A little celebrating never hurt anyone

What a joy it is to be the birthday girl.

My husband and step daughters gave me a gift certificate to Massage Envy. Be jealous!

Sydney surprised me too. She and Brandon gave me a gift certificate to iTunes. MY FAVORITE STORE EVER! I mean…she really HAS grown up. This birthday is proof. No reminding from anyone. Just BOOM. Perfect gift and card.

My baby starts college on Tuesday (sniff!).

And here is the birthday cake – Cookie dough delirium from Cold Stone. Mmmmmm!

There are a few missing pieces of cookie dough from the top. Let’s just say my shutter wasn’t fast enough…..

And they were really yummy.

Cold Stone Heaven.

I love what he says in the card. I hope it always seems like an adventure for us. Adventures are so much more fun than years passing. I love this man.

Also, I rented a lens this weekend from Arlington Camera. I thought I would try one of the big girl lenses (as in expensive). If I like it enough, I will rent it again for a wedding I am hired to photograph in a few weeks.

So far, I REALLY love it (of course!). Here are some random first images I took with it around the house.

Crazy-eyed Anna dog.
Bridget playing house.
My ten-year old lab.
Fred in the bed of the girl’s playhouse they created.
Fred cheesing for the camera.

Yes, poor guy needs a trim. He can see…..I think?

I, also, want to thank my bloggy friend Rommel for featuring my blog in his last post Travel Theme: Rhythm. He said some really nice things and I appreciate the recognition. Not to mention, I love his blog.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

Dear Office Space

I worked with you for many years.

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Through traffic jams.

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Down loooong underground hallways (between you and me…..I would always imagine running in terror down this hallway from something large and fierce, barely making it out the glass doors to the garage). And this is why you shouldn’t let your thirteen-year old read Stephen King books. And can I add? They pipe creepy elevator music down this tunnel making it seem like some kind of secret science project straight of Lost.

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Up elevators to the fourth floor.

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Riding the elevators would take forrrrrrever! Mostly on Mondays, and coming back from lunch late.

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In my work suite, I would hide in my cubbie all day.

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Popping up like a hamster to talk to fellow co-workers, or see who came in the door.

Being right next to the child support office, we had a lot of stragglers (not that the door didn’t say WHO we were), and rumor is……the waiting room at that government office had walls padded with Kevlar. Really!

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My fourth floor window overlooked the Naval base. The high-sped jets, and the incoming storms were a sight to see.

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I enjoyed the MOST amazing sunsets.

Oh, my dear, dear office space….I will MISS you.

But.

NOTHING compares to the glorious office space of HOME.

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It happened. I have joined thousands of workers, and employers that have implemented cost-saving measures (no rent, no gas, no commute) to office from home. After working in West Fort Worth, and commuting 30+ miles for over thirteen years, I am now working that same job in the comfort of my front room. I must say…..it’s different. I feel like I am playing hookey, but working harder than ever. I am sure I will get more used to it. I noticed last night, I did not have to sit in Ranger Game traffic to get home. My friends, that saved me over an hour of frustration. Oh yes, I think I will get used to this…..wouldn’t you?

See ya office space…it’s been great knowing you.

Now, I’m off to take my first shower in five days, and maybe I’ll change into a new pair of jammies….HA. I’m, of course, KIDDING.

Photos by iPhone 4S

Taking Out the Dogs (Sundays In My City)

We have lived in our house (together) for almost two years.

The backyard is GORGEOUS. There is a big section of open land that runs up a hill behind us.

It makes for a nice mini-oasis in a big city.

The guy at the top of the hill owns it all and he won’t build on it.

The backyards on our block and the next over face this “meadow” and, like us, don’t have fences either (because it is too pretty to block). Unlike us, most of them don’t have dogs.

So morning, evening, and late evening you can find us taking the dogs out. Keeping track of them as they run pell mell here and there, sniffing out phantom squirrel trails, and hitting the potty (sometimes) OUTSIDE the lines of our yard. Oh no!

Or they might end up disappearing from view, going MIA, or “friending” all the neighbors sitting outside on their decks (who may not like ENORMOUS DOGS in their yard at night). All this causes much tromping, hollering, and venturing out at all hours, up the hill, through the meadow, and over to the next block (if necessary).

But it was worth it for the view. Riiiight?

FOUR DOGS + NO FENCE = NO BUENO.

Honestly? I couldn’t keep my eyes on all four dogs, much less leash them all, or give up an hour to take them out one-by-one – three to four times per day.

The entire ordeal (especially in the morning) became downright exhausting.

I say all this in hopes that when I tell you WE GOT A FENCE! It will truly reverberate into your brains how ECSTATIC we really are over such a simple thing.

We have an adorable gate on the side of the house (we will be getting back gate too).

It’s only about four feet in height.

We still have our view since it’s a shorter fence.

Anna is wondering…what the heck that is?

And why she can’t take off running?

Fred says…it’s a FENCE to keep me in. And mostly that is true. See Fred is not off-lead trained and he is the WORST at seeing you look away for a second and taking off. He found the front of the house, and crossed the busy street faster than I could BLINK. Holy Moly!

Salem doesn’t seem to mind it. But then again, she is ten years old. Snoozing is more her speed.

And Brownie barely moves from the back porch.

So now you are updated on our new editions (fence and dogs). And can you believe Brownie is two years old now?

I, also, updated the Furry kids tab if you want to take a look.

Hope your Sunday in the City is as awesome as ours….

Unknown Mami