Arguably the Best Day Ever

Well except for my wedding day. And my birthday. And a few other noteworthy occasions.

Three great things happened today that just put me over the moon…and they will be discussed in further detail below:

1) I bought new books

Oh…how I love books! I especially love shopping for them. I love the smell of a new book. The crispness of the brand new pages and cover! The smug feeling that I alone am the first to dive into this new story. No, I’m not being dramatic. Nothing about the books I bought infer “un-fun”! Because who takes boring, no-sign-of-pink on the cover literature to Hawaii? NOT ME. I would take a picture of my books…like my overachieving best friend…but I don’t have that much time. So…

-Shoe Addicts Anonymous, Beth Harbison
-To Have and To Hold, Jane Green
-Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner
-Under the Banner of Heaven, John Krakauer (ok, so there is no pink on this cover but I’ve heard it’s a great read)

Between two 8 hour plane rides and satisfactory beach time…I should take care of most of these.

2) I bought new kicks

If there’s anything I love more than books, it’s new tennis shoes! Again, something that has a great brand-new smell. The problem with new shoes is that I’m always afraid to wear them. Don’t want to mess them up. You know it hurts the first time you step in that puddle with your new footwear. It’s cringe-worthy. Still can’t decide if they’re ready to make the journey to the islands.

3) And oh yeah, work shut down so I got to leave at 2!

Sweet! Due to a suspect water outage, all employees were instructed to evacuate immediately! You don’t have to tell me twice. I know, I couldn’t figure out why the water outage was dangerous either, but apparently the outage disabled the Fire Suppression System along with the bathrooms and A/C. Shoot. Seeing as I didn’t have any critical reason to remain in my office, I sprinted to my car and headed home. I don’t know what I will do if the water doesn’t come back on tomorrow!


“Hi Mary,

I know it seems hard to believe, but your trip to Hawaii is just around the corner. We at and appreciate your business and are happy you’ve chosen us to help you plan your vacation activities.

Saturday, May 10, 2008 — SUNRISE BIKE TOUR (MEAL INCLUDED)
Mountain Riders
2 Bikers
2 National Park / Fuel Surcharge

Your total including Hawaiian state sales tax is $Lots o’ cash. Pick-up is scheduled for 2:45AM. You should arrive at the pick-up point 5-10 minutes early. Mountain Riders will pick you up at the luau kiosk/taxi stand at the front of the Royal Lahaina Resort.

Dress warmly in layers; closed toed shoes (sneakers) are required. They will give you an outer layer windbreaker, windpants, and gloves. Some people bring along a blanket from their room to wrap around them while watching the sunrise. Anything that you bring with you will go in the van while you are on the bike ride.

Your tour includes a continental breakfast in the middle of the night (classic!!!) and a breakfast stop part-way through your ride.”

I love feasting on continental breakfasts in the middle of the night!!!!!!!!

Lots o’ pics

La Grange weddings. What…can…I…say? They are QUITE the experience. Especially for those naive, innocent folk who think cake & punch is as wild as it gets. Oh, I kid. Sorta. We headed to Brenham this weekend (but they were FROM La Grange so it still counts) for Ashley & Josh’s wedding. Seth & Josh have been friends since they were itty-bitty and we got to know Ashley pretty well in college. She cut my hair during the time at A&M, did my makeup and hair at MY wedding, and is a barrel of laughs.

I uploaded a bunch of pictures (for some reason I took 77?!?! I must’ve gone snapshot crazy) and did my best to keep them in order…

Look at these centerpieces! And boy were they heavy. The flowers were gorgeous.

Ashley’s cake

Josh’s Aggie Ring Cake! We finally got to see one in person. It really hurt to see them cut it all up.

Groomsmen and ushers before the wedding. They thought they looked pretty good.

Brittany and me! Without her, I would’ve never met my husband. So THANK GOODNESS for this girl :)

Me and Lindsey

Me and Cari

Brittany and the Lone Ranger

Mike, you’re SUCH a cowboy!

Me and the bride. Yes, I know you are gasping in horror. I realize my hair IS nappy. Never fear, haircut on Thursday. (And for you long-time followers of the blog, let’s hope we don’t have the haircut drama we did back in January…)

Seth with the Sulik’s


Time for the garter! Big Dave loooovin’ his position as co-best man…

Anderle brothers…one of them up to no good.

My point exactly.
Seth and I truly felt like old folk once the dancing started. Um…we didn’t know any of the new “cool” dancing songs. Something like the Cupid Slide?? (stop laughing Rachel)

Like father, like son

Ali & Avery…Seth’s cousins are growing up too fast!

Oh, a good time was had by all. And we are WIPED. Looks like my “allergies” from last week (yeah, still don’t believe the doctor) were contagious and now Seth is under the weather. Maggie is wiped from her weekend with Dixie and I am ready for bed. At 9pm. Yeah…you don’t have to tell me how FUN we are!

We have a busy week ahead of us…both at and outside of work (blech)…and sometime in there we have to pack for our Hawaiian getaway! Hopefully Paula will post the packing spreadsheet she created this weekend for all to see. It’s quite a sight and puts me to shame. That girl has planned her Hawaiian outfits, down to the T, on an hour-by-hour basis. Props to you, P! :)

Summer Lovin’

Ok, I realize it’s not QUITE summer yet, but this weather is definitely putting me in the mood. Last year I hardly saw the light of day during the summer months (I’ll pin that on someone whose name rhymes with…KPMG), but this year I am DETERMINED to get ample pool time, read lots of good books, and spend more time outside. So I’ve decided to create my top ten list of Summer Fun to get us in the mood…

1) Guilt-free eating of ice cream and pop-ice!
2) Nicely tanned bodies
3) Natural highlights
4) Rest & relaxation!
5) Daylight until 8pm
6) Summer songs on the radio (I realize this sounds dumb…but Kenny Cheney with “Summertime” or Sublime “Summertime…and the livin’s easy…” really lift my spirits!!)
7) Did I mention nicely tanned bodies?
8) No excuses NOT to run to Sonic to get that Strawberry Limeade
9) People are always in better moods…i.e. HEB checkers, waiters, store personnel, etc

and of course…do I even HAVE to tell you number 10????


Ah! I saw a preview this week and am so excited! May 22nd people! This show makes me truly BELIEVE I can be a dancer if I put my mind to it. Never mind that lack of hand-eye coordination! As most of you know, I was privileged to attend the SYTYCD tour last year at Reliant with Andrea, Jessie, & Jessie’s friend. It was GLORIOUS! There was smoke, lights, our favorite dances! Best $65 I’ve EVER spent.

Hm…I just used a LOT of caps. So I guess you know how pumped I really am!!!

We’re headed to Brenham in a short while for Ashley & Josh’s wedding. Seth is the best man (aww) so we have collaborated on a fantastic speech for him. I offered to write a poem but apparently that was not manly enough. Oh well. Trust me….lots of pictures on Monday!

Oh, and a shout out to the Bayles’ for keeping little Maggie. She can’t wait to play with Dixie all weekend! And she promises to be on her best behavior…

Stranger Danger

What a pretty azalea bloom! That is your first thought, right? Well, I feel it is my responsibility to warn all of you about the resulting danger than can occur if you pet decides to snack on one.

Not that my precious Maggie would EVER get into anything. She totally stays away from bedroom furniture, hardy plank, mulch, fence wood, doghouses, and more.

Common Name: Azalea
Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp
Family: Ericaceae
Toxic Principle: grayantoxin
Clinical signs: vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS depression, cardiovascular collapse and/or death.

I know. What the crap?! I love that everytime we take the dog to the vet, it’s for something slightly serious. Snake bites, poisonous plants, stomach viruses. Good grief, they must think we are crazy people! I do have a quick comment to make though re: animal clinics…

Dear all Vets,

You make a KILLING off your poor clients.

Your sorta friend,


Oh, I digress. So little Maggie had quite the weekend but is finally back to her normal self and eating again. Check out this website to educate yourself about other dangerous plants for your pets.

And now I am sick. No, I was not munching on those yummy azalea blooms, but I do feel like death. Poor Seth. All his girls are getting sick on him. If we weren’t so busy at work, I would be at home…on the couch…sleeping. Sigh.

Thinking Outside the Box

This weekend I overcame a huge obstacle in my life. Some of you may have dealt with this before. A big fault (and weakness I guess) of mine lies in my selection of nail polish color…and eye shadow for that matter. I set out with good intentions. I get to the store/nail salon. I pick out a color that I’ve never seen before! A color that really says “Mary!”. A color that represents what I’m about.

Oh, look. Mauve again.

As you may realize, this is a huge problem. Branching out is hard to do. I analyze each and every color available at the salon…but then you have “too pink” or “too bland” or “too sparkly”. And I always settle on the SAME color. “Yucatan if You Want to” from OPI is an all-time fav. Unfortunately, the crazies at OPI discontinued this blessed color. I GUARANTEE you that I always pick up that bottle…thinking it’s a new blend of color…and then say “oh, that one again.”

Well folks. I’ve done it.

I skipped on over to Ulta after work on Saturday (this Hawaii trip in the middle of a deadline was really not the smartest thing I’ve done) with my 20% off coupon and set to peruse the aisles. The problem with these sorts of stores is…I want it all. Clearly, I need the salon-style shampoo & conditioner, the special smoothing serum for my hair, the exclusive new brand of mineral eye shadow. Don’t panic, Seth. I resisted.

HOWEVER, I am pleased to announce that I am the proud new owner of TWO NEW SHADES of nail polish.

Coral Chic and Pink Lemonade!

Now, nothing about either of those screams mauve! So I’m making big changes. I also tried some different shades of eye shadow (a stickler for mauve and brown).

And all this went on while dear Seth was fishing at the coast. He really should go out of town more often. There’s no telling what else I’d learn about myself!!

Now let’s be serious – of course I also rented several movies for the weekend! And between work, Ulta, the pool, and cleaning, I somehow managed to watch Juno, Dan in Real Life, and The Jane Austen Book Club.

Now don’t shoot me, but I was not a big fan of Juno. I had really high hopes for this movie…and perhaps I’d worked it up too much in my head. I’ll admit, I was a little bored. The other two movies were not bad at all. I especially loved The Jane Austen Book Club and it almost persuaded me to go read more of her literature. Pride & Prejudice is my favorite after all (book, not movie).

The next couple of weeks are going to be busy, but thankfully I will be lounging on the North Shore of Oahu in just 2 measly weeks! Biker short tan and all.

Top of My Lungs

This song (by Phillips, Craig & Dean) came on KSBJ this morning as I was getting to work. And you know, sometimes when a great song comes on, you just can’t shut off the radio and get out of your car! So I sat in the parking garage and listened to these words and smiled. They lifted me up this morning and I wanted to share…

Words of worship
Rise like a river within me
Thoughts to express are so many
I wanna bless You, God

Can’t be silent
I think of the mercies You show me
My lips begin overflowing
Great is your Love.

Such gratitude,
For all that You’ve done,
Jesus to You,

At the top of my lungs
I will sing Hallelujah!
You’re the One who saved me,
The One who gave me
This life I live
Forevermore ! Forevermore!

At the top of my lungs
I will sing Hallelujah!
I’m not ashamed.
I’ll praise Your name.
Let the whole world know
I love you Lord.
I love you Lord!

You are worthy
I join the song of creation
That rings out across ev’ry nation.
Let my heart be heard.

I need you so.
I don’t care who knows,
From the depths of my soul,

Let my love be loud.
I sing a joyful noise!A
ll of my days
A joyful noise!
I lift up my voice!

Happy weekend!

At Last

Here’s my last batch of pictures from the weekend. I think I am exempt from picture posting until at least next week, right? OH OKAY…I’ll take some pictures of myself this weekend…cleaning and walking the dog. Only because you begged me.

Matt, me, Courtney, and Jeremy on Saturday morning. We were cold. We were tired. But we were ready to ride!!

Riders getting to lunch in Bellville on Day 1

Matt, me, and Jeremy. Note their smiles. This was before I kicked their butts. just kidding guys :)

Trisha and Erin at lunch

So we skip to the finish

They recorded our finish times each day…I sure hope I don’t see this displayed in the cafeteria at work…

Jeremy and Courtney arriving to Austin

Good job guys!

Trisha, Matt, and little Amy

Biker Girls and a biker girl-to-be!

Until next year…

Picture Update

Everyone waiting for yours truly at the finish line…

Look at Seth’s shorts…aren’t they cute? I decided it was about time for him to get some plaid shorts.

I know these pictures don’t do justice to the past weekend. I’ve given Trisha until EOB Friday to send me the rest. So assuming she delivers, look for another picture update sometime this weekend.

OR (and I can’t believe I’m sharing this…I really can’t) check out the following link:

Yes, I realize they are hideous and embarassing. Yes, I also realize there is a strange bearded man mistaken as me in some of the pictures. But we can’t have everything we want in life, right?

Bachelor Bits

Perhaps this is a bit overdue, but here are my top 10 thoughts from the Bachelor on Monday night. And again, for a full recap, please see the link on the right. She does much better than I would, so why bother??

1) “Bon Soir” Robin! Good grief. What a crazy. I am ashamed to admit I really liked her on episode one. As someone said at the beginning, I guess we always have to have the token nutcase! I laughed out loud…to myself (well and to Maggie I guess…let’s be serious, Seth was in the other room) when she wasn’t chosen at the end. I will say I wasn’t expecting it because I assumed our favorite Bach would let me down. Thank goodness I was wrong!

2) Marshana kills me. Shayne may be high-maintenance, but hello??? Picking Marshana would be asking trouble to come sit in your lap. I was impressed with her departure though. I would have cried like a baby.

3) I don’t know what to say about Shayne…I really don’t. She is funny, yes. She seems to avoid major drama, which is a plus. But are they really a good match??

4) Love Noelle. She seems too genuine and sweet. Needs to come out of her shell a bit more but she is really pretty and seems to have more of a “normal girl” personality than the rest of the girls.

5) Amanda is another favorite. Although I’m not sure what to expect on next week’s episode??? I think there’s a goofy side of her we haven’t completely seen.

6) Did I mention that I love Matt’s accent? I need to figure out how to get my future children to sound like him. Perhaps I will just start speaking to them ASAP (you know, while in the womb) in one of my signature well-spoken accents. I do a great Australian. It sounds half Mexican, half Chinese. I’ve also been known to re-enact The Ten Commandments in a nice British style. Just ask Cara C.

(The things we did to entertain ourselves in middle school…)

7) Maybe Chris Harrison should be the Bachelor one of these days?? You’re not getting any younger, buddy! He must be making some serious cash to keep hosting this show. Or maybe he just hooks up with the rose-less girls after each episode? Hm, something to think about.

8) Did some of the girls have matching coats on the ski slopes? Maybe I didn’t see that right…but does ABC just provide all these cutesy outfits for them? And do they get to keep them afterward? If so, I need one of my single friends to go on this show. Susan???

9) Earth to Chelsea. The Bach is NOT going to dig you if you try to repel his hands during an attempted hand-holding session! She is the Hillary of Brad Womack’s season. Like her, think she’s fun, but she’s a goner. We already saw the friend-card pulled once with Holly and look where that got her. Poor Holly.

10) I will predict my final two. And also tell you my fear that I am wrong. Against my better judgment, I will not put Shayne in the final two. Only because I have been opposed to the “LA sex kitten” since the beginning. Yes, she is funny. I will give her that. But she’s 22. And I just don’t see her as ready to accept the responsibilities of a long-term relationship and settle down.

So Amanda and Noelle. There ya go. We shall see. I’m a tad worried that I’ll be on vacation when the finale airs…but if I’ve timed it right, I think I’ll just miss the Women Tell All (assuming they DO air that this time…)