Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Official Sushi Lover!

While we were in Dallas, we had grand plans to eat at a Tex-Mex place (Helloooooo! We are in Texas...and for all of you that know me, cheese dip and chips is like my favorite thing in the world to eat). But we ended up eating at Reikyu Sushi Bar in Mockingbird Station choice! It was was SO GOOD!

Eric and I have been eating sushi for about 3 years. He is much more adventurous than I am and jumped in with both feet on the whole eating raw fish. For the first 2 years I would only eat California rolls (which include rice, avacado, crabmeat and a little mayo wrapped in little bit of black seaweed). I would also request a knife and fork and proceed to cut them up, because I didn't like putting the whole thing in my mouth at one time! Those waiters and waitresses would look at me like a was a nut. But in the last year or so, I've come to really like some different kind of rolls, but still pretty tame. Basically fried shrimp and rice with some spicy sauce on top. There's a Japanese restaurant around the corner of our house and we eat there at least twice a month.

The picture at the top is Edamame, which are these little soybeans that are served warm with salt on them! YUM! You just put them in your mouth and pop the beans right out! Even if you didn't like sushi, these are really good. We usually get these as an appetizer. Sometimes we will get the clear soup and maybe a salad with ginger dressing.

These are the sushi rolls we had Saturday night. Basically it was crawfish or shrimp with cucumbers, avacadoes, rice and neat sauces on top. Every single bite was delicious. We were so sad because there's really no place back home that has AWESOME sushi like this. There may be, but we haven't found them yet.

Eric does order just plain sushi which is a little ball of white rice with simply a piece of fish on top of it. He usually gets salmon, tuna and others like that. I've tried it, but never ordered it. I like all the bells and whistles that you get with the rolls. Ha!

If all this sounds like something you would absolutely NOT try, never say never! I used to be the pickiest eater in the world. But now I will at least try something (except for crazy things!) once. I have had rolls with eel. If you can get past the fact that you are basically eating a snake out of the sea, it is pretty good! Ha! For now, I will stick with the fried shrimp rolls being my favorite!

Have you ever tried sushi? What's your favorite?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Road trip to Dallas

A few weeks ago, Eric & I decided to take a short trip without Luke. We were looking for something relatively close by and somewhere we had not been before. We had both been separately with friends, but not a trip together. We knew we wanted to shop and had scoped out some restaurants that we wanted to go to, but didn't really know what else we would do.

On our way, we were talking about Texas and Eric's take on Texas was, "Other than the Dallas Cowboys, Texas doesn't really have anything to brag about! It's just big!" Ha! Our friends, Mark and Kristie, disagree! These transplanted Texans joked with us that we were headed for the Promised Land! WHATEVER! It's just hard for any die-hard Razorback fan like Eric to say he likes anything about Texas.

One thing on our "To Do List" was a trip to IKEA. Oh my goodness! This was amazing! This store has it all! We had a list of things to look for and to get for our house. It is two stories and has an amazing selection of furniture, kitchen stuff, picture frames, kids' stuff, you name it! We were in there for A LONG TIME!

Here's Eric loading up our new computer chair for our office (I'm sitting in it right now...he did a good job of putting it together!). He was trying to be patient with all my picture taking...he knew he was going to end up on my blog. :)

I loved so many things about this place. I definitely want to take a girls' trip back here soon!

We spent a lot of time on I-121, which happened to be a toll road from downtown Dallas to Friscoe. It was weird, because sometimes the toll would be 40 cents, another time 50 cents and then it was $1.00. One time we had gotten off the wrong exit and Eric was trying to figure out which lane we needed to be in and we accidentally (seriously!!!) passed straight through without paying. OH MY GOODNESS-HOW MUCH IS THAT GOING TO COST US? Oh well...just some po dunk Arkansans trying to find their way around. It wasn't easy...

We did pretty good. Like I said, we missed a few turns. I was the navigator and Eric was the driver. We make a great team, if I do say so myself!

This shopping center was called Mockingbird Station and it was right down the street from our hotel. This is the place that had the movie theatre. It also had a Cold Stone Creamery, a Japanese restaurant (we ate there TWO times), Gap, Paperie & Co., Urban Outfitters and West Elm. There are also loft apartments above all the stores. Very urban!

West Elm is a really cool store that has lots of things to look at, but not much to buy on this trip. They are a sister store to Pottery Barn.

Speaking of pottery, here are our new dishes. After using our daily white china with scalloped edges for 15 years, we decided to get something new. We had fun picking out a mixture of solids and prints. Hope they last as long as the Johnson Brothers dishes we received from Dillards in 1993!

Leaving Texas we decided that we loved it after all. Just don't tell anyone! Ha!

What's your favorite thing about Texas?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Foreign films, anyone?

Eric and I are in Dallas this weekend. We just got back to our hotel room after watching our third movie this weekend. read that correctly! OUR THIRD MOVIE IN THREE DAYS!!!! Isn't that crazy?!? We cannot remember when we saw a movie together last! Seriously! So we caught up on our movies.

Thursday night we saw The Visitor. There's a small cinema by our hotel that shows independent films. So this one looked the least "artsy", so I picked it! :) It was very good. Then yesterday, after we were finished shopping, we went to see Dark Knight. Other than Heath Ledger's incredible performance as The Joker, I hated that movie. Don't waste your time. My brothers, Patrick and Derek, disagree. They think it's the best movie ever made. Until next month, when a new action movie comes out. Ha!

So tonight we were going to go eat around the corner and the restaurant just happens to be next to the movie theatre. Should we go see ANOTHER movie? Eric looked to see what movies were playing and said that Tell No One had gotten really good reviews. Did we want to go see that? Sure! Why not? Who knows when we will go the movies again (in the past few years I've seen Happy Feet, Nim's Island, Surf's Up, Wall-E, Horton Hears a Who, The Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, etc.-need I say more?!?). It wasn't until the introduction to the movie (when I couldn't read anything that it said) until I realized that the movie was French and there were subtitles. Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? I'm watching a FOREIGN FILM?!? This is going to be TERRIBLE! I will be honest and admit that all of these thoughts were running through my head! But it wasn't terrible-it was so good! It was suspenseful, the acting was great and I barely realized I was reading the whole movie! I LOVED IT!

I don't usually blog about current events or movies, but just wanted to share that I had tried something new and liked it! I've been to a few movies at the local independent movie place in time, but nothing with subtitles.

Have you ever seen a movie with subtitles? Did you like it?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Girls' Trip to Branson

Last month my friend, LaDonna, and I left for our 4th annual Girls' Weekend Getaway! We decided on Branson for a short 3 night trip and it was so nice to get away from work, cleaning house, taking care of others, responsibilities and "TO DO" lists. Here's our little home away from home. It was a cute cabin! It had a great screened-in back porch with a real porch swing. We had so much fun reading, renting movies and playing Scrabble (or Scramble as LaDonna calls it!).

On Friday we later laughingly discovered that we had planned a "Big Boat" theme. First we went to the Titanic exhibit then later it was off to another big boat-Noah the Musical! How funny! We couldn't stop laughing when we realized this!

The Titanic was so cool! When you entered they gave you a boarding pass of an actual passenger on the boat. You had to look for clues about your person throughout the exhibit. Then at the end, you went to the Memorial Room to see if your person survived (My person, Alma, did not live. She and her 4 children perished due to being in 3rd class! Poor little things! LaDonna's character, on the other hand, was a very wealthy woman named Charlotte. She and her son bullied their way on to a rescue boat and made it). See...I told you this stuff was interesting! :)
It was amazing to see how big the ship was and neat to see real artifacts from it.

Isn't this funny? We had just gotten finished eating at the Hard Luck Diner and knew we had to have a photo op here! So cute! I felt so tiny! The Hard Luck Diner is a neat place. It's a 1950s-type hamburger joint in which the waiters and waitresses actually walk around singing in between waiting on the tables. There's a wide variety of singers (male/female, young/older). They all had really nice voices and a few guys had made it to American Idol. Several people sang Christian songs as well. Very fun place with yummy hamburgers!

This is the Sight and Sound Theatre where Noah the Musical was shown. It looked like something straight out of the Bible on the outside and the play was very entertaining with all the live animals. Luke would have loved it!

We decided to picnic at Table Rock Lake because the weather was so nice! It was like that the whole weekend-not hot at all, which is unusual for late June. We actually got kinda chilly sitting here eating and talking and talking and talking....Ha! Well, we weren't expecting the picnic areas to be under water. We found a bench right at the water's edge and it was very neat being so close.

We decided not to sit at this picnic table.

We had a wonderful time of relaxation. Of course, we had to take in some outlet malls and made a trip to the new Branson Landing. We had some Mexican food, sat out by the water and got some yummy desserts. We always have such a good time on our little mini-vacations.
I'm so thankful God has given me LaDonna to be my friend.

Proverbs 17:17a says, "A friend loves at all times...".

When is the last time you took a trip with your best friend?

What's your favorite thing to do in Branson?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday!

Here's me and my sweeties last June at my cousin's wedding. Luke was Keith and Amy's ring bearer and he did an awesome job! He was NOT very excited about it at all. My brother, Patrick, was our ring bearer and he's 24 years old now. I never served in a wedding as a flower girl...awwww!!!! Don't little girls just love this?!? I love going to weddings and I have only been in a handful...maybe three.

We had a pretty big wedding (at our church, five attendants apiece, 250 guests, etc.) and I loved planning it. There are probably tons of things I would have done differently now, but I love looking back at my pictures and remembering all the work (and fun) it was!

How many weddings have you been in?

How big was your wedding?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Grandma's Flowers

My Grandma LOVES her flowers! She piddles in her yard ALL day long, every single day! She lives about 10 minutes from us and just around the corner from my mom. Someone in our family is at her house twice a day...going by to check on her and giving her medicine. She loves it when my sister and I bring the boys. Luke loves going to Grandma's house so he can play in her ditch, drink her Dr. Peppers (special treat for him since I never let him order it at restaurants) and go searching for bugs and other critters.

Luke with his rolie polie!

Grandma loves doing crossword puzzles, going to church with her friends, cooking, pulling weeds in her yard, watching game shows, drinking sweet tea and playing rummy!

Here's my mom helping Luke find these...

Can you say YUCK!?!

I don't mind him playing with little creepy crawlies and I'm certainly not a "germ-phobe", but there is just something so gross about a whole bunch of earthworms all wadded up! NASTY! Luke doesn't understand why I don't share this love!

Grandma's hydrangea bushes were just beautiful this year! There were so many different colors: blues, whites, pinks and fuschias! I don't know which ones I like the best...

Maybe someday I will get into planting flowers. Right now I have one potted plant on my back patio. I forget to water it and it is usually drooping. Pitiful, I know! For now, I love going to Grandma's and helping her tend to hers!

Did your Grandma love flowers like mine? Are you good with flowers?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday, Luke!

I cannot believe my baby is turning seven years old tonight! He was born on July 5, 2001 at 12:26 a.m. I like to tell him that he missed being a "firecracker baby" by only 26 minutes! All day I've been thinking about what was going on that day. We stuck around the house until about 3:00 in the afternoon, having back labor all day and not really even knowing those were contractions (even after attending Labor and Delivery classes at the hospital and reading What To Expect When You Are Expecting 500 times!!!). They induced me and I never did progress like I should. After many hours and a few scares we were headed for a c-section about 11:30 p.m. on 4th of July. I asked the doctor if she thought we could have him by midnight. Nope! We missed it by 26 minutes! Oh well...Luke has his own special day!

I snuck in his room tonight and took this picture of him sleeping and immediately thought about the first picture. The infant picture is when he was 4 weeks old! I took him to Sears (ha!) for his first little picture and he WOULD NOT wake up. So I had them take them anyway while he was asleep. While he is asleep, he looks so much like he did when he was a baby. Sometimes I miss those days!

This afternoon, we went down to Sheridan to visit Eric's dad's side of the family. My father-in-law, Bill, has had this golf cart forever! I used to take Eric's sister, Leslie, on it when she was a little girl. She would drive it all over to visit family nearby and Luke has always loved going for rides in the golf cart. Well, this time he was able to step into the driver's seat. He can finally reach the gas and brake pedals and he asked if I wanted to go for a ride. "Sure!" I replied, "I would love to". So off we went, riding down to the pond, and up to Aunt Janice's house. We looked at birds, he pointed out where he saw a deer the day before and he showed me how Uncle Patrick taught him how to "cut donuts" by spinning round and round. Shhhhh! Don't tell his Pop he is mistreating the golf cart already. Ha! he was driving down the gravel driveway, he looked over at me and said exactly what I was thinking. He said, "Ya know, it sure is weird-me being the driver and you being the passenger!"

My thoughts exactly!

Happy Birthday, Son!
I love you!