Friday, December 12, 2008

The Ballards Elfed

I tried to add the video to the blog, but I couldn't make it work.

Check it out on my Facebook page instead! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've been tagged... Thanks, Loree!

8 TV shows I love to watch:

1. Law & Order (the original one)
2. The Biggest Loser
3. House (same time as #2, and no, we don't have DVR, so I have to watch it on the computer)
4. The Office
5. John & Kate Plus 8
6. CSI: Las Vegas (again, the original one)
7. Crossing Jordan
8. Without a Trace 
(and so many more... I watch way too much TV!)

8 Favorite Restaurants:

1. McAlister's
2. El Fenix
3. Mi Cocina
4. Sonic (more for the drinks, but ya know..)
5. Fireside Subs
6. Chili's
7. Macaroni Grill
8. Subway

8 Things That Happened Today:

1. slept until 10am
2. took Mia out to potty
3. met Brian and his mom for lunch at Chuy's
4. went shopping at the Allen Outlet Mall
5. took Mia out to potty again (i do this a lot.. she must have a small bladder..)
6. did this blog
7. ate sushi with friends at Chaucer's
8. went to bed

8 Things I Am Looking forward To:

1. growing old with my husband
2. my 24th birthday tomorrow
3. sushi for dinner tonight
4. meeting with a personal trainer (I'm determined to get skinny!)
5. making money once I get a job
6. having kids one day (not anytime soon...)
7. Christmas
8. buying a house

8 Things On My Wish List:

1. an ivory pea coat
2. to get skinny
3. safety for my family and friends
4. a good job
5. for Brian to come home from work earlier
6. another dog (a vizsla, and only once we get a house)
7. healthy kids one day
8. to become a kinder person and better Christian

8 People I Tag:

1. Allison Ballard
2. Remy Webb
3. Dani Dillard
4. Lindsey Arita
5. Courtney Broaddus
6. Jenni Kriegel
7. Rachel Dunham
8. Erica Ladwig

I guess we'll see if any of these people check my blog...

Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

We are so smart...

For my graduation present this August, I asked my mom if she would pay to get my diplomas professionally framed. Of course she agreed, so I decided to pay to get Brian's framed to match mine. Aren't they pretty? Every time I look at them I think how fortunate we are that we have parents who love us and value education and a college experience. I also think about how I'm "smarter" than Brian. Haha! At least until he gets his masters in a couple years... 

Our Baylor Diploma's
Brian: Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rachel: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders

My UTD Diploma: Master of Science in Communication Disorders

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Halloween at the Porch's

I have the privilege of regularly babysitting for the sweet Porch family in Dallas. They have been so generous to Brian and I, and we feel blessed to consider them friends. Even though I'm looking forward to it one day, Brian and I are in no hurry to start a family... part of that I owe to growing up with a sibling 12 years younger than me and the other part I owe to the Porch family... because I feel like I get my "kid fix" by spending time with their three precious girls! 

Enjoy a few pics of them in their precious Halloween costumes!

Rebecca with the twins
Anderson and Emma Jane (20 mos.)

Anderson (Annie) and Todd

Miss Mollie (almost 5)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Pumpkin Puppy

Last year for Halloween Mia was a cute little fairy with sheer pink wings. Needless to say, Brian was a little uncomfortable with the "feminine" costume choice. This year I tried to be a little more understanding of his feelings. So, Mia was a pumpkin. Good compromise, right? I think so too. Enjoy!

How cute is she? And so good to just sit there...

Okay, so she wasn't so sure about it at first....

In fact, she might have tried to get it off by rolling around...

But she was much happier once I took the little hat off...
Such a good dog.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dinner with friends

One of my good friends from college, Chelsea, came home from Florida a few weeks ago for Baylor's Homecoming and her mom's wedding. A group of us went to dinner at a really good Mexican food restaurant in Deep Ellum, and it was so good to see her and catch up. She was a bridesmaid in mine and Brian's wedding, and I love how we just pick up where we left off whenever we get a chance to see each other. I love having friends like that.

The group... it's always good to see everyone!

Chels & Me
A little more grown up than our pictures from freshman year

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

The week before Halloween, Danny (Brian's best friend from high school) and his fiancee, Kimberly, invited Brian and I to a Pizza and Pumpkin Party at Kim's apartment! :) We ate pepperoni pizza and carved some pretty awesome pumpkins. It's so fun to have couple friends to hang out with. I hope we can do it more in the future! Enjoy the pictures!

Danny & Brian

Our set up... we tried to not get any pumpkin guts on Kimberly's rug... I'm not sure if we were successful or not.

Look at all my pumpkin goop! Gross!

Isn't my husband cute?

My awesome Skull and Crossbones pumpkin

Brian's Happy Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin

From L to R: Kimberly's, Danny's, Rachel's, Brian's
Vote for your favorite!

Trying to mimic the faces on our pumpkins...

So proud of our pumpkin carving expertise!
Can't wait to do it again next fall!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Women of Faith Conference in Houston

The weekend after we went to San Antonio, I went to Houston with some of the girls in Brian's family for the Women of Faith Conference. Even though some of them had been several times over the years, this was my first experience... and I loved it! Ava (Brian's mom), Loree (our sister-in-law), and I left Dallas on Thursday night for Houston. We made a stop in The Woodlands for an urgent bathroom break (surprise, surprise), a new pair of jeans from Ann Taylor (I left mine at home.. again.. surprise, surprise), and dinner at Chuy's! Then we continued on our way to Houston, checked into our hotel, and played several rounds of our favorite card game, Nertz, before going to bed. The next day we met up with Ava's sister and cousin, who joined us for the rest of the weekend. The Pre-Conference and Conference were great, and it was good getting to spend time with Ava and Loree! Allison, we missed you!!

Enjoy the pictures from our fun girls weekend!

The speakers at the Pre-Conference doing a Q&A

On Friday night we went to Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner.
Can you guess what I'm doing?
That's right... saving a parking space for Ava in downtown Houston!

It was probably funnier at the time... but I was pretty proud of myself!

Nicole C. Mullen was amazing.
She sang my two favorites: "Redeemer" and "Call On Jesus"

After we got back to the hotel from our long day on Friday, we decided it would be no fun just to go to sleep. So... we played Nertz and ate dessert and drank hot chocolate!

Me & my sister-in-law, Loree (Kinley's mom!)

Donna (Ava's cousin) & Ava (Brian's mom)

The whole gang.
Debbie (Ava's sister), Ava, Donna, Loree and Me

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

San Antonio/Wedding Weekend

The weekend of October 17th-19th we traveled down to San Antonio for a wedding. Brian's friend from high school, Adam Hines, was marrying his fiancee, Laura. Friday night we went to the rehearsal dinner, the wedding was at 2pm on Saturday, and then we spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday doing tourist-y things in San Antonio. We ate at two different restaurants on the Riverwalk, and took an audio tour of the Alamo. We also stopped at the outlet mall in San Marcus on our way back up I35. My sweet husband was such a trooper! We had a really good time just being together.. I love being married to him!

We clean up pretty well, huh?!

The wedding party... Brian's on the bottom right.

Dinner Saturday night was at Rio Rio on the Riverwalk.
The food wasn't as good as we were expecting, but the atmosphere was perfect!

We took a ride on the boat that takes you around the Riverwalk. So fun!

There was a sweet family with 2 little girls on the riverboat ride with us. Of course I tried to make friends with the kids, but their mom informed me that they take "Stranger Danger" very seriously... so I gave up
and just asked her to take a picture of us.

In tour-guide mode

Ta-da! All done with the tour... we loved it!

We weren't allowed to take pictures during most of the tour but I thought the shots above and below were really pretty.

Our second meal on the Riverwalk was at the Republic of Texas. We sat right on the water this time. Such a cool environment... They should put one of these in  Dallas!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mia & Lexie

The same day that we got the new flooring in our apartment, Lexie (Matt and Rachael Clark's French Brittany Spaniel puppy) got to come over and  play with Mia. Every once in a while Matt and/or Rachael aren't able to come home from work to let Lexie out, so they ask me! And I love getting to do it. This time I brought Lexie back to our apartment so that she and Mia could get to know each other better. They are always super hyper for about the first 10 minutes, but when Lexie calms down, they play really well together. When Lexie gets a little bigger and can keep up with Mia, I think they'll be best friends! 

They were rolling on the floor together and chewing on the same tennis ball

After playing for an hour or so, I laid out Mia's bed and a pallet for Lexie.. they immediately claimed their spot and slept sweet!

Election Day

If you didn't vote early...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Flooring

Back in September our apartment complex offered a choice of a few upgrades if you signed or resigned a 12 month lease... 2" faux wood blinds, a ceiling fan in the living room (which we have already installed on our own), new faucets or new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom(s). We only wanted to sign a 9 month lease, though. After a few conversations about it, Brian and I felt like we deserved an upgrade anyway. Imagine that. Here was our reasoning: We're great tenants. We've lived here for a year and a half; we pay our rent on time every month; we take good care of our apartment; and we recommended our apartment complex to some of our friends (the Clarks) who now live here. Both Brian and I talked to the apartment manager and assistant manage separately and pleaded our case. They agreed with us and we were rewarded with new flooring in our kitchen and both bathrooms! It looks (and is textured) like wood floor, but it's really still just linoleum. I was a little skeptical at first, but was pretty impressed once it was all said and done.
What do ya think?

(I forgot to take some pictures after I put the rugs back in place, so the rooms look pretty naked... Oh well... you get the idea.)

Master bath

Guest bath


Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh, and...

Happy Halloween and Homecoming!

State Fair of Texas

Okay, everyone sing along:
"Our state fair is a great state fair!
Don't miss it, don't even be late!"

 I love the fair! I've been several times over the years, and wanted Brian to experience it with me and my family. So... on the Sunday after the OU/Texas game... which ended up being the most crowded day of the fair all year... my mom, dad, sister, grandparents, aunt and cousin joined me and Brian for 7+ hours of food, shows, and games. We all had a great time and can't wait to go again next year!

Brian and I parked at a Dart station and rode the train and then a shuttle down to the fairgrounds... Thanks to my sister-in-law, Allison, we used 2 free "teacher" tickets!

With Big Tex himself...

Our dinner consisted of a turkey leg, roasted corn, fried snickers, and a lemonade! We also ate Fletcher's corn dogs, onion rings, Texas twisters, and several other things I can't think of right now... 

Who won the only prize of the night?! That's right, it was me! I shot one of those water-gun things into a hole and made the line rise the fastest! We brought the lady-bug prize home for Mia to tear up at some point.
I'll post pics of that when the time comes...

We didn't actually ride the giant ferris wheel, but besides Big Tex, it's the classic symbol of the State Fair to me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where do I even start?

I think I owe some of you blog-stalkers an apology... it's been over a month since I last posted! Ironically, it's not because we haven't done anything "blog worthy"... it's because there were too many things to blog about... I got overwhelmed and didn't know where to start! I'm gonna try to post one a day until I catch up.. here goes!

Kinley's 1st Birthday!

The cute set-up...

The birthday girl... not sure about all of the madness...

The Ballard kids decided it would be a good idea to show everyone how they can all eat an entire regular sized cupcake in one bite.

Then my husband, true to form, could not leave it at that...
He insisted on "one-upping" them all by shoving TWO regular sized cupcakes into his mouth at one time.
I'm so proud! ...or not!

It's no joke, folks.... He swallowed them both!