Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day of School

Last Year (3 Years Old):
Yes....we were all smiles on the first day of school here, however, this smile did not return to her face until, oh, I don't know...December. Took her a while to warm up to the whole school thing.

Today (4 Years Old):
Now, despite her somber expression here, she was pretty excited to go to her new school. We met her teacher a few weeks ago when she came to visit us in our home. (That was good for about 3 happy Braelyn points.) Yesterday, we got to visit her classroom and meet most of the friends in her class. (Good for 5 happy Braelyn points.) We also got to meet, not just one, but the TWO class pets...Daisy the hamster, and Freddy the frog. (Good for a dozen happy Braelyn points!) So...Children of the Woodlands earned a lot of love before the big day, and it definitely paid off. She walked into her classroom brave as can be, and with not one tear.
When I picked her up this afternoon she was all smiles...ready to go back on Thursday. (That's good for about one hundred happy mom points! :) YEA!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Arizona: Sunday to Friday

Alright, here's a quick(ish) post about the rest of our trip, which, by the way, was perfection. We had such a great time. I am so thankful that we had the chance to go and so thankful for friends to go with.

So, let's get to it...

Daytime: Went to an Acts29 church in the area. Then, laid out by the pool.
Evening: A yummy tapas restaurant...The Mission.
Los Chicos

Las Chicas
After dinner we walked around and enjoyed the first of two trips to The Gelato Spot. YUM!

Daytime: A super fun girls' day...shoppin' in Scottsdale's Fashion Square. AMAZING!!!

Most of the damage was done here. :) So fun!

After a long day of shopping...a girl needs a little pick-me-up...like a cupcake...from SPRINKLES! Such a beautiful store...and the cupcakes...DELISH!Notice how happy we are! :)

Evening: It was our date night, and since Casey had "enjoyed" fancy bruscetta and tapas the nights before, I told him to pick a place where he could get him some meat and potatoes. So...Donovan's Steakhouse it was! It was very delicious. Perfect chocolate mouse.

Daytime: Morning massages. OMG!!!! AMAZING!!! And more pool time. I couldn't ask for a more perfect day. But then, our dinner plans made it even better...
Evening: La Bandera with my dear friend, Andi, who I haven't seen in over 10 years!!! This sweet girl and her family live in Arizon, so when she saw (on Casey's facebook) that we were headed that way, we arranged to meet up. And I am SO glad we did! Andi and I danced together for years and years and were very close friends. When we reunited, it was like no time had passed at all. It was such a special night...one of my favorites from the trip.
Sarah, Casey, Steph, Andi, (her hubby) Brian, and Lee and Betsy.

Me and Andi. I love this picture!
(Thanks, Andi for such a great time! Can't wait to see you again!)

Daytime: Glorious morning mani/pedis for Sarah and me. I forgot how much I love a mani/pedi! And of course...more pool time.

Casey and Lee relaxing under the waterfall. This was one of Casey's favorite spots.

Admiring my pedi while trying to read.
Evening: We ate dinner in our condo and then went back to Scottsdale for an Art Walk, which is not what we expected. Art Walk...you think outside, canvases stacked up, artists painting right in front of you, crafts, music. NOPE. Just all the fancy art galleries stay open late on Thursdays and you can walk from gallery to gallery. A little disappointing, but we had fun walking around nonetheless, and rewarded ourselves with more Gelato. :)

Daytime: Packed up and had one last yummy Arizona lunch at the Yard House.

Ahhhh...It was such a great trip! I know I keep saying that, but it really was. Casey and I feel so blessed that we got that time together AND that we got to share it with such wonderful friends.

Lee and Sarah...Thanks so much for your amazing generosity, and most of all for your friendship. I hope this is just the first of many trips together. Love you guys!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Veering from Normal

The Ceases have departed from normal yet again. Last week, Casey spoke at a conference in Bridge City, Tx (near Beaumont) and B and I tagged along. Not too much to report about that trip.

THIS week, however, Casey and I are at this beautiful resort in Phoenix, Arizona with our dear friends, Lee, Sarah and lil' Betsy. We got here late last night, so today was our first, real day.

::::Sigh:::: It's perfect! So, so perfect.
The official plan: Sleep. Swim. Read. Eat. Shop. (Sarah and I spotted and H&M on the way home from dinner tonight! It is on the agenda for Monday!!!! Excited about that.)

Some Day 1 Pics:

Getting the lay of the land...in our new sun hats....we need protection from the hot Arizona sun (which I find quite enjoyable, btw. Didn't realize how miserable Houston is!)

At the pool. With iPods.

We ate dinner tonight at this FABULOUS Wine Cafe...Postino.
Super cool atmosphere. Delicious food. Plus...the Arizona Cardinals were playing the Texans, so I got to watch a little pre-season action on their TV. Texans lost. Grrr.

Amazing bruschetta.
I ordered the roasted peppers and goat cheese. Of course!

Lee, Casey, me, lil' Betsy and Sarah.
We are smiling because our bellies are so happy. And also because it's customary when taking a picture...but mostly because of the food. ;)
Can't wait for tomorrow!

BTW- This trip is a gift from the hubs for my 30th birthday.
He's a good man, that one.

(P.S. I finished reading the Twilight Saga and am happy to report that I am on to more respectable reading. But I have to say...it was a darn good read, my friends. Not the way that bruschetta with roasted peppers and goat cheese is good, but the way that bagel bites are good. You know it's junk, but it's still kinda good. Just thought I'd let you know. :)