Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dee is in the Paper

Hello, everyone (if you are still out there)! I know I haven't blogged in forever, and I'm not going to make up for it now either. I just wanted to post this article about our basketball team. Basically, Dee has been keeping the clock or book for several years, and they haven't lost a game that he has worked. The last time they lost at home was in 2005, and Dee just happened to miss that game. They also lost this past Saturday. Dee had worked the games in the gym Thursday, all day Friday, and all day Saturday. On Saturday, he left before the championship game because we had been invited to a Christmas party. And the Roos lost. Being at the party instead of the game saved his streak. And apparently, the paper felt that was the angle they needed for their story. And that's fine; however, I am superstitious when it comes to athletics, and I think his streak is in danger. Whenever something like that is publicized, I think it jinxes it. We'll find out in January at their next home game!

Check out the article here!

p.s. Photobucket must be mad at me for not blogging! Looks like I need to fix my profile pic!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

First blog via iPhone!

I just wanted to see how this works--blogging on the go, that is. So I figured I would share what we were up to tonight.

We always set up our tree about a week before decorating it. I like to do lots of fluffing beforehand! Tonight was extra exciting because we have a new (to us) tree--it fits perfectly--thanks ILs!

Well, I guess I need to get back to proofing Dee's paper. He just started grad school. Now let's see if this actually posts...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Through the Years

Hello, blog buddies! You know it's football season when Melissa abandons her blog. I've been on the computer literally all day working on pictures (which is a good problem to have), but I made myself work on some for myself after dinner. I decided to print pictures of the kids from Halloween every year, so I had fun looking at some old pictures.

This is Emily when she was a baby...Miss Bumblebee herself!

Around Halloween is when my old point and shoot digital camera started to die, so I got no pictures of Emily as Tinkerbell. But I did find a picture that my mom emailed me when Emily spent a week with her. My mom made this costume while Emily stayed at her house! One day, the thumb-sucking will be just a memory, but not quite yet...

There was a new addition the following year. We had a Gus-Gus to go with our Cinderella! And there was a new DSLR camera hence the improved image quality!

And my mom made these costumes, too!

Last year was lots of fun with Pebbles and Bamm Bamm. MIL made Ty's costume, and I put Emily's together with glue, felt, and an old shirt. year later...Halloween 2009...pat, pat, pat, pat, now raise your high as you can...and say...BLAST OFF!

The Little Einsteins (not Charlie Brown and a ballerina as many people thought). And it would be more obvious (at least to the Playhouse Disney watchers out there) if Ty weren't refusing to wear his glasses ;-) Here's one before he decided they weren't for him.

I bought Ty's shirt and shorts, and my mom sewed the orange stripe on. I spray painted some sunglasses frames green. Emily's leotard was a free hand-me-down from cousin Kylie, and my mom and I mod-podged her old ballet slippers with red satin! I had lots of fun putting together their costumes this year!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a Week!

I love my husband. I love football. I love that he's a coach. I love that he is helping young men make a better future for themselves. But there are some days that I hate being a coach's wife. And last week, there were 7 such days. I honestly don't know how single moms do it. Here's the rundown. And sorry, English folks, there are lots of fragments...

Sunday night--Tagging clothes for the consignment sale plus packing the kids for school and soccer clothes, diapers, toys, and pajamas for going to MeMe's after school.

Monday--Running late to work because of all of the extra gear and then being re-routed because the road we take was closed due to a car accident. After work, drive 25 minutes to pick the kids up, grab them some fast food, take them to MeMe's, and head back to school for Open House. Did not get home until 9:45 p.m. Then, stayed up tagging. The one saving grace--soccer practice was cancelled, so MeMe and Papa didn't have to worry about running Emily there and back. I think we were in bed sometime before 1.

Tuesday--Pick kids up, run home and frantically try to squeeze 4 y/o girl into tights and a leotard (with a hole in it but the only clean one), head to dance, run to Target to pick up more safety pins and cardstock (for tagging), pick up Em from dance, rush home, feed kids, bath, and bed by myself. Then, more tagging until 2 a.m. but finally finished.

Wednesday--Very few clean clothes since I've been washing consignment stuff, but my saving grace was our principal declaring the week Spirit attire--YAY for jeans! Before work, dropped off clothes to a dear friend to take them to the sale. Ended up staying very late at work when a former student and athlete needed help with Linear Algebra. Spent 40 minutes and 4 pages of paper on 1 problem! Rushed to daycare, home to change for church, and went to church. We almost skipped church, but my house was so messy I didn't want to spend the evening there. Kids were in bed before 9, and we crashed.

Thursday--Students were released from school at 2:05, and teachers stayed until 4:30...I ran by IL's to drop off car seats, so they can pick up E & T and headed to Waco to the consignment presale. Uh-Oh, forgot laundry basket and forgot to clean out trunk...and haven't been to the ladies' room all afternoon. Must swing by my house first. YAY for shopping at the consignment sale. YAY for MIL bathing kids and putting them in PJs. Boo for the fact that I forgot that I need to make dessert for tomorrow's after-game party. I will have to make the dessert tonight because there will be no time to come home after work Friday. Thankfully, my mom saves the day with the perfect recipe. And Dee is with the JV team in Pflugerville. He actually didn't mind going to the store for me on his way home at 11. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown at this point. I was packing the kids for school and for Friday's game. We need diapers, snacks, toys, football game outfits, and then pajamas for on the way home. Somewhere in here, Dee got home, and I made the cake. In bed after 1 a.m.

Friday--I remembered my things for work and the kids' things for after school. But I forgot my cake and my football tickets. Thankfully, Dee had taken the morning off to get a flu shot, and he brought them up to school. After school, I had exactly 1 hour to get to Belton to pick up the kids and have Emily back up to the school. She was participating in the annual drill team kids' camp, and she was going to be performing in the pre-game festivities. I changed her in her classroom when I went to pick her up and realized that the adjustable waist elastic in her jeans had slipped inside too far to pull it out. I was having visions of her pants falling down during the performance. I must find time to buy her a belt before 7:15. I got her to the drill team on time, and Ty and I headed to Target. We picked up Cool-Whip for the dessert, some stickers for during the game, some juice, and a belt. We headed to Chick-fil-A to pick up dinner. And we made it to the stadium by 6:45. I changed Ty into his game shirt, and I chugged my sweet tea. I found Emily and put a belt on her, and Ty ate his dinner while Emily did her performance. The football game went great--we scored with 7 sec left on the clock and won by 1 pt. We headed to the after-game party, and the dessert was a hit. We changed the kids into their PJs, and they rode home with Dee. We got home about 12:45. I was so tired, I went to bed without a shower. I never do that.

Saturday--I had a fun photoshoot, and then we were off to Emily's 1st soccer game. I forgot to buy her black socks to match her uniform (so she wore white--she was the only kid in white socks), and I forgot to bring her water to the game. I also forgot my camera. I also forgot my lawn chair but remembered Ty's. I was literally in tears as I was driving to the game. I was ready to pull Em out of soccer and dance, and I was ready to demand that Dee quit his job immediately. Somehow, I managed to not fly off the handle. After the game, I picked up Chick-fil-A (how could I survive football season without it?) and put the kids down for naps. They slept for FOUR HOURS. I guess this week was hard on them too!

I don't know why I wrote all of that down, and WOW for you if you read it. Maybe I will need to look back on it next year (or later on this season) to remind me that if I just take it one thing at a time, I will eventually make it through the week, and I will live to tell about it. Who knows, maybe another stressed Mommy will stumble upon this post and know that she's not alone!

This week coming up won't be bad at all (I PRAY). Dee helped so much yesterday (imagine what my house looked like after a week like that); he cleaned and even planned a week full of crock-pot dinners for this week. He ran to the store to pick up diapers and milk. And he listened to me whine without trying to give me advice. So here's to an easier week--maybe I will have time to get a few runs in this week. And I'm definitely excited about all of the season premieres...Aaahhh, the simple things! Let me end this post with some pics of Em's performance on Friday.

Here is little brother waiting on big sis' performance. I picked up these microphones at Target for $2.49, and the keep the kids occupied through the entire game. They love to cheer the Roos on in these mics.

Good luck kisses from Daddy!

Waiting to start....

Since I don't know the other little girls or their mommies, I had to make them "block heads" for this post!

That's my girl!

And how 'bout the yummy dessert I made? I needed something that I could make ahead, take with me to work and the game, and it would be good all day without being refrigerated. And it needed to be quick and easy. My mom gave me the recipe. You start by baking a chocolate cake from your favorite cake mix. When it's done, poke holes in the top with the back of a wooden spoon, and pour a jar of carmel sundae topping all over (do this while the cake is still hot). You can do this the night or morning before you will need the cake, and it can be stored at room temp. When it's time for dessert, spread a container of whipped topping over the cake and sprinkle with Heath toffee bits. I didn't have any leftovers! Yummy!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New and Exciting

Can I just say that I know some of the most encouraging people ever? Many times, the confidence that you have had in me has been much greater than the confidence I have had in myself.

You may be a family member, old friend, new friend, FB friend, or blog lurker, but if you've said something nice about my work, told someone else something nice about my work, or asked me to work for you, I just want to say a big Texas "Thank you."

I am moving my photography-related posts to another blog. I've been trying to get it going since the spring, but it's time to just start with something, even if it's not exactly the way I want it yet. So feel free to check it out, follow, add me to your reader, etc.

Melissa Trcka Photography

One of the goals I have for myself it to work this biz Dave Ramsey style. Even if it means starting slowly, I do not want to borrow money. I am happy to say that I will soon have enough money for my own website. Then, clients will be able to view their images and order prints from me. When I reach that point, I will not be giving away digital files like I have been for my portfolio-building sessions. I just wanted to give all of my biggest supporters a heads-up that a change is coming. Don't worry because I'm not there yet, and I'll give plenty of warning before I transition.

Thanks again for giving me the "push" I needed!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Major Milestone

in every Texan's life is his or her first visit to the Alamo. Here is a picture of E, T, and me on this oh-so-important day in their lives.

I am up to my eyeballs in pictures (a very good thing) from our trips and from some adorable kiddos, so this is all ya get right now. Thanks, Grammy and Pa for inviting us to join you in San Antonio! By the way, Grammy, I stole this from your FB since my pics are still on the ole memory card.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A "Cold" Day In July

What a fun time I had Friday evening! Thankfully, it was only 99 degrees when we arrived. I was so looking forward to this shoot because there's just something about a one year old boy with big brown eyes!

See, I told ya those eyes are big and brown! How can you resist?!?!?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Funny

The first time this happened, Dee got mad at me for taking pictures and made me promise not to post them. happened again, and I made no such promise!

Since I don't think that Ty can zip the back of this by himself, I think we all know what happened here. It's the classic story of big sister having some fun with little brother.

I love that he was carrying his "As-To" bobblehead around. Earlier, he was marching around carrying some tools that Dee left out. Now, I am going to go change his clothes. I don't think we can wear this to Dallas this afternoon!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fun for the 4th

Since I wasn't on the ball enough this year to find 4th of July coordinating clothes for my kids, I decided to see if I could make something for Emily. I do not sew, but I am trying to learn, so I found some bandanas in the dollar spot at Target and use them to make the stars to embellish a white tank (which was only $2 at Target). I used that iron-on stuff (you like my technical terminology, right?) to iron on the stars, and we zig-zag stitched around them.

MIL had some leftover ribbon and rick-rack from another project, so she helped me cut off a too-short pair of jeans and embellish them. Dee's mom helped me with all of the sewing, but I think I am going to try something all by myself today while it's fresh on my mind.

My mom made tutus for Emily and my niece Claira, so she told me how she did it, and I made this tutu for Emily. I could have made it longer, but I knew it would be hot on Saturday, so I just wanted to give her something light and fun.

It was a no-sew project except making the waistband. And since the 6'' rolls of tulle were on sale for 1.99 at Hobby Lobby, it was very inexpensive. I got 3 - 25 yd rolls, one red, one white, one blue.

Here's what I did. I should have taken pics of each step, but I wasn't feeling THAT productive.

Cut elastic to fit around E's waist and sewed it together. I sewed this part without any help from MIL ;-)
Cut 27 - 20'' strips from each color of tulle. I cut them 20'' since I wanted the tutu about 10'' long. You would need more strips for a bigger waist and fewer strips for a smaller waist.
Took 3 strips of same color tulle, folded in half over the waistband, and tied in a knot....repeat x 26 going in the desired pattern. I tried to make my pattern like an American flag.
Weave a piece of ribbon through the waist, tie a bow, and burned the ends of the ribbon w/ a lighter.

Done! Cute, easy, and cheap--my kind of project!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

That's what little girls are made of!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

1st 3 Days of Cruise

Here she is--our home away from home for 7 days. The Ecstasy! Before you continue reading, it's only fair that I warn you that I wrote A LOT! It will not hurt my feelings if you skim or just look at the pictures, but I wanted to record the details, so I could remember later.

For those of you who don't know about our good fortune, Dee and I booked a 5 day cruise back in February. We were supposed to leave Monday 6/8 and stop in Progresso and Cozumel, but when the Swine Flu struck, cruise lines cancelled Mexican ports. Instead, they sent us to Jamaica and Grand Cayman, and along with the change in itinerary, they changed the 5 day cruise to a 7 day cruise at no additional charge. Thankfully, Grammy and Pa didn't mind keeping the kids a few extra days.

Since they added the 2 days to the beginning of our cruise, that put us leaving the day after the last day of school. So Thursday, my mom flew from Lubbock to Austin and met us at the airport. We then put Emily and Ty on a plane with her, and they all flew to Lubbock together where my dad was waiting. Dee and I watched the plane leave, and before we made it to Round Rock, they were already in Lubbock!

So on Friday, we were required to work until 8:30 p.m. When we were finally able to leave, we drove straight to Houston (Pearland), arriving around 12:30 a.m. We stayed with Dee's brother and his wife. We were exhausted by this time, but we knew we were 12 hours away from being on our ship, sweet ship.

My 2 observations about boarding were the following:
1. It is much more simple to go on a cruise without 2 little ones (I know; this one is obvious)
2. The Galveston cruise terminal is much more organized than the New Orleans terminal. When we left out of New Orleans, we got to skip lots of people and head to the VIP line since we had small children with us. We got through the regular line in Galveston about 3 times faster than the VIP line in NO. Go figure!

I don't know if everyone knows this, but one thing that Dee and I really enjoyed doing when we were dating/engaged/newly married is salt water fishing in and around Galveston. Since Dee's parents sold the boat and moved to Central Texas, we haven't been fishing in about 4 years. I really enjoyed seeing our old fishing spots from our ship. On the afternoon before our anniversary, it was fun to reminisce as we "cruised" through the ship channel. Enough of this cheesiness--the neatest part of our leaving port was the school of dolphins swimming ahead of our ship. There must have been around 100 (I tried counting and got as high as 19 before I realized there was no way I could count them all).

As we participated in the safety drill, set up our room, and got ready for our first dinner, we just kept saying "Wow--this is SO EASY without kids!"

Speaking of dinner, we went with the 8:15 seating for the week, and we were assigned a table full of women. Dee was the only man at the table! Thankfully, he grew up with 3 sisters and handled himself just fine.

Here is our towel friend who was waiting on us after dinner.

First Full Day at Sea/Sunday/6 Years of Wedded Bliss:

We had a pretty relaxing anniversary. I woke up and walked 2 miles on the top of the ship (yes, that's relaxing to me). Waking up on my own time, wearing my favorite pink tank top, being able to exercise without feeling rushed, looking out at the ocean...well, still the gulf at that point, listening to my ipod, and having some alone time--to me, that's bliss!

After that, we ate breakfast, and I headed to the pool with Twilight in my hand. Later, I met up with Dee to attend a wine seminar. We learned how different wines are made, and they taught us about pairing food with 5 different wines. They also taught us how to properly smell and sip the wine, and they didn't make us spit it out! It was really interesting. This is the Riesling we sampled (the only one Dee liked).

Dee was cracking me up because he was eating his fruit and cheese before he was "supposed to," so he didn't get the full effect of the pairings. Is anyone really surprised?

There's not much else to tell other than major relaxation--naps and reading by the pool. I am so glad we chose the late dinner. Had we chosen the 6:00 dinner, I would have had to leave the pool around 4 or 5. Instead, I got to continue basking when all of the early dinner people had to leave. This night was the 1st formal night, so we attended the Captain's Welcome Reception and even two-stepped on the dance floor before dinner.

Since it was our anniversary and we were all dressed up, we waited in line to have our pictures made. We were going to splurge on a $20.00 photo since it was a special occasion. We were so disappointed the next day when we saw that they had over-photoshopped most of the photos. Plenty of people were still buying them, but they did SO much skin smoothing that our faces were blurry, and our skin looked artificial. I guess other people didn't mind because the lines at the cash registers were very long. Thankfully, one of our table-mates (actually, a high school student who was on vacation with her mom) took some nice pictures of us with the point-and-shoot camera that we borrowed from school. Here is my favorite (with, of course, a touch of my Photoshop magic) if you missed my last post.

It was lobster dinner night--YUM! And our servers entertained us for the first time.

The ladies at our table informed the maitre d' that it was our anniversary, so just before dessert, they sang us an anniversary song and made us kiss every time they said "kiss." Embarrassing, but fun, and thanks, Hannah, for being our photojournalist!

Here we are after the silliness was over!

It may sound lame, but one of my favorite things to do is to run back to the room after dinner to see what kind of towel friend we have waiting for us. Little did I know, there was another surprise waiting for me...

Roses--thanks, sweetie!

I can't remember now if it was Sunday or Monday, but one of the shows was a country revue, and our cruise director played the fiddle. He is super-talented, and his version of The Devil Went Down to Georgia was the highlight of the show. I know most of my readers don't really care, but I want to remember it 6 months from now!

2nd Full Day at Sea/Monday:

Tuesday morning, I woke up to go running. I only ran for about 10 minutes before getting drenched by rain. Thankfully, the rain didn't last long enough to ruin my pool/Twilight time! Actually, Dee and I played Bingo that morning with the older peeps. Dee insisted that I needed to play at least once in my life. And there's not much else to report for Tuesday. If we had a to-do list, it would have looked something like this...

Eat lots of yummy food
Soak up the sun
Take a nap
Finish Twilight

Everything completed for once--that's why we look so happy at dinner!

Here is our head waiter entertaining us.

And here is his assistant. They were both great, especially watching out for Dee amongst all of the women. They kept his plate full and kept his Diet Cokes coming!

And here is our towel masterpiece! Every night, we stacked them on a shelf next to their "friends," so by the end of the week, we had a full zoo.

I borrowed a few pictures from Carnival's website to give you a small tour of our ship. I have to admit that although the Ecstasy's staff is first-rate, the ship's decor is dated (very 80s). In fact, Carnival will be gutting it and completely re-doing it this fall. I can't wait to see what she looks like when they are finished with her! Anyway, when you board the ship, this is the atrium where you enter.

We would have hung out in this piano bar every night. The pianist was great and could sing and play pretty much anything, but the smoke really got to us (it is one of the few places where smoking is allowed).

Important Places on the Top Decks:
1. The pool area where I spent most of my time lounging in a chair facing the water
2. The main pool area where the fun and activities happen where I didn't spend any time
3. The track where I exercised 3 times (pretty good for vacation)

The next 2 days were spent in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. I hope to post those pictures soon!