Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Volleyball Tourney - Round Two

It seems club volleyball is feast or famine. By that I mean we seem to have back-to-back tourneys and then a bit of time off. The beginning of the season was no exception. Our second go round was in the Dallas area in a very large (and nice) facility where eight games could be played concurrently. Which was awesome. And also not quiet or relaxing. At all. :)

It began early in the morning so we were up at the crack of dawn and soon this was our view for the day...well, all of Taylor's sweet teammates. Not just this one.

You'll notice that there are few photos this time around. And you know why? Because every time I picked up my camera, bad things happened on the court. So it put it back down. Because I am NOTHING if not superstitious when it comes to sports.

There was a lot of fun with this sweet girl and her mom. They rode with us and, y'all, it was non-stop fun and laughter. Love. Them. So.

Though teenage years are difficult at times, they can also be a whole lotta fun. And this was definitely one of those weekends.

We were at this venue for TWELVE HOURS, friends. They fought hard and came in third. And did not get a medal. Yes, you read that correctly. Twelve hours. Third place. No medal. 

But that's ok - it was a great experience.

And, yes, my baby girl has colored her hair for the first time. A darker brown. And it's beautiful. As are she and her sweet barn friend with whom we have tons o' fun. :-)

Some other significant things happened during this particular weekend. Though I really can't share the details right now, know that we covet your prayers right now. And that it's a GOOD kind of excitement. :-)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's That Time Again

As promised, club volleyball season kicked off last weekend. In Kyle, Texas, which is ironic because that's where we finished last season. Same venue as well. But let's just say the experience was very different. In the best of ways!

I don't watch Taylor practice during the week because she just does better if I'm not around. So I honestly had no idea what to expect out of this team except that I'd been told by a couple of other moms  and Tonto, who sometimes sneaks in for a few minutes, that they were doing really well. 

I was completely unprepared, though, for them coming out and playing together so well for the first time out. It was super fun to watch. 

We rode down with one of Taylor's sweet friends, Aija (pictured below, in action), and her mom. They are sooooo fun and we were so happy to have the company since Tonto had to work. We laughed pretty much the whole time down and back, which is basically my nirvana.

Not only was I impressed with the team as a whole but, y'all, my girl was on fire. Her play has improved so much since last year. In part, I believe this is because they have more players on the team so she can focus on her position(s) and not have to worry about playing back row, which is not her happy place. :)

Not to mention the fact that we have a super fun group of parents who are just as passionate about this venture as I am. Seeing lots of awesome down time visiting with this group between matches. And did I mention their coach is GREAT?

So, yes, super excited about this season.

And though they have walked away without a medal, there's no doubt in my mind they'll win their fair share this season. They proved during the first weekend that they can hang with the best and that makes me pretty darn proud, y'all.

As does the fact that I get to call this beautiful girl mine.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Weekend Wonder

So this week has been back to our usual routine. You know, volleyball, livestock, school, work, gym, people who want to eat three times a day AND wear clean clothes. And me who insists on doing all of these things in a fairly clean house. 

There's also a lot of chatter/stress/activity around where we'll be living next year. And where. And in what type of dwelling. So it's been all of the kinds of crazy that I love this week. There are many types of crazy that I do not deal well with; however, we're good at the moment.

Though Tonto has to work this weekend, the girl and I will be heading out of town to Kyle to kickoff club volleyball season. Sooooo excited about this year. For a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is SHE is more excited about her team and feels more comfortable than last year. 

Something similar to this will be my view all day tomorrow...

...and I can't wait. :-)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Day O' Christmas...and Beyond...

Christmas Eve has always been the "big deal" day for my side of the family. So all the days after were fun but don't exactly require a whole post (you're welcome) so...here I am cramming a bunch of things together.

First - I forgot to post this before but someone looked stunning at her youth Christmas party. And it was not me. Obviously. :-)

On Christmas Day, Taylor spent some time with her dad and his family. As I was getting dressed to drop her off, Tonto got called in for a transport. One that ended up lasting WAAAAAY longer than it should have. This is how the boys and I felt about that particular situation.

I met up with his family for a late lunch and, luckily, he finished up in time to join us. It was a suuuper laid back Christmas Day for us that ended - non-traditionally and of Taylor's choice - with ribeyes, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted veggies, stuffed jalapenos and more candy brownies.

The days following Christmas were filled with football, shopping with the girl, lunches out with the whole fam, reading books and watching a bunch of movies. In fact, Taylor and I spent one entire day doing nothing but watching movies. Well, and taking care of Forrest. It. Was. Glorious.

We also went to see Frozen and it may be my favorite Disney movie EVER. So, so good. And when we walked out of the theatre, we quickly learned the temp had dropped about 30 degrees so we were pretty close to frozen ourselves.

Fast forward to Christmas Even when Tonto and I went to Barkin' Ball. (While the girl spent the night with a friend. After two nights of having different friends over prior. Looooove her having sweet girlfriends to spent time with, y'all.) Yes, again. Why? Because it's the best charity of the event. Bar. None. Trust me on this one.

One of my sweet friends was taking pics that night and sent me this yesterday. Love everything about it. And also not sure why I look somewhat scared. I wasn't, for the record. :-)

New Year's Day was a veritable feast of foods that we don't normally eat. Started out with homemade breakfast tacos, watched some football, made queso from scratch, watched more football, had a dinner of appetizers and then watched my Bears fall to UCF. That last part was a bummer but there was more to that than met the eye so I'm not even a bit worried about next year.

In the middle of all the laziness, I took down the Christmas decorations and kept wondering why someone wasn't trying to help me. I wasn't complaining, mind you, just wondering. Poor fella's dad didn't realize the meat he gave him a bite of the night before had taco seasoning on it. Seasoning with gluten. He wasn't actively ill but still - obviously - cannot tolerate even a little bit. :-(

He rebounded quickly, though, and we rounded out Christmas vacation with more books, naps, snuggles, goat tending and grocery shopping. Oh, and checking out Tonto's new gym. It's awesome. And he has unlimited guest privileges so I've been mixing things up a bit.

All in all, an awesome time of rest and relaxation. I kind of feel like I didn't get much accomplished but know that crazy times are ahead with club volleyball and livestock shows overlapping. Sometimes you need to take a break before the next firestorm of activity. Now we're ready for a winter/spring full of fun and BUSY! ;-)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Eve Shenanigans

With my family in Louisiana and Tonto working (a LOT) during Christmas week, the three of us (plus the Puppy Posse) had a rather unconventional Christmas Eve. Because we were going really untraditional, Taylor picked the menu for the evening, which had a decided Tex-Mex flair: King Ranch Casserole, homemade salsa, a replica of Chuy's jalapeno ranch dip, green salad (ok, that one was my idea) and candy brownies.

The jalapeno ranch won the girl's heart that night, though...

After dinner, it was time to open presents. Well, basically it was time for Taylor and the pups to open presents. I got this beautiful (and already used a whole bunch of times) item a few days before.

This year the pups really enjoyed opening presents...

...after much inspection...

...they finally ripped into them...

...while Baby Blue was just trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

No worries - they had a ball tearing up their new toys. Boys will be boys, I guess. The girls enjoyed tasty treats while they exerted a whole lot of energy.

Tonto wants a new grill but I wasn't about to pick that out myself. Or in the middle of winter. So the girl got him things he LOVES but will NOT buy for himself: trail mix and cashews. Pretty sure he's never been more happy with a gift.

The rest of the opening was left to the girl...

...who did pretty darn well if you ask me. :-)

Particularly since the two large gifts she asked for aren't pictured. She picked up some new boots (because I don't pick out shoes or clothes for this child) the day after Christmas and is getting a new show box before County in February.

And, of course, I had to take a photo of the tree. This year I put everything up except the tree while Tonto was working one day. Then I did the tree on a Friday evening while watching the Christmas episode of Glee. It was quite the enjoyable evening.

After all the gifts were unwrapped and order had been restored, we settled in for an evening of the Duck Dynasty board game (super FUN) and college football. 

A quiet, sweet, Christmas Eve that was out of the norm but will probably go down as one of my favorites of all time. :-)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Early Christmas

My parents spent almost a week in Louisiana for Christmas with my grandmother so we (because hospitals never close and sick babes need to be taken care of) celebrated with my mom and dad a bit early. It was the Saturday before the big day, which is also my mom's birthday, so we enjoyed some yummy Italian food to celebrate her before moving onto presents for all. :)

Isn't her tree pretty?

And the presents were plentiful. Let's say many were the girl's.

We sort of slowly opened gifts this year. I blame it on the post carb coma.

And some of us (hi, Muffin!) found the decorations...

...and posed among them.

Others checked out their gifts with great detail.

Sweet boy was, as always, a perfect gentleman.

And then we took the obligatory Christmas photos because, well, it's a rule. Of mine anyway.

Can we talk about his face? Really?

And we even got the girl to smile. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

It was a sweet, non-rushed, fun day. And - though all the gifts were nice - the Duck Dynasty trivia game won the day. Thanks, y'all! :-)