Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reunion with a great friend

The other night Jake & I got  the chance to meet up with one of our great friends that we were very close with while we were at ACU since we are all currently living in the Houston area. It was SO awesome to be reunited and get to catch up on the past three years pretty much. It was a very interesting adventure getting together though, since Jackie works for one of the local Houston newspapers she had access to some great local restaurants from some of her colleagues who does local restaurant reviews. Well the one we had researched online, found where it was, and looked at all its reviews ended up being ALOT different than it looked online so we went on a little adventure on Westheimer to find dinner elsewhere haha! So we ended up going to The Fox & Hound Pub & Grill which was really fun, food was great and the drinks were really good priced, I didn't have a drink, but Jake had two beers which he really enjoyed!

But the company was so much better than any food or drinks anywhere could have been, it was definitely JUST what I have been needing! Since our year has been such a whirlwind through medical hurdles, long hospital stays, moving, and anything and everything else you could think of it has been a hard year to say the least! Since I have gotten better health wise we have been trying to find a home church which has been pretty hard. And as nice as it is to live here in Houston and be close to my sister, brother in law, and new precious nephew along with the rest of my extended family we would really love to find a small group of friends at a church to get to know. But it was just so great getting to catch up and have dinner together because she is kinda in the same boat since she moved to Houston from Denver this summer and is going through a similar process of finding a home church, new friends, and just making Houston her new home so it just felt so PERFECT! But anyways Jake & thoroughly enjoyed getting together with a great friend from the past. We both just loved how you can go from not talking to a great friend for like three years and instantly pick up like you saw her just a couple of days ago. And luckily we don't live too terribly far away from each other which is a blessing in the Houston area. So we are definitely planning on getting together again very soon, which thankfully is going to be so much easier when I can drive myself places again, soon and very soon! I think I don't realize how much I need friends until I am with great friends from the past or present and then it becomes very apparent!

Here is a picture of Jackie & I probably about three years ago at a local coffee shop in Abilene we all used to hang out with while we were at ACU. Such good times at Tuscanys!

Friday, December 9, 2011

My New Love

This post may be a bit longer than others, but it is one of the most precious one I've written yet so I hope you enjoy. After Thanksgiving my parents and brother decided to head back to Abilene on Sunday around lunch time, they had planned to leave earlier but my parents, brother, and Jake all got sick with sinus congestion and cough type stuff along with the stomach bug so they decided to stay an extra few days so they could get betters! Luckily our sweet little baby M decided to wait and not come Thanksgiving weekend since most our family was sick. But we all just knew the minute my parents got back in Abilene some baby action was going to happen down here in Houston and that it did!

So last Tuesday, November 29th around noon I was sitting around just watching tv and on the computer and lounging around my phone rang. And I saw my sister was calling which is a very odd time for her to call since she would have been at work during that time. But I kinda had a sneaky feeling why she was calling, so she had been not feeling good all morning that day and decided to go into the doctor and found out she was in fact in labor and was being admitted to the hospital. So being that I can't drive I was a little concerned I was going to have to wait on Jake to get home from work to go up to the hospital but since none of their bags and baby stuff were in the car with them Matt had to come home and pick up everything and take it all back up to the hospital. So I was in luck being that we live so close he was nice and offered to come pick me up and go up to the hospital with him, which was so great. I think Matt and I got up to the hospital around 2ish and Jenna was all hooked up to the monitors, ivs so she could get her pitocin and everything. And much to my surprise she was just hanging out happy go lucky not in any pain at all, I was secretely hoping in my head"God please let my pain tolerance be this high when I have my babies" haha. So we all just hung around until around 5 or 6 and about then my Nana and Aunt Monica arrived to await the new family member and I stepped out to the waiting to update them on everything. Not long after they arrived Jake got off work and came up to the hospital to join everyone else waiting. After he got his clothes changed and everything we went to eat some dinner since it still looked like it was going to be awhile longer till alot more action happened so went down the road to Freebirds and had a delicious burrito, I love me some Freebirds!

Afterward we headed back up to the hospital and things were starting to move along and my parents had finally arrived at the hospital all the way from Abilene, needless to say they were probably driving pretty fast! So the rest of the night we all just pretty much waited and waited some more. But finally at 11:20 p.m. on November 29th, 2011 our sweet little Parker James Manges arrived into this world weighing in at 7 lbs, 9 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long. I can honestly say I have never felt this sort of emotion ever in my life and it was one of the greatest feelings ever in my life so far at least! While we waited for our sweet baby to arrive we all took bets on the gender, weight, and time of arrival which was really fun to see who was going to be the closest to being right. I just knew it was going to be a boy from the moment my sister told me she was pregnant back in April and I was right on with the gender, I was off a few ounces on the weight, but I was the closest on the time of arrival. But the worst waiting period was probably the last 30 minutes but no one had come out and told us if the baby had arrived or not much less if it was a boy or girl. The moment we went into the room and finally saw him in my sister's arm and saw his precious little face really was just like everyone tells you, totally indescribeable!

Enjoy all the pictures of our new precious baby Parker, if you can't already I'm loving more than anything being Aunt Gigi!!

 Bailey (Matt & Jenna's dog) relaxing on her bed probably trying to get over the lack of attention she is getting, her first couple days were a difficult transition, but she is doing great now!
 Parker's sweet footprints in his cute babybook
 Parker James & his sweet mommy, they both looked so happy and content!
 Parker James Manges about 30 minutes old
 Parker out cold after eating, this was on the day after he was born (Wed. Nov. 30th)
 Laying around sleeping in Jenna's arms
 LOVE this picture, he really is so perfect!
 Parker getting all wrapped up in his blankets by my mom who has yet to choose a grandparent name, really wishing she would hurry!
 Sometimes he has the most serious looks on his face, but it is just the cutest thing in the world.
 Chief (my dad) and sweet little Parker the day after he was born. I can already tell how much little Parker is already changing all of our lives, my parents included and as cheesy as this sounds it really is the sweetest, most special thing to watch my parents become grandparents and seeing how this changes their outlook on life. And it has been so amazing watching my sister and brother in law become parents, they are doing a great job so far. Everything about this little life and how it changes all of us is just so amazing!
 Here is a picture of the wreath I worked on for the past few weeks for Parker's arrival. I had such a gut feeling that my sister was having a boy I knew these colors would work out perfectly. Although his room is done in gender neutral colors and decorations that it would have been just as cute if it had been a girl. Jake & I waited to put the initials on it the morning after he was born, we actually got up early the day after and ran to Hobby Lobby to get wooden letters and spray paint. We even spray painted them in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby, let them dry a little bit in the parking lot, turned the air on full blast while we drove to the hospital so they could finish drying. Then once we got to the hospital we went and got breakfast at this bakery inside the hospital and glued them on the wreath inside the bakery with the hot glue gun we brought with us from home haha. It was definitely a process but I was determined to make this baby the cutest arrival wreath and I love it so much and think it turned out so cute. Most of the guests that came to the hospital loved it and commented on it too and it now hangs on the front of Parker's bedroom door.
 Parker James & Aunt Gigi the day after he was born...this was the first time I had gotten to hold him, so special :)
 Such beautiful flowers that Matt's dad had delivered to the hospital from a local florist in the Galleria area, they were seriously so so pretty, it was a bouquet of white roses, green hydrangeas, and pink peonies.
 Another picture of Parker & Aunt Gigi the day he came home from the hospital
 sweetest sleeping baby
 LOVE this boy!
 I think I see a sweet little smile hiding in there somewhere!
 I have a feeling those will be some chubby little cheeks someday soon, so so precious!
 My mom & Bailey who at this moment really really needed attention as she proceeded to climb into my mom's lap and practically hug her and keep in mind she is no lap dog haha, but it was one of the funniest things ever!
 A view of the new parents and my mom during his first few days home...the media family haha.
 Parker after his first little sponge bath at home, he can't have a full bath until his umbilical cord falls off. But surprisingly he actually loved his bath, it was warm and relaxing and his pacifer made it so much better for him.
 Sweet one of Jenna and Parker after his first sponge bath ready for a diaper and clothes
 LOVE this one in black and white while he gets dressed in his Christmas reindeer pajamas
 Parker feeling much better with warm clothes on and with his pacifer
 Pareker the sweet Santa Christmas gift ever, that is all I wanted was a nephew healthy and happy so it looks like Santa has been good to me this year!
 Parker the so precious
 I love these, it just makes my heart smile watching Jake hold a sweet little newborn baby
 Parker cuddled on his chest and slept there for awhile, it was so sweet!
LOVE this black and white one of him sleeping, I mean how could you EVER get tired of looking at this precious face!!?

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 was supposed to be a little different with the Ellison/Manges/Nassar gang doing it all at Matt & Jenna's house this year because of baby M's arrival date and such. But it ended up being just the same as every other year with all of us going to Nana & Papa's house with the whole big gang of my family. It was a fun day, lots of delicious food that I really shouldn't have eaten but yet I still did. We pretty much just hung out all day with family, eating, cleaning up, enjoying dessert, watching how precious all the kids are, talking about the upcoming new arrival, and watching all the football games.Among all the different football games that were on tv this year our teams definitely did great and WON all the big games! The two biggest games for us are always on Thanksgiving Day, with University of Texas vs. Texas A&M (huge rivalry if you aren't a fan) and with A&M leaving to go to the SEC that was their last big rivalry game for Thanksgiving Day, so it was definitely a game for the history books and boy was it ever! Then we of course had Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins which was such a good game! Our family somehow has ended up getting divided through the years with one half of the big hang hating the cowboys and the other half LOVING them. And as for UT & A&M most of the family hates UT except the Ellison/Nassar gang and I'm sure you know who won :) Anyways it was a fun day all in all!

 Here is the kids Thanksgiving table eating and playing- Ben, Elijah, Adley Ann, & Eli
 More kid fun
 Last picture of Thanksgiving kid fun, but notice in every one of these three pictures one of these crazy boys is acting so WILD, oh boys!!
 Here is a picture of our Thanksgiving centerpieces this year, they did a tall clear vase with nuts in the bottom of the vase and tree branches coming out of the top with paper leaves tied to the branches with twine. During the week of Thanksgiving my aunt Bonny mailed out these paper leaves to everyone so we could all write what we are thankful for and then we all brought it with us to Thanksgiving Day and tied it to the tree branches on the centerpiece so we could all read them during the meal. It was really a neat idea, some were very sweet and special while others were pretty funny!
 And here are the black friday shoppers looking through all the different shopping ads that came in the paper that day! They were getting ready for the hardcore Christmas shopping that was about to happen.
 Here is the kids craft table making their traditional Christmas crafts to hang on the Christmas tree, a fun tradition we have always had in our family, I remember doing this as a kid!
 Here are the red and green felt mice that they made with a candy festive and cute!
Along with all the Thanksgiving celebrations, we also had a few birthdays left to celebrate in here is my cousin Autumn and my mom blowing out their candles on their birthday cake as we all sing to them! It was another fun, Thanksgiving day spent with family being reminded of how much we have to be thankful for!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

November Abilene Trip

So the week before Thanksgiving Jake & I went to Abilene for a visit since he had four long days off and it was such a great relaxing, enjoyable trip! Jake was able to stay from Thursday till Sunday and I stayed the rest of the week that week and rode back to Houston with my parents on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was so nice to get to have a long, relaxing week in Abilene to hang out with my parents and especially with the Trammells, that definitely NEVER gets old! We were also able to be there on my Mom's birthday and get to celebrate with her which was special. We also were able to have a nice lunch with Jake's dad when we got into town which was nice since we aren't going to be able to see him during the holidays at all this year with Jake's work schedule and us being six hours away from Abilene. Everytime I go back and visit Abilene I realize how much I miss it and love it there but I am certainly growing to love living in Katy more and more everyday. Here are a bunch of pictures I took during the week I was there, it was definitely a trip worth while and there is nothing like getting to see these sweet girls!
My mom's birthday celebration dinner & dessert with the Trammells. We grilled the biggest steaks I have yet to see after 25 years living in Texas and had asparagus, salad, and potato casserole. Jake baked an absolutely delicious carrot cake with homemade cream cheese icing, since this is my mom's favorite kind of cake. As you can tell from the picture above the girls thoroughly enjoyed getting to celebrate Kathy's birthday with a cake, candles, and singing happy birthday, it really was too sweet! Sorry the picture is so dark I think we had the lights turned out, but I did my best to edit the lighting, I still think this picture was so sweet.
Sweet baby Elizabeth, I love the black and white coloring here.
She was in such a happy mood, she had just woken up from a good nap and was so happy and excited!
Another cute black and white of the cutest two year old I know.
I LOVE THIS ONE...I think I might have to frame it, sweetest smile I know!
While she was still in her bed after her nap I took some pictures of her since she usually plays around in her bed for a few minutes before wanting to actually get out of her bed.
I think she was still "waking up" in this picture, looks as if she is doing a big stretch here.
Elizabeth playing Peek-A-Boo
Elizabeth being happy and silly after waking up from her nap
sweet baby just woken up from her long nap
This particular afternoon while Elizabeth was sleeping Claire and I played in her room. She wanted so bad to try on a bunch of her dresses in her closet and have me take her picture in them while she played and danced around. She is the funniest, girly girl, who LOVES to dance and always loves her dresses, actually won't wear anything else besides leggings and dresses and sometimes skirts, you can definitely forget pants haha! This picture above is pretty much the definition of Claire Louise Trammell and I LOVE it!!
This is her in her Christmas dress, sweetest smile!
Doing her ballet dances and positions in her Christmas dress, LOVE this girl's curls SO MUCH!
One day when Elizabeth was out with Jake & I to eat lunch with a friend she was doing these cute little poses in the backseat.
Claire & I on Kathy's Birthday dinner celebration night
Maggie, Claire, & I after dinner- not sure there are cuter, sweeter girls in this world than these two, miss them so much!
Claire & Elizabeth at our nail painting party, they had so much fun and ended up with cute, colorful nails!