Ok so I’m not saying I am the hostess with the mostess, but I love to host people from out of town.  Andrew’s parents came in from Massachusetts for Memorial Day weekend and it was the first time ever that we had actually hosted them in our home.  All of their other visits they stayed at Club Russell and my parents cooked, cleaned, helped plan activities, etc, etc.  We had such a nice visit and Austin did not disappoint us with hot and sunny weather like we promised them.  They called us on Thursday to tell us their flight was cancelled, but they arrived by lunch on Friday and everything worked out great.  So here is a quick recap of the Campbell family visit.  Of course I have zero pictures, because that’s how we roll…

Friday: Lunch at Hula Hut (our favorite Mexican restaurant on the water).  We showed them around our house and got the same reaction as everyone else, they just couldn’t picture this from the video and pictures.  So bottomline if you REALLY want to see our house you need to plan a visit!  Then we had Andrew’s birthday dinner…pictures of that coming later, it turned out great!

Saturday:  We ventured down to Greune, TX went to the Gristmill, The Antique Company, and The General Store.  I love this little town and know we could have spent a full day here.  We then headed off to San Antonio to see the Alamo and walk the Riverwalk.  It was a hot one, but we had a nice day.

Sunday:  We had a low key day of church, eating leftovers and then we went to Sunday family dinner at my brother and S-I-L.  Andrew took his parents for a beautiful scenic drive.  We love the scenery here!

Monday:  We spent the day at a friends lake condo.  It was a hot and sunny WINDY day.  Too windy for boating so we spent the day sunning at the pool.  We had “The Worst BBQ in Texas” Rudy’s for dinner…this is their slogan, it’s actually supposedly the best!

We realized that we didn’t hit a lot of places, but some of that was on purpose so that we have places to take them the next time they visit.  I’m trying to get my M-I-L to come down alone so we can go to all the different hot spot shopping places.  Ideally I would get my mother and Mother in Law to come at the same time so we can have a crazy girls weekend!

Needless to say the trip was great, quick, but really nice!

 

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Trash Treasure

May 26, 2011

You know the old adage, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?  Well as many of you know I’ve become an ebay lover.  It’s kind of my new hobby.  I try to list about 4 auctions a week and it’s helped me clear out a lot of my house.  The other day I was going through my stuff and saw my old blackberry.  I have become an Iphone girl and most likely will stay that way for a long time, so I had absolutely no use for my blackberry sitting in the old box.  I put it up on ebay for $20 and would have been happy with that because others on there didn’t seem to be selling for much more.  Granted I did have every accessory, some of which were still new in the wrapping. It sold last night for $56!!!  Can you even believe it?  I was getting ready to donate it and now we are $56 richer.  Andrew let’s me have all the ebay money for my “mad money” envelope, but we decided that whatever I sell that we bought together will be our vacation mad money.  So far the vacation grand total is $70 unless my items sell today for higher than what they are at right now.  We’re only about $730 away from a cruise I found recently….guess I need to keep clearing stuff out!

House Updates

May 22, 2011

Andrew’s parents will be here in 4 days!  We are SO excited for them to come down, see our new home, celebrate Andrew’s birthday and check out our new city.  Their impending visit has been a great excuse to get in gear and knock out some house projects.  This weekend we did the following things:

1.  Stenciled…ok Andrew was a trooper and did all the stenciling this weekend, unfortunately we ran out of paint and couldn’t finish, but we did enough that we could hang our headboard and pictures above our bed.

2.  Hung our family room curtains.  My mom made them and sent them down.  They look very dramatic and I LOVE them!

3.  Painted, glazed and sealed the bead board around our kitchen island, then we hung our towel bar up on our island…this signaled the completion of our kitchen project.  Our kitchen looks gorgeous if I do say so myself.  It looks completely different than it did when we first moved down here.

4.  Hung pictures and sconces in hearthroom

5.  Unpacked a  bunch of boxes from our office.  This is the very last place that has clutter and we’re hoping to finish it all before they arrive.

6.  We took several trips to BB&Beyond to get some of the last minute items we’ve been procrastinating on.

7.  Organized my junk drawer, something my friend Pam has and I’ve always enjoyed.  It’s a “junk drawer” where everything has a specific place.

Here are a couple pictures.  Mum & Dad Campbell if you want to be surprised when you arrived don’t look at the pictures.  There aren’t very many, but here are a couple.

This is a ROUGH draft, there are a lot of things I have to tweak, but you get the idea!

This and the next photo are literally the only things in the room, there is no rug or furniture, it's a great place for a dance party I guess!

Picture my momma gave me with Jeremiah 29:11 on it

Hoping to organize every nook and cranny in our house like this!

Bright Side

May 19, 2011

So last night our refrigerator in the garage crapped out.  Andrew brought me a soda for dinner and it was soaking wet on the outside and not very cold.  He checked later that night, it was running, but not cold at all.  I’m a little bummed that we have to get rid of the refrigerator, but I’m looking on the bright side of things.  1.  We no longer will be paying for a second refrigerator on our utility bill (which we’ve been told is pretty costly).  2.  We luckily didn’t drag our feet on getting that counter depth refrigerator that we wanted, but at the time didn’t need.  If we hadn’t gotten it in March we would be in a bit of a predicament now!  Thankful we saw it and bought it when we did.  Now we just have to figure out how to dispose of this giant appliance!

Nutshell

May 17, 2011

I have had SO many things to write about this week and then every time I sit down to write I can’t remember anything I wanted to write about.  Here goes my attempt to retell you a bit about our week and current life.

1.  Andrew and I have been extrememly disciplined about Friday night date nights and they are something I look forward to and thoroughly enjoy every week.  We were blessed by some awesome restaurant gift cards when we moved and it has helped us stretch our eating out budget month to month.

2.  Saturday was what we may call a perfect day.  Amanda and I hung out all day. went shopping, ate terrible food for you, and hung out with a sweet little boy.  Meanwhile all the boys went boating all day.

3.  Sunday Bryan came over and helped us finish up all the woodworking in our kitchen.  It is going to be beautiful when it is all finished.  I still have to paint, stain and seal all of it, but I can finally see the end in sight.

4.  H.E.B.  This is our grocery store that would be the equivalent of Champaign’s County Market.  H.E.B. has this thing called the meal deal.  You buy a certain item and then get 4 free complimentary items that complete the meal.  It’s really pretty awesome.  I love that I don’t have to think about one meal per week.  Still want to become a couponer, but this will have to do it for me for now.

5.  Our small group is doing a series on dreams: as in what are your big dreams for your life and for the first time maybe ever I have a big dream that I hope will come true sometime in the next year.  For now I’m keeping it between me, God, a couple close friends and our small group.  When I actually get it rolling I’ll let more of you know (yes mom and dad that includes you…I will tell you when the time is right!)

6.  Amanda and I are having fun planning Andrew’s birthday dinner party.  Can’t wait to take pictures and show you!

7.  I’m really enjoying my jobs.  I have 3 families I’ve been caring for and it’s been really great.  One of my jobs allows me to go to the pool and get some SUN!  I’m trying to be smart about tanning and now that I live in a hot climate I’m going to try my very best to not use a tanning bed ever again.  I can’t say never, but I’ll try not to.

8.  Sunday night our family has made it a point to do family dinner night.  It is so much fun, and some day will be even more fun when mom and dad are here wink wink!  However it has made me realize how bizarre our family is.  Bryan turned on an “oldies” station and  the three siblings burst into song and three part harmony constantly.  Being with Amanda and Andrew made me realize that not all families are like mine.

9.  Our computer got a virus and it REALLY stressed me out.  I mentally panicked about it for awhile and then my sweet husband got it taken care of.  Apparently it was a simple fix, but to me it was a big deal.

10.  I’ve been thinking about Peoria a lot lately.  That’s a whole other post and a whole lot of feelings I have to process before I can write that one.  Perhaps that’s what the block has been for me on writing posts lately.

This post was boring.  So boring I didn’t even want to finish writing it, but I had to jot something down so there you have it for now.  I promise better posts are on the horizon.

Front yard wonders

May 13, 2011

We finally bit the bullet and paid for someone to trim our trees today. We had some ridiculously high quotes, despite thinking that Texas would have cheaper labor. I’m glad we waited. Two days after we cancelled one of those high quotes, another tree company bid less for ALL our trees than the last guy bid for ONE tree. Wow.

I know what you are thinking if you happen to be a certified arborist: this company clearly wasn’t certified. Well, we’re thrilled with the job. We were both away from the house when the crew started, but when Laura got home they were strapped up in the trees getting really involved. They fully treated every cut and were able to raise the canopy in the front tree enough that we can actually see the house from the street. The back yard trees did provide a lot of shade before, and now the sun shines right through. I suppose it’s a small sacrifice to make. I think women have some phrase for this sort of thing…

Here is a picture of the front. Unfortunately, the facade still looks pretty worn…now more than ever we need to get the trim painted and landscaping done. Hopefully we’ll get some mulch and plantings this weekend.

It Only Takes One

May 10, 2011

To get a little extra spending cash for my trip home in June I’m selling stuff on ebay.  My awesome Sister in Law donated all her clothes to me that she was going to otherwise give to goodwill.  I also listed a few of my things and as of right now I’ve made almost $75.  Each item I sell only has one buyer and that tends to happen every time I sell anything on ebay, but the beauty of the whole thing is that it only takes one person to want what I’m selling.  I’ve been wanting to have a garage sale, but I’m hoping that the subdivision organizes something so I don’t have to do the advertising and other prep work.  So until someone steps up and puts it together I’ll keep posting lots of clothes on ebay and hoping that there will be that ONE person out there in the great big world that wants what I’ve got!

This morning I called my BFF Stephanie to wish her a happy second wedding anniversary.  This is my friend that I have known since I was 8.  When I hung up the phone it occurred to me that I feel no differently about our friendship now then I did living in Champaign.  Every other one of my relationships with people feels different now, I love them the same, but I FEEL the distance, but Stephanie and I talk and see each other ALMOST as much as we did when we lived in the same town.  This is a slight exaggeration, but not really.  We would see each other once every month or two and I saw her in February and will see her again in June.  We have planned a sleepover when I’m home and I’m sure that will feel totally the same too.  We never are at a loss for things to talk about and we pick up where we left off even if a month has gone by.  I love having a friend like that and I hope each and every one of you has a friend like this too!

Move Over Nicholas

May 5, 2011

Many of you know that I am not an avid reader.  In fact if you know me well then you know that I read one book a year.  My sweet M-I-L buys me the new Nicholas Sparks book every Christmas and I read it on the trip home and then finish it sometime in January when I have time.  Then my friend Rachel gave me a book for my parting gift from C-U a book by Karen Kingsbury the first book in the Redemption series.  I.AM.HOOKED!  I started the third book in the series on Monday and will finish it tomorrow.  I am so lucky that a friend down here owns every book so I have my own little library going on.  I highly recommend these books.  They are essentially Nicholas Sparks books, but clean.  Don’t get me wrong, I will still look forward to my yearly Nicholas fix, but in the mean time I’m so glad I was introduced to Karen!

Easy as Pie

May 3, 2011

For Easter I made a Toll House pie.  I don’t make pies ever, I don’t tend to like pie.  I do, however, love Toll House pie and it’s something my mama made for Holidays so I thought hey why not.  If you want to take a real crowd pleaser to your next party I recommend this EASY recipe.  I decided to make this to kick off our first small group tomorrow night in Austin.  You might be super baking savvy, and make your own crust, I just bought the cheapest one in the freezer section and it tasted just as good as I remember.  To get the recipe click HERE!