Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Twenty Thirteen

I CANNOT believe that it is the last day of 2013!!! I don't think this one flew by as fast as last year, but still crazy that we are entering yet another year. In no particular order, here some memorable things about 2013:
  • After much prayer, tears, and frustration, the infamous Vertigo finally let go! 
  • On the bright side, this gave me an excuse to watch all 3 seasons of Downton Abbey in essentially one sitting.
  • We also watched all seasons of "24" in their entirety. Not sure how proud I am though that we watched 8 years of TV in 9 months. The curse of Netflix. 
  • LOTS of friends  and family had a baby. I would never try to name each one for fear of leaving someone out. But you know who you are; I love all of you and your babies! 
  • Jeremie and I finally went to Wyoming; something we've been talking about since we were in college. It was fantastic and I am in love with that place! 
  • Ladies Football Camp. I think I blogged about this here. But I am still talking about it and Jeremie just rolls his eyes.
  • I really enjoyed decorating the house. This DOES NOT include painting the 77 spindles on the staircase, which almost made me lose my religion.
  • We joined a small group through our church and fortunately these people are as crazy as we are. (And if they read this, they will not get offended, only laugh.)  
  • I took a 16 day trip to MS and even though this included fantastic reunions with family and friends, I will never stay away that long again.
  • Texas continues to be Texas. At Bible study the other day I heard a lady say "Ohh, yes, GOLD is the best neutral!"  I also had a lady at Stein Mart tell me that a sweater made my hips look big when I asked her opinion.
  • This year I finished a study in Genesis and began Matthew. Absolutely incredible what God can do through His Word.
  • When I asked J what came to mind when he thought of 2013, he said "Home".....Dallas now feels like home.  That made me smile!
  • I noticed today that some people posted that 2013 was the best year of their lives and then I know others who are going through unspeakable tragedy right now. That really makes me think. Ecclesiastes 3.
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope yours is safe, fun and joyful.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's The Holiday Season....

Yes, the title of this post is a jingle and as I typed it I was singing it in my head.  So the holidays came early for the Wells this year.  Since I was sick as a dog through the holidays last year, I felt like I deserved to commence the festivities early.  Judge if you like, but my decorations went up around November 19th.  So Jeremie walked in from work one day and stockings were hung and Christmas music was playing on Pandora and he said "Ok, so it's Christmas." I was no less into Thanksgiving, but really more thankful that I was healthy enough to indeed put up decorations.

We did hold a full Thanksgiving feast thro' down. We had full intention of going to MS, attending the Egg Bowl and visiting family, but at the last minute (like LAST minute; bags were at the door), we decided not to go.  (Jeremie has a HUGE project launching this week and the thought of over 22 hours of driving over 4 days was too much.) So though no one can out do J's moms pound cake, my mom's dressing, or my Grammy's rolls, we gave it our best shot. J smoked a turkey and we had all the traditional sides like cornbread dressing, butter beans, corn casserole, mac 'n cheese, and my favorite....the rolls.  Oh, and pecan pie..duh. We actually had a great time cooking and even better time eating.  And homegirl always loves a reason to use the china.


And yes, I ate my dinner in my MSU jersey....because...the The Battle for the Golden Egg was held that evening and I was very thankful it ended up in the right hands.....Hail State!

In true Bulldawg form, it didn't come easy.....the game ended in overtime, which I hate. I spent most of it literally standing on the couch. BUT, we scored and in the final play ended like this. And it is being re-lived in many Bulldog homes....just Google "Wallacing"......

My favorite "Wallacing" was this:

In this case, I am thankful for whoever posted this clever Elf on a Shelf rendition......

Jeremie and I did not participate in the violent Black Friday shopping, but we did split up and go to our favorites....for him that was Cabela's and for me it was The Gap. And Stein Mart. (Where I asked a lady's opinion about how a sweater looked on me she told me it made my hips look bigger than they were. I love an honest Texas woman.)

Over the rest of the weekend, we picked up our Christmas tree, watched lots of football and National Lampoon Christmas vacation, which officially commences the Christmas season.

This weekend certainly felt like the North Pole as Storm "Cleon" has come through. (How do they come up with these names?)  Texans get totally nervous when it even rains here, so an ice storm warranted a state of emergency.  Grocery stores were out of bread, eggs, and other basics! Glad I went early.  It really has been a crazy storm! Everything is iced over....it looks like snow, but it's pure ice, so don't plop and try to make an angel, because you'll bust your head open. Luckily, J has kept a fire going and we never lost power. Manny seemed to love the stuff.

I am happy to use this time to hang in my pj's and wrap gifts!  Tis the Season!

And in my best Bing Crosby voice.......I am singing "Happy Holidays"..........

Saturday, November 23, 2013

WHOOP! Our Weekend in Aggieland

A couple weeks ago, we traveled to College Station, AKA Aggieland, to watch the Dawgs get beat compete against the Aggies. (Surprisingly, the margin was much less than I expected.) Nevertheless, it was nothing less than a fantastic time. Even though we lost and stayed in a half-star hotel, no fear, the hubs and I know how to make the best of our situation.

College Station is about 3 hours from here and we rolled into town about 10:00 on Friday night. We tapped into our former college energy and attended the "Midnight Yell" at their football stadium, which is a long time A&M tradition. This was essentially a pep rally with 30,000 in attendance. There were performances of very organized chants and cheers directed by the Yell Leaders (they do not have girl cheerleaders), and they even broke out into the swaying that you see on TV.....I was minding my own and next thing I knew an Aggie grabbed me, so J and I swayed like the best of them. After the class president (tearfully) read a poem about St. Peter opening the gates of heaven to all Aggies entering, we decided that A&M is a cult.

Then next day we started out any football Saturday as it should be---with Shipley donuts. We headed to campus and cheered for the MSU buses as they pulled in, walked around campus, and ate at the Alumni tent.  It's always neat to see another school's game day atmosphere. It was quite impressive because of the sheer size of the crowds, but I'm still partial to The Junction.  : )

They did actually have horses in the middle of one of their drill fields!  And I almost stepped in a pile with my darling Steve Madden boots.

The stadium atmosphere was fantastic.  Great crowd that stays on their feet most of the game!!!

The A&M band was absolutely amazing.  They have a huge band of Cadets that did the true marching band formations that were incredible.  Jeremie and I sometimes pick on The Famous Maroon Band because they play Lady Gaga songs and rarely wear their full garb, with the feather hats and such.  So as the Aggies were doing a most impressive "four way cross", J leaned to the MSU fan next to him and said "Dang, that would be one big pile up if that were our band"....I noticed the guy didn't really say anything and realized we were likely sitting in the MSU family section, since we were also given tickets by MSU.  I about died and told J not to make any more opinionated comments to strangers. (Lord, I hope the kicker's mom wasn't around us.)

The Dawgs actually gave the Aggies a run for their money, so we didn't have to walk out with our tail tucked between our legs. Afterwards, we tried to complete the College Station experience by eating in the young and happenin' Northgate area, but it was too crowded, loud, and let's admit, our college days are over. We ended up a quiet Italian restaurant with a old man duo playing a clarinet & guitar. #whathavewebecome

On the way back, we stopped by this AMAZING bakery (recommended by many Texans) called the "Czech Stop".  For those of you familiar with the Brooksville bakery, it was very similar. We loaded up on yummy treats, sausage rolls, and yes......."Czech Mix".  J made jokes for an hour...."Czech, please", "Czech this out",  "Better Czech yo-self"......oh, dear.......

I look forward to going back for future events! A&M's traditions and school spirit is unparalleled! Loved our road trip and seeing new places in Texas! Can't wait for the next one!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Word from the Wise......

So in September, I finally went through the dreaded procedure of having my wisdom teeth removed. (Fun Fact: they are called "Wisdom teeth" because they usually appear later in life, when you should presumably be wiser than your childhood when your other teeth come in.) My dentists have been telling me for about 10 years that they are in there and should probably come out.  I've just been able to make legitimate excuses over the years like "I'm busy with school", "I'm planning a wedding", "We just moved", etc. Well, this time I didn't have one and can't even use the "I"m too busy with work" excuse! The annoying thing about having your wisdom teeth removed is that it's not a definite decision. They may or may not ever come in or cause you problems. But if they DO....you are in for a lot of pain and for me, possibly a 3rd set of braces, as they will shift the rest of your teeth.  That sole possibility made me go for it.  (I was afraid if they did mess up my teeth, my parents might make me pay them back the $6,000 they dished out on my smile.)

Quite honestly, I was a MESS over this!  I was so nervous, especially about the sedation part. (Which, from taking a poll, is everyone's favorite part.). J was able to go in the surgery room with me while they got me ready, and in true form, I was talking ninety-to-nothing, which is what I do when I'm nervous.  Right before they put in the IV, I told J to give me a scripture....well....I was OUT before he said the first word.  Thirty-five minutes later, I was awake and it was over!!! (Yes, my surgeon got. it. done.) J was pretty disappointed that I was not a blubbering idiot that he could video; Lord knows I probably would've ended up on You Tube and then the Today show. The next few days were spent in bed eating more mashed potatoes than Idaho can produce in a year. Nurse Jeremie was fantastic and came to my need every time I rang....that's right....my cowbell.  #Hailstate #HailKatie

Here's my main takeaways:

  • Hydrocodone is amazing. 
  • Sedation is amazing. 
  • Instant mashed potatoes are amazing. Seriously like a science experiment. 
  • Frozen bags of beans or peas is the best to ice your face.....slip them in some long tube socks, pin them at the toe, and tie it around your head (See Exhibit 1 below)
  • The worst part was actually how swollen & painful my saliva glands were
  • Jeremie had a hard time admitting this--but by the end of my recovery, he was sick of the sound of a cowbell
  • I should have done this closer to Halloween and just been a chipmunk

    Against everything southern in me that says "Never post a bad picture of yourself", I had many friends insist that I share! The best thing about this picture is that I really thought I was smiling!  My mouth was still numb, so I was giving it everything I had!  

 All in all, it wasn't a horrible experience, but I'm glad it's over and that it's a one and done deal! And against what Jeremie will probably tell you......I don't think I lost any of my wisdom.....I mean, he was the one who came running every time I rang a cowbell....you make the call on who's wiser......  ; )

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Big Loop 2013

So to continue my summer review.....there was a lot going on East of the Mississippi in July, so I decided to just make a BIG trip of it.  I jetted to Jackson on July 12th where Dad picked me up and we immediately went to the Bass Pro Shop and ate catfish. Hey, you can the girl out of Mississippi........

My next stop was to pick up Meg and head to Alabama for Mary's baby shower. (Emmaline Claire made her entrance into the world last week!) We stopped in Meridian to shop for all things baby and even had lunch the one and only Kelly Hayes!

The shower was at Mary's hometown church where she got married, so it felt like yesterday we were bridesmaids, and today we were aunties! I miss these gals so much. I don't know why the Good Lord has us living in 3 different states, maybe because He knows we wouldn't get anything done other than throwing parties and Pinterest projects. We had a blast staying up till 1:30 a.m. chatting it up!

The rest of the week I spent in Hattiesburg hanging out with my parents, grandparents, brother, and even threw in a Thirty-One party! (I told you, we like to party.) Next stop the holy land of Starkville. I will make any excuse to go to Starkville, but a visit with Amy was overdue AND Ladies Football Camp just HAPPENED to be that Saturday.  So Amy and I threw on our maroon and headed to the fabulous new Football facility for a little training. I can't explain how amazing this day was! We got to meet players, hear from all the coaches, their wives, tour Dan Mullen's office, the locker rooms, and the weight room (where I won a Strength and Conditioning t-shirt for doing a pull up.) After lunch, we headed to the practice field in the Palmeiro Center where we actually warmed up, did drills, ran routes, etc. As much as I love athletics, I myself am not athletic, but gave relentless effort, as demanded. At the end of the day, they bused us to the Bulldog Walk where the coaches were lined up cheering us into the on field locker room. Dan Mullen gave us a pep talk and we all ran out onto the field, music and smoke machines blaring. Not joke. I frolicked onto the field I was so giddy.  At the end of the day I won a MSU suitcase and away game tickets for being the farthest traveled fan! Fantastic day.

I spent a few nights with Amy, which SO much fun! We probably haven't had that much time together since junior college. We went on one of our classic antiquing trips, ate lots of Starkville favorites, and had lots of laughs.  Classic sister fun.

No rest for the weary though.  I reluctantly packed my bags and Amy took me to Tupelo where I spent the night with J's great aunt & uncle, Charles and Sara. They are such jewels and treated me and Amy to Outback. After a good nights sleep, they took me to catch my ride to my final destination, Atlanta, GA for National Thirty-One Convention. I had a great time catching up with my college friend and Thirty-One teammate, Meghan.  We had a blast learning new stuff and seeing all the new products...along with the 16,000 other consultants! Whew! Lots of ladies, lots of bags!

I FINALLY flew home to my hubby and doggie 16 days later. I cherished every part of my trip.....but 16 nights was a little too long! I missed my little family so much!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Taylor Trailer

So I am barely squeezing in my summer catch up in before Fall begins!!! The summer months zoomed by!

So this summer, Mom and Dad came to visit for the 4th of July weekend! This was Dad's first time, but I barely even count Mom's first visit, as I was in bed for most of it!  So this time, we finally got to show them the Big D!  First, we hit up the Ft. Worth Stockyards! My grandfather was a horse trader growing up and he went to the stockyards all the time, so it's always special to go there.  We enjoyed the "shoot out", the longhorn parade, and of course, the BBQ!

Pretty sure that if my dad lived in Ft. Worth, he would steal John Wayne's job.....

If we can't live in Mississippi, I think Texas is next best.....
We also visited the Sixth Floor Museum, which is the building that JFK was assassinated from. It is pretty eerie actually, being the room where such a huge piece of history happened. But it was time to go when Mom and I had to literally pull Dad out of the middle of Elm street because he was trying to figure out the trajectory of the bullet from where the car was to the window.

The next day, we all went to the new George W. Bush Presidential Library. It was very interesting, the "Situation Room" was super fun but my favorite part was definitely the replica of the Oval Office.  Everything, down to the pictures on the desk, is completely the way it was when President Bush was in office.

There was a long line to sit at the desk, so J and I went together and in a rush I just sat on his lap to quickly take the pic. Of course J made some inappropriate comment about having his own Monica Lewinsky, hence, this moment.  The look on the security guard's face is my favorite. 
The First Ladies!
We had a great time with Mom and Dad; it's always fun to have your parents see what your life looks like when you live far away!  Miss them lots!  Love you Mom and Dad!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wild West Part III: The Grand Tetons

Oh my dear goodness....it's August and I'm just now finishing about our vacation in MAY!!! This summer has flown by! So I'll just get right to it....

Our third destination was the Grand Tetons, which is another National Park south of Yellowstone. If you even Google the term "Wyoming" pictures of these mountains will come up.  They were absolutely stunning. Again, our 1 hour drive to the Tetons turned into about 3 because we stopped so many times to take pictures.

Our home for the next 3 nights was the Heart Six/Buffalo Valley Ranch. It was a full dude ranch with horses, a cafe, and AMAZING views of the mountains.

This little cafe was 110 years old and there were even bullet holes in the door from an true old fashioned hold up!  We enjoyed many dinners and breakfasts in the cafe.  

We also spent some time sitting in these chairs reading and enjoying the view......

The view.

The next day we floated down the Snake River. We were the only ones on the tour (perhaps because it was 8 a.m. and 45 degrees) but it was so beautiful and lots of fun. Our tour guide was full of stories and info and we even spotted a bald eagle.
I realize this looks like "Prom '98 on The Snake River" but we were really just trying to hold onto each other so we wouldn't fall out of the boat.
We were pretty hungry after the float, so we took our guide's recommendation and hit up the Signal Mountain Lodge. This happened: 
Signal Mountain nachos and chili loaded baked potato. 
We drove up  Signal Mountain afterwards, which was beautiful, but cut somewhat short because there was a storm coming in....which was actually kinda neat to see...

Since the weather was kinda nasty the rest of the day, we just rode around and did some wildlife spotting. (Our float guide told J about a "secret wolf cave", so may or may not have sat in the car in the middle of a field while J played a wounded animal sound App on his phone. Unfortunately, no wolves took the bait.) 

The next morning, the clouds were low again and it was rainy and COLD!

We headed to Jenny Lake and took a ferry across the lake to a mountain where we hiked a half mile to a gorgeous water fall! 

Another half mile took us to Inspiration Point which is at 7,220 feet! It was beautiful and I was tired!

Once we got to the top, the rain really started coming down and I was getting nervous. Our float guide had JUST told us about some hikers that got caught up on a mountain in a lightning storm and all of them got struck by lightning! So as slow as I got up the mountain, I went down about 10 times as fast.  J kept telling me to slow down and calm down! Once we got down and got back across the lake we turned to look at where we had climbed and it looked like a foothill compared to the top of the actual mountains! It felt like we had hiked so far! Our week was starting to catch up with us so we headed back to the ranch to take a nap then went out for more wildlife spotting. That was actually one of my favorite parts of the trip-we left enough open time to just ride around the country. It was so relaxing. That afternoon we spotted more moose and pronghorn sheep. 

Milford the Moose

Jeremie "offroaded" it a little bit and we took the poor rental car down a dirt road where we ended up in a field of buffalo. It was amazing! They were crossing the road and headed up the mountain, but let me assure you, buffalo are NEVER in a hurry.....

Calving season had just happened...the baby buffalo were darling and full of energy!
Since the winter season had just ended in Wyoming, the buffalo were shedding their winter coats....therefore they were rubbing on trees, stumps, fence posts, anything they could to help rub it off....it was hilarious!
Our last night in Wyoming, we headed back to Signal Mountain Lodge and ate dessert for dinner. We were a little bummed to leave, but we had so much fun recapping our trip. The last day, (on the way to the airport) we FINALLY spotted a bighorn sheep, which was one of the last things on our Wildlife Bingo card! If we hadn't seen one, we'd probably still be there. My husband is a very determined man.  

Billy the Bighorn....we found you.
Just looking at the pictures makes me want to go back NOW! This trip was such a blessing and made memories for a lifetime!!! Looking forward to many more with my honey.