Thursday, December 28, 2006

I <3 Christmas Ornaments

This year we got some great Christmas ornaments as gifts.

But even though we got a bunch of ornaments as gifts, I couldn't help but buy a few of my own.

Can anyone figure out what the theme seems to be?! Apparently we're carrying the beach theme all year long into our Christmas celebration. But come on, Santa Claus and snowmen on a beach?! It really doesn't get any cuter than that!!

I am getting to be very proud of my ornament collection. Specifically, my S'Mores ornaments. I have 8 of them now, and each year I add more to the collection. This year I got one from Aunt Lori and another from my parents.
I can't wait to see what new themes the S'Mores folks come out with next year!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Recap

This year we spent Christmas at our own home for the first time! Robin and Jack arrived Friday evening so we were able to spend quite a bit of time with them. On Saturday, Phil and Jack did projects around the house all day which involved quite a few trips to Lowe's, of course. Robin and I went to HEB that afternoon to pick up all the ingredients we'd need for the rest of the weekend and Christma dinner. That night we had homemade pizza and black cherry cobbler while we let Robin win at Phase 10. On Sunday, we did some last minute Christmas shopping (nothing else like being at the stores with the other slackers who waited until Christmas Eve to do their shopping too) and then some major baking preparations for Christmas day. I realized this weekend why I don't cook very much. It takes soooo long. Don't get me wrong, the finished product is AMAZING but I just don't have the patience for all the prep-work that goes into homemade meals. I think 30 minutes total including prep and cooking is all a meal should require. Hence, my lack of skills in the kitchen.

Needless to say, I learned a lot. Robin taught me the difference between wet and dry measuring cups, I got to whip the whipping cream (pretty much unsupervised, which may account for the whipping cream all over the kitchen floor, appliances, my sweater, etc.), help make the doughs for the pies and cinnamon rolls, etc. I never thought I'd remember all these recipes, but one of my favorite things about Christmas was the "Family Cookbook" that Robin put together with all the family's favorite recipes.

Christmas morning was fun. Robin got up around 4:30 to put the home-made cinnamon rolls in the oven to "Bread Proof" (I can admit I had no idea what bread proof meant before this weekend) and then was up again a few hours later to continue preparing them. The rest of us got up around 7:30 and celebrated our Christmas morning by unwrapping our presents and stocking stuffers. We then proceeded to play Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) for about an hour, which was one of Robin's gifts. It's actually pretty fun but I don't think I could ever master the "Expert" mode. My legs just aren't made to move that quickly, or maybe it's the eye/foot coordination that I lack? Anyway, it was fun watching everyone try to beat each others' scores.

Later that morning, Brad, Stacy, & Logan showed up after having their own Christmas morning in Austin. Logan was in her adorable Christmas dress and showed us how she has mastered the art of opening gifts. Smart girl.

One of Logan's other favorite activities is trying on other people's shoes and walking around in them. First she put on her mom's sneakers, then my house shoes, and finally my black boots. I think she liked them best because the heels made noise on the floors.

Later we all sat down to Christmas dinner. It turned out really well, thanks to everyone's contributions. The menu consisted of: Ham, Company Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Ambrosia, and Green Salad. And luckily, we have LOTS of left-overs since we made so much! Actually, I'm headed to the kitchen now to warm up a plate for dinner. YUM!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Office Christmas Party

When you work at a company of 15,000 employees, you can't have your holiday party just anywhere. You have to rent a convention center to accommodate everyone. So last night we got all gussied up and headed downtown to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for Phil's company's holiday party. One of Phil's co-workers and his girlfriend came to our house before the party and we carpooled (yes, we've seen An Inconvenient Truth). We ran into a nice little traffic jam on the way downtown in which Phil's road rage emerged, but we all helped to keep it in check. We ended up parking about a block away in the mall parking lot; I think we got lucky with our parking spot because one of his other co-workers who we met there said it took them 45 minutes to find a parking spot!

We arrived at the party and posed for a quick shot outside the bathrooms before heading in.

We of course headed to the buffet tables first to check out the spread. They had h'ors deuvres in one room and we took our pick from the cheese and crackers, artichoke spinach dip, and chicken skewers, and headed into the main room.

We found a table and sent the men to check out the buffet table. They came back with pasta, roast beef, turkey, salad, chips & queso, tamales, and 7 layer dip. While the guys were in line getting food, Tracy and I went over to the dessert table and made up some big ole plates of yummy desserts. I ended up eating too much dessert too quickly and realized I needed more solid food in my system so we went back for more pasta. It's so easy to indulge when it's all free!

I wanted to take a photo next to the great set-up with the professional photogaphers (Christmas trees, fireplace, stockings, etc.), but after finding out that the least expensive photo package was $35, we decided we could just take a photo at our own house in front of our own tree for free. Plus, you had to pay up front so if the photo was not to your satisfaction, you'd already bought it!

The most entertaining part of the party, surprisingly, was the concert. They had booked the Foreigners to play. While I had never heard of them before, I think that is simply due to my age, because once the concert started I realized I had heard most of their songs. The lead singer kind of reminded me of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith with his long hair and tight pants, and the lead guitarist was definitely balding in a major way, but they did put on a pretty entertaining show. Plus, what other Christmas party puts on a full blown concert?!

I am sure that many of you are pretty jealous right now that we saw the Foreigners LIVE... but if you don't want to admit it because it may date you (Amity...), we understand.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh, Christmas Tree...

Today was one of my most favorite days of the year-- the day that we pick out and decorate the Christmas tree! I loooove shopping for ornaments every year and then strategically placing them just right on the tree. This year, our tree was significantly bigger than the one we had last year, so it created a fun new challenge. And I realized that just as long as we keep getting bigger and bigger trees, I can continue to buy more and more ornaments!!

So we cranked up the Christmas tunes (my idea and my CDs of course) and got in the christmas spirit. All we were missing was some warm cookies and hot cocoa. But there is still plenty of time for that before Christmas.

Here are some photos of the three of us in action... hmmm someone seems to be below the acceptable level of Christmas cheer. Thought with those big ears he would be more elf-like. Will have to work on that.

After about an hour of decorating... voila! The finished product! Here are a few photos of our decorated living room and dining room.

I can admit that we are lacking a few items, like a tree skirt, tree topper, presents... but that just gives me a shopping goal for the holidays. Plus, my favorite shopping day (even more than Black Friday) is the day after Christmas when all the decorations are 50% off. I already decided I want to head to Kohl's first on that day, as I think they have the BEST price and selection of all the stores I've been to (which is saying a lot). They have the cutest set of place mats that I can't wait to get my hands on... at 50% off the retail price.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays from a bunch of reindeer! (Yes, we went out in public with antlers on... we actually wore them all day on Black Friday starting at 6:00am at the mall. We like to spread Christmas cheer and what better way to do it than by wearing antlers on your head that jingle?!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Happy Birthday, Cooper!

Our puppy turned 2 today. That means he's a teenager, in doggy years. Oh, how quickly they grow up! ;)
He loved all the treats we bought him at the nearby doggy boutique. He couldn't keep away from this one long enough for a photo...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

We joined the library!

This morning we went to the San Antonio Public Library just after it opened and signed up for library cards! The central library is down town and is the largest of all the branches, but there are more than 10 other locations around the city, which is pretty convenient for returning books, etc. Each of us checked out 5 books. Bet you can't guess which stack belongs to which of us!!?

Book reviews to follow! The books are due back by December 2nd, and since we are such diligent blog posters (yes, that is a passive aggressive jab at the rest of you with blogs who pretty much suck at keeping them updated) we will get our book reviews posted promptly upon completion of reading our respective stacks.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Last Thursday we took of 1/2 day of work and drove down to South Padre to spend a long weekend at the coast and celebrate my parents' 25th wedding anniversary!!

We got there Thursday evening just in time for some BBQ chicken and babyback ribs, potato salad, and baked beans. Yum! Cooper also enjoyed nibbling on some baby back ribs.

My parents' condo is suffering from major plumbing leaks and water damage, so when we arrived we got to see the entire downstairs carpet pulled up, furniture shoved to one side of the room, sheetrock torn out of the walls and ceiling, and you could see all the way upstairs! The next day they had to pull up carpet in the master bedroom and tore up the master bath as well. Luckily, my old room was just fine so we had a place to stay. The owner of our condo development had agreed to let them stay for free in another condo on premise, which was very nice because it gave us a place to hang out and spend time, plus we were very excited to have cable for a few days!!

On Friday, the boys headed to Harlingen to play golf, while the girls ran errands (picking out carpet) and shopped in Brownsville. We met up in the afternoon at the condo and later that afternoon and evening my mom's sisters arrived.

On Saturday morning, Cooper did not seem to be too tired and woke us up at 5:45am needing to go out. Phil and I both woke up and walked him, and decided that since we were already up, we might as well head to the beach and watch the sunrise. It was a great decision because the sunrise was beautiful!

Saturday was the big day-- at 4:00pm, Captain Paul performed a beautiful vow renewal ceremony for my parents to celebrate 25 happy years of marriage. The ceremony included exchanging of traditional wedding vows and rings, plus a sand ceremony in which they poured sand from their individual jars into a 3rd jar symbolizing the combining of their individuality to become one unit. Very pretty ceremony (and I must say that the jar I selected was very stylish).

It was a lovely weekend and a great reason to celebrate. Congratulations to Mom & Dad for their 25th wedding anniverary. We hope you are able to happily celebrate many, many more years together. Love you!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Check out my super cool witch's finger cookies!! Bet you didn't expect such an amazing product from me!! I am learning to be more and more domestic as the days go by!! Plus, I had a fantastic opportunity to wear my "Lil" apron.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bridal Shower

Yesterday we celebrated Kristina and Mark's upcoming nuptuals with a Bridal Shower at Mamacitas. It was a great venue and Dory did a wonderful job co-hosting her very first shower. Kristina and Mark are getting married in Las Vegas in November, and we wish we could make it! But we know they will have a wonderful time and we wish them the best. Kristina was my suitemate in college, so we had a reunion of sorts yesterday at the shower. Pictured below is our entire suite for our Sophomore and Junoir years at Trinity. My roommate, Lena is on the left, then me, Kristina, and Dory. Dory is getting married in March so she gets to prepare for all the bridal activities soon, too!

More Book Reviews

Now that we have successfully proven how dorky the Stackhouse clan is, I can proceed with my book reviews. While Philip (and his family) apparently enjoy books where learning is involved, I prefer the simple enjoyment of fiction.

In Full Bloom, by Caroline Hwang
4 book worms
This book was about a Korean woman in her late 20s who was single, which apparently is unacceptable to her Korean mother. Her mother flies to NYC to find her an acceptable Korean man and lives with her for the duration of this book (a month or so). The tales of how she meets these Korean men, but really prefers white men, is quite funny and intriuging. I started out not really liking the book because I was unfamiliar with the Korean culture which I thought would make for a slower read, however the author did a great job keeping it light-hearted, and I probably learned a few things about Korean culture, or at least their food. Cute story, quick read.

Boy Meets Girl, by Meg Cabot
5 book worms
Written entirely through instant messages, emails, or journal entries, this book was so cute! I loved the modern format of "chatting" and you get so many different perspectives this way. The main characters are best friends who work together in HR. They become entwined with this HR firing scandal and one of the friends gets fired by her horrendous female boss. The boss's fiancee works for the company's law firm, and is equally as horrendous, but of course has an amazing lawyer brother who works there too that our main character falls for. A cute love story, cleverly written. Love it!

The Rice Mother, by Rani Manicka
5 book worms
While this book is definitely not my typical reading genre, it was taking up space on our book shelf so I decided to give it a try. My Aunt Carol had passed it along to me a few years ago so I figured it may be worth it. The book provided a very thorough, and at times gruesome, look at Malayan life through the eyes of all different members of a family from the 1940s - present. The wartime descriptions are what I mean by gruesome, as she describes the things that were seen and done to the citizens of Malaysia that are unthinkable (at least to me, in present-day American culture). However, the life lessons and values learned by the children and granchildren through their many hardships really told a great story. I tend to enjoy books where you get all different perspectives and points of view, rather than just the one character telling the story, and this book really did a great job of this. Hearing about experiences from the different characters' perspectives really helped to tie the story together, and create a solid set of memories and experiences. I don't want to give too much of the plot away, which is why I have been so vague, but I really recommend this book. And, I may have learned some history so Philip should be quite proud.

Nights in Rodanthe, by Nicholas Sparks
5 book worms
In true Nicholas Sparks style, this book is a fantastic love story that is absoulutely heartwarming and unforgettable. I have read many of Nicholas Sparks' books and never once have I been disappointed, and Nights in Rodanthe is no exception. The story is told by a mother looking back 14 years into the past, remembering her whirlwind romance that became the love that lasted her a lifetime. She is telling this story to teach her daughter the lesson of love and loss, as her daughter's husband has recently passed away, leaving her 2 young sons to care for alone. The characters are, in typical Sparks' fashion, ones you can relate to. Even if circumstances in this novel aren't ones a reader has experienced personally, the characters and feelings conjure up memories to really draw the reader in; this would not be the first time a Sparks novel has made me want to laugh and cry with the characters. I am headed to right now to make a list of the other novels by Sparks I haven't read yet, so that I can head out to Half Price Books and pick them up.

Other than the novel above that Aunt Carol lent me, the others were lent to me by my friend Amanda. But usually I borrow three at a time and now I've read them all. Guess it's time for us to have dinner and do some book swapping! Until then, I can see a Harry Potter book on the shelf that I will read next. Can't tell which one it is, so you'll just have to wait for the next book review!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Book Reviews

Seeing how we don't have cable or basic TV, Lauren and I have been reduced to reading books! While this isn't a bad thing, it is definitely something to get used to. Fortunately, it has been pretty easy to adjust. We figured we would provide some reviews of the books we've recently finished reading and a review on the "bookworm system" in Drew's honor. Each rating is out of a possible 5 worms.

1 worm = Don't bother. We feel for the trees killed to print this sorry thing.
2 worms = Ehh... don't bother unless you're locked up with nothing to do, and they took away your finger paints.
3 worms = Put this on your list, but not at the top.
4 worms = Definitely worth your while.
5 worms = Get up right now and go purchase (or borrow) this book! A must read!

24 Days, by Rebecca Smith & John R. Emshwiller
(4 Worms)
The Enron story has been thoroughly documented in numerous books and articles in the past few years. While I had a general idea of what brought down Enron from the numerous articles I had previously read, I was looking for an Enron book which would provide a detailed insider account of the unfolding events which eventually took down one of the largest corporations in America. This book caught my attention because it was written by two Wall Street Journal-ists who were assigned to cover the story. It was said by some (including the authors) that they were the first major news outlet to uncover the scandals taking place at Enron. This book is the account of both reporters detailing the days that they spent investigating Enron's financial position, most notably the Fastow partnerships. 24 Days gave great detail of the reporters' difficulty in uncovering the partnerships and the very complex manner in which they were produced. The book also goes into account of Arthur Anderson turning a blind eye towards Enron's entire operation, even though they were aware of the huge conflicts of interest between Andy Fastow (being General Partner of the partnerships) and Enron. Overall, the book provided a great view on how the reporters gathered and collected evidence to report the biggest corporate scandal in American history. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the details of how Enron was brought down, chiefly the Fastow partnerships, however the book gave very few details on many of the failed business ventures which also led to the eventual downfall of Enron. To further learn about this part of the story, I will be adding the book Enron: The Smartest Men in the Room to my wish list. (I must say, the movie was pretty good.)

1776, by David McCullough
(4-1/2 worms)
This book was referred to me by my beloved siblings, Brad & Amity (everyone knows Felicity doesn't read). Actually, I even borrowed Amity's copy of the book from her extensive collection. This book details the American Revolution during... 1776 (who would have guessed?). I'm a big fan of history, particularly the accounts of wars, so this book definitely fit my interests. Having known only very general details of the American Revolution provided by my exquisite public education, this book was my first real education of what took place during the period of the American Revolution. The year 1776 was important in many respects because this was the turning point for the war. Everyone knows that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, but who knew that the war waged on many years after that? (Sorry, Mom, for some reason I did not know that... but it helped that my wife didn't either... even though she also expressed how little she cared.) This book provided insight into the character of George Washington and his very young and very inexperienced commanders. While the book got off to a slow start, it soon picked up after recounting the events of the battle for Boston, and from that point forward was a very fast read. McCullough did a great job in researching all the different accounts from the participants of the war to the media and newspapers. It was interesting reading the communication between British and American commanders, as well as gaining the insight of how during 1776, the "rebel fighters" were many times on the brink of losing. This book while at times praises Washington's resolve, also makes him out at other times to look like a fool. Let's just say that if Washington had his way, we would all be accustomed to having High Tea. It is my opinion that McCullough should write another book detailing the events leading up to the Treaty of Paris in 1783 so that we can further learn about the important events of the war after this important year he has detailed.

Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble with America's Future, by Daniel Altman
(1/2 worm) -- Did not finish
This book, just by the title, in my mind would be a great read because there are a multitude of topics that could be covered under the changing of the economy and the position of Neo-conservatives. This book, however, did a poor job of outlining key topics and explaining conclusions. The book is dry, and in my opinion poorly written. As noted above, I was unable to finish the book because of how ineffective the author was in explaining his view and keeping the reader entertained. Hopefully someone else will pick this topic up and write a more intriguing account.

The next book on my list is Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman by Merle Miller, and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. Please feel free to respond with recommendations on other books to add to my list.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Congratulations are in order...

Many things to celebrate these days, so I figured why not post it for all the world to see!

Congratulations to Karthik on his new job with the City of Houston! We are super excited for you! Soon Felicity will graduate and become a "day-shift" worker again and maybe you can be on the same schedule! Then again, you'll probably be headed to Medical school around that time... Oh well, then you'll be on your way to becoming a doctor and Felicity will just stay home and spend the paycheck anyway. So much to look forward to-- congrats!!

Congratulations to Dana on her acceptance to SMU's PMBA program! This is a program for Professionals who work full time while they get their MBA. The PMBA program is rated the best program of this type in Texas so it is very exciting for her. Plus, one day when she graduates and gets her great-paying dream job, I hope to benefit from having a rich/successful friend... duh. Congrats!!

Congratulations to Shannon & Cary on the birth of their beautiful baby girl Penelope Linda! She is gorgeous, and we can't wait to watch her grow in the next few months through photos, and actually meet her in December when y'all visit. I only hope in the weeks after I give birth I can be as well adjusted as y'all seem to be! You are doing a great job sharing photos of Penelope and keeping up with your correspondence-- much better than other people we know who don't have the excuses like a crying baby to feed and not getting a full night's rest that you could use. Very impressive. Congrats!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gardens by Moonlight

On Saturday night, we experienced the cultural adventure that was Gardens by Moonlight at the Botanical Gardens. We went with two other couples, and none of us had ever been to the Botanical Gardens before, despite living in San Antonio over 5 years.

We had dinner at our house before the event because we knew the "gourmet" food that was advertised would not be cheap, and we are very glad we did because by the time we arrived, the food was already sold out! So luckily we were not too grumpy or hungry to enjoy the gardens.

Back to dinner. I planned the menu-- chicken fajitas with all the fixin's, strawberry margaritas for the girls and of course beer for the men. I found a recipe online for strawberry margaritas with real fruit (well, real frozen) because I don't like that strawberry mixer stuff that many places use. So we made them in our super fun Smootherator and they turned out to be VERY yummy! The boys grilled and the girls did prep-work (while gossiping of course) and then we all had a wonderful dinner.

The reason we had dinner at our house (other than our fantastic party-hosting skills, of course) is because just at the end of our street is a shopping center called Terrell Plaza, and that is the one stop for the shuttle to the Gardens by Moonlight event! We couldn't have planned it better ourselves! So we walked to the end of our street and hopped in line for the shuttle.

As we were riding on our plush shuttle bus to the Gardens, we were suprised at the SUPER long line of cars trying to get in. We were glad we didn't try to drive, and we were also very surprised at how popular the event was. But we also felt very proud of ourselves for picking such a great thing to do on Saturday-- we were sure everyone would be talking about it on Monday. (Although needless to say I didn't hear anyone else mention it at work today... hmm.)

They had Gypsy Jazz musicians, Cajun musicians, and all other sorts of bands for our listening pleasure and they had all of the exhibits and gardens open for us to roam around and see.

We walked all around the gardens, but my favorite place had to be the rose garden, where my amazing photographic skills came to fruition. I mean, check out that photo. Try to beat it! Everyone else was impressed with my photo, well except my husband who wonders who takes photos of flowers. Honestly, who cares as long as my photo is the best?!

Oops, I think my only child competitive streak just showed itself...

Needless to say, it was a fun event, and now we have gotten our cultural fill for the month and can resort to watching movies on the couch for the rest of the Saturdays of the month.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In Bloom!

After all the rain last weekend at our house, all of our plants have started to bloom, and the grass has started to turn green again, which is a wonderful change from that ugly shade of brown it had started to turn due to our horrendous lack of rain!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fun at the Circus!

So even though my mom claims that I have been to a circus before, I don't have any memories of it. So when my friend Jen recommended that a group of us go to the Alzafar Shrine Circus this weekend, I decided to go for it! Phil was volunteering at the Valero Texas Open, so he could not come along, and I brought my good friend Lena instead.

We all met up at Chris Madrid's for a yummy (albeit greasy) dinner before the show. Then we headed over to Freeman Colliseum, bought our tickets and our shrine circus hats, and headed inside for the show.

Before the show, people had indicated that this circus was inferior to the Barnum & Bailey circus, and that we may not have a good time. Some even called the circus "poor". However, we had also heard that there would be an opportunity to ride an elephant at this circus, so we didn't care what else happened as long as we could get a fantastic photo of us on the elephant!

Now, the first half of the show was great. It started off with a man on a motorcycle way up in the air going round and round, and he was attached to this pole, which on the other side swung a woman from a bar that she hung from. They both took turns turning round and round going up and down, all hanging high up in the air. Pretty impressive. There was also a tiger show (which leaved something to be desired to be honest), but there were some great drummers, really cool acrobatic tricks, the hula-hoop lady, etc. By intermission, we had decided this circus was great!

So during intermission we rush down to center stage to get in line for the elephant ride. Literally, picture 7 of us fully grown men and women running across the floor to get in line. I guess I should back up and tell you that we had also picked our seats at the beginning of the show accordingly so that we would have the easiest and quickest access to the floor as possible to get in line easily during intermission! So we get in line and are told that tickets are required. We send a few of the group to get tickets but in the meantime find out that it is not $7 per ride, but $7 per person!!!! We decided that we would not pay $50 for our group to ride on the elephant for 3 minutes. But we also realized that this circus was making LOTS of money, and maybe we were in the wrong business! Maybe I'll talk to my boss on Monday about investing in an elephant...

So needless to say, we did not get our cherished elephant ride in, but we got some photos pretty close to the huge animals, so we were still happy.

After intermission was our absolute favorite act! The elephants came out in two rings, 7 total. There were 6 adult elephants and one baby! They did great tricks, like spinning in circles, "holding hands" which was done by using their trunk to hold the next elephant's tail, laying down on their sides, getting up on their hind legs and putting their paws on the next elephant in line to form a train, sit on a chair, etc. It was soooo cute!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Go Diddy Go!

Too bad for Felicity-- if she wants to pursue pop stardom with the name "Diddy", the US and UK are already out for her (see important news article below)... But I think the Indian market is still open-- Go Diddy Go!

Diddy can't be Diddy in Britain
09/11/2006 11:07 AM, AP

Sean Combs is Diddy no more — at least in Britain. The musician and entertainment mogul has agreed to drop the Diddy name as part of an out-of court legal settlement with London-based music producer Richard "Diddy" Dearlove, the law firm representing Dearlove said Monday.
Solicitors Jens Hills & Co. said Combs had agreed to "rebrand his commercial activities" in Britain and would "no longer be able to trade in the U.K. as 'Diddy.'" Combs' lawyer, Nigel Calvert, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Combs — formerly known as Puffy and Puff Daddy — has used the moniker P. Diddy since 2001, but last year decided to be known solely as Diddy.

Dearlove launched a lawsuit for unfair competition, claiming the name change had caused confusion. The case had been due to go to the High Court next month.

"I started getting e-mails from Puerto Rican girls asking if they could be in my video and people were asking me to look at their clothing line," Dearlove was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.

Combs, 36, whose fortune was last year estimated by Forbes magazine at $250 million, agreed to pay Dearlove's costs, as well as "significant" damages, Dearlove's lawyer said.
Dearlove, 40, best known for his 1990s dance remix of Blondie's "Atomic," told The Guardian he was "happy and relieved."

"It doesn't matter how big people become," he said. "This is my name. I've been successful too. I'm not a global megastar, but what I do is valid."
On the Net:
Richard "Diddy" Dearlove:
Sean Combs:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gone Fishin'

To celebrate Labor Day, Captain Larry Langford took us out on a fishing trip in the lower Laguna Madre bay. As you can see above, Phil caught the catch of the day!!
Just kidding!! We all know who the true angler is!! Now, Phil wants to debate what the true meaning of a great angler is. The dictionary definition is "a person who fishes with a hook and line" so I guess rather we are debating the true meaning of "great" when in relation to angler. While I believe in quality (i.e.- size) of fish caught, Phil believes sheer number is what creates a great angler. Honestly, doesn't he know who I am?! Fishing runs in my blood! I know it's a bit cliche, but fish really do fear me. Check out the delicious bass below. (Note, it really is a redfish and if you haven't seen Napoloen Dynamite, you really should!)

Phil did catch his fair share...

...but are fishermen supposed to kiss their catch?

We had a really great time, despite the fact that we had to leave the docks at the outrageously early hour of 6:30am. We headed towards the bridge where the bait was really schooling. We could see little mullet (or other bait) jumping in and out of the water all around us, which indicated to the cap'n that the fish were near. The sun had not even come up yet when we began to catch. Phil fished with artificial lures the whole time and when that wasn't working for me, I took "the easy route" and switched to frozen mullet. That made me happy because I caught the huge redfih seen above on my first cast with mullet.

We did not keep any fish all morning (catch & release) but had we kept them, we probably would have had our limit by the time we headed in by 9:00. Dad did a wonderful job guiding us to the fish, and even though Mom could not fish due to her still-healing wrist, she was a wonderful cheerleader.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Amity sure does know how to throw a party! And not to toot my own horn, but who else got photos of the decorations? Randy/Amity: 0, Lauren/Phil: 1. It's okay, I am sure that at the next family gathering you'll have your chance...

Moving on! the party was a success! And, our wonderful hostess made everything look so easy! Maybe I'll try hosting one of these myself one day. But I'll start off on a smaller scale...

Dinner was fantastic (and I can't forget dessert!), and the company was even better. Loved trading stories about childhood and hearing how everyone has different memories of how things happened. Very entertaining, but I of course stick by Phil's version of how it went... AND that he is the inventor of the do-it-yourself mechanic shop!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sunday at the river

On Sunday we spent the afternoon at the Guadalupe River with Phil's coworker Floyd and his girlfriend. Floyd owns a ski boat so it was lots of fun getting to hang out in the sun. My St. John tan is long gone so it was nice to get a little color again. (Just have to remember to generously apply the aloe so that the tan/burn doesn't peel off!)

All along the river, different property owners have installed rope swings from their trees which we had lots of fun swinging from. They installed ladders so you had to climb up onto the tree and swing off of it. And let me tell you, it seems much higher when you're up there than it looks from the ground!! It was very fun... luckily Floyd happened to know the owners of this particular property because they came over to find out why we were using their swing!! Turned out that since Floyd knew the guy, we all ended up swinging and hanging out, so what could have been a sticky situation turned out just fine! Hopefully you can see the blur that is Phil swinging into the water in the photo above.

Phil also got to try water skiing for the first time. Turns out it's a pretty fun sport, and much, much easier to be successful at than wakeboarding. I think he did pretty great for his first time!! Then again, what are wives for if not to be their husbands' cheerleaders from the boat?!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tomorrow is a big TEST day for some important people in our lives! Karthik is taking his MCAT after many, many months of intense studying. This day has been long-time coming, and we can't wait for it to be over so we can spend more time with him!! And Dana is taking her GMAT tomorrow which will determine where she goes back to school for her MBA and ultimately where she lives the next few years of her life. So needless to say, tomorrow is a big day.

Good luck to both of you-- we know you're going to ace those tests! And we can't wait until you're successful and of course wealthy, all because you did so well on these standardized tests. Just remember who wished you luck on their blog, when you're deciding who to give the biggest Christmas gift to when you are head honcho doctor and business woman.

AND we want to know how you celebrate when this is over with! We'll be in Houston next weekend, and we think a celebration is definitely in order.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I am Demi Moore's long-lost twin!

Felicity sent the coolest website, where you upload a photo of yourself and you get a list of matches of which celebrity you look most like. My best match, surprisingly, was Demi Moore (73%)! Who knew?! I thought it was going to be one of those joke websites where it comes up with a picture of some monkey but it's not, and the results are cool! My other matches include Shania Twain (64%) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (53%).

Philip matched with Jason Biggs (66%), David Schwimmer (63%), and Ed Harris (61%), amongst others.

Back in Texas

Philip and Brad made it in just after 1:00 this afternoon, safe and sound, but of course extremely tired. They met Stacy, Logan, and I at the outlet malls in San Marcos; Stacy had no clue they were coming in today and I guess my lying skills are better than I thought because I was able to keep the secret for the few hours we shopped before they arrived.

Looking forward to all the siblings being in TX now and all the fun weekends and holidays to come!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


With Phil in San Diego with his brother this weekend, I am a free woman! I can do what I want, when I want (as if that's any different than normal, haha). Really, all I plan to do is catch up with my girl friends and spend plenty of time with our puppy. Except Cooper is always on edge when one of us is not home, so I will pretty much be stopping him from barking at every little noise which he thinks may be Philip coming home.

The boys will be playing golf and hanging out in CA until Sunday, when they begin their long drive home. But I am sure they are well equipped with rap music and snacks to keep them awake. What better way is there to spend an 18 hour drive, after all?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Did Cooper contract Rabies?!

Nope, just a bad case of Reddi-Whip.

**Side note: it was the very end of the can and rather than throw away the remanants (or eat it ourselves), we decided to see how he would react. Clearly, his reaction was favorable.