Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Birthday Trip to Houston

Can I just say I don’t remember the last time I had that much fun stuffed into one weekend!

That whole week I worked like a crazy woman, skipping lunch and staying late every day (including my birthday) so that I could take the day off on Friday. Wednesday was my actual birthday, and hubs and the kids and my parents met me for dinner at a great Middle Eastern restaurant after work. Then, Thursday after work, I came home, kissed the kids, threw some clothes into a suitcase, and headed out the door. After an uneventful trip – I only got lost twice, lol, I got to Michael and Hannah’s house at 2am.

That morning Hannah and I woke up (Michael went to work) got dressed, did our hair and makeup, and went to lunch at the Briar Club, where Charlaine Harris was speaking. The lunch was wonderful and Ms. Harris was amazing. We got our books signed (mine says Happy Birthday) and chatted a few minutes. Our tablemates were very nice and I think Hannah and I both had a great time – my recap of the event is here.

After the luncheon, we decided to go to the Galleria. Jerrod gave me a wad of cash for my birthday and said “spend it in Houston”, so of course the Galleria was on our list of things to do! First stop – Borders! We both got this really cool book about vampire romances – it’s kind of interactive and was really neat. Best part? It was on sale - $50 original price – we paid $5.00.

After Borders, we wandered around for a few hours, looked at stuff, tried things on, picked up a few things, and just hung out and talked. Of course, after such an active day we went home, ordered Chinese, read our new books, and went to bed late.

We slept in a little, got up and dressed and met Michael’s friend and his wife for lunch at Genghis something-or-other. None of us had been and it was fun (we’ll be going in July when we have the kids).

We went to HEB (because it’s not a trip to Houston without stopping at HEB). I found the chips I love there so when we go in July I’ll be stocking up!

Then I dragged Hannah out shopping. I tried on a gazillion items and she gave me “thumbs-up” or “burn it and bury the ashes”. We did a little shoe shopping and all around girl stuff. Totally fun.

Then, we came home and got dressed for a concert. Michael’s best friend from high school is a roadie in a band and they were playing in Houston that night, so he got us tickets and VIP passes. First of all, I’ve never been a VIP anything before, so that was pretty cool in and of itself. There were three bands playing that night - Subrosa Union, Dumpstaphunk (a NOLA band), and Slightly Stoopid (the main show). On arrival, we got our passes, walked around backstage and then settled into the VIP seats for the show. Long story short, we had to move halfway through Dumpstaphunk’s set because we were in someone else’s seats. So, we moved, then after the set we went backstage again to see Michael’s friend:

Since our seats were gone, guess where we ended up watching the main show? That’s right baby – on the stage!!!! We sat on the stage behind the band and watched almost the whole show. It was really interesting to see how they all work together and worked the crowd. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m not really a “look at me I’m on stage” personality, so I did spend most of my time in the far corner – wringing the crap out of my scarf, trying not to be noticed. But it was still fun and the music was surprisingly good. I’d definitely go see them again, and the next time Dumpstaphunk plays in NOLA I’m taking hubs to see them play.

Hannah did a great recap here.

Then, all too quickly, it was Sunday – time to go home. Hannah woke me up – I showered and she went to get kolaches, then hugs and kisses and out the door. I had to be home in time to attend an awards ceremony for Ian (not FOR Ian, but he was a participant, lol), and then work on Monday morning. Jerrod was out of town until Wednesday, so it stayed crazy for a few days, but was totally worth it!!!

Best. Birthday. Ever. Couldn’t have done it without hubs, Hannah and Michael, an Mom and Ian – I can’t express to you all how much fun I had and how much it means that you all put forth so much effort to allow me to have such a great time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ian’s Graduation

Well, he finally did it! Ian graduated May 25 – he’s officially done with high school (and we’re officially done with high school tuition!). We’re so proud of him. He had a nice crowd of friends and family at the graduation to cheer him on.

That weekend he had to register for fall classes at Xavier University, where he is in the Chemistry/Pre-Pharmacy program. I was impressed they had his schedule all ready for him (he did not get to pick his own schedule, which is probably a good thing, lol). His first semester is 15 hours and his second semester is 18 hours. He’s taking classes like Chemistry, Lab, Honors English, and Calculus; with extra credit hours earned for English and Calculus if he passes (he needs a 3.0 to keep his scholarship, so he needs to pass). He’ll probably go into the actual pharmacy program after his Sophomore year. I’m going to stop pestering him about getting a job now, lol.

I think I mentioned before that he got a full four-year scholarship, so we were thrilled about that. The State of Louisiana also has a college assistance program for every student who graduates high school (TOPS). Ian’s GPA was high enough that he got extra $$, so the college will hold that and he can purchase his books with it. Whatever he doesn’t use will go into his bank account.

I’m thrilled and worried for him all at the same time. I remember when he started high school I was the same way. I didn’t want him to fail or get beat up. Why would either have happened? I don’t know – I just worry, it’s what I do. So I’m trying to remind myself that he’ll be fine and he’s growing up and this is part of it.

Congratulations son, I love you.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hello or Goodbye?

As you can see, I haven’t been around in a while. I don’t know if that will be permanent or not. I’m hoping it’s just that May kicked my ass and not that I’m done.

Here’s what happened, sort of…

Hubs and I had a loooong conversation, if you will, about how much time I spend online and reading. And he’s mostly right. Part of the problem is that my laptop is in the dining room and everyone else hangs out in the living room. Part of the attraction of the interwebz is that for someone who doesn’t have much time in the day to get out, there’s lots going on online and I can participate from home. In my pajamas. With or without a shower. Then you get sucked in and oops, where did the time go?

So, first thing I did? Cancel my Facebook account and quit this blog. I didn’t delete it, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue.

I also thought about closing my book blog, but enjoy it and don’t want to shut it down. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it – finish up my obligations (through the summer) and close? Take on a 2nd reviewer – if I can find one? Limit my book review to 1 or 2 a week? With a full-time day job and a family, it’s starting to be a bit overwhelming. That being said, I still love being a part of it. Part of the networking that comes along with the book blog is twitter – I haven’t shut that down and probably won’t. I like twitter and it’s easy to do from my phone (although I hate Twitter for Android so if anyone knows a better app that’s easier for a technophobe like me I’d be willing to listen).

So, if you’re still here, a lot did happen in May, and I have a lot to talk about. I’m going to put up a few quick posts about the highlights:

Ian’s graduation and subsequent registration for college,
Bridget’s birthday party,
My fabulous birthday trip to Houston to meet Charlaine Harris,
As well as the regular family stuff.

And I have pictures.

Thanks for sticking around. Really; I love using this blog as an outlet and miss it.