on my body (my muscles were literally crunching under his pressure.  gross.  awesome and gross.)  i went home sore, but with a clear mind. we put the boys to bed and watched love actually while i wrapped presents.  i felt tired and calm and happy.  my plan is hang onto that feeling for the rest of this ride.

do the holidays cause you to not be able to turn your head?  or is it just me?

how was that for a preface, huh?  if you are still reading after all of that, i will now reward you with photos.  woot.

1) ben had two christmas programs this week.  yep, i said two.  they have this amazing year-round program there called body rhythmics, where the kids practice mind and body coordination to music without talking.  it's pretty cool to watch.  and ben loves it, obvs.

at program numero dos, he sang proper preschool christmas songs while looking cute wearing a handmade construction paper reindeer hat.   
i am becoming increasingly aware that my babies are only babies for a short time.  during the program, it occurred to me that this was ben's last pre-school christmas performance.  i had to hold back my tears.  then i thought about those babies in conneticut who also had their lsat programs...and i almost cried my face off.  sometimes it's just too much, am i right?

 2) ben batman and daddy went to see batman live.  the naked baby throwing the temper tantrum was left behind with momma.  naptime, anyone?

 3)  my dad celebrated the fourth anniversary of his fiftieth birthday with a family brunch at the gin mill.  ohmygoodnessgracious, it was delicious.  my friend sherry recently joked that her young son's love language is french fries.  after brunch, i decided my love language is grits.  creamy, buttery, well-seasoned grits.  i was too busy shoveling grits in my face to take pictures of the food or the gorgeous interior of the restaurant/bar (seriously, go here), but i did snap this pic of addy bug mugging on her great-grandpa. 
 4) marcy hosted her second annual christmas cookie decorating party for the kids.  some children (one of whom i'll nickname, martha stewart) diligently decorate cookie after cookie and meticulously place them (all two dozen of them) into their own personal to-go box.  other children (one of whom i'll call, crosby) eat icing straight out of bowls with a spreader.  

5) our side of town got a torchy's.  it's good.  see?
 6) this is what forty loaves of pumpkin bread look like.  every year i make some for our company christmas party.  my house is covered in flour, but it sure smells amazing.

{check out those awesome pinhole press labels}

our annual girls christmas party took place, but i have no pictures.  so as soon as marcy shares hers with me, i'll post pics.  the venue was too awesome not to share.  stay tuned.

whew!  you deserve a medal for making it this far.  a chritmas medal.

looking forward to CHRISTMAS!!!

how was your week?  what are you look forward to?


Monday, December 17, 2012

on my radar

it's been a while since i've written a music post, so here are a couple of songs i have been digging lately for you to enjoy this fine monday morning.

happy listening, friends.


Friday, December 14, 2012

greatest hits

today's post is brought to you by an empty house and the avett brothers.  i might even have 45 minutes to do a little christmas shopping in a bit before my kid committments kick in.  
oh free-time, i love you.

sorry for the absence of greatest hits last week.  i was worrying like a silly-nilly about my up-coming relay that i completely forgot.  my bad.

1) my boy has turned into an artist.  he wants to draw and color all the time these days, much like me at his age.  from a boy who gets the majority of traits straight from his father, this warms my heart a bit.  did you know that curling your tongue helps you draw?  it's true.
 2) at a recent birthday, i snapped some awesome pics of two extra-special baby boys.  they will be friends forever.
 3)  we're getting crafty up in here.  thanks again, pinterest.
 4) good news, i took both children to see the trains at northpark again this year and no walk of shame due to one of my children derailing the trains took place.  which makes for an much more enjoyable experience, by the way.
 5) i am learning daily that a little boy's love language involves tackling other boys.  it stresses me out less when this takes place in a pile of leaves and not in my dining room.

 6) an after-hours playdate at the arboretum with ben's classmates.  i even saw a little chihuly, finally.  woot.

 7) i have gone on and on about why i love our christmas tradition of visiting the santa at neiman-marcus downtown.  this year crosby admired the window displays, ben crawled through them, and fun was had by all.

looking forward to: our annual girls' christmas party and decorating christmas cookies with the boys.
how was your week?  what are you looking forward to?


p.s. i had a hard time finishing this post due to what is going on across the country. my heart hurts.  i know what being in an elementary school every day is like and i have no doubt that those teachers in conneticut are heroes. hug your babies tight.  love y'all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

running playlist

Source: via Cortney on Pinterest

i usually don't listen to music while i run.  you see, i run with a group and i also share the roads with agressive cyclists and cars and such.  i am already in la-la land half of the time without music playing, and i for sure don't want to get hit by a car.

since i would be running on a closed course, and by myself for the most part, my husband made me a playlist to keep me going during last weekend's race.  

thank god for that playlist!  it was such a treat to listen to good music with a strong beat that encouraged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  the best part was not knowing what song was coming up next.  each song was a surprise and it gave me something to look forward to during my haul.  it's the little things.  Click on the link below if you are curious about what chris put on the playlist.

*i recently discovered that my music twin (a marathon runner) listens to mellow music during runs.  say what???  this blows my mind!  for me, it's hip-hop all the way!  maybe we aren't twins afterall.

do you listen to music when you exercise?  if so, what are you listening to?

what i have learned

last year if you would have told me that i would run 6.4 miles in the dallas marathon relay by the end of 2012, i would have smacked you upside the head called you a liar laughed.
{awesome sign made by a friend from my group.  they cam out and cheered me on, y'all.  it meant the world.}

for those of you who have followed this blog for a while (bless your souls) know that i joined a beginners running group last january with three goals in mind:
1) to get supermadel skinny.
3) to do something i never thought i could.

two outta three ain't bad.
{my sis, my dad and myself before the relay}

this running gig has taught me a few things that i would like to share:

running doesn't make you skinny.  let me start over, running doesn't make me skinny.  i thought the weight would fly off.  not so much.  dieting makes you skinny, that and not eating a spoonful of nutella straight from the jar like it's chocolate pudding.  not that i just did that or anything.

it doesn't get easier.  i thought i would reach a point in my training where it would all click.  no-siree-bob.  every run is still a struggle.  i am constantly battling that voice inside my head that is begging me to quit.  but i don't.  which is how i miraculously went form running a minute/walking a minute for thirty minutes to running a slooooow 6.4 miles without stopping.
{my teammates and two of my very best girls, emily and jenn}

 given a couple of glorious hours of freetime, i don't think i will ever say to myself, "cort, go run!  sounds like a blast!"  this is how i know i am not a real runner.  instead i will ask myself, "should i cook tonight or should we go to matt's?"  and we all know the answer to that question.

 i may run at times as fast as some people walk, but i will. not. stop.

although i still don't love the physical act of running, i have discovered a few thinngs i do love about the experience: running alongside a talker,  a dark night at white rock lake, cold air filling my lungs and stinging my face, the way a group of people can hold me accountable.

who knew i would love these things???  not this girl.

will i train for a marathon?  oh hell no (i ran alongside those poor souls during the last few miles of their marathon.  they were in the cuts, y'all.  so, nothankyouverymuch.)

will i train for a half?  if someday it will ever take me less than an entire day to run one, then yes.
will i keep running?  don't mind if i do.

{our relay team, the slow and steadies, post-race}

Thursday, December 6, 2012

good eats: big d

my sweetheart would be perfectly content eating his turkey sandwich, carrots, apple and yogurt every day for lunch.  i would rather pull every hair out of my head.  variety is the spice of life, am i right?

as you know, i am an east dallas girl.  it's unlikely that i will drive the boys across town for lunch during the week (unless we have a date with daddy).  close to home, our lunch options are limited.  and i'll be damned if we eat chick-fil-a every day of our lives.  our choices are (for now) limited to schlotzsky's, jake's burgers, sonic and subway.  while there is nothing wrong with these fine establishments, i get bored easily.

enter benny's grill, garland rd.'s newest resident.  it is housed in an old arby's, so don't expect the classiest joint.  but outside of our neighborhood darling, goodfriend, this is the only place in the hood you can find a feta-stuffed lamb burger or a balsamic chicken flatbread, and the like.  pictured below is my mediterranean panini, complete with gouda, feta, kalmata olives, roasted red peppers, and spinach.  yuuuuuum.  at goodfriend, this would run you twelve bucks, not to mention the couple of craft beers you need to wash it all down.  at benny's, i got this and fries and a drink for less than seven bucks.  damn straight.
oh, and it's run by members of the lover's pizza family.  just doing our part to keep it local, y'all.
i work on the other side of town, where the lunch options are more diverse.  there are a million little joints i could rave about, but one of our favorites is cosmic cafe, an all vegetarian restaurant.
work can be nuts, but here lunch is zen.  water is served in metal cups, so it's icy, icy cold.  the food is delicious.  the lentil soup is spicy.  the atmosphere is relaxing.  it smells like hippies (clean ones).  and it makes you want to do yoga.  actually, i think there is a yoga studio on the premesis.  no joke.
pictured below: lentil soup, garden salad and naan.

what are some of your favorite lunch places?  i am always up for trying something new.