Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We mailed our property tax check to the Dallas County tax office today, and that check would be so much easier to write if our marriage was recognized by the government that takes our money. I talked about what it's like to pay taxes to a government that does not give you equal rights last year; you can find it here.

I believe it's important for me to continue to point out this injustice.

We paid $10,406.46 in property taxes this year. Our property taxes have gone up every year we've owned a home. My husband and I are productive members of this society: we work, we pay taxes, and we give money to causes and people we care about. We are doing our part to make our world a better place, but we do not have the same rights as my brother and his wife...that's not the way it should be...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Superrman

This holiday season I was speaking with our friend William who is also a reader of this blog, and he said that on this blog I make my husband sound like Superman. Actually, I think his exact quote was directed towards my husband: "If I didn't know you I would think you were a super hero according to the blog."

Here's the secret: I AM married to Superman. He's not THE Superman, but he's MY Superman!

Baby Boy

This is very good news for my husband and me: On Christmas day Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish welcomed their new son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John to this world. The baby was born via surrogacy. I can only imagine the ecstasy those two must be feeling right now; what a joy to have a child with the one you love!

Elton was born in 1947 and David was born in 1962 which means they are not young men.

Sometimes I think we'll never have the "extra" $75,000 to $100,000 in time that is required to have a baby through surrogacy, in addition to the cash required to rear a child, but if we use Elton's timeline we have until 2043! We need to find an extra $3,000 for each of the next 33 years...and then it's baby time!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quack Quack

My husband's parents live on the lake, and the ducks who are migrating like to waddle up and eat the sunflower seeds under the bird feeders. It's really fun to watch. As soon as you walk outside they take off in a thunderous flight...but they always come back.

At one point I looked out the window and saw ducks, squirrels, and one bunny rabbit. My husband's parents have created a utopia for the wild animals, and it makes me want to move to the lake.


Christmas Eve I was speaking with my grandfather who is around 80-years-old, and at one point he said to me, "I sure do like your little black bulldog." I thanked him and then I disclosed that it's still strange because even though I love and adore Sarah Dooley sometimes I still can't believe that Martha Fauker is gone and I won't see her again. He looked at me with understanding and then he said, "Well, no one lives forever. That's just the way it is."

For some reason, and perhaps it won't translate on this blog, I found his comment really profound and comforting. It was something about the way he said's a fact of life that no one lives forever, and you just have to accept it because that's just the way it is.

Ho Ho Ho

We had a fantastic Christmas at my husband's parent's house. They hosted 20+ family members in their home, which is always an equally exciting and intense experience. The commotion is a big part of the fun. It was great to see the young-ins experience Christmas. We got to watch Owen, Lucy, and Blake walk out and see what Santa left for them. I've decided Christmas is more fun with children running around!

Also, you will notice in the photo that Yaya and Papa made sure to get a stocking for the youngest member of the family-- Dooley!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Christmas Adam!

It's Christmas Adam! (Remember: Adam came before Eve.) And it's time for my kitchen to start churning out cinnamon rolls- it's the same drill every year. All families have food traditions; if you don't have a family food tradition, then I highly recommend you create one, because it doesn't feel like summer until I eat my mom's homemade ice cream; it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving until I've consumed the vegetable casserole and taken a bite of dressing, and it doesn't feel like Christmas until I start baking cinnamon rolls!

Christmas morning we eat cinnamon rolls, sausage balls, pigs in a blanket, and if we're spending Christmas with my husband's sister or our Cousin Kate then one of those beautiful ladies will also attempt to feed us something "alive" to go along with our breakfast feast- like some fruit or something.

Happy Christmas Adam!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Modern Fam

I agree! TV Guide has Mitch, Cam, and Lily on their cover, and they've named Modern Family one of the top shows of 2010. I couldn't agree more. Modern Family is hilarious television.

Goodbye DADT

President Obama signed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal today. This allows gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America's military!!

God Bless America!

Active Little Girl

Dooley is an active little girl. She likes to climb. She likes to explore. She likes to bring sticks into the house and chew them, and like her brother she likes to sit in front of the heat dish to stay warm.

Monday, December 20, 2010


No picture can ever capture the beauty of a Texas sunset, but last night as we were driving back from my parents' house we were treated to a beautiful sunset and we snapped this photo.

Sunsets always make me think of my mother, because she always makes a big deal about beautiful sunsets. When I was young she told me once that if we lived in a world without sunsets and we had the chance to pay money to witness a big sky sunset, then she thinks we'd pay big bucks to see it; her point was that we get amazing sunsets for free and we need to always appreciate their beauty.

Sound of Music

It was movie night at our house on Saturday, and we watched the Blu Ray version of The Sound of Music. The picture was amazing. The blades of grass were swaying on the hills that were alive with the sound of music. This film is beautiful in Blu Ray, and I recommend that you add it to your next movie night!

Also, I learned that my husband knows all the songs by heart. In all our years together he's never mentioned this movie, but we start watching it and he knows all the words?! That was a fun little surprise- to learning something new about the man I know so well!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Dooley cannot make it through the night without having to go outside to relieve herself. She wakes us up one, two, or three times during the night. My husband and I take turns taking her out. Last night when my sleepy groggy husband was turning off the house alarm so he could take her outside he accidently punched in our silent alarm code. The silent alarm code turns off our alarm, but it also tells the alarm company to send the police.

We had police at the house last night. It was an exciting night.


According to the Washing Post blog the Senate will vote on getting rid of Don't Ask Don't Tell ("DADT") military policy this weekend. The bill passed the House earlier this week.

If this passes the Senate and is signed by President Obama, then the brave men and women defending our country that also happen to be gay will no longer have to live a double life. Our soldiers can live in their truth.

Good bless America!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Natchez Crepe Myrtle

In June of 2009 we had to take down a 30-year-old Bradford pear tree that was starting to split. Yesterday, we had a 16-foot Natchez Crepe Myrtle planted in the same spot. Natchez Crepe Myrtles bloom white and have pretty bark; they are the clearly superior crepe myrtle. We're reworking our front landscaping, and I'm only going to to plant things that bloom in white. I think it'll be beautiful. This new crepe myrtle makes me happy.


I got home from work at 6:30 yesterday evening and my husband was already in the back yard with Dooley. It was dark outside, but the light from our Christmas lights (we decorate our back yard for Christmas) was illuminating the grass and trees. My husband called my cell phone to inform me that on the lowest branch of the ever green tree there was an owl perched. I tip-toed outside to see the softball-sized owl watching us in our back yard. My husband went inside to grab the camera, but we never could get a good photo of our guest. It was so exciting to see the owl in our back yard. I think it was Ron Weasley's owl, Pigwidgeon, visiting us.

That's Funny

I saw this photo on the Internet, and it made me laugh, which is why I'm posting it here!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I want cake

My husband's Tahoe is about 9-years-old and my 4Runner is 7-years-old. My husband treats cars the same way he treats a tube of toothpaste- he squeezes every last drop out of them before he buys another. This month his Tahoe's battery went out and one of his speakers went out. For the first time I think my husband realized that one day we might have to buy another vehicle, and the thought of buying two new vehicles scared him a's so nice to not have a car payment!

We're not ready to buy, but we're starting to look and think. We keep our cars for so long this is an important decision.

This weekend we test drove a 4x4 Honda Pilot with the touring package, which stickers for $42,000, and is the nicest Honda Pilot you can get. It had all the bells and whistles: navigation, back up camera, heated seats, etc, but it was less than thrilling to drive. To me driving a Honda is like eating vegetables: it's smart, but it's not scrumptious.

I felt guilty for not being excited about this new car we were test driving. I've never owned a new vehicle; I've only purchased used vehicles, and we were test driving a brand new vehicle and I wasn't excited?! I was thinking my husband should get a GMC Denali, or a Toyota Sequoia, or an Acura MDX...and we could park it next to my Lexus RX 350.

Does it make me shallow because I care about the kind of car I drive? I don't want to eat vegetables. I want cake! I want that corner piece of cake with extra icing and a scoop of ice cream on top! Is that wrong?

Anjelah Johnson

My husband and I like to say "you look so cheerleader" and the quote came from this video. It makes me laugh every time!

"You look so cheerleader."

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I read the Vanity Fair interview with Cher, here, and I thought it was really interesting. Cher was the original Pop Diva, and you have to admire that at 64-years-old she's still entertaining the masses...and looking amazing while doing it.

Here are my takeaways:
  • Cher's grandmother gave birth to Cher's mother when she was 13-years-old. (Yikes!)
  • Cher was raised by a single mother and at times in poverty, and Cher thinks she's still working hard at age 64 because she doesn't want to return to poverty.
  • Cher was friends with Lucille Ball!!!
  • The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour was one of television’s most popular shows from 1971 to 1974.
  • Sonny owned 95% and their attorney owned 5% of Cher Enterprises. Cher owned 0% of Cher Enterprises. How was that even legal?!
  • Cher says she keeps yelling at her family to work out, because old age is coming and they'll need their strength. (Apparently strength is needed and harder to obtain as you age?!)
  • I like the way Cher spoke about her career as a Pop Diva: “It’s not an easy job. You just have to make it look easy. But also, it’s just a job. I’m not doing anything that’s monumental. I know what I do is kind of a tonic for people. I’m either dying in my house or onstage.”

Let me back up

Okay, let me back up a bit...I'm posting about food because on Friday we had a dinner party with two of our favorite couples: Jim & Donna, Steve & Jeff. It was also Dooley's six-month birthday, which means they surprised us and brought Dooley birthday presents! I love having friends that are as crazy about their dogs as we are...we had a wonderful night together.

They complemented all the food, but they were most impressed with Glenda's mac and cheese and my husband's ability to grill such extraordinary steaks. My husband knows how to handle his meat.

Pecan Square

We made Ina's pecan bars this weekend. My husband, who used to not like pecan pie, likes these pecan squares. They taste a little more like pecan pralines than pecan pie to me, but I could have screwed up the recipe, since I just guessed at how many pecans equaled two pounds.

This dish was a volcano in my oven. The stuff bubbled over and down the side and smoked us out, but it was worth it the moment we cut into these squares and took a bite.

Red White and Green

Look at this roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and pesto salad we made on Friday. Isn't that a very Christmas-y dish? Red. White. Green. It's merry Christmas on the plate!

My husband is skillful at taking bland tomatoes and roasting them to concentrate the flavor. It turns out of season tomatoes into something not far from the taste of home grown tomatoes!

Roasted Root Vegetables

I discovered something easy, healthy, and delicious on Friday. I made my version of Ina's Roasted Winter Vegetables, which is simply an exercise in chopping up a butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, and one fennel and then brushing them with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper. I dumped this out onto a sheet pan and roasted it in the oven. The result was hot, flavorful, and delicious vegetables. Plus, this only has a little olive oil, so it has to be healthy, right?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Grandfather

Are you wonder who's the handsome man in this photo? This is my grandfather. This picture is posted on his church's website, here. He's served as an usher for as long as I can remember.

I love my grandfather.

RIP Elizabeth Edwards

After reading her goodbye on Facebook yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about Elizabeth Edwards and her family today, and then I learned this afternoon that she had died. I feel for her family. I liked her. She seemed like a smart lady, and I appreciated the fact that when her husband was running for the Democratic Presidential nomination she spoke out in favor of gay marriage. She was clearly a lady ahead of her time.

From 2007:

“I don’t know why someone else’s marriage has anything to do with me,” Mrs. Edwards said at a news conference before the parade started. “I’m completely comfortable with gay marriage.”


My husband was able to accomplish what I could not- he capture our two dogs playing chase! I couldn't snap a photo, but he was able to record a whole video. My husband in a champion. This video might only be interesting to us, the proud fathers, but if you want to see Trigger and Dooley playing chase then you'll think this is interesting too!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Missed It

I've been trying to snap a photo of Trigger and Dooley playing chase for two days, but they are faster than me. I can't work my iPhone fast enough for these two; one moment before this photo was taken Trigger and Dooley were playing tug-of-war with a rope .

The takeaway is that we're one big happy family now. Trigger loves his sister.

New Ice

First, this is not a picture of our refrigerator. It's a picture of the refrigerator I dream about; it's a Sub-Zero Pro48 with a glass door- why was this not on Oprah's Favorite Things?! This post wasn't supposed to be about refrigerators...this post is about a game we play.

When Cousin Kate and her husband were staying with us one weekend this summer they introduced us to the game called "New Ice." It's simple. When you hear the refrigerator's ice maker dump ice the first person to say "new ice" wins. It doesn't sound fun, but trust me it is. We're addicted to yelling "new ice" as fast and as loud as we can. (We both like to win.) Lucky for me my husband repaired our hand-me-down-old-school refrigerator's ice maker with a motor that's too powerful, which means our ice gets catapulted from within. It makes a loud shooting sound- like a gun. We can hear the ice maker torpedo ice out onto the inside of the freezer in all parts of the house.

This morning I was up making coffee at 6:00 AM in a quietness, when the ice shot out with a bang, and then I heard my supposedly sleeping husband yell "new ice" from our bedroom. He wins 98% of the time.

Elizabeth Edwards

This headline made me pause for a moment today:

Elizabeth Edwards cancer spreads; she posts Facebook good-bye message

It's bad to die too soon from cancer, but at least it gives you a heads-up that your end is near, which allows you time to wrap things up in this life. I don't know Elizabeth Edwards, but I'm thinking of her today and sending her loving thoughts...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

This is how Dooley fell asleep last night. We thought it was funny. She's an energetic little girl. This weekend Trigger finally decided that he wanted Dooley as his friend, and they've been playing rough all weekend long. They like to chase each other.


Seven years ago yesterday is when the magic started. It was the second time I'd met my future husband, but it was the first time I'd met him as a single man. I didn't waste time; I felt the connection and I wanted him. He grew up with my roommate, and he attended our First Thursday party on South Congress. After the party several of us went to a club. We danced together. The next day I couldn't stop talking about him, and so my roommate coordinated a Friday dinner with the three of us, but my roommate canceled at the last minute and so just the two of us went to dinner! We went to a club after dinner. We danced again. We kissed on the dance floor. We've been living in love ever since...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NYT Article

This weekend I read this article in the New York Times about a family that inherited minority shares in an outdoor advertising company, which was sold in 1998 for around $600 million. The family was wired $14 million in 1998, which was around $10 million after taxes.

They had $10 million in cash after taxes in 1998 and today in 2010 they are bankrupt. I read this article this weekend, and I've been thinking about the family all week. The article is titled:
Family’s Fall From Affluence Is Swift and Hard, which is even a more unbelievable statement when you realize their fall from affluence was the result of their over spending.

I'm not judging this family; I think it must be a terrible situation to fall from wealth, and I hope they'll find peace. I've been thinking about this family because this situation fascinates me. I like to run the scenario in my head: if we received $10 million free and clear today where would we be 12 years later? Would we be broke too? I think not. I know we wouldn't, but I'm sure this family thought the same thing in 1998...

It's about hope...

Last night my husband was curious about Oprah's final Favorite Things shows from last week, and since they were still on the DVR he watched them with the remote in hand so he could fast forward the slow parts. I adore Oprah like she's one of my BFF's even though we've never met. My husband doesn't get it. He doesn't understand how I could possibly feel like someone on television is one of my friends, but she's been in my life as long as I've watched television. I feel like I know her. My husband doesn't get my love for Oprah, but he was curious and so he watched the giveaways and the audience frenzy and he enjoyed the Favorite Things shows.

I really like what Oprah said to her audience at the end of her final Favorite Things show, and I had to work the rewind button on the remote to catch it all:

"I know that none of you here expected that, did you audience? And that is really the point about these Favorite Things shows. This is the last one I will ever do. And I would like to say I know that we are a parody. You are all a Saturday Night Live skit in here. But that’s okay. It’s not really about all the stuff, although the stuff is fun and you’re going to love driving that Beetle, it really for me is about hope… It’s about knowing something really magical and joyful and wonderful can happen to you when you least expect it. Happy Holidays Everybody! Happy Holidays!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brother and Sister Bonding

My husband captured this moment this afternoon while he was working from the house. This photo defines the current closeness of Trigger and Dooley. Look at how far apart they are sitting in the sun next to each other.

Slowly and surely Trigger is warming up to his newest pack member. (Emphasis on slowly.)

We had a big break through today when my husband caught them playing chase with each other for the first time this afternoon.


I bought the last Harry Potter ornament from our local Hallmark store! SCORE. My husband doesn't understand why I would spend twenty bucks on a plastic ornament. "Did you need that or want that?" is the question he likes to ask me when I show up with this type of purchase. I NEEDED it because our tree is the coolest tree ever with Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore dangling from a branch.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


When we got out the Christmas decorations I noticed Martha Fauker's fur on the tree skirt. I'm so glad I didn't clean it before we put it away last year. It made me smile to think about how she always liked to sit under the Christmas tree. When I put the skirt around the tree today Trigger came and smelled it for a long time. I like to think he was thinking of his sister- his old pack leader.

First Impressions

Whoa. It's been a long time since we've had a puppy in our family. Dooley is an energetic ball of energy. She runs from room to room and around the back yard. She's curious. She must investigate everything: a leaf, an acorn, the shadows on the walls. She is exploring her new world. She's fearless. When a car makes a loud noise she charges the sound. The first time she heard the dryer beep she ran to the noise barking. She's a fearless bulldog. She's also smart. (Just like her namesake.) She already has mastered the dogie door, and she entertains us nonstop.

Brotherly Love

One member of our family that isn't smitten with Dooley is Trigger. He's scared of her. He gets nervous when she runs up to him. He likes to sit in places where she can't reach him: on our bed, on the chase, in a different room. He is starting to warm up to her and in time they'll be BFFs...I hope.

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da...

Today I put away the sympathy cards that were sent to us after Martha Fauker died. I still have her blinged-out collar on display, but the cards have been put away...

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on.

Thanksgiving 2010

My parents hosted Thanksgiving and it was the traditional family feast. After we ate lunch we played games while others watched football. I love family time. It's nice to have moments like this. We're thankful for our time together- my grandmother's health is improving- and we're also thankful for all the time we shared with those who are no longer on this earth, and especially the ones that most recently left us: Glenda, Aunt Patricia, Martha Fauker.

All the way home...

Dooley rode all the way back from Oklahoma in my lap on Wednesday. I don't know how my husband did not wreck his Tahoe because every time I looked over at him he was looking at Dooley. She's beautiful, and we're already smitten with her existence.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Road Trip!

It's a road trip to Oklahoma tomorrow morning! The husband and I are going to get Dooley tomorrow morning; the current plan is to meet in the Cracker Barrel parking lot at 11:00 AM!

I'm so excited!!

I love a market economy

Speaking of my buddy Jordan (read the previous post):

During lunch we made a stop at Target because Jordan needed a coffee pot for his camper at his hunting lease. He bought a 12-cup coffee maker for seven dollars. I couldn't believe that you could buy a 12-cup coffee maker for less than ten bucks after tax, title, and license!? I was shocked. Jordan objected to my surprise. According to Jordan it's more shocking that you can buy a coffee maker for over $100 at Williams-Sonoma.

We're both surprised; we're just surprised at different ends of the coffee maker spectrum. I love the U.S.A. you can buy a coffee maker for less than ten bucks or over one hundred bucks.

No Need For Reverse

On the way to his west Texas hunting lease my buddy Jordan had to pull over and take this photo. He said it's real. In the back end they've turned around the seats, and in the back end where you think there should be another engine there's a trunk.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Poppy!

This weekend we celebrated my father's birthday at my brother's house. Somehow part of the celebration included putting up my brother's Christmas tree, but it was worth it because we got to spend extra time with the girls. Presley and Paxten wished Poppy a very happy birthday.