Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jeremy's CPA- Passing Surprise Party

Hey, y'all, did ya hear? Did you hear that my super smart husband has passed his last CPA test? Whoot, Whoot!!! I am so, so, so proud of him. Let it be documented that this man is some kinda disciplined. When I was thinking about  preparing for my PHR, I contemplated studying alot. You wouldn't imagine the guilt I felt while I was watching TV, reading non-PHR books, just hanging out, etc. Jeremy was all business with this test. He turned down movies, hanging out with friends, the concept of going to bed at a decent time, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, etc., etc. It was some kinda impressive. He would probably not advertise this, but he passed 3 tests within ONE testing window. There were times he thought he may not be able to do it. But, persistence, dedication, and LOTS of prayers certainly paid off. 

We found out last Wednesday (at 4:00 AM, mind you- we celebrated with lots of coffee), so I wanted to throw something together to help him celebrate this huge accomplishment. So, with the help of my awesome Mom, I planned a surprise gathering for him at Hal & Mal's.  Here are some pics that we took (thank you, Laura, for being an awesome photog!)

Does he look happy or what?

Just disregard the twirly thing hanging in front of my Dad's face. 

Hazel-bits is super proud of her Daddy. 

As is the Hutch-man.

Group pic!

The balloons were a hit with the littles. If I had a dollar for every time I said, "HUTCH! HAZEL! THE BALLOONS DO NOT LEAVE THIS OYSTER BAR!!!" I am sure the H & M's staff were beyond excited about this addition to our soiree. 

Aunt Jan!

There is a small chance that Jefferson looks a bit down because he wanted to share his chicken with Hutch, but Hutch only stopped by to steal the cherries off his plate. Rude. 

Nobody rocks a Baby Bjorn like Bryan Keller. Nobody. 

The free-music-Friday's at H & M's was just an added bonus. Here is Hutch breaking it down. 

Love. This. 

One of the highlights of my night was when Jefferson & Hazel were dancing together and a lady at the bar yelled, "DON'T DO IT! SHE'LL ONLY BREAK YOUR HEART!!!" Not that sweet Hazel. 

The fellas

The fellas plus a couple extra fellas and me!

The night was SO much fun & it was discovered that Jeremy is quite possibly the easiest person in the world to surprise. When pulling into the parking lot, he spotted my Dad (which, quite honestly, is not that unusual). Then, Julie came up to him outside to present him with a special bottle. He just thought she swung by to say "congrats." Then, Jan walked up (we were still outside & Jeremy was still under the impression that we were meeting the Kellers' for dinner) and Jeremy just assumed she was meeting my parents for dinner. So, I finally drug him inside and he bee-lined it to the bar, while everyone was standing in the Oyster Bar practically waiting for him to acknowledge what was going on. It was quite funny, actually. 

Thanks for all who came out to celebrate- it was a blast. I will speak on behalf of Jeremy to state that he sincerely appreciates all of the thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement he has received over the past 9 months! XOXO

Friday, September 13, 2013


We headed west this past weekend to celebrate Alma's 80th. We survived 5 plane rides in 3 days. With the little H's. Phew. They, surprisingly, did really well & had a blast riding those airplanes. Here are some pics from the weekend:

Hutch & Hazel (esp Hazel) had a ton-o-fun hanging out with their cousins, Kinnsey and Camri. There is so much going on in this picture- it cracks me up. Hutch & Hazel have these books where you have to find certain objects in pictures. This totally reminds of that book. Can you find Hutch? Hazel? Kinnsey?

These girls love Hazel & she just followed them around all afternoon. It was like a girl-train every time they would walk through the living room. They still love picking Hazel up as much as she can, but Hazel has apparently outgrown that, as I overheard her yell several times, "PUT ME DOWN!!!" 

Nanny Alma was super excited to be surrounded by these little loves on her birthday!

Hutch, Ross, and Stetson- we were so excited they stopped by, too!

Things got serious when the slip 'n slide was busted out. You gotta beat that West Texas heat somehow. 

It's always a party when Uncle Ronnie is around!
 Vickie, Ed, Kaleb, and Doug

Us with the birthday girl!

See? I told you these 3 were inseparable. Remember this picture of Kinnsey and Hazel from last summer? Still one of my all time faves.

Totally digging the hats. And Hutch being his silly little self. 

Hazel had no reservations putting her cousins to work. They took turns pushing her around the house on this thing. And she loved it. I don't think I heard her offer to return the favor. 

Our Odessa trips are always fun- wish we could make it out there more often. You know what else I wish? I wish I would have pulled my camera out when Aunt Casey got there. I just realized I had no pics of her, but she was certainly there & it was great spending some time with her. She even came with gifts- Hazel was the recipient of a pink pig, in which she has named "Moo" and Hutch got his very own slingshot. Sweet! Thanks, Aunt Case! Jarrod was certainly missed but we were so glad to skype with him Sat. night.

Our kiddos were ever the entertaining ones during our travels. They kept us laughing on Sunday as we navigated 2 connections in Dallas and Houston. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Honor of 9/11

I know everyone remembers where they were that awful morning. I was actually sleeping and was woken up by a phone call where the person at the other end immediately started telling me what had happened. I remember, still half asleep, being so confused. Even after turning on the news, I couldn't grasp what had happened. I had class that morning and it just so happened that my Professor was Muslim. She didn't teach that morning, as it was advised by the University that take a little time off because of the intensity of the situation. Looking back, I remember that I felt so bad for her. I remember writing her a note a week or so later just to let her know how much I appreciated her and enjoyed her class. And I apologized if she had received any type of criticism or been the recipient of any unwelcome comments due to her background. 

My roommates and I, along with the majority of the country, were glued to the TV for days. Over the years, Jeremy and I still get sucked in (I know we are not alone here) and it's hard to turn off any type of documentary with 9/11 as its subject. 

Today, 12 years later, I still remember. I still remember watching with horror. I still remember the nightmare-ish feel of that day and weeks to come. I still remember the sense of loss. But what I remember, more than anything, was the love and the generosity and the hope and the sense of community that immediately followed. That was one thing those terrorists could not take away.

May we never forget!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day (and other shenanigans)

How was your Labor Day weekend? Ours was TONS of fun- we made our annual Labor-Day-Trek to Htown to spend the weekend with Haley, Carly, and fam. 

But, before we dive into all that, I realized I had not posted these pics. Here are Hazel & Lia at The Winckler's house for Tim & Jessie's "last Jackson hurrah"

AND...the Hutch man.

This is Hazel photo-bombing Hutch's fishing picture. Love it. 

Ok, so back to Labor Day weekend. The H's had a blast (as always) with their cousins. The following 3 pics would document their silly faces that they showed me on Sunday morning. 

We called the Elmo chair "Vivi's Throne." She would just crawl right through her cousins & toys to beeline it to that chair. And, she would just sit there while everyone else played. The only time she got up was to to tamper with the media equipment. :) 

The H's love Ryder's cars!

Here is Ryder showing us his new bike. 

Of course, Hutch had to take a spin, too. 
 And, you know Hazel can't be left out.
 We cooked out Sunday night. It was so great spending time with those we don't see very often. Here is Vivi, Haley, Tony, Joybeth, Jacob, and Deeana.
 Sweet little Vivi-cakes.

Hazel likes driving her cousins around. 

 Love my sister!!!

Alissa & Pat- so glad they made the trip to the 'burbs to hang out with us!
 Jeremy & Jacob
 My Dad and his buddy, Fisher. Or, as we tended to call him all weekend, "Poor Fisher." I am sure he was ecstatic to discover we headed back to MS.

 Love my bestie!

Tony & Joybeth

Deanna & Jeremy

Jeremy & Alissa

Ok, so if you back up to the Thursday night before Labor Day weekend, you would have found us at Hal & Mal's enjoying a fabulous dinner with some cousins that we do not get to see often enough. Harold, Jenny, Greg, Marianne, and Bobby came in from Denver. It is rather hard to catch up when you have toddlers (they tend to be rather demanding, don't they?) running around the whole time, but I love these folks dearly- so glad we were able to spend a couple of hours with them!

 AND, Ed, Julia, and Will joined us (along with a few others)...Will made a new best friend when he copied a certain little girl's hairstyle.

Group pic!

And, we are back in Houston again. It has been all I can do to not run over this laptop with my SUV tonight. So, I just don't think I have the patience to rearrange pictures. I am sure you are not surprised- you know, I just try to keep things interesting around here. Hutch and Hazel were not impressed with Primos' Banana Nut Bread. I think the moments following this picture were centered around trying to "wipe it all out" of Ryder's mouth with a napkin.

While Vivi and Hazel did not go the MSU game, they were certainly dressed for a win! And although that win didn't necessarily happen, they sure did look cute!


Go Dawgs! Sister pic!

Excuse me, m'am...I think I am going to need to see your license and insurance please. 
 Just the girls...I had a better pic that included Ann, but her eyes were closed & I just couldn't do that to her.:)
We were so glad that Ann joined us for the weekend!

Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!