Wednesday, April 29, 2009


A few months ago Mom told me about a book I just had to read. I only recently got the chance to do so, though, because so many of her other friends and family wanted to read it too! I suppose I could have gone out and purchased my own copy, but I waited patiently to borrow hers and just finished it last night. It's the true story of Dewey Readmore Books, the library cat of Spencer, Iowa. I am definitely what one would consider a "cat person," so I naturally enjoyed this book. Just eight weeks old, Dewey was dropped into the library's return book bin on the coldest night of the year in Spencer and left to die. He didn't, of course, until many years later (19, in fact!). Vicki Myron, the library's director and Dewey author, found him and took him in. Dewey lived in the Spencer Library for 19 years, and his tale is full of antics, sweetness, sadness, and mischief. It is such a heartwarming story, and I found myself smiling throughout much of the book. Perhaps you don't have to be a cat person to realize and appreciate the common effect an animal can have on so many people, even in the midst of hard times. Thanks, Mom, for the reading recommendation!

Monday, April 27, 2009

All Around Town, Houston

Last weekend Kenny and I were supposed to have a group of our friends cometo stay with us at our house. We had been planning this for weeks, and it seemed the only weekend that would work for all involved. However, things fell through in the middle of last week: Adam and Erin's closing on their new Houston house got unexpectedly pushed back to our friends' weekend, so we had to change things around a bit. Instead of everyone coming to our house, most of us decided to drive over to Houston to see the newly purchased home. Kenny actually had to be in Houston for work on Thursday, so he just stayed for the rest of the week and helped them move in the next two days. Perfect! I drove over after work on Friday but went to the Woodlands to see Jeff and Becky my first night in town. Once Ken was finished helping Adam for the day, he came to meet the three of us in the Woodlands. We met up with one of Jeff's co-workers (and his wife) at this chic little restaurant called Cru for a late dinner on Friday. What a great place! They offer flights of wine and cheese, as well as delicious-sounding menu items. The white truffle cheese fondue appetizer was excellent.

The next day, Kenny and Jeff headed out to help finish off the move, while I went to see my parents. Mom and I ended up spending 5 hours at the outlets in Cypress! Eight shirts, two pairs of pants, and a new purse later, we were headed back to her house to collapse after our spree. Mom and Dad had made plans to go to one of their neighbors' houses for dinner, and I was graciously extended an invitation to come along. We had a great night and didn't make it back across the street until almost midnight!

Mom and Dad had an early flight back to NOLA the next morning, and I had an assignment of my own before finally heading over to see Adam and Erin's new house. Adam's 30th birthday was April 20, and the friends' weekend was supposed to have been a small celebration for him. Instead, we conspired to plan a surprise crawfish boil at the new house on Sunday. Scott even drove up late Saturday night to join the party, and Becky drove over Sunday afternoon. I stopped to get all of the ingredients on my way up to the house, while Kenny and Jeff picked up the crawfish. We all arrived around the same time, and Ashton was conveniently fussy to warrant all of Adam's attention; perfect timing for us to be able to set things up in the backyard without him knowing!

The surprise went off without a hitch, and Adam was stoked to have his first crawfish boil at his house two days after they moved in. The weather was beautiful, the crawfish were tasty, and the company couldn't have been better. Happy Birthday, Old Man!

Monday, April 20, 2009


My mom, aunt, uncle, and most of my North Carolina surrogate family came to visit me this past weekend at work and at home. They got in Friday around lunch, came to the Center, and saw me do my thing: the wetlands presentation and Center tour. Lizzie was there too! It was fun to share what I've been doing for the past 6 weeks with them!

Walking down the main hallway at the Center

Checking out the holding tanks in one of the labs

The other lab with tanks full of applesnails and their bright pink egg masses

Paula, Margaret, and Elisabeth enjoying the deck outside at the Center

Once the tour was over, I wrapped things up for the weekend, and we all piled into cars and headed back to my house, which many of them hadn't seen yet. After showing everyone around we ended up in the kitchen (of course!), hanging out and catching up. Kenny and I even got a couple of fabulous housewarming gifts! We then finally moved into the living room for the rest of the night, had a dinner of Chinese takeout, and watched (much to Ken's and Johnny's dismay) Dirty Dancing, which the girls had shockingly never seen before.

Kenny and I showing off our new stuff

Quality time in my living room

The next morning Kenny got up pretty early to make a trip to the grocery for ingredients to make one of his fantastic weekend breakfasts. We lingered around the table talking for awhile, then finally stumbled to our respective rooms to get ready for the day. The girls really wanted to see the movie "17 Again" so that's what we did after breakfast and before lunch. Zac Efron is quite the cute one. And the movie was actually very entertaining. We got back from the movie, had a quick lunch, and then Paula and Johnny headed back to New Orleans, while Mom, Jenn, and the girls got on the road for Houston.

Paula and Jenn reading while patiently waiting for breakfast to be ready

Breakfast is served!

So sad to see you all go :(

Thanks so much for coming to visit, y'all! Come back soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another New Recipe

I made a pork tenderloin for dinner last night, and it turned out great. It was marinated in maple syrup and dijon mustard, wrapped in bacon, laid on a bed of fresh rosemary, and surrounded by potatoes. YUM! It looks like a very fancy dish, but it actually takes hardly any effort to throw together. Kenny and I decided it's definitely a winner and will be repeated in the future!



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Saturday Crawfish Boil

After a fun night of hanging out with our good friends Adam and Erin (along with my parents!) in Houston, Kenny and I were excited to have more great plans for the next day. The youngest son of one of Dad's fraternity brothers, who I practically grew up with, now lives in Houston and decided to throw a crawfish boil at his new house on Easter Saturday. What luck that Kenny and I were there! Aaron's Houston home is so's a 4-story townhouse located on the corner of the complex, which affords fantastic views of the green space below and the city in the distance. The best part of all is the multi-level rooftop terrace, complete with BBQ pit and hot tub! We had a great time hanging out on the roof all afternoon, and the crawfish were quite tasty too. Thanks, Aaron, for having us!

The man himself: Aaron, preparing to boil some crawdads

The hot tub, complete with rubber duckies!

Kenny and me, enjoying life

Dad and I digging in

Perfect combination: crawfish and beer. Who could ask for more?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good Friday Dinner in Houston

Kenny and I decided to drive over to Houston for Easter weekend, and we arrived around dinner time on Friday. Mom and Dad had planned to make homemade pizzas, and Adam and Erin were coming over to join the party. Dad was the chef for the night and concocted 4 delicious pies: we had chicken-apple sausage, taco, veggie, and chicken pizzas to choose from. I had all but the veggie, and as always each was yum. Adam and Erin brought Ashton with them, and we all enjoyed watching how much energy he has. He loved running back and forth from the kitchen to the den and seeking out the kitties. Such a cute child. While he ran and played, the rest of us sat around the table chatting and catching up. I'm so glad our friends had a free night to hang with Kenny and me and my parents!

Cutie-patootie Ashton

Dad's interesting way to slice the pizza: with scissors!

Pizza's ready!

Someone's ready for bed.....

It was a GOOD Friday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Volleyball at Volley Beach?

Kenny and I really wanted to get a team together to play volleyball out at Volley Beach during the regular season, but we couldn't find enough people who were interested, so we gave up. Then I got an email from a woman a week ago asking if I would want to play on her team. She got my email address from the owner of Volley Beach, who I met at the tournament at the end of March. I guess he realized we hadn't gotten our team together and thought I may still want to play. Cool, huh? Long story short, Kenny and I both ended up filling in on this other team last night. I'm not sure if we'll play with them every week, but we told them to let us know if they ever need substitutes! It was so fun to be out there playing again, especially after having just participated in the tournament. We ended up winning both of the first two games last night and had so much fun. We'll see if we get to play again!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Annual Crawfish Boil

Kenny and I hosted our annual crawfish boil at our house yesterday. We weren't sure how many people we would get to come since we live 2 hours away from most of our friends, but we had a great turnout: about 30 people showed up! And it was an absolutely beautiful day, so everyone was very content hanging outside in the sunshine. As always, Kenny did a great job with the boiling.....the crawfish were very tasty. So good, in fact, that there weren't any left out of the 118 pounds we boiled! Here are some pics from the day:

Kenny and me

Kenny and Lizzie

Evan wasn't too sure about holding a crawfish, but he sure ate lots of tail meat later!

Diggin' in while they're hot

The kids loved the bubble machine Adam brought!

The cook finally sitting down to eat some of the last batch

Thanks to everyone who made it up here; we enjoyed having you all! Until next year......

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rhythms on the River

Every Thursday night in the spring, River Ranch in Lafayette hosts a free outdoor music event. Kenny and I went last night because his coworker's band was playing. It was such a beautiful night, and we had so much fun sitting outside and listening to some great music!

GTO and the D Street Brass Band

View of the crowd from the stage, taken by Kenny's coworker

Kenny's coworker, lead singer and bass player

Kenny and me enjoying the night
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