Posts tagged ‘Galveston’

If I Didn’t Have A Blog, I’d Start One

I never realized that totally random things happened to me until I started a blog and opened my eyes. Now I notice weird and hilarious things all the time. Usually there are one or two odd things that happen per week, but Saturday… wow. It was the mother of all random days.

My family went to Dickens on the Strand. It’s a festival in Galveston where people dress up as characters from Dickens’ books. There are singers, jugglers, parades, etc. I was pretty excited about it– mostly because I got to spend the day with my family, but also because carnival food speaks to me on a different level. We got there a bit after noon and did some hardcore people watching. I wish I could show you a picture of this woman who had the most giant cha-chas I have ever seen but it was really hard to get a good photo without being obvious. Although I don’t know why I should care… if you put your jugs on display, you can’t be shocked when people look. Just imagine a “hefty” woman with giant jello molds spilling out of her dress.

I really don’t know why I’m telling you this.

Anyways, we were standing in the middle of the road eating our respective fried foods and drinking our respective high calorie beverages when all of a sudden a man starts singing. He was about 4 feet away and it scared the poo out of me. The man was dressed up and had a great voice. But since 1) many people were dressed up and 2) we were in the middle of the road, I had no reason to believe that this was anything but a random man singing.

Some family friends joined us for the day and a few lines into the song, our friend started singing along. Little did we know, he was joining in a flash mob. The second verse started and another person joined in. A few lines later, more joined. And on and on. Until about 12 people were singing and we were smack dab in the middle of it.

It was seriously one of the strangest things I have ever been part of. I just kept looking around and thinking, “Did that really just happen?”

It did. It really did. Then it got weirder.

I’m really not a fan of birds. Something about them really freaks me out so I really try to stay away from all things bird related. However, there was this bird show that Stephen wanted to see so I went with him. It was in the street, right in the middle of all the activity. They showed us several birds, and I can’t remember much about them because I don’t really care all that much. I do remember that the owls were really pretty and were completely silent when they flew.

They also brought out a vulture and it was disgusting and it walked right next to me.

Then out came the falcon. It was the closing act. It was big and beautiful and it didn’t really scare me. They made him fly from one perch to another to show us how pretty he was. Then they were going to show us this trick where they swing a leather bird around on a long string and the bird wiould be flying high in the air and would dive bomb the bird. So picture this: The bird is flying in the air (as opposed to the water?) and he lands on the shops. Then he soars a bit more and lands on another building. He flys around going high and low, coming close and going far. He doesn’t seem to be interested in the leather bird.

I had a bit of anxiety because this bird was literally on its own. There was no reason he couldn’t just fly away, never to be seen again. He kept going further and further. He’d come back a bit, then go even further. It was like one step forward and two steps back, only he was using wings and his two steps were more like 17. This bird went far.

But we’d survived three other birds so I tried to relax. Surely he was going to come back. (Don’t call me Shirley.)

HE DIDN’T, Y’ALL! He left. He flew away. The bird flew away. The trainers did a really good job at not freaking out but you could tell they were uneasy. One trainer took off. The other one remained calm and closed the show. “Well, I’m going to go try to find my bird…” We were shocked. SHOCKED! I couldn’t believe that was happening. I mean, I know it’s a risk that comes with the profession but, man, I felt bad for those guys. I can’t even begin to think about how much time and money went into training that bird. (“Obviously not enough,” said our friend.)

Several hours later we went by the tent to see if the bird had returned. I would have been shocked if it did. We were in the middle of the street in a random city, it’s not like the bird was familiar with the area. Sure enough, it hadn’t been found.

Cah-razy. It was a crazy day. We’d been trapped in the middle of a flash mob, we had witnessed a bird-gone-rogue, and then this:

December 8, 2010 at 9:16 am 11 comments

Life As We Know It

It’s quite shocking how different my life is right now. Things that were foreign to me are now normal, and vice versa. Gone are the days of cooking dinner with recipes. Now it’s all about what’s quick and easy. A chicken breast here, pasta there, maybe just a sandwich for dinner. Gone are the days of pretty toenails (unless my mom paints them for me). Gone are the days of talking about anything non-baby related.

It’s so different. I view my life in weeks, with an ending in mid-September. “Well I’ll be 39 weeks at that point so I can’t commit to it.” Or “Oh well I’ll have a baby at that point so… uh… we’ll figure it out then. I can’t think that far ahead.” Literally the ONLY thing on my calendar between September 19 and the end of the year is a lunch date with my blog friend Molly. That’s it. That’s all I can commit to.

But I’m not the type of person that likes to sit around. Sure, I like to be lazy… but only if it’s planned. In the same way, I can be spontaneous… if it’s on the calendar. So on Saturday morning while Stephen slept in until 11:00, I got up at 9:30. (I still think that is sleeping in. 9:30 is pretty darn good for a preggo!) I had two cups of (decaf) coffee, read the grocery store ads, and made breakfast for the two of us. Then I sorted baby clothes until my sister was ready for out Ikea trip. Stephen and I had plans to go to the movies that evening so I didn’t want to make our Ikea trip too late.

When I finally got home, I collapsed on the couch. I was exhausted. “Movie tomorrow instead?” he asked. I realized that even the thought of walking to the car and then walking into the theater was too much work. I couldn’t do it. I was dead… and somehow Stephen knew it before I did. I think that’s what good husbands are for. They are there to clue you in when you’ve hit your limit. It’s not uncommon for him to say, “Sit down. You’ve put away groceries and changed the laundry. You need to sit for a bit.” So when he told me I was tired on Saturday, I knew he was right.

So I took the remote, whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and watched Julie & Julia.

Such is my life now. Bursts of activity, followed by rest. It’s the only way to get anything done and feel accomplished, yet stay healthy. It’s not uncommon for me to get dizzy or lightheaded when I’ve been moving around too much. That’s scary stuff.

This weekend Stephen and I are celebrating our anniversary at my parents’ house in Galveston. The beach is the one place where my husband has barrels of energy. He turns into a 10 year old and swims for hours. HOURS. But even sitting in the heat is work for me. We’ll bring an umbrella and I’ll try to keep covered to stay cool but I still can’t see myself spending the entire day out there. says we may have some scattered thunderstorms. If that’s the case, what are your recommendations? Any good movies that are on RedBox? Any activities that involve being really lazy? Because currently my plans are as follows: Wake up, make breakfast, eat breakfast, nap, get dressed for the beach, sit down and relax, walk to the beach, read at the beach, come home, sit down, shower, sit down, get dressed, sit down, go to dinner. The end. Oh and I’ll pee approximately 87 times throughout those plans.

Romantic, huh? For the sake of my husband and my marriage, we need to come up with something exciting to do.

Something that will make him fall in love with me all over again so that when we get home he won’t hate me so much when I tell him what all I need him to do.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just typed up 700 words and I’m tired. I need a quick rest.

July 21, 2010 at 8:59 am 9 comments

Not Quite The Same

I assume you’ve picked up on the fact that we’re a beach family by now. We love the beach. We love cruises to pretty beaches, we love 40 minute drives to not-so-pretty beaches, we love all beaches.

A couple weeks ago we had a family reunion in South Padre. For you non-Texans, that’s an island in south Texas with some pretty nice beaches. It’s not quite as nice as a Florida beach but it’s pretty good. The sand is almost white, the water is almost clear. With the exception of some occasional seaweed overload, there isn’t much to complain about. Padre is the beach of my childhood. My mom’s side of the family always has their family reunions there so we’d go every 2 years growing up. I can recognize the smell of the island as soon as we cross the bridge and I love it.

But last year my parents bought a house in Galveston so we’ve now been frequenting that island. It’s a bit different than Padre. The sand is even less white and the water is even less clear. The smell is not something you’d want to bottle and turn into a Yankee Candle. But for us, it’s perfect. It’s about 40 minutes from our door to the door of Bella Rose so it doesn’t take a bunch of packing and planning and vacation time to hop over for the day or weekend.

The city is charming and I never realized it until last summer. I grew up around here but I’ve been the type to turn my nose up at the island, thinking it was nothing special and I could go to Florida or south Texas for a nicer beach anytime. Well now I’m an adult and I don’t have my parents or a summer vacation to whisk me away to Mexico for a week. I appreciate the simplicity of the city. I love the history and the architecture and the houses with character. If there was someone around here to clean my house and take care of my to-do list, I’d spend every weekend down there.

We spent last weekend down there. We had a three-day weekend because of the 4th so my parents invited us to the house. We went Saturday morning and stayed until Monday evening. Despite all of the awful weather forecasts we’d been hearing, I was anxious to get out there. Saturday was spent indoors. We lounged. I read and went to Big Lots with my mom and sister. Stephen hung around and helped my dad and uncle work on some home improvement projects. That evening we all took a walk on the beach while Jansen pounded on my bladder with every step. It was a nice walk since Alex had brought in some cooler weather along with the rain. We walked several thousand miles before I had to pull the pregnant card and request that we turn around so that I could get back to the house for a potty break.

Sunday was the 4th. I slept in a bit while the rest of the family (minus my mom) got up and headed back to the mainland for church. I’m an awful wife and chose to stay in bed instead of going to see my husband sing in the praise band for the first week ever. They all headed back for 4th activities and several of my parents’ friends came along as well.

We gorged ourselves on typical 4th food and then headed to the beach to relax on some chairs. As nighttime approached, we made our way a bit closer to where the fireworks were going to be. My dad insisted that the view from a closer “groin” would be far superior to what we had on the sand. We went along with him even though I knew this would mean deep trouble for me and my bladder by the end of the show. (For the record, I had zero accidents over the weekend. Well actually for the record, I’ve had zero accidents ever. Just, you know, so we’re clear.)

The show was amazing. Here’s just a glimpse of what we were looking at.

That’s Stephen there on the left and my dad on the right. They were the unlucky ones who didn’t get chairs. The rest of us were on some solid pavement right behind them. I’m no photographer so you can’t get a real picture of how gorgeous it all was but just take a look at the water. The reflection was awesome. I can’t wait until next year!

Monday we spent the majority of the day at the beach. I was careful this time so I didn’t hurt my back even more. I went in the water a few times to jump over waves and pee, and then spent the rest of my time under an umbrella finishing the worst book in the world.

It was a fantastic weekend. I often get disappointed that I didn’t ever appreciate Galveston for what it was. Not all beaches can be gorgeous and clean and perfect. And that’s okay. For our needs, Galveston does the job. And she does it well. If it weren’t for the island, we would have spent the weekend at home doing far less fun things. We wouldn’t have had a crock pot full of baked beans or a pan of Oreo truffles. We wouldn’t have been at the same party with the world’s best guacamole maker. We wouldn’t have gotten to watch Mendy stand among a crowd of hundred of beachgoers and play with her bubbles.

And I probably wouldn’t have labored over my flag cake. What flag cake? The one that’s been making its way around the blogosphere, that always looks so much better when other people make it. Well I made it. I made the cakes, cut the layers with a long knife (note to self: get a cake leveler!), iced, and assembled. When the big reveal came, there were many oohs and ahhs. Many pictures taken.

Nobody even cared that the red was pink or that the blue was baby blue. Or that I can’t cut straight pieces.

Nobody cared that I used chocolate icing on the outside instead of white, which caused it to be a little less pretty but a little more delicious. Nobody cared about all that. They just thought it was a fun cake. And to be honest, I was quite proud of it. I knew I’d want to show if off to all of my blog friends so you could be proud of me too.

But then Saturday night as we were finishing our first slice of cake and singing its praises, I got a text message from a blog friend. (A semi-real-life-friend-but-not-really-because-we’ve-never-met friend. It’s a long story.) Her son’s birthday is on the 4th of July so she snapped a picture of his birthday cake.

Her text said, “Luke’s 2nd birthday cake!” I thought it was cute. I showed my mom. She thought it was cute. I told her that it was cute and then sent her a picture of my cake. Her response, “Thanks! It was a pain to cut out all the pieces for the eyes.” HOLD THE PHONE. My jaw dropped. “Wait a second. You MADE that?” Yes, she did. She made an exact replica of Spongebob Square Pants for her 2 year old son’s birthday party and I can’t even figure out how to properly cut a circular cake in half? Oh the shame.

Granted she’s an artist and has more talent in her sweat than I do in my entire body, but still! I chose not to feel bad about my pink, baby blue, and white cake. The cake full of crumbs that leaned a little bit when you look from one direction. Why? Because while it may not be the same, it worked for us. It provided us with some amusement and delicious dessert. She may be the Florida beach, but I’m Galveston. And sometimes you need a little Galveston in your life.

July 8, 2010 at 9:21 am 11 comments

Life’s A Beach

I don’t even know what that means. Life’s a beach? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Whatever. I went to the beach last weekend.

Early last summer my parents bought an amazing beach house in Galveston. I invited two of my very best girlfriends from college, Kelly and Lyndsey,  to spend a weekend at the beach for a girl’s weekend. We had a blast and talked nonstop. (If you’re dying to read about it, you can click here and see what I wrote last year.) We decided that we would make it an annual event.

Last summer was also the time I met Lauren. You know Lauren, my Blog Friend 4Ever. We immediately meshed and she became one of my very best friends. We went to the PW Cooks signing where she met Kelly. Then earlier this year, Lauren and her husband joined Stephen and I on a trip to Austin to meet Lyndsey. And just like that, she became One Of Us.

Shockingly I wasn’t nervous about her joining our established group. She was our sister from another mister. Or something.

The plan was for Lyndsey to fly in at 3:30 on Friday afternoon. Kelly would pick her up and they’d make their way to Galveston. Lauren and I would meet them there when we could slip out of work unnoticed. That would have been fun if it had worked out that way. Unfortunately God had other plans. He opened up the skies and grounded all the planes. She arrived at something like 11:00 pm. Then she had to sit on the runway for an hour because the stupid plane couldn’t find a freaking parking spot. Then she couldn’t find her bag. (Let’s not get into the ridculousness of checking a bag for 2 days at the beach, but whatever. I love you Lyndsey.) So basically Kelly and Lyndsey arrived at the house at about 3:00, right about the time Lauren and I turned to pumpkins.

We chatted for an hour and then passed out. We woke up at 8:30 (WHY???) and laid in bed talking. I jumped out of bed at 8:50 when I smelled bacon. Turns out, Lauren was in the kitchen whipping us up some bacon and french toast. We wanted to wake up and have breakfast so we could get out onto the beach. After I fanned two smoke detectors (did you know that even burnt bacon still tastes delicious?) and put down a healthy portion of sugary french toast, we got ready for the beach. We got dressed, packed lunches, applied sunscreen, etc. Then we walked a few blocks to the beach.

Side note: Did you know that when you’re pregnant, your friends don’t let you carry a beach chair? It’s a pretty sweet deal. I’m considering becoming the next Mrs. Dugger so I can be pregnant my whole life.

Anyways. I have no idea where I’m going with the post. I just feel the need to tell you all about my weekend.

We got to the beach and after getting settled in we looked up and saw The Giant Black Cloud of Death heading our way. We repacked all of our stuff and headed back to the house. We only moaned a little bit. We didn’t want to go back inside because we had a perfectly delicious picnic waiting for us in our cooler on wheels so we had a picnic on the porch while watching the rain.

It was wonderful. Fabulous. And then we all started fading. What do four girls do at a beach house when they are sleepy? They take a group nap. Y’all, there are three bedrooms at this house. There are five beds. But of course we took up a whole two beds. We snuggled. Which may explain why I had a nasty cough last week and Lauren has one this week.

I don’t have the time, energy, or loyal readers to continue with the play by play of my weekend. Let’s just say that it involved homemade ice cream, fried pickles, the sun, and NON-STOP talking.

I would post a few pictures but all of mine have serious red eye and I forgot that website y’all told me to use to fix it. (hint hint… help a girl out.) But if you go to Lauren’s blog, she has a couple posted that don’t have demon eyes. I posted her link above but those of you who didn’t notice, let me help you out. CLICK HERE to visit Lauren’s blog. Here’s one picture to prove that I actually have a few… and also to show off my fried pickles.

And for the record, we are now taking applications for the fifth member of our super exclusive group. Applicant must bring some sort of sweet skill to the table. We don’t like boring people. Oh and you have to be funny. And smart. And you have to think I’m funny and smart. So basically that means that our group will stay at four. And also, it’s preferable if you are above 5’8… we don’t really want anyone bringing down our average.

May 20, 2010 at 8:34 am 25 comments

Seven Quick Takes – WHAT A WEEK!

Can you believe it was only 4 days ago that we found out we’re having a little boy? I feel like everything has changed. Everything is real! I can talk to Jansen by name and imagine him as a toddler. I promise not to make R&R into a complete baby blog, but for the time being… you’re getting mostly baby stuff.

Thank you SO much for your comments yesterday. If you didn’t get a chance to weigh in about the “must haves” for a baby, please add your comment! I’m going to print the comments next week and organize my thoughts.

Remember on Tuesday I showed you the beautiful photo of my parents’ beach house? Well I’m going there today. This weekend is my annual girlfriends weekend at the beach. Last year was Lyndsey, Kelly, and me. This year (after careful deliberation and a vote) we have invited Lauren to join us. I’m so excited to see the three of them. Please be praying that the rain holds off and doesn’t spoil our beach time. Not that we can’t find things to talk about while indoors, but the scenery is so nice while sitting on the beach.

I need to show you two things. Two very important things.

First, this is Jansen’s first outfit from his Nana (my mom). LOOK AT THE CLEATS.

And this is his first pair of cowboy boots, compliments of his Emmie (my MIL).

I accidentally dried my maternity jeans twice. UGH. Now they are a tad shorter and the belly panel is smaller. I’m totally bummed. It’s hard to remember to not dry jeans when you’re washing them two or three times per week. I’m frustrated.

I’m having a hard time focusing because all I can think about is the beach. Beach. Beach. Beach.

To all of you who live in those crazy northern states that have had snow within the past couple weeks, I’m sorry. But not too sorry because you COULD move. You could come to Texas and be going to the beach this weekend. Beach.

The Astros swept the Cardinals this week. This is unbelievable.

I just realized that we’ve only posted Part One of Our Story. And that was like 3 or 4 months ago. Apparently I’m a bad blogger. Hey Stephen, maybe this weekend when you’re missing me because I’ll be at the beach, you can write Part Two. I bet people would like to know what happens next. Although we’ll have to repost Part One because it’s been so long that nobody even remembers. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of this blogging thing.

Not today.

Have a good weekend. I know I will!

May 14, 2010 at 9:12 am 13 comments

Good Family Fun

I’ve mentioned one or twenty times before that my parents have a vacation house in Galveston. (For future reference, they’ve named the house Bella Rose.) Since we live a mere 40 minutes from Galveston we are able to use this house more often than if their house were on another island. They bought the house early last summer (post-Ike) and up until last weekend, we’d never been as a family.

Many of you probably don’t know this but there is a mini Mardi Gras in Galveston. I’ve never been to the real Mardi Gras so I can’t compare. I’m sure it’s probably similar, but smaller… maybe like if you stuck New Orleans in front of the huge gun thing on Honey I Shrunk the Kids. There are parades and parties in the street. After 25 years of living in south Texas, I finally made it to Mardi Gras.

Stephen and I headed to Bella on Friday night after a nice dinner at a local Mediterranean restaurant. We arrived full of humus and souvlaki and unloaded the car. On Saturday evening we were going to celebrate my SIL’s birthday so I got started making these cupcakes that PW posted a week or so ago. It was my first time to make cupcakes that involved the stove. It was also my first time to use a particular pot from the cabinet at that house. Does anyone see where this is headed? At one point you have to pour a cup of boiling water into a pot of other stuff. So I had two pots going. As I was heading to the smaller pot to pour the water, I tucked my hand into the sleeve of my sweatshirt because it looked like the handle might be hot. Unfortunately the tip of my finger was still sticking out and it touched the handle for approximately 1/8000th of a second and burned the hell-fire out of my finger.

I would show you a picture but nobody had the good sense to take a picture of my wound at the time. And now it just looks like a slightly darker pink line across my finger. So just trust me on this. In the words of Buddy the Elf, my finger had a heartbeat. In fact it was beating in the form of shooting pains from the tip of my finger to my wrist. It hurt. A lot. Cuts and bruises, I can handle. But burns are a different story. They make me moan and whine and curse my life.

So that was the long way of telling you that I burned my finger and may have forgotten the step in the instructions that says to remove the cupcakes from the pan 5 minutes after they come out of the oven.

We all settled into bed and went to sleep. I assume they all slept better than I did because I had to sleep with my finger tucked away in an ice pack all night. On Saturday morning the burning had stopped and all I had was a dark red line and a bit of finger tenderness. Which isn’t a bad thing. We all need a bit of tenderness in our lives, right?

Stephen and I went out to breakfast and left my parents at the house to do grown up fix-up-the-house activities. We had a couple hours before my sister, brother, SIL, and niece would arrive so we thought a nice stack of blueberry pancakes would fill that time perfectly. It was nice until about 30 seconds after we left the restaurant when I realized I left my leftovers on the table. I refused to go back because I assumed that they had already thrown them away… plus I’d rather just whine about it thank you very much. Although we should have gone back because I would have also seen that I left my Chapstick on the table and I wouldn’t have had to go through the awful feeling of putting my hand in my pocket only to feel cotton and a wad of lint. Bummer.

At that point, my weekend wasn’t looking great. And this is totally not where I intended this story to go. It was supposed to be all happy and wonderful and bragging on Galveston. But I suppose while I’m being the equivalent of Eeyore I could go ahead and tell you the rest of the story about the cupcakes. It’s a good one…. if you’re in a good mood. If your finger has just been burned and your Chapstick and pancakes have been lost, it’s a heartbreaker.

While we were having breakfast my mom decided she’d pop the cupcakes out of the tins so they’d be ready for me and my ganache topping. When I walked into the kitchen she had a concerned look on her face and two very torn up cupcakes on the counter. There were 21 cupcakes still in the tin and one that was nowhere to be seen. I later found out that it had mysteriously jumped out of the tin into my dad’s mouth. Apparently the whole 5 minute thing was an important step. These things were practically glued into the tins. I came this close to shedding a tear and thought to myself, “What would Pioneer Woman do?” Well she’d probably make a whole new batch. Or she would never have made this mistake in the first place. So then I thought to myself, “Scratch that. What would Big Mama do?” She’d improvise because one should never throw out good cupcakes even if they are a bit ugly on the outside.

So we cut and scooped and cut and scooped until all of the cupcake bits were free. Then we gently shoved them in a 9×13 cake pan and made a very lumpy cake. I made the ganache and artfully poured it over our messy cake. And friends, it was good.

And that’s really then end of my story. But you see that I titled this post “Good Family Fun” which totally doesn’t work with this story. I had planned to tell you that Mardi Gras isn’t just a drunken fest for crazies to let loose. It’s also an event for families. We sat on our chairs waiting for the parades and then cheered for beads. Good clean fun. So clean that my niece was even able to attend. (I know I’ve already shown you this picture… she’s just so cute.)

And I figured that if Justin and Laura could bring their child along, it was safe for me to bring my Stephen along.

That’s my man. Loud and proud. The only one with his hands in the air!

February 11, 2010 at 9:32 am 19 comments

Even Bloggers Get Tired

I had big plans to write all about my weekend at Mardi Gras in Galveston. Big big plans. I was going to tell you about the parades, the house, my family, the food. But then last night I went to the other side of the world to watch the Superbowl at Lauren’s house and now I’m tired. We drove from Galveston to the other side of the world (about 2 hours) and then from the other side of the world to our house (a bit over an hour) and I don’t feel like telling any stories. Maybe I’ll tell you about it later this week.

I just wanted to check in to tell you that the Ten on Tuesday questions are posted. I think this week’s are pretty good. If you have a batch to submit, send them my way! chelsea(at)rootsandrings(dot)com.

Also, I wanted to show you this picture.

I do believe I have the cutest niece in the world. Need more proof?

So that’s all I’ve got to offer you today. But I doubt that you mind. Avery pictures are better than my stories any day!

How was your weekend?

February 8, 2010 at 9:38 am 15 comments

That’s What He Said

I took myself a mini-vacation this weekend. Jealous? Yeah, I know. Stephen and I took his family to Galveston for the weekend to stay at Bella Rose and have a fun-filled family get-away. There were 8 of us: Stephen and I, his parents, his two sisters and their boyfriends. There are a few things you need to know about this group. First, we are a loud bunch. Second, a few members of this group have a tendency to repeat phrases over and over until they are no longer funny… then they repeat them a thousand more times until they somehow become funny again. This weekend the two phrases of choice were “Oh, piece of candy” which apparently comes from an episode of Family Guy or South Park or something, and “That’s What She Said” which, well, if you don’t know where that comes from you can just stop reading my blog right now because we will not get along.

The problem with weekend trips is that you really only get one full day of vacation. Everyone arrived on Friday and we stayed up long enough to unload the cars, chat a bit, and my SIL’s boyfriend to have a cold burrito from Buc-ee’s. Then the eight of us took turns brushing our teeth and getting ready for bed. We needed a good night’s sleep, we had a long day of doing nothing ahead of us. You really don’t want to be tired for that.

We all woke up on Saturday morning at different times. Eventually everyone was up and dressed and we headed to the Sunflower Bakery for some very necessary blueberry pancakes. We ate until we couldn’t speak anymore and then we ate some more. I am obviously overreacting when I say that we ate until we couldn’t speak anymore… because there is really never a time that the 8 of us can’t speak. Not possible. We stuffed ourselves back into our cars and headed to the beach. Texas tends to be bipolar when it comes to weather so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. The great state gave us some beautiful weather but it was a tad too cold to be beaching so we just walked around, took a ton of pictures, and watched Stephen and Shawn chase some crabs.


For some reason I think it’s funny to take a picture of someone taking a picture. It really never gets old for me. I’m aware that it probably gets old for you so I will old post that one, not the one of Stephen taking a picture with his cell phone and his tongue sticking out.


This is the Hurst family. Please ignore my monstrous feet!

We had plans to go to the botanical gardens at Moody Gardens. We got ready to go and then as we were just about to load into the car we realized that we didn’t know where we were going. We called Moody Gardens to figure out where they were located. My brilliant sister-in-law jokingly asked the guy on the phone if the had the botanical gardens. Umm, no. They are closed. Soooo, on to plan B. Problem was that we didn’t have a plan B. We didn’t even really have a plan A.

We eventually decided to head to The Strand and walk around a bit. Remember what I said about the two phrases that were repeated?? Well imagine taking those phrases to a street with three candy stores and a Gay Pride Fest. Phrase number two was edited in honor of the weekend’s events. Hence the title of the blog. Obnoxious? Yes. Slightly inappropriate? Yes. But often outrageously hilarious? Absolutely. Let me just say that if you’ve never had the opportunity to be within ten feet of a gay pride fest, you’re missing out on a lot of leopard print belts, short shorts, giggling, and (oddly enough) plaid Keds. Who knew?

We shopped, visited the Elissa, went to the candy store to watch them make taffy, etc. etc.


Incase you can’t read that sign, that’s the Ike water line. My father-in-law is 6’7… so yeah, it was really high.


That’s a piece of aluminum. There was this machine where you pick a letter, pull a lever, pick a letter, pull a lever, and on and on until you spell what you want. It presses each letter onto this coin. Stephen made one for me. It says, “Stephen Loves Chelsea Always.” Other coins floating around were “Shawn and Heather,” “Ndrev Loves Courtney” (Andrew wasn’t very good at it…), and “That’s What He Said 2009.”


Don’t you love him? He’s so cute. That was at the Elissa. Nothing exciting was going on behind him, he’s just THAT excited to see a ship! Later there were a bunch of men climbing up with harnesses. Stephen was convinced that they were going to repel down but they ended up just doing some work on the sails. The anticipation left us underwhelmed.

Anyways, that’s not what’s important about the weekend. The important thing is that for dinner we had two delicious Pioneer Woman recipes followed by a chocolate cheesecake that made us all die. It was a great food weekend. And since that’s really all I require out of life, I would say that this weekend was one of my favorites in my recent memory! And it may or may not have something to do with sharing an old-fashioned chocolate shake with my hubby!



(Ten on Tuesday tomorrow. If you’re a blogger and want the questions ahead of time, email me. Most of you said you were cool with getting them Tuesday morning, but if you’re a planner like me, I can send them to you. chelsea.hurst (at) hotmail (dot) com)

October 26, 2009 at 9:17 am 25 comments

That’s Why Pencils Have Erasers… Or Why Phones Have Cameras

I had one of those weekends that was wonderful beyond words. One that makes you consider quitting your job and living in a tent on the beach so you can keep it up. Although that really wouldn’t make sense. But it does a little bit, in my head.

I spent the weekend at the beach with my husband and 6 of our dear friends from Austin. I don’t have much to offer you this morning for two reasons. The first reason is that we got home pretty late last night and spent some time doing laundry, cleaning our house, and showering the Galveston funk off of me, so I didn’t have time to work on an interesting post for you. Now I’m at work and, well, these projects aren’t just going to administrate themselves. Whatever that means.

The second reason is that when I arrived at Bella Rose, my mom kindly asked me if I had my camera or if I wanted her to leave her’s here with us. To which I responded, “Of course I have my camera. I’m a blogger.” Later that evening when we were playing a ridiculous game called Quelf and my husband was wearing a face mask fashioned out of a reusable grocery bag, a twist tie, and that plastic doober that holds a six-pack together, I realized I was an idiot and my camera was sitting on my desk at work.

Hey, we all make mistakes.

I planned to show you a bunch of wonderful photos today but instead you have to look at photos taken from an iPhone and an LG Dare. Deal with it.

Veronica was quick enough to get a picture of the only wave we saw this weekend.


Let me also say that when it’s really bright outside, it’s very hard to see the screen of your phone. Hence the off-centered photo of Stephen and Jake playing Monkey Balls. At least I got Veronica’s legs in there. Nice legs, V.


I feel that I need to share the one crappy photo we have of Stephen with his mask.


We decided that the person who invented this game was high. There is no other explanation. If you haven’t heard of Quelf, well, you’re not alone. None of us had- except, of course, the couple who brought the game. They can show their faces if they want. Imagine drinking about 7 beers and then sitting down with some of your friends and making a board game. That is Quelf. Need more proof?


Uhhh, yeah.

So that’s all I’ve got for you. I’ll pepper in a few more photos during the week. And maybe some stories.  Too bad I don’t have the opportunity to draw a two word combination of “iPhone and drunk man” or “Cube and stud finder.”

How was your weekend?

September 21, 2009 at 9:07 am 15 comments

My Weekend Was Better Than Yours

Hello friends. How was your weekend? I know, you’re staring at your computer, you can’t actually answer. This isn’t like when you run into someone you barely know at the grocery store and they say “OH! How ARE you??” They really don’t care. They are just being polite. Of course I’m being polite… but not just for the sake of being polite. I really do care. How was your weekend?

Mine was great, thanks for asking. Stephen and I spent the weekend in Galveston at Bella Rose. We were celebrating our second anniversary. We got in late on Friday night. My mom and aunts had this waiting for us.


A few cards, a bottle of red for Stephen, a bottle of one of my favorite Rieslings, and a mini bottle of champagne. Upstairs on our bedroom door was a Happy Anniversary sign. Then when we opened the door, the bed was beautifully turned down and there were chocolates on our pillow. It was a great surprise… and very inviting. I’m sure their intentions had something to do with grandbabies. But the bed looked so inviting that we went to bed and proceeded to sleep for about 11 hours.

Saturday we woke up and went to eat at the Sunflower Bakery. Our waiter was kind of a creeper but the food was great. Then we went to the beach. We hauled towels, books, a cooler, and an umbrella. Stephen spent a good 15 minutes digging a hole for the umbrella. It stood for about 10 minutes and a small gust of wind blew it to the other side of the island. It snapped into a million tiny toothpicks. Not only was it embarrassing but it was quite frustrating since we found out that the umbrella wasn’t intended for beach use… it was for the back porch. Boo. Looks like Garden Ridge is going to get another $50 out of us. Instead of moaning about our loss, I laid out and read. It’s what I do best. Stephen body surfed. It’s what he does best. Three hours later, he was as red as a lobster and I was nice and toasty.

That night we went to dinner at Rudy & Paco’s. My parents had made reservations for us and given us a gift certificate. Very nice surprise. It was fantastically expensive and delicious. Aside from the fact that we were literally surrounded by bachelorette parties, it was a perfect dinner. We were trying to act rich and nonchalant so we didn’t take any photos during dinner. But once we’d handed over our certificate and left the restaurant, we pulled out the camera.


We were also too cool to ask someone to take our picture.


I’m aware that I’m wearing this dress in another post, but I swear I’ve only worn it twice. It’s comfortable and it allows me to eat as much as I want without feeling restricted.


That’s my handsome husband. There are some weird shadows on his body. I don’t know what that’s all about.

So remember last week when we talked about cheesecake babies? Want to see my food baby? I think we’ll call him Rudy. Or Paco.


Seriously, I’m not pregnant. It’s all food. If you listen closely you can hear Jillian Michaels screaming.

So then we went back to Bella Rose and ingested some liquid calories.


Stephen’s wine. He could only have one sip. He was not a fan. (Sorry mom, it was the thought that counted!) Here I am with the baby champagne. I drank it all by myself.


I’ve got nothing else to tell you. I’m slightly scared of the post I’m developing right now. I woke up with a migraine this morning. Consequently I’m slightly drugged. I’m pretty sure that writing while drugged is not recommended. So I will quit writing and just show you a few more pictures.


(This is my cute hubby writing in the guestbook.)

(I know I said I wasn’t going to write anymore but it doesn’t count when it’s in parenthesis… it just counts as a thought.)


(That’s me. And Stephen’s laptop. And Google Reader. A match made in Heaven.)


(This is when Sean Connery walked by the house. We ran outside and forced him to take a picture with us.)

(Just kidding. It’s Stephen’s dad.)


(And here we are with Stephen’s mom.)

(No, they didn’t spent our anniversary weekend with us. We aren’t weirdos. They just came Sunday afternoon to see the house and take us to lunch. We had an awesome lunch at The Spot. We also watched the slideshow that my sister made for our rehearsal dinner. We thought we had brought our wedding video. We were wrong. And now we are a bit nervous because we aren’t sure that we even know where our wedding video is…)

(That is all.)

(Maybe this post was weird but at least I posted pictures. That makes up for it right?)

(Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll do some work while I’m in the glorious drug fog.)

August 3, 2009 at 9:35 am 21 comments

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