Snow Day!

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It is COLD here in Texas.
And by COLD, I mean “oh-my-goodness-I’m-gonna-freeze-my-tushy-off” weather. We knew it was coming, so on Monday night, The Nerd and I packed up and headed to my brother’s house.
It is much a much closer commute for The Nerd from there, and the schools I was scheduled to visit were closer, too.
We had a plan: The Nerd would wake up at 5 am (before it hit freezing) and drive in to work. If school was still in session, I would go about my business as usual.
But when the alarm went off at 5 am, we were in for a surprise. It was 26 degrees outside. And it only got colder.
The Nerd had an important meeting at work, though, and had to commute in anyway. The normally 30-minute drive took 2.5 hours.
I was *really* glad that schools were cancelled.
And so was River!
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She got all dressed up in her purple coat and matching headband. Isn’t she a doll?
She was having so much fun…
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Until the wind started blowing. With the windchill, it felt like it was in the teens outside!
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When the wind hit, she grabbed her hair and didn’t put down her hands the rest of the time we were outside.
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It was really cute.
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The ground really wasn’t cover with snow, per se, just an icy mixture of sleet.
I tried to get her to stomp on it, but she was too light to leave any footprints.
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The road in front of the house was completely iced over, so Andy took her out on it to “skate.”
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I think that one day, my niece will be a daredevil. She *loves* anything that involves spinning or sliding or going really, really fast.
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It was a really fun snow day! We don’t get those very often.
Is it cold where you live? What do you like to do on snow days?

The Worst Word To Teach a 2-Year-Old…

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There is one word … one word that you should never, ever, ever teach a two-year-old.
This word causes the most beautiful child’s face to spasm.
It completely takes away her ability to take a “normal” photo.
It makes me shudder.
The word?
CHEESE.
River is at that fun age where her vocabulary is growing and her imagination is in full bloom.
She loves looking like a princess and pretends to be a puppy and calls everyone around her by their Sponge Bob names (I’m Squidward, in case you’re wondering. The Nerd is Mr. Crabs.)
She dances around her room, emulating Belle from Beauty and the Beast, singing “This provincial liiiifffeeeeee…”
But put a camera in her face and this beautiful mug goes from this:
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To this:
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To this:
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All the while, she gleefully yells, “CHEESE!”
She still is beautiful, though, right? Even with her squinched up face. 
Thanks for looking!

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

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Christmas is Saturday!
Is anyone else excited/freaked out/stressed beyond belief/excited?!
I’m officially on vacation this week, and I was planning on getting *so* much done.
But then Baby Eli was born and my mom busted her ear drum and can’t help Alex take care of the babies.
So guess who is stepping in to help?
Auntie Rena! :)
I’m really excited to get to spend some time with River and Eli, but I’m a little stressed at the change in plans.
I had so many things I wanted to get done around the house and on the blog. I still have a TON of presents to wrap, and we head out of town for holidays with the in-laws on Friday.
Maybe we can make the bloggy things happen.
We’ll see.
But to tide you over for another day (no recipes or book reviews today, sorry!) I thought I’d share some photos of River and Hyrum with Santa Claus from the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Hyrum *hated* Santa. He cried the whole time. I think it’s actually quite hilarious.
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River just kind of sat there and looked at the camera. I’m not sure she knew what was going on.
Are you ready for Christmas? What all do you have left to do?
Thanks so much for looking!

ICE!

James and Arena in parkas 4x6
Last weekend, we decided to visit the ICE! Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan.
If you’re not familiar with ICE!, it’s a display of ice sculptures that’s 9 degrees inside.
River and Andy in parkas
Because it’s so cold, they give you these HUGE parkas to wear.
They ran out of the smaller size, so River’s was giant on her. It made me laugh.
Brad Jet and Hyrum in parkas
Here are Brad, Jet and Hyrum. His didn’t fit well, either.
This year, the theme was a Charlie Brown Christmas. The ice is colored and pretty much everything is carved from it.
It was really neat. I was afraid my camera would freeze so I didn’t take many photos.
River on the slide
I did pull it out in time to catch River sliding down the ice slide in her giant parka and getting stuck about halfway down.
She just lay there, with her arms up in the air covered completely by the huge sleeves.
What else could she do?
Brad and River on the slide
Brad was waiting at the bottom to catch her.
He didn’t know what to do either.
I’m laughing so hard remembering it.
The slide attendant had to walk up the ice (I can’t believe he didn’t slip!) and pull her the rest of the way down.
Nanna and Pappy
Once we left ICE! we decided to snap some photos with the beautiful Christmas decorations at the Gaylord Texan. That’s Nanna and Pappy.
Brad Jet and Hyrum 4x6
I love this photo of Jet, Brad and Hyrum.
Andy Alex and River 4x6
Andy, Alex and River
James and Arena 4x6
The Nerd and Me
River with snowflake
River is so cute.
Even with a snowflake on her head.
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Snowflake? What snowflake?
Thanks for looking!
We bundled up to see the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylor Texan this Christmas. It was 9 degrees inside! Burrr!

Christmas Boots

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Last year, I bought my first pair of Ugg boots.
I love these boots for their comfort and ease. They are the perfect winter shoe!
This week, we’re staying at my parents’ house with my siblings and their children for Thanksgiving.
And I’m wearing my Ugg boots.
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Last night, River saw them sitting in the floor and exclaimed, “Christmas Boots!”
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Umm…Christmas boots?
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So she had to try them on for herself.
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It was so funny to watch her trying to run around the house wearing these hugely oversized boots.
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She was slipping and sliding on the floor.
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But I think she had a great time.
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All’s I can say is…
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I know what *somebody* is getting for Christmas!
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Thanks for looking!
River decided to wear my Ugg boots for herself one evening…she called them “Christmas Boots.”

Happy Birthday River!

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My adorable niece, River, turned two years old on Nov. 1.
With our busy schedules, this past weekend was the first time we could get together to have her birthday party.
It was so much fun!
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It was Wonder Pets themed.
Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets, We’re on Our Way…
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I made a bunch of food and we decorated with red, blue and yellow.
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We had cupcakes and a veggie tray to go with the jalapeno popper dip. Recipe to come.
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Is this not the coolest cake that you’ve ever seen? I did not make this, but I wish I was that good.
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I did make these sugar cookie pops, though.
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And colored candies to go with the theme.
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We played games with the kids from River’s church group.
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They got to decorate the Wonder Pets with different clothes.
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River had so much fun.
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Her daddy taught her to blow the party favors.
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I’m not even sure what these things are called. But isn’t she cute?
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Here’s River and her mommy.

Alex did such a great job with the party — she planned the perfect event! :)

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River’s favorite part was when we lit the candles and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to her.
She was singing and dancing and having a great time.
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Happy Birthday River!
The Wonder Pets saved the day at my niece’s 2nd birthday party!

Zombie Princess

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For Halloween, River was a princess.
But not just *any* old princess.
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She was a Zombie Princess.
We even taught her to say, “Yummmm…Brains!”
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We went to the Fall Festival at the school where my mom works.
I was busy volunteering and doing other things, so Uncle James (aka The Nerd) took my camera and tried to get some shots of River during her first trick or treating experience.
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He made a valiant effort, but sometimes it’s really hard to photograph 2-year-olds.
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But at least I got to be in the photo for once!
Even though River’s make-up had all worn off by then, except her eyebrows.
Doesn’t she look like a Vaudeville Villian?
I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!
Thanks for looking!
River dressed up for Halloween as a Zombie Princess! Yummm…Brains!

It’s a Boy!

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Last weekend, I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Alexandria.
It was a lot of fun.
We served monkey cupcakes, green apple guacamole and cream cheese queso (recipes to come on the cooking site!) and the party was jungle-themed.
You know, ’cause they’re welcoming a new little monkey into the family!
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River really enjoyed the cupcakes.
Well, she enjoyed the icing.
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Alex got some really cute clothes for the new baby.
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And a Moby wrap to hold the baby.
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She got a really cute monkey blanket and some other baby accessories.
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And this super-cute diaper bag that was filled with fun things!
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When she opened this “Night Owl” onesie, she said, “Oh, please no.”
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And this monster baby towel was so super-cute!
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These clothes and socks were all stung together on a clothes line with clothes pins. It was honestly one of the cutest presents I’d ever seen.
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And a Boppy pillow from Nanna.
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After all the presents were open, we played games!
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Baby animal name games and word searches. Yay!
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And River entertained us all by climbing into one of the gift bags.
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She’s going to be such a good big sister!
It was a great time and I had a lot of fun. I hope Alex did, too!
Thanks for looking!
I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law’s second baby. It’s a boy!

Fun at the Fair!

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Earlier this week, I posted about the amazing selection of fried foods we tried last weekend at the State Fair of Texas.
Today, I’d like to talk about animals.
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Namely, freaky looking rabbit-like animals like these ones. I have no idea what they are called.
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Giraffes, which River really liked.
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Goats that became so interested in a cute little blonde girl wearing an Aggie cap…
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That they came over and stuck their heads through the fence to get a closer look at her.
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Of course, she had to reward him for coming to say hello.
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She liked him so much that she poured her entire cup of feed into the shovel to feed him.
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He was one happy goat.
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River got a good look at the rest of the animals…
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There was this little guy, who looked strangely intriguing.
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And miniature horses that liked to cuddle with each other.
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And, finally, zebras! They were so cute!
While we’re at it, let’s talk about rides.
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Crazy, swinging rides that you will never, ever catch me riding.
Heck, I’m even a wuss at Six Flags.
And games…
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Super-fun games where cute little girls win fun little prizes.
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River really liked the game with the duckies.
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She liked the swan ride. Her daddy, however, didn’t like the fact that he had to pedal them around the pond. :)
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But I think the carousel ride (the horsies!) was her favorite.
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By the end of the day, she was all tuckered out.
And so were we.
Oh, the fun we had at the fair!
River had a blast at the petting zoo and riding the carousel at the State Fair of Texas!


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