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Friday, December 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Brunch.

I know I'm chronologically out of order here, but just came across a couple of pictures from Thanksgiving.  For the past few years we go to Walden Yacht Club with Brian's family for a thanksgiving brunch.  They have buffet tables filled with breakfast items, appetizers, and Thanksgiving food.  There is also a long table dedicated to desserts.  This was Jack's first Thanksgiving, and his favorite food was the pie I gave him.  He is proving that he is a true Hargrave because he loves to eat!

traditional grandchildren picture at Thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This year was a pleasant surprise. My girls decorated the Christmas tree all by themselves, and they did an outstanding job!  The ornaments were spread out evenly and, and none were dropped or broken!  The only thing I did was put the angel on top. Our tree is artificial, because frankly, I like fake trees. We have ornaments dated back to when Brian and I were kids, along with many handmade ones, some pretty ornaments, and a whole lot of ugly ornaments.  Ha!!
My favorite part of the evening was when Halle said, "Mommy, I'm glad that we don't have one of those trees that just has fancy ornaments on it. I'm so glad we have a tree that has all of these kind of ornaments on it because it makes it feel like a real family."  I was so encouraged because every year I always feel a bit embarrassed that our tree is not pretty, or donned out in expensive ornaments.  I'm so glad that my daughter appreciates the sentiment our tree holds. 
Arden came in with my second favorite part, "Ohhhhhhh! The tree! I love it! It's beautiful!" Her face and excitement was priceless.  

We've had a busy December.  Here's a highlight reel of this wonderful season....

Arden as Mary at church.  We are trying to teach her that Christmas celebrates Jesus' birthday.  She likes to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
enjoying a hay ride and singing christmas carols
Jack's stocking was added this year.

I love this hat!

Halle's Christmas Choir Program.  Daddy gave her flowers after.

Arden found Santa slippers in the Christmas box and had to pose with them.  "Take a picture of me mommy!" Where does this sassiness come from???
I started a new tradition this year with the girls.  The brown basket right next to Arden has 24 wrapped books.  Each night since Dec. 1st  the girls have unwrapped a book for me to read to them.  They have loved doing this, and don't let me forget story time.  All of the books are ones they already had, but most of them are Christmas related.  The girls like the surprise factor because they don't know what book they will get that night. 
A not-so-good Santa picture.  Santa is skinny, the backdrop is funky, and the kids don't match.  And Halle's shorts are representative of this muggy weather we've been having.  I think because of all of the quirkiness it's my favorite Santa picture so far.

Our Christmas card, sort of...  I had to redesign it to be printer-friendly.
I attend a bible study on Thursdays, and the preschoolers did a Christmas program for us this last week.

This was Brian's Rudolph as a kid

Arden's dance class did a small recital for the parents.  She was so excited that she got to wear lipstick and blush.  She stared at herself in the mirror and made kissy faces after I put it on her.

Arden and Myleigh in class

Alicia had a Christmas party for the little ones, and a cookie exchange for the moms.  The kids got to decorate sugar cookies, and do a few activities.  We moms exchanged oreo truffles, chocolate drop cookies, butterfinger cookies, etc.  I came home with at least four dozen cookies.  They were ALL gone by the time I woke up the next morning.  Sweets DO NOT last in the Hargrave house.  Period. 

Jack and his girlfriend, Kinley, sat on the floor and conversed at the Christmas party.  They were baby talking to each other.  So adorable!!
Jack is such a gentleman.  He's sharing his tray and his sugar cookie.
 Hope your Christmas season has been as merry as ours!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Here is the updated recipe holder.  Much better.....  :)


pin·stros·i·ty \pin-ˈsträ-sə-tē\: a pin of great and often frightening size, force, or complexity.

I follow a blog called Pinstrosity.  The blog writers receive emails from readers about failed Pinterest attempts, and it is hilarious.  Well today I am showcasing one of my very own "pinstrosities!"  Typically my DIY projects come out decent, but this one was an epic failure. 

Here is the original pin.

Cookie sheet-turned magnet board for holding recipes you're using. LOVE this idea!!!!
Cookie sheet-turned magnet board for holding recipes.
All you do is take an old cookie sheet, paint it, and decorate it with craft paper.  Add a few magnets, a stand, and voila, a recipe holder while you're cooking.  Easy enough, right?  Easy enough if you're not me.  I used a silver platter instead that I thought would be cute.  I decided to do another color other than black, and used scrapbook paper from Halle's craftbox.  I was too lazy to go to Michael's or Hobby Lobby to get the supplies that I really needed.  The scrapbook paper didnt match very well with the hideous burnt orange paint I used, so I tried to make it looked "distressed" instead.  I then tried to cover up the horribleness with some writing, only to have it look like Arden's artwork.  Oh, and let's not forget the small magnet I painted to match.  Here is my pinstrosity....
Ha!!!!  In my head it was super cute.  When Crystal saw it, she said, "Awww, so sweet, Halle made a craft."  Nope, Halle would have done much better, lol.  I plan on repainting it black and trying again on the decorating.  I will update with my finished product.  Anything is better than this!

On the plus side, I do have a few DIY "pin-wins" to redeem myself. 
a growth chart I made out of a piece of wood and help from Alicia's cricut cutter
Arden's jeans still fit in the waist, but has outgrown the length of ALL of her jeans, so I added ruffles to the ends.  I think they came out adorable.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

San Antonio Again!


This trip was actually the weekend before our family mini vacation.  Brian and I, along with Sarah, Adam, Alicia, Amanda, Rusty, John, Jessica, and a few other friends, (that's a lot of commas in one sentence) headed to San Antonio for the Run Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon.  Most of us are veteran runners of this San Antonio race, but this was Alicia, Rusty, and Amanda's first time to run a 1/2.
 Gonna run, ‘till I don’t jiggle. funny and true.

My goal for this particular race was to try to drop some of my baby weight while training, and to beat my last 1/2 marathon time.  I shaved four minutes off of my last one!  That doesn't seem like a lot, but it actually is in the running world, especially with the weather the way it was.  It was so muggy, and the sun was brutal during some parts of the course.  I was happy with my four minutes.  The race is always a piece of cake compared to the training.  You have so much adrenaline and excitement to keep you going through the race, but the months leading up to it are hard work.  These are some of the quotes that go through my mind to keep me motivated during training.

the hardest step

  If you want results then work for it

I never Regret when I do it, I always regret when I don't.

Running reminder

The excitement that goes along with the races are indescribable.  It's like an alternate universe when you show up at the pre-race expo.  It's an entirely different world that is fueled by Cliff bars, Cytomax, and Gatorade, supported by KT tape and calf sleeves, medicated by IcyHot and BodyGlide, and fashioned by Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, and Nike.  It's very exciting and something you have to experience to really understand.  But then again, maybe in order to understand you have to be a weirdo like me that  purposefully gets chafed, blisters, and leg cramps for the fun of it.  
it really IS my stress reliever

In years past it is hard to find your friends among the thirty thousand runners.  So this year we made shirts.  We decided to make them as bold as possible.  The downfall was that the "safety green" color we chose is also the popular sporty color this year.  There were lots of other people with the same flourescent shirts on.  It was still way better than trying to pick a black or other basic color out of the crowd.  There were eleven of us with the shirts.  We all contributed to the list on the back.
my contribution was "for food" (specifically for chocolate) and Brian's was "because walking takes too long."  That was one of my favorites and I'm mad I didn't think of that.  Brian's other reason was "to motivate fat people," but that one didn't make the cut :)  My other favorite was "no freaking idea," because I feel that way sometimes when I'm out training at 5 am or 10 pm when I could be sleeping instead... or eating.  
Brian's knee has been bothering him so he wasn't able to train for this race.  I was proud of him for making it through the whole 13.1 miles because I know he was hurting.  This is his second half marathon.  He said he's going to put a marathon sticker on his car because 13.1 + 13.1 = 26.2!

here are some fun rituals for races:
1. stocking up on Gu (a gooey sugary gel that you eat while running to keep from hitting a "runners' wall")
2.  Carb-loading-  consuming large amounts of carbohydrates the week leading up to the race so that your glycogen storages are full.  in other words, going out to eat at Olive Garden the night before the race and eating lots of pasta.
3.  Bucees!  always a must to stop at when heading west. 
4.  Walking around the expo and buying fun running shirts, stickers, and/or any thing else that visually links you to the running cult
5.  running the race, getting your medal, getting your picture taken, and having a great sense of accomplishment. 
6.  post-race Dairy Queen stop on the way home.  What better way to replenish all those lost calories than a chocolate extreme blizzard with extra fudge and cookie dough?

and for you non-runners..... :)
@Amanda Collins  @Bobbie Hargrave  I LAUGHED OUT LOUD!

Monday, December 10, 2012

San Antonio mini vacation

We went to San Antonio the week of Thanksgiving. We visited Sea World, Ripley's Believe it or Not, the Wax Museum, the Alamo, and the Riverwalk.

The girls have never been to Sea World, and since Halle's favorite animal is a dolphin and wishes to be a marine biologist/zoologist, it was due time to go.  I haven't been to Sea World since high school, and as a teenager I wasn't impressed with the park.  There wasn't enough for thrill seekers there to keep me entertained.  Brian didn't remember it being all that fun either.  Surprisingly though we had a really good time watching the shows and doing the attractions.  I'm glad they've updated the park to be more enjoyable.  And as a parent, I have come to realize that I really like taking my kids to places like this because their excitement rubs off on me.   
 With Shamu.  It was Christmas all around the park since it's that time of year.  It wouldn't be San Antonio without Santa mariachis!
Since Sea World has a Sesame Street area, we got to meet one of our favorite Muppets, Cookie Monster!

Sesame Street Christmas show.  All of the kids broke away to stand at the base of the stage

The walrus was Brian's favorite animal.  So much blubber!

A fun action shot at the killer whale show

Halle was upset because she kept sitting in the splash zone so she could get wet, and she never got splashed.
The Dolphin Show was spectacular. This was by far my favorite show to watch

The divers and acrobats amaze me.

I really wish I could do that!

Jack enjoyed the shows, too!
The park wasn't crowded at all either day we went so we got to ride the roller coasters over and over and over!  Halle and I are both adrenaline junkies, so we had a blast.
My new favorite roller coaster, The Steel Eel

Seeing that Arden is so scared of heights that she doesn't even like being on Brian's shoulders.... probably means she won't be one of my future roller coaster buddies.  I kept asking her if she wanted to ride the roller coasters with me.  She couldn't because she's not tall enough, but I just wanted to see what she would say.  She played that card right away, "Nooooo!  I'm too little!"  She's a big ole scaredy cat.

This is not suppose to be a candid shot.  I'm trying to get Arden to smile for me.  She's got a choke hold on dad.

This is more of Arden's tempo....riding the Sea World Express. With the 5 of us squeezed in we surpassed the weight limit of this tiny train car, ha!

All smiles on the carousel.  Even Brian got on a horsey.
Arden did like the kiddie Shamu roller coaster.  This was her threshold. 

I tricked Arden into riding this.  I really wish I had a picture of her face when we went down the hill.  I know, I'm a mean mom.

Dancing with the dolphin. I wonder if Arden realizes at her age the difference between the real dolphins and the characters. I don't think she does yet.  Arden also got to sit on Santa's lap (no pictures.)  She told him she wanted a Barbie and skates for Christmas.  She said that only because I told her while we were in line to see him, "You have to tell Santa what you want.  What do you want?"  "I don't know..."  Me, "maybe a Barbie?  or how about skates?"  "Yes!"  So because I used those two as examples, she now tells everyone that's what she wants for Christmas.  If only the art of persuasion worked so perfect everytime.....

Feeding the dolphins

Is it laughing or mad?   I can't tell!  kinda scaring me....

since Halle missed two days of school we also got in a history lesson.  We remember.....
We visited the wax museum next

I loved that they had a whole section dedicated to Jesus

Halle knows her personally

He wishes.
That's ok, I got Johnny Depp.
with Miley Cyrus
Take it outside boys
Team Jacob

Halle making a wax hand.  I always wanted to make one of these when I was a kid.  We attempted to make Arden one, but she couldn't hold her hand still long enough to let it set.  I was kind of glad since it saved me ten bucks.
all ready for the 3D motion movie.  Even this scared my little sissy.

silly us
The most fun we had was at Ripley's Believe it or Not.  Didn't get many pictures here, but we spent a long time here checking out everything. 

biggest tire

next to the 1500 lb man. I didn't tell her to do this!

next to the tallest man
after riding around on Daddy's shoulders for the past few days, the choke hold has loosened up slightly
Brian once told Halle long ago that she would never be too big to ride on Daddy's shoulders.

dinner on the Riverwalk at HardRock Cafe
I always ask Halle what her favorite parts of vacations are.  #1 Steel Eel roller coaster, #2 Ripleys, #3Dolphins, #4Hotel hot tub
and Arden: #1 Sesame Street play area at Sea World, #2 dolphins, #3 hot tub