Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa's Wonderland

This is some serious Santa seeing in my opinion. We drove out to The Rim to see Santa at the Bass Pro Shop again this year and had a great day. 

This is definitely not a quick visit to "Santa's Wonderland." We arrived at 10am, thinking we were there when the doors first opened, come to find out, we were an hour late! They give out passes as you arrive with your designated time to see Santa. Our pass said 1pm. A whole 3 hours!! There was plenty to do in those 3 hours, including a merry-go-ride, games, arts and crafts, and lunch. When we left at 2pm, the passes being handed out were for 10pm that night! Insane! 

In line to see Santa, super super excited!
Davis politely went up to Santa and told him the one thing he wants for Christmas...a trampoline. Oh great! He loved getting a candy cane!

Riding a moose! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Australia...under the sea and in the outback

Being an island, a huge one, Australia has some unique wildlife not found anywhere else in the world. This was a part of the trip that I really enjoyed. Australians do such a wonderful job of loving their animals and fish...and we got to see it all!

We spent one morning at the Aquarium, taking our time to learn about all the interesting sea creatures and checking out the scary sharks! But don't be fooled, the sharks are not the deadliest animal in the Australian seas, it's the Box Jellyfish and happens to be in the top 5 most deadly species in the world!  

Little Fairy Penguins

Penguins having a snack

Headed to Australia, all I could think about was that I was going to get to see a real live kangaroo! We decided to go to the Featherdale Wildlife Park instead of the zoo because ...well just take a look below... we got to actually touch the kangaroos and feed them! They were free to roam!

It's a joey!


My mom feeding the wallaby

Baby joey with mama wallaby


Monday, December 17, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

That is the song Davis and I sang on our way to school today and I couldn't help but feel like the words lacked the magical meaning they used to before the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. This definitely does not feel like the most wonderful time of the year. As we headed towards school this morning, I looked in my rearview mirror to see the happiest little boy, grinning his cheesiest smile, bobbing his head from side to side, and surrounded by Christmas cheer! I kept my smile for him, but it was hard.

I couldn't help but imagine what those parents remember and cherish as their last memories of their precious babies last Friday morning...a morning cuddle, a bowl of cheerios, brushing teeth, putting on socks, packing a lunch, a drive to school, the wave good-bye...

Kids are so pure, so innocent. Davis doesn't even know there are bad people out there and what guns can do. This morning he asked me what the red alarm button was for on my keys. I told him it was a button that made a loud noise to call for help. He quickly nodded in understanding and said, "for the big bad wolf." I dread the day he learns the truth. For those in Newtown, the innocence is gone.

I don't share my political or religious views on this blog, and I'm not going to start now. But because I'm not writing about it, I don't want you to think I'm ignoring those issues and thoughts. I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm confused, I'm trying to solve everything in my head...aren't we all? But I did want to write a blog post today. I didn't want to post the fun pictures from our Christmasy weekend today and ignore what happened.

My prayers go to...the families who lost loved ones, the teachers and staff at the school, first responders...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

We are busy busy this December, as I'm sure everyone is. I am way behind in getting Christmas gifts this year and it is stressing me out. BUT we did get one big thing accomplished super early this year, our tree! Knowing that we didn't have one free weekend in December, we got back from Thanksgiving and got our tree that weekend...let's just hope we can keep it alive! We were so early getting our tree that our favorite place, the Optimist Club, didn't even have their trees yet. But when you tell a 3 year old we are headed to get our tree, you have to get it. So we headed to Home Depot where we found a lovely tree!

Davis asked me..."Mom, what do we call the place where all the trees are?" I said, "The tree farm." He then said, "No, it's the Christmas tree pumpkin patch." Good point Davis!

Thinking about it...

This one! This one!

Davis loved the half dead tree

Monday, December 10, 2012

Australia...Sydney Opera House & Late Night

If you don't remember seeing the millennium fireworks over the Sydney Harbour near the Sydney Opera House, you for sure must remember seeing this building in Finding Nemo! This famous performing arts venue opens its doors to ballerinas, rock stars, comedians, the famous and the no-names. 

The history behind creating the structure is fascinating. The man who actually designed it, never stepped foot in his final creation. It ended up costing 95 million more than estimated and took 10 years longer than estimated to complete.

There are a total of 5 theaters in the Opera House, including: Concert Hall (which holds the largest organ in the world, pictured below), Opera Theater, Drama Theater, Playhouse, and Studio Theater. We saw a beautiful ballet in the Opera Theater. It had three acts, one from each decade, the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Concert Hall and the Grand Organ
Headed into the Opera House for the ballet
After the ballet, we decided it was time for a night out! We first stopped right outside the Opera House at the Opera Bar. We were also hungry, so we ordered pizza! We accompanied that with Australian beer. To work off the calories, we then headed to the dance floor!

Lovin' our view while partying at the Opera Bar
After we shut down the Opera Bar, we called one of Ann Marie's Australian friends that she had met a couple years ago traveling in Switzerland and he suggested we catch a cab to Kit & Kaboodle for some serious dancing. Hello red light district...every major city has one! 

The dance floor

Out on the town!
And no night out would be complete without some late night food. No, it wasn't Roppolo's, it was this lovely mushy pie pictured below, complete with beef, peas and gravy. And yes, it was good!

Beef and Mushy Pea Pie

Friday, December 7, 2012

We're all in this together

Seeing as today is December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, I thought it was perfect timing for this post!

This week, Forrest and I were invited to a wonderful fundraiser for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. With an opening from the "Victory Belles," after listening to Stephen Ambrose's son speak and then hearing from a veteran himself, I am very excited to plan a trip to the museum. Plus I'm a complete history nut.

Stephen Ambrose is a historian and author. Some of his work and contributions resulted in the Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan. He is the founder of the museum. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy. His son spoke about the importance of keeping the stories from WWII alive. It was one of the first times in history that we headed someone to liberate, not conquer. We were also, at the time, not the most powerful country going against the most powerful groups in the world. The home-front attitude was that "we're all in this together." Stephen helped tell these stories through his many novels and help with the storyline for famous WWII movies.

The marine veteran speaker we were honored to meet was R.V. Burgin. The battle he spoke of was in the Pacific, at Peleliu. I will be honest, I had never heard of Peleliu before. And that was exactly his reason for sharing a story that he bottled up for decades, no one had heard of the Battle of Peleliu. The island was 2 miles by 6 miles and some days it reached 110 degrees, lasting over 2 months and ending in 8,000 casualties.

Stories of battles can be hard to listen to, images are hard to see, but it is so important to know what our country has done for us and what soldiers are continuing to do today. We cannot turn away and ignore these stories. Thank you to those who served and are serving.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Australia...Sydney Harbour Bridge

I was in Australia for 11 amazing days! It was a long time to be away from Davis and Forrest, but thank goodness for facetime! Due to the fact that I was there for 11 days, I will not bore you with 11 blog posts from each day, instead I will just hit the highlights!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the largest and widest arched bridge in the world and I had to be forced to the top! I'm not a fan of heights. When you're half way across the world, you kinda have to suck it up and face your fears. We decided to climb the bridge the very first day we were in Sydney. Weather was perfectly forecasted and we were up bright and early, excited about our first day. I enjoyed our morning breakfast and walk to the bridge, completely blocking out thoughts about what I was about to do. We signed up for the first climb that morning, signed our life away on paper, and got suited up in these adorable jumpsuits (pictured below). You are not allowed to take anything with you that can be dropped from above. Everything has to be clipped onto your suit.

To prepare us for what was to come, they had a small tower for practice climbing. Well that's all it took, I had a small panic attack at the top, the words "holy shit" might have come out of my mouth, and I was suddenly over heating in my jumpsuit! Luckily, our awesome guide noticed, and suggested I follow immediately after him on our climb. I had other maybe I should just wait here till everyone else got back.

As you can see from our picture, I did make it to the top! There was a lot of praying, breathing, and avoiding looking down. Surprisingly, once we did make it to the top I was very calm. The view was extraordinary! The Syndey Harbour is massive! It's 250 miles total and covered with beautiful homes, sights like the Opera house, businesses, and restaurants with the best views!

What a workout! After 1,332 steps, we burned 600-800 calories. I think I burned more since I was panicking. Our guide is only allowed to do 3 climbs per day. Along the way, our guide gave us fun facts about the bridge and the sights through our headphones, also attached to our suits.

Almost to the top! Don't you love our gear?
We climbed all the way to the top, to the flags!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanksgiving at the farms

This year we basically went from one farm to the next for Thanksgiving. After what felt like an eternity without a shower (it was only three days), I was desperate to get in a hot shower and deep condition the camp fire out of my hair.

Davis is a major fan of any farm. On our 2 hour drive, any piece of vacant land with cows on it, to Davis, was "Our farm! We're here!" That went on and on for a while.

Beeville was our first stop with the Seger side of the family (Forrest's mom side) where we enjoyed some delicious martinis by the camp fire while roasting marshmallows! We had our Thanksgiving meal with the Segers, a total of 60 people, and attempted (succeeded slightly) at getting our Christmas card photo. How successful can you be with a three year old? One attempt is enough for me, I cannot manage getting all three of us showered and dressed at the same time.

Playing football with the cousins

Thompson family photo

From Beeville, it was on to Halletsville with the Dickson's (my mom's side). My uncle built a massssive porch where we all hang out. There's an outdoor kitchen, bar, dinning room table, hammocks, and a fire pit. Davis was completely occupied with his cousins...riding the polaris and playing I got to enjoy putting my feet up by the fire. Other than having to use an outhouse and sleep in a camper, it was very comfy and cozy. I even did a little hunting with my dad, we saw a buck, but didn't exactly have a clear shot.

Uncle John's happy birthday bloody mary

This was the first year in a very long time that we didn't head to Austin or College Station for the traditional football game. While we missed it, I can't complain because the Aggies are doing so well (so well that UT is probably relieved they didn't play us this year) and of course it gave us some extra time to be home and get all our Christmas decorations out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast at St David's

Davis' school has an annual Thanksgiving Feast and this year Forrest and I were both out of town, we were so bummed. It really is a fun event at the school. 

Papa Tom to the rescue! My dad was babysitting Davis for a couple nights while I was in Australia and Forrest was fishing. Anyone with kids knows, he had a big job getting Davis up, fed, dressed and off to school that morning. He did a great job, thanks dad!

Here are some cute pics from our little pilgrim! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spooky Class Party and a Parade

I love school holiday parties. Any chance to go "all out" with a theme, I'm in! This year I signed up to help with the Halloween party at Davis' school! Planning was just as much fun as throwing it, probably because we planned over a glass of wine. 

Small world because the other mom from Davis' class who signed up to help actually went to high school with me. Way back in the day our mom's planned my junior prom together! So we thought it would be fun to get our moms involved again, get their creative brains working again, and invite them to the party! 

Due to my insane schedule in October, when I say "I" signed up for the Halloween party, I should really say "I signed my mom up!" She did all the prep work and I just drove us there. 

We had mummy juice, marshmallow teeth, worms, and fingers as snacks! Then we read a scary monster book and had the kids decorate monster puppets! 

Then the entire school had a parade in the courtyard and the kids dressed up as different characters from books. Davis' class was the Lonely Beast. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Christmas is almost here and I still haven't posted any pictures from Halloween! These pictures are post-poned until I take my computer into the Apple store because I accidentally slipped the memory card into the DVD slot instead of the memory card slot. Oops.

The good news is, I still have pumpkin patch pictures! I was in Austin one beautiful weekend in October for a friend's baby shower. While in town, we met up with some friends at an adorable pumpkin patch for the ultimate attempt at capturing the perfect picture!

Happy baby shower!!!

Davis loves baby showers as long as there are cupcakes involved!

Trying to impress Molly!

My parents...entertaining Davis and the rest of us!

An attempt at a group photo...

...never gonna happen!

Taking home as many as I can carry!

Davis and Aunt Ann Marie.