Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 - A look back

Wow! It's hard to believe 2009 is over! Just a year ago we were celebrating the New Year with our friends in their new home. This year we will have a nice, quiet evening here at home together.
I began blogging this year. And it is soooo fun! I absolutely LOVE it. I love that I can look back at the things we've done or cute things the kids have said and remember it all over! I also love that I have made new friends here in blog-world that I would never had know had I not started my own blog!
My first blog entry was in March. I didn't post again until June. I think it's funny how I had such a hard time getting my photos on here. I still think there must be an easier way, but for now, what I found works for me.
One of the fun things in blog-land is the give-aways. I didn't think people really won them. Imagine my suprise when I won the first give-away I entered. It's for this background that I currently have (I'm too scared to change it because I don't really know how) from the Design Girl.
I entered many more giveaways and was ready to give up until I entered Eddie Ross' giveaway. I won and I thought I had died and went to heaven! I won this beautiful pillow and Eddie Ross won another (of very, very many) fans.
Some of these photos are out of order... but each link connects to many more photos.
I also met with Lisa at her hotel, the Gunter Hotel. You've seen it on the Travel Channel for the most haunted hotels. The hotel is beautiful!!! You must click on the above link to be taken to the original posting to see many more brilliant pictures.
Let me tease you with a couple of pictures... above Lisa and I are eating lunch in the hotel's restaurant... excellent! Below, look at the beautiful chandeliers... the beautiful artwork and the superb design... the hotel is just stunning!
The exact room where John Mellencamp recorded his last album.
And the haunted staircase that has to be locked off because the ghost that haunts this staircase pushed people down the stairs when one person goes down at a time. Groups going down haven't had any accidents though. I opted NOT to go down the staircase....
My nephews spent a few nights with me. We had a blast! I took them to cosmic bowling.. we made oh so many prank calls.. some that I am sure NONE of us will EVER forget!!!
Lena and Tren...
I love how this pic of Lena turned out...
I also decided to take the girls on a trip to our Japanese Tea Gardens... the place where their dad took me on our first date.
My was soooo hot that day!

Lisa and I took our kids to Retama Park to see the horse races.. a FIRST for me! FUN! FUN! FUN!
~~~~~~~I don't have many pictures of this but you will find many postings about it.. after much discussion Emil and I decided to homeschool both of our girls. I absolutely LOVE it! I don't regret it for a minute. It's hard at times... challenging.... but worth EVERY minute!~~~~~~~~~
This summer we took the kids to the beach with Lisa and her family. As you can see, I was burned to a crisp. I made sure everyone had on sunblock but forgot mine!
I was in pain for days! Just the other night Mom and I were talking about it and I reminded her that she gave me some of her kefir grains she was growing for me to put on the burn so try and repair my skin. It felt wonderful...however, because my skin was so hot the kefir soured quickly and I smelled like an old baby bottle! GROSS!!!
We also had the first of many sushi nights at Lisa's house. Why are we at Lisa all the time? Because she is allergic to cats and my Charlie has free roam of my house. Sorry, Lisa!
However, since our husbands are Russian... we also had shish-kabobs with our sushi. It was good!
CC and I took a small day trip to visit one of our favorite antique stores, Red Rooster Antiques. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 with many fabulous photos. I still need to post Part 3, and I will on the weekend, it's just the holidays have me kinda behind. One of the neat things we saw was this totally decorated house! There are even carrollers under the Merry Christmas sign! Click to enlarge!
And I haven't posted about this yet, but our long time family friend Abdelkrim came to visit us. He is a scientist who has done much research on HIV and AIDS and huge strides in cancer. I had the privilege of working with him in New York. It was one of the most memorable times of my life... and guess what? I forgot to take my camera!
Ab loves Emil's lamb-kabobs....and Emil too. So everytime Abdelkrim comes Emil makes him a wonderful dinner... here is the table.
Emil, Ab and Mom
Next year will mark 25 years of friendship between him and our families.. He is planning a HUGE couscous feast for next year. Look for my post this weekend about how this scientist from Tunisia came into our Texan family!
Mom and all started 24 years ago! (above)
Me and Abdelkrim... when I was in NY we were walking down the streets in Manhatten and looking at the various items for sale. One vendor called him my dad and Ab was so proud! So was I! Abdelkrim and his "little devil!"
Thank you all for stopping by my blog to see my highlights of this year. We didn't take any big trips or make any big purchases.... we just focused on family and making sure everyone was happy. We had good times, hard times, scary times, mean and bad times, but we pulled through it all together and THAT is what family is all about!
P.S. check out my tiramisu brownie post! You won't want to miss that!


Linda K.

What an exciting post. I love your descriptive blog title too! Made me smile! Here is to many more exciting times for you in the new year!

Robin's Egg Blues


How fun! Isn't this fun to see everyone's best in one post!? Looks like a great year!

Happy New Years!


I can see why you have won, what a great blog site you have created. Yes, I took your advice and contacted your friend Lisa York at the Gunter Hotel. My girlfriend and I had a wonderful stay and look forward to going back again. So we thank you for sharing your experiences and the recap on this past year stories.

fitty's pinky rose cottage

precious memories! the photos capture it perfectly. thanks for sharing.. Happy new year

Miss Gracie's House

What great memories of 2009! I'm a veteran homeschooler of 23 yrs (or is 24-I forget!)-it is truly life-changing...enjoy the ride!
Happy New Year!


Thank you for sharing your family pictures. That hotel was awesome!




Happy New Year!

Thoughtfully blended hearts

What a wonderful year...happy 2010!!!

A Little Of This And That

It's so nice to reflect on what each year has offered.

Connie K

What fun things you have done this year i cant wait to go back and click on some of the photo's of place you have been !! Hope you and your family have a wonderful night !!


Looks like a wonderful year! Thanks for sharing!

Angie @ The Shabby Chic Cottage

Great post! Thanks for sharing. I have yet to win anything. :(

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