Tuesday, September 27, 2011


There is a wicked thunderstorm going on within minutes of my house, heading here.  On my school work agenda I have an assignment that will take less than an hour.  Do I do it in the storm? Or do I head off to Target to buy the things I found on the web today that I want? Decisions, decisions.

I'm thinking the latter... not just because it involves spending money, which I love to do, but because I can't afford to crash my computer with a lightening strike.  Spending money and can't afford in the same thought, interesting!

Quickly, before I shut down, I must add that Brad and I made a delicious dinner tonight! It was a Publix Aprons Simple Meals recipe, shown here: Creole Shrimp Saute.  It was absolutely amazing and I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Yummo!

Got to go!

It is like Christmas in my blogland!


Because I got another award! Twice in like 2 weeks!! 

Thank you so much to Babygirl at Love in a (Not So) Perfect World for the honor!

I had to acknowledge this immediately, but I am not ready to do my part yet! I will try and take care of business on this one, and the last one I received, this weekend!

Thanks Babygirl!

I had such a great Monday...

Personally, I'm not even sure if I'm being sarcastic or not...

I had to go to Columbia for a work meeting.  It was actually a really great meeting.

On the way home there was a monsoon.  I had to pull off the interstate because I could no longer see the car in front of me, but I was sure it was still there.  After about five-ten minutes of waiting, the rain let up a teeny, tiny bit and I could see that there were tons of cars up and down the interstate, pulled over to wait it out.  Holy downpour Batman! According to the rain was stationary so I could either spend my life on the side of the highway or I could move on.  So I moved on.

I've been having some serious issues with my vacuum at home.  As in it does not suck, so it sucks.  Know what I mean? The suction is pretty weak (and it doesn't work on hard surfaces) and the hose does not work at all, so it makes it really difficult to get in corners and stuff.  So I went shopping at Best Buy! And by the way, purple is my favorite color - that may or may not have had something to do with the selection of this vacuum.  Oh, and as soon as I had it out of the box I vacuumed the whole house. :)

Finally, Brad and I decided to have dinner out, one last time before I finally go to the grocery store today.  We went to Logan's and everything was yummy.  And guess what? They had trivia! Not the same kind of trivia we do on Friday nights, but a name that tune music trivia.  We decided to stick around and play and it was pretty fun! We did poorly, but the point is that we had fun, right? They're doing it again next Monday and I think we're going to go back.  We were there for about three hours, including trivia time, and in that time we took in: potato skins, steak salad (me), burger (Brad), two Roadhouse teas (Brad), three glasses of Cabernet (me), and a huge brownie desert, shared - yum!

Dyson picture courtesy of, link here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fort Worth, Day 5

The last day... Wednesday, September 21

There were a couple of speakers during breakfast in the morning as the conference wrapped up.  I unfortunately couldn't make it to the last workshop because the shuttle was coming to pick me up for the airport.  I was disappointed, but I really felt like I had gained so much from this conference.  If I had just gone there to sit in a room full of my colleagues and peers and done nothing else, I would have still gained.  It was such an experience!

And with that, I leave you with these few pictures I took on the plane.  I wanted to show Brad, who has never flown before, what it looks like out the plane window.

I can't wait to visit Texas again some day.

Fort Worth, Day 4

Tuesday, September 20

Honky Tonk day!!!!!

Tuesday started with breakfast, french toast, and a ceremony of the coming and going of members of the Board of Trustees for CCUSA.  It was a nice event, there were some nice speeches.  Then began the work shops for the day.  I was on the development track, as I mentioned in this post, so I stuck with workshops geared towards advancement.  I heard from some really great speakers and I'm really looking forward to implementing some of their ideas within my own organization.  

Tuesday evening was time for a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards.  Mary and I met at the hotel bar before we took off and had some chips and queso and salsa, and beer.  We then took buses over, wandered around the shops a little bit.  I added to my shot glass collection and picked up some fancy spice packs for Brad.  We had our very own cattle drive with some of the most depressed looking longhorns I've ever seen.  It was hot and they already do their thing twice a day for the tourists, let's make it three for us!

Eventually we ended up at Billy Bob's Honky Tonk.  Overall we had a great time, but we were a little confused as to why the band was playing rock and pop music.  We were kind of hoping for a real country western experience.  But we survived.  Dinner was a buffet of BBQ brisket, baked beans, and some other stuff I can't recall.  Did I mention there was beer?

We got to see some bull riding! It was neat to watch, I liked this one bull who didn't want to cooperate and wouldn't leave the ring.  I love a good stubborn animal.  

 After that, we wandered around BB's aimlessly and checked out all the celebrity hand prints on the walls.

Fort Worth, Day 3

Monday, September 19

Monday started with a breakfast buffet.  It was delicious.  I planted myself at a table with some Pennsylvania folks and one from Detroit, then another from Chicago.  We had some nice chatter and the conference proceeded with an interactive discussion of some national leaders.  We participated in an "idea marketplace" and had some good conversations.

Lunch was a real fancy barbeque chicken breast, very good.  Then the conference pressed on before our first breakout sessions.  I was on a development track with this conference, so I stuck with sessions that were geared towards growth and expansion.  They were excellent.

We had another speaker close out the Poverty Summit portion of the conference... Melody Barnes, the President's Domestic Policy Advisor.  She was very motivational and spoke of many things the White House is doing for poverty.  There was also some musical entertainment.  

After that, my co-worker and I attended a dinner at Taverna by Lombardi hosted by Russ Reid, a fundraising firm.  It was a wine pairing dinner and it was awesome.  There was a delicious soup, white corn with lump crabmeat and vanilla infused olive oil.  That was served with a California Sauvignon Blanc.  Next we had fresh figs served with prosciutto, served with an Italian white wine.  The main dish was monkfish with butternut squash, served with a California Pinot Noir, delicious! And finally there was an opera cake, served with an Italian Moscato.  It left me drooling, all of it.  The chef came around with each course and we praised him.  At the dinner, we didn't have to listen to any spiel, we were just left to socialize with our peers.  We met some people from Nashville, Atlanta, New Jersey, Charlotte, and Monterey.  We had a great time! 

Russ Reid, we love you!

List Challenge: Favorite gifts you've ever received

~ Does the gift of life count? I think it should...
~ My camera! Not just the one I have now, but every camera I was ever gifted.  I love taking pictures and having those memories.
~ The sheets on my bed.  They were on our wedding registry and thankfully someone purchased them and I love them to pieces!
~ A photo album a cousin gave me for my Sweet 16.  So pretty.
~ A candle a different cousin gave me as a wedding/shower gift.  It has our invitation on it.  I love it.
~ The "Just Married" Mickey and Minnie ornament my sister-in-law gave Brad and I.  
~ All my Pampered Chef stuff that people gave me at one point in time or another... I love using every last bit of it.

List Challenge Home

Forth Worth Day 2

I should be doing my homework, but after squeezing all the Spanish out of me, I must break before I do my psych work.  

Day 2 in Fort Worth, Texas - Sunday, September 18

I ordered a room service breakfast and requested that it be delivered around 9:30 because I fully intended on sleeping in.  I was up at 7:00 and there was no getting me back down.  I called the in-room dining service and begged that they bring me my breakfast earlier.  Turns out I didn't need to beg, the staff at this hotel were awesome and graciously brought me my chow.

I chilled in my room on my snazzy armchair and read The Help all morning.  I drank lots of tea and ice water.  My co-worker arrived around noon and needed some time to unwind after her trip.  She came from Austin after visiting her son, so she was a little tired from the drive.  

It was another gray day out, but again, it didn't rain.  I used the zoom on my camera and realized that one of the buildings outside my window was a huge post office.

 I ordered, from room service <3, a Texas Cobb Salad.  This consisted of basic salad essentials, blue cheese, jicama, bacon, and I asked for grilled shrimp and a honey mustard dressing.  It was so good.

Mary and I met up around 1:30 and we decided to wander around the city before going to the Cathedral for Mass.  We checked out some shops and found a very entertaining sign on a beverage cooler in Retro Cowboy.  Made us laugh out loud.

Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Fort Worth was beautiful.  It was in English and some Spanish at times, which was interesting to me because I am studying Spanish.  The Cathedral itself was very nice and I wish I had taken pictures while I was there, but I'm sure there are some at the website I linked to.

We trekked back to the hotel for dinner and the opening session of the conference.  Somewhere in between we registered for the conference, picked up our packets, name tags, etc.  Dinner was excellent! We had salmon and steak with scalloped potatoes and asparagus.  Wine was served.  We met some nice people at this dinner that we saw a lot more throughout the event.  Desert was a decedent chocolate cake, I think it's the hotel's Dr. Pepper chocolate cake, delicious.  And it was on the table before anything else so we just stared at it the whole time and smelled it, it smelled so good.  Oh and we had an iceberg and blue cheese salad before our main dish.  And aside from the food and drinks, the speakers, Mark Shriver and Rev. Larry Snyder, at this opening ceremony were great and very inspirational.

After dinner, it was still early so we headed over to Whiskey and Rye, the hotel bar.  We had a couple of glasses of wine, shmoozed with more people, and had an all around good time.  Then we called it a night.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My trip to Fort Worth, Day 1

Saturday, September 17th.

My flight was delayed leaving Charleston.  The plane had to be serviced and it took a little longer than expected.  So instead of arriving shortly after 2, I arrived shortly after 3, I think.  It's all a bit fuzzy now.  I was on a two and one plane, very small, but the ride was nice and smooth.  When I left Charleston the temp was in the 60s, felt kind of cold, when I got off in Fort Worth it was like a heat wave hit me and nearly knocked me down! Tejas was hot!!

I missed my shuttle though and had to call for a new one, which was fine.  We circled the insane DFW airport for a long time before heading off to the hotel.  On my shuttle (which wasn't the space-like shuttle you're all imagining, but rather a multi-passenger van, hehe) there were two other people heading to the same conference.  One from Baton Rouge and one from California.  Exciting!

I got to the hotel and it was beautiful! I fell in love with my room and felt like a princess.  The shower was gorgeous and I never wanted to leave it.  I loved taking showers in that shower.  It even sounded wonderful, like rain.  Everything was perfect.  I had signed up for their loyalty program and online you can set all kinds of preferences, like extra towels/pillows, where you want your room, etc.  So I did and they fulfilled! It was great. 

 The view outside my room wasn't fantastic, but it was new so I guess it was OK.  It was very gray the first two days, but it never rained.  Poor Texas, they could sure use it.  I think it rained Sunday evening in Dallas, but not Ft. Worth. 

I took a shower in the amazing shower and headed down to the lobby to meet my dear friend Shelley and her baby girl Mattie.  By recommendation of the front desk staff, we headed to Chuy's for Tex-Mex and it was fantastic.  Loved the food and it was just what I wanted.

Back at the hotel I ordered Scream 4 off the TV and some strawberry ice cream.  The movie was good, the ice cream was great, life was good.  

I fell asleep real easy but woke up a few times during the night.  I requested that my room be near the elevator for ease of access, but I didn't think that this would mean noisy people getting on and off the elevator all night long.  Oh well, when I slept, I slept good, and the waking up didn't matter at all.

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

A break from my trip re-caps to participate in my favorite blog-hop!

Join Hilary at Feeling Beachie for this weekly dose of something different!

This week’s statements:

1. When I was little, all I wanted was a ___. 

2. I always want to love to ___ but no matter how hard I try, I don’t.

3. The ___ of it all was that ___.

4. The mist around the mountains makes me___.

My Answers:

1. When I was little, all I wanted was a really big super soaker water gun.  I finally withdrew money from my Communion savings account and bought one!
2. I always want to love to wake up early but no matter how hard I try, I don't.

3. The irony of it all was that I woke up super early every day I was in Texas!

4. The mist around the mountains makes me think of donutsYou know the kind of mist I'm talking about, I know you do!

Link up!

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