Monday, October 27, 2008

Last Weekend

Last weekend was somewhat of a trip down memory lane. Beth was lucky enough to get Friday off of work so on Thursday we headed up to Dallas for a Jason Mraz concert. I first heard Jason Mraz back in 2002 and ever since have really enjoyed his music. In fact, Thursday night was my 5th time to see Jason Mraz in concert, but my first with Beth. He was playing at the Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas(basically directly between Dallas and Fort Worth). We left Houston around 3:45 p.m. and made it to Grand Prairie around 7 p.m. We had dinner at Don Pablo's. It's a Mexican restaurant that my friends and I used to frequent during college in Norman, Oklahoma. The food was really good and luckily our waiter gave us quick directions to get to the concert.

The concert lasted until about 11 p.m. and was a lot of fun. I must admit that it probably wasn't my favorite Mraz concert, but it was still good. After the concert, we headed to downtown Dallas where we had booked a hotel through Priceline. We stayed at the Westin Dallas City Center. The hotel was pretty nice I guess. We ended up getting put on the "Preferred Guest" floor which I guess meant a bigger room. Considering there were only about seven other people staying at the hotel, they should have put us in the Presidential Suite. But oh well. I'm glad we only paid $90 for it, since we had to pay $23 for parking.

We got up Friday morning and drove to Tulsa and met up with Sean and Kelsey at the University of Tulsa. I hadn't been to the university in probably six or seven years and it had really changed. We got to see both Sean and Kelsey's dorm rooms and meet some of their friends which was fun. After going out to the lunch with them, we headed to Bartlesville in time for Justin's rehearsal. After the rehearsal, we all headed to a local restaurant for dinner. Below are some pics:



The second picture is of Justin, Jacob, and Justin's cousin Chris. The summer before our sophomore year of high school, the four of us were inseperable. We literally spent everyday together. And each day usually included playing tennis, buying shaved ice right down the road from the tennis courts, and then swimming at Justin and Chris' Grandpa's house. We would all usually go our different ways in the early evening to go to our respective practices(baseball or soccer) and then meet back up later that night. And we did that for an entire summer. So it was fun for the four of us to all be together again for a few days.

Saturday morning Beth and I woke up and drove to Tulsa for the 31st Annual Tulsa Run. It is a 15k(9.3 miles) run that starts and ends in downtown Tulsa. In fact, the start of the race was in the shadow of the Williams Tower where my company's headquarters are.

Beth and I both had a lot of fun running the race even though there was a never ending hill about a mile into the race. We both had respectable times. In fact, Beth finished in a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 5 seconds which put her in 311th place out of 3362 total runners. Beth and I ran together for about 12km and I finished in a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 40 seconds which put met in 225th place out of 3362 total runners. Beth finished 11th in her age group of 266. And I finished 24th out of 203 in my age group. Below is a pic after we finished the race.


After we got back from the race, we had the chance to hangout with my childhood friend Kevin Hay and his wife Caroline. They just found out recently that they are having a baby. It was good to see both of them and catch up. We hadn't seen them since they were down here for our wedding. We also got to hangout with Matt Twyman and Jacky Manning, two of my good friends from both high school and college. Saturday night was the wedding and we had a lot of fun. Below are some pics.








Sunday morning we went out to breakfast with my friend Shawn whose house we stayed at, although he was out of town for most of the time we were in Bartlesville. After that, I gave Beth a tour of some of my old stomping grounds. I also got a chance to go out and see my Grandma's gravesite and show it to Beth. It's actually where my Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Kenny are all buried. It was kind of bittersweet thinking that the church where Justin got married, is the same church where over 21 years ago we had my Uncle Ken's funeral. He was only 22 years old when he was killed and I can't help but think what things would be like had they turned out differently.

Overall, our trip to Bartlesville was a lot of fun. I got to see old friends, Beth got to meet some new people, and we got to have ice cream at Braum's. I'm not sure when we'll be back, but I know that when we do make it back, it'll be a trip down memory lane all over again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I found these pics and thought I would post them real quick. I love the pic below. Louise is having a nice little conversation with Beth. I wish I knew what they were talking about. I also love the pics because you can tell that Gab is wearing Beth's "Lew Crew" shirt(which we wore to one of Stacy's LPGA tournaments) since he had gotten bubbles all over the shirt he was wearing.


My Wife's Hard Work

I haven't had a chance to write and post pictures about this so I figured now was a good time since I'm off work for the next week. A lot of people got a chance to see our house in July at our wedding, but my cute wife has been working hard to make the house look even better. While I've been working, she's been working at the house on some stuff that she's been wanting to get done. So thanks to a lot of help from Beth's parents as well, below are some pics:

Hardware for our Cabinets



Curtains for our Bedroom



New Curtain for the Eating Area(and new tablecloth thanks to Andie)



New Hardware for the front door



Hardware for our Bathroom Cabinets

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I stumbled across this website and decided to check it out because the name intrigued me. Anyway, it's a pretty cool website that I would like to pass on to everyone else. Check out the recipe page for a good collection of "Texas" style recipes.
Homesick Texan

This Week

I've had the last few days off of work and it's been really relaxing. I got off work on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. and had just enough time to get home, shower, and leave again for a Men's group at church. I had never been before but it was a lot of fun. The group meets every Tuesday at 6 a.m. and goes over different topics relevant to men. Anyway, I plan on going any Tuesday that I'm not working for the rest of the Fall.

Another thing that happened this week was I got my blood drawn for our physicals at work. Now anyone who knows me, knows that me and needles don't get along at all. Every year when people get flu shots, count me out. I'm ashamed to say, I can't even remember the last time I got my blood drawn. Maybe that's because I was passed out on the floor and can't remember. Anyway, Monday at work, I got my blood drawn and didn't pass out at all. Didn't have any problems at all. I must say I'm pretty proud of myself.

Last night, Beth and I watched the final Presidential debate. It was definitely the best of the three, but I'm glad they are over with. And I'm also glad that this election is almost over with. I think it's funny when they are interviewing "undecided" voters after the debate and they say that they have now made up their minds on who to vote for. So you're telling me that you had no clue who you were going to vote for over the past nine months? But after watching a 90 minute debate, you've now decided? Come on. I think anyone who says they are undecided at this point in the election isn't being truthful.

I definitely enjoyed the debate though. I do wish that Obama would quit saying he's going to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. How is he going to cut taxes for people who don't even pay taxes? You can look it up anywhere, only 50% of Americans pay taxes. So is he just going to send those other 45% a check in the mail every year? And then there's the top 5% of the population whose taxes he is going to raise. The top 5% of wage earners in America already pay about 50% of Federal Income taxes, so now they're going to pay more so that money can be passed down to people who pay little to none? That sounds like wealth redistribution to me. You gotta have money to spend it and wealthy people spend money which directly effects our economy.

Obama also loves the "windfall profits" tax on oil companies. So in America, where people work hard to make money and where capitalism is celebrated, he now wants to tell people to go out, work hard, and earn lots of money, but don't earn too much money because if he decides that you make too much money, he'll tax you even more. Does that sound logical? If he does tax those oil companies, who do you think is going to foot the bill? Of course, we are. That's what companies do, they pass the bill down to the consumer. Why do you think companies set up partnerships? Because then the shareholders pay the taxes and not the companies.

Then there's McCain who wants to buy up bad mortgages and reduce them for people. So you're telling me that you are going to reward people who weren't smart enough to figure out how much house they could afford in the first place? So the people who pay their mortgages on time, every month keep paying their mortgages and those who don't, get their mortgages taken care of by the government? Wow.

Anyway, both candidates have their issues. Americans love articulate candidates, so it's no wonder why Obama is leading in the polls. He comes across very polished. Case in point Bill Clinton. He's a very charismatic, articulate guy and everyone loves him. Even if he did have an affair in the oval office and then lied to the American people about it. For me, it's a pretty easy choice. Morally and based on my beliefs, there's only one candidate for me. We'll see if he wins or not. It'll be pretty interesting.

I have four more days of work and then I'll be off for eight days. I can't wait. A cold front rolled through today and I'm loving this Fall weather. I sure hope it stays this way!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sad

My beloved Sooners lost yesterday to the Longhorns and I must say I was pretty sad about it yesterday. But today, after looking at the newly released rankings, I couldn't be happier, unless of course OU had won. OU is now ranked 4th in the nation and in a perfect spot to go undefeated the rest of the season and possibly play Texas for the national championship.

I have two more nights of work left and then I'll have three days off and I can't wait. Plus Beth and I are going to Oklahoma next week for my good friend Justin's wedding. He was a groomsman in our wedding and I will be a groomsman in his on October 25th. On our way to Oklahoma we are stopping in Dallas for a concert and spending the night there. We got a great deal on a hotel in downtown Dallas on Priceline. If you've never used it to book a hotel, I would highly recommend it. I've used Priceline at least ten times and only been semi-disappointed once. All of the other times, I've been overly happy. Like the time we got a $400 a night hotel in London for $150. Or the time we got a $250 hotel in Chicago for $110. Or even our Dallas hotel coming up, I got for $90 on Priceline and the same room goes for $220 on the hotel website. Anyway, just a thought.

Nothing else too exciting going on here. Beth got curtains yesterday for the house and I can't wait to see what they are going to look like. I think she made some great choices!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Big Game This Weekend



I'm off work today so I figured I would give a quick update on the past week. Last weekend was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k in downtown Houston. We ran in it last year and once again, it was a lot of fun. There were over 30,000 people between competitive runners in the 5k, non-competitive runners, and walkers. It's always really cool to see all of the people who are running in honor of someone who has battled cancer or the people who have survived the horrible disease. Watching my Grandpa fight cancer and eventually losing that fight has definitely given me a perspective on those who deal with the disease or have overcome it. Hopefully all of the money that was raised in Houston and all over the country, can one day help rid our lives of breast cancer and all of the other forms of the nasty disease.

It was almost like deja vu for us the day of the race. Like last year, running in the race were Beth, myself, Janet, Dale, and Carol. After the race, we went to the same place for breakfast and even sat at the same table. I'm not positive, but I think most of us even ordered the same thing. We're creatures of habit, what can I say?

Tonight we are going out to dinner with some friends of ours. They just got back from Greece and we can't wait to hear all about their trip and see all of their pictures. Tomorrow is the big game between OU and Texas. This will be the fourth time Beth and I will watch the game together. Unfortunatley for me, Texas has won 2 of the 3 times we've watched the game. Since there's quite a bit of hype this year, hopefully it'll be a good game. I guess we'll know tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Can't Believe It

On my way home from work today, I realized that I would probably not have enough gas to get to and from work tomorrow. This thought crossed my mind as I was about two blocks from our house and as I was thinking I needed gas, I looked up and saw Regular Unleaded Gas for $2.99!!!! Are you kidding me? I couldn't believe it. I think I was a senior in high school the last time gas was that cheap. Okay okay, I'm being facetious, but it's been a really long time and I was pumped! Now I'm just hoping that it keeps getting cheaper.

I'm getting ready to watch the Presidential Debate. Chances are it will be boring and uninformative as usual, but you never know. I just have a feeling that by the end of it, I'll be thinking how there's a good chance that in the next four years, I'll be working harder for others to enjoy my money. Isn't that what America is all about? You work hard, and then maybe a little bit harder, and then you get to give more of your money away? There I go being facetious again. My bad.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lately

It's been a little while since we've given an update on everything so I figured I would quickly do that. We got power back on Sunday, nearly 16 days after Hurrican Ike came through Houston. We were one of the last 15% of Houston without power. Good times. Last week seemed to fly by and it was really nice to have a full week off of work. On Thursday, Beth and I went to the Astros/Reds game with our friends Mike and Krista. It was a really good time and we got to sit on the Club Level which was a nice surprise considering we normally sit somewhere in between the last row and the roof at Minute Maid Park.

On Saturday we got up and drove to Austin for the UT/Arkansas game. It was a lot of fun although rather hot. The game was fun to watch but pretty boring since Arkansas is terrible and UT won easily. I was pretty excited to see my Sooners win on Saturday night and become the #1 ranked team in the nation this week. After the game on Saturday we went to a favorite Mexican restaurant of ours called Trudy's. After that, we made the two and a half hour drive back home.

On Sunday we went to another Astros game, this time against the Braves with my friend Shawn Barker and his nephew Hunter. The Astros won again and it was the last game of the season. Now I'm back to working nights this week, but fortunately only have three more to go. This weekend is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in downtown Houston. We ran the race last year and had a lot of fun. I'm assuming it's going to be a great time again this year.

My sister also found that she is going to be having a little girl in February. And Beth and I couldn't be more excited!


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