Tuesday, December 25, 2012

First Snow

Someone got to experience snow for the first time!!  He absolutely loved it.  I think he was in shock a little bit, but when I brought him inside, he whined because he wanted to go back outside!





Friday, December 21, 2012

My Favorite Retailer

Hands down, my favorite retailer is Amazon.com.  No, they aren't paying me to write this post; I just love them that much.  The number of orders we place on that site each year probably borders on ridiculous, even more so around Christmas time.  That's why we have a Prime membership.  For $79/year, we get free 2-day shipping.  If we need something super fast, we just pay $3.99 to get it overnight.  The Prime membership also comes with instant streaming privileges of lots of movies and TV shows.  Our new TV came with the Amazon app, so it's super easy to watch them in the comfort of my living room!

Another reason I love Amazon is their Subscribe and Save feature.  As a mom, I constantly need diapers and wipes.  Through Amazon, I pick the brand and size I want, and they provide it to me at a discounted price because I sign up to receive it on a schedule.  I can pick how often the items get shipped to me, and I can change the items at any time.  I haven't shopped for those items in a store in months!  Pretty simple.

But, let me get to the real reason I'm writing today.  I need to give Amazon major kudos for treating me like a valued customer.  They have this option on some of their items, called the "Low Price Guarantee."  They can offer a refund for a price adjustment if they lower their price within 14 days of it being shipped to you.  That's not unusual, lots of stores do that, BUT they stand out because they will also do that if you find a lower price on other qualifying sites.  Some stores will price match a competitor at the time of purchase, but Amazon will let you do it within 14 days after purchase!  That's cool. 

We bought a Panasonic TV from Amazon in late November, and a couple days ago, Meezy noticed that the price had dropped by $39.  He mentioned it to me before we went to bed on Sunday night, so I told him I'd look into it on Monday.  Well, what do you know, when I researched it on Monday, it happened to be 15 days after the shipping date.  Crap!  If I had just submitted our request for a price adjustment the night before, we would've saved $39.  I hate when stuff like that happens.  Even though I knew their policy was clear, I went ahead and sent them an email just to see if there was any way they could still give us a refund.  I wasn't expecting anything, because I knew we were outside of the allowable time.  To my surprise, they emailed us back and said our request met their qualifications for a refund, and they were crediting us back $39 plus tax.  Bad ass!  I love companies like that.  I will continue to be a loyal customer!  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Changes Around the House Continued

I mentioned in a previous post that we bought a new flat screen and mounted it above our fireplace.  We made some more improvements to that area this past week.  Meezy and his brother ran the cables from the TV, through the wall, into the adjacent cabinet.  We also bought a cordmate kit to help hide the cable coming from the outlet, since it's not on the same wall as the TV.  It looks awesome!

No cords!


Hidden cord from outlet to cabinets


Monday, December 10, 2012

Bad News Bears

I've been battling some lower back/butt/leg pain on my right side for the past couple of months. At first I thought it was some sort of muscle strain from my increased running. But, it never seemed to lessen or go away. After a while, it started to get pretty painful. I'd get shooting pains when standing up or getting out of bed. I googled and discovered that it might be sciatica. I started doing some stretches that I hoped would relieve the pain, and started increasing my intake of anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. But, it just kept getting worse. Sometimes I'd be standing in line at the store and my whole leg would start throbbing. Other times, I'd be walking along and a pain would radiate from my butt, down my leg, almost causing me to lose my balance.  When I started experiencing the same symptoms on my left side, I figured I better get it checked out. I went to my doctor and she suspected sciatica as well. She told me I needed to stop running and stop going to boot camp for the next 6-8 weeks. That was pretty disheartening. I'm a very active person, and that was frustrating to hear. She also prescribed physical therapy. I should be starting that in the next week or so. I don't really know what this means for me, long-term, but for right now it's bad news. :(

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Early Holiday Celebrations

We went to an annual Christmas party on Friday night, and in previous years the theme had been tacky sweaters.  This year, the hosts decided we should all wear festive PJs.  I made a Target run and was pleased to find they sold adult footed onesies.  I could've gone all out and purchased the cheetah or zebra ones, but I opted for a slightly more muted striped one with a monkey on them.  Imagine my surprise when my friend, Sharon, showed up in a similar pair!  Lol.

 

I didn't win the prize for best outfit, but I did win for best gift!  I brought a frisbee disc shooter and a marshmallow shooter.  You gotta know your audience!  A bunch of guys who have been drinking will love stuff like that!


This weekend, we also started putting up our new TV in the living room (merry Christmas to Meezy).  Our previous TV was also a flat-screen, but we had it on an entertainment stand in the corner.  We bought a new one to mount directly onto the wall above our fireplace.  It has really opened up our living room!  We haven't hidden all the cords and arranged the other electronics yet, but I'm already very pleased with the results.  I wish I would've taken pics of where the TV was before, but this is all I got.

Previous view of the fireplace

New view! (Casey doesn't move much)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Express Riding Train

My sister told me about a man in Richardson who set up a train in his backyard and opens it nightly during the holiday season for anyone and everyone to come ride.  It's pretty amazing to see in person, and if you've got little ones, you should definitely stop by!  They run the train every night from 6-10pm, between Thanksgiving and New Years.  I recommend you go on a weekday night because there will be less people there.  We visited tonight, and it was so much fun!  They don't charge anything to ride, but you can certainly make a donation to help offset their operating costs, if you feel so inclined.  It's a fun family activity, and your kids will love it!  You should check it out.  Here's more info.

 Train that goes around a large display of lights and holiday characters

Dutch's first train ride - trying to take it all in!

My niece and I having a blast on the train

And here's a video of it to give you a better idea:


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Easy Update

I think I always have at least one home improvement project in the works at any given moment.  It's hard to find time to get them finished these days, but I can actually mark one off my list.  We bought cabinet and drawer hardware for our kitchen a few weeks ago and finally got around to installing them today.  Adding hardware in your kitchen is a relatively cheap and easy way to give it a little more character.  With almost 30 cabinet pulls and 10 drawer pulls needed, though, I knew the actual installation would take a little bit of time!  Once we created a template that could be used on all the cabinets, that sped up the process.  Unfortunately not all our drawers are the same size, so we had to create multiple templates for them.  The finished product came out beautifully, though, and I'm glad we did it.

    Boring drawers and cabinets before

Finished product

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Part 2

We headed to Amarillo over the weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving with Meezy's side of the family.  The food was delicious, and the company was even better.  Getting there is never a great experience, since it means 5.5 hours in a car with a baby, but we're always glad to see family. 


PurpleStride DFW

I forgot to write about the 5K I completed with my sisters a couple of weeks ago.  We participated in the PurpleStride DFW race, which benefited the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  My Opa died from pancreatic cancer about 11 years ago, so we figured this one would at least have some meaning for us.  I'm happy to report that I finished in my fastest time to date, at 30:15.  Hopefully by the next one I can break the 30 minute mark!  I'm typically not a great runner in the winter months because the cold air makes it harder on my breathing, but maybe I can still run at least one more in the next couple of months.

      

Nine Months Old

Life with a nine month old can be exhausting!  I've always got to be on my toes.  Dutch's crawling has gotten much faster, and he can stand up unassisted for quite a long time now.  He can turn and take a step from one thing to another if he holds on to something in-between, but no outright walking just yet!  He is so observant and loves focusing on people's movements.  He doesn't want to sit on the ground and play with toys anymore, he prefers to be standing up while doing EVERYTHING!  He can still be clingy with me at times, but he does just fine when being watched by other people.  While Meezy and I went to Vegas, my mom took care of him for 2 days, and my sister took care of him for 2 days.  He did perfectly fine with them and slept through the night every night.  I get so many comments when I take him out in public about his temperament and how well-behaved he is.  I'm not really sure how much credit we can take for that, because I think we might just be lucky, but it's refreshing to hear nonetheless.  He really is a joy.  Here's a few pics of my healthy, happy, handsome 9 month old.







Thursday, November 22, 2012

On This Day

I'm thankful for the wonderful people in my life.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Champions Series Tennis Match

I've been a tennis fan for many, many years.  Going to Wimbledon and the US Open are two experiences I'll never forget, and this past weekend I got to add a couple other matches to my memory bank.  While they weren't quite as spectacular as seeing Grand Slam matches, they were fun because the players were legends who I grew up watching.  The main reason I bought the tickets, of course, was because Andre Agassi would be there!  I've idolized him since the first day I picked up a racket.  His return of serve is arguably the best the sport has ever seen, and I always strove to mimic his style when I played. 

The matches were competitive, but the players didn't pass up the opportunity to talk crap to each other or joke around with the fans and ball kids.  It was definitely a more relaxed atmosphere than a typical professional match, and that just enhanced the experience.  The first semifinal was between Jim Courier and Michael Chang.  The second semifinal was between Andre Agassi and John McEnroe.  The winner of each met in the finals, so it was Courier vs. Agassi.  That was definitely the best match-up of the night because the guys really got to pound the groundstrokes.  For a couple of 42 year olds, they sure still know how to put pace on the ball, not to mention they're still in amazing shape!  Agassi ended up victorious, so that was the icing on the cake for me.  I wish I had remembered to bring our fancy camera, because the pics from my Iphone are pretty crappy:

 Courier

 McEnroe (who actually mooned Agassi after one point)

 our vantage point for all the matches

 Chang

 
 Agassi

Interviewing the winner

We had a great time watching these legends play, but I think the best part of the night was the kick-ass tshirt we found at the merchandise booth.  There probably aren't a lot of people these days who will understand this shirt when I wear it, but if you do, you are awesome.