Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Time is Here

As most of you who know me know that I LOVE Christmas time! And for some reason, I am EXTRA excited about this year! Aaron and I have really gotten into the Christmas spirit this year--a real tree (it's been years since we've had a tree), decorations at the house, a holiday party, Christmas angels, volunteering....the whole nine yards! Oh yeah, and we got an electric fireplace. Cheesy one may say, but that thing is awesome. No replacement for a real fire, but pretty close!

We're spending Christmas in Lubbock, which will be fun. I get to love those adorable babies and spend time with my fam!

It's been a crazy year to say the least, and I am so luck to have such a wonderful and supportive husband and family, the most amazing friends on earth, and a new job that I absolutely love. I'm looking forward to 2010.

Stay tuned for pics from our holiday travels....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Job!

I started my new job on Wednesday (4 November) and it’s been a whirlwind of a few days! I worked in the office for 3 days (full of meetings and conference calls…whew) and then hopped on a plane for South Africa and Zimbabwe! I’m feeling like I’m in a little over my head!

Though I haven’t been in the new position long, I think I am really going to love it. My boss (Ambassador Eric Bost) is fantastic. I know that I will learn a tremendous amount from him and will enjoy working with him. Don’t get me wrong, it will be a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to it. Since this position is university-wide, I think I’ll have a steep learning curve in the beginning. I’ve enjoyed working in agriculture, but it will be nice to have a slight change in “scenery,” if you know what I mean.

My initial priorities will include: developing a strategic plan for the Office of Global Initiatives; developing a campus wide India Strategy; programs for South Africa and Zimbabwe (thus the trip); Bahrain opportunities (exchange program and energy institute); developing new promotional pieces; and many more! Needless to say, I’ll have my hands full.

I will be traveling quite a bit, which will be nice. In early 2010, I’ll be traveling to India, Bahrain, Liberia and Ghana. The good news is, the trips won’t be very long! And, Aaron and I have talked about him coming along with me on a couple of trips, which would be AWESOME!!!

I’ll definitely try to keep my blog updated as I travel to new places and take on new adventures (no promises, as I’m not very good at this!).

Kiss Me I'm Irish!!!

Kiss Me, I’m Irish…

Well, not really, but that’s okay! I don’t even know where to begin on our trip to Ireland! In a nutshell it was amazing, which is an extreme understatement! Ash and I had a wonderful time!

A Rundown of Our Trip:

Two Days in NYC
o Dylan’s Candy Bar (aka heaven)
o Serendipity 3 frozen hot chocolate!!!! (we channeled our inner Kate Beckinsale)
o DUCK TOUR—if you ever go, take a rain coat because you get wet!)

Five Days in Dublin (Thanks Fado!)
o Guinness Brewery
o Jameson Distillery
o City Tour
o Book of Kells/Trinity College
o Musical Pub Crawl (HIGHLY recommend this!)
o St. Aedon Church
o Christ Church
o St. Patrick’s Cathedral
o Glendaloch (aka where my favorite movie PS I love You was filmed….ah….sigh)
o Wicklow Mountains
o Kilkenny—Kilkenny Castle, Paris, Texas Bar (yes, there was one!) and the sweater shop
o Grafton Street Area
o Parks
o Pubs Galore!

Three Days in Galway
o Aran Islands (Inis Mor)
o Connamara
o Spanish Arch
o More Pubs…..

Some of Our Favorites:
• The people….they’re great!
• The food…every Texan should love the food, it’s meat and potatoes….and seafood
• Beautiful scenery everywhere—vibrant colors, lush agriculture, untouched lands, etc etc etc
• Old Irish tour guide in Inis Mor (“across the bay on the Connemara”….makes me laugh just thinking about it!)
• “Be careful what you wish for, my love”
• Central Park Club (not really our fav but it was really funny….we felt 18 again!)

The Favorites list could go on and on and on. We loved it all! I’ll post a few pics here and will try to download the rest onto shutterfly (be warned between the two of us we took about a 1000 pics!). There are lots more to come....and I'll label the future pics....not enough time right now :)

Ash, thank you for being such a wonderful, thoughtful and caring best friend. I don’t know what I’d do without you! This trip was amazing—I look forward to planning our next trip back….maybe for your 30th?!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Epic Post!

This is LONG overdue....I can't get the pictures to attach but I'll keep trying! I also have two new posts that I'll add soon....IRELAND and A NEW JOB!


Well, here it is--my epic post! Here's a bit about what's been going on in our world (in reverse order)....

Turning 30

As many of you know, I was not excited about turning 30 AT ALL. I must admit it turned out to be one of the best birthdays EVER...seriously. My sweet husband surprised me again and again. First, with a pair of BEAUTIFUL diamond earrings (funny story) and then with a SURPRISE trip to Austin with friends for a Bob Schneider Bluegrass Massacre Concert! We had a fantastic time. Thanks to the Bryan crew, the McCabe's and Ash for coming out...I couldn't have asked for a better night!

Then on Saturday, my mom, dad and Maddie and Ashley came in town to continue our celebration. We had a great time! It had been forever since I've spent my birthday with family!

Here are some pics (and will have more to add when I get them from Mom and Ash!)...

Oaklawn Reunion (minus Riz)

Every year we try to have an Oaklawn reunion to relive our college days (though we're getting a little too old to "hang" like we used to!). As usual, we had a blast. Lots of chatting, listening to music and searching the internet for random goodness. This year was a bit unusual 1) b/c Riz wasn't able to make it and 2) b/c Baggett is leaving for Greece for 2 years! We've decided that our next reunion will have to be in Athens in Summer 2010! These girls are some of the best people I know....here are some pics from the weekend:

Visiting The Ballard Crew

Duncan Layne Ballard arrived on 10 July! Cute as can be! I spent the day w/ Casey, Kyle, Ada, Duncan and Lynn. As usual, it was absolutely fantastic to see them. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again later this month! Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, but definitely check out Casey's blog at peanutballard.blogspot.com for some recent photos!

Easton Brice Foster is Born

My sweet baby nephew, Easton, made his debut on 4 June! As with EK, he's absolutely adorable. I feel so fortunate to have been there for his arrival! The Foster fam is doing great and enjoying life as a family of 4. Here are some pics:

For more on the Fosters, check out Kristin's blog at kristin-foster.blogspot.com. She's better at this than I am :)

Young Professionals Award

I'll just toot my own horn for a minute....in June I won the Young Professionals Award from the Association of International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD). It was such an honor, and a humbling experience. I absolutely love what I do!

Tipsy Turtle Opens

Yay yay yay! The "Turtle" has been doing GREAT since opening. I am so so so proud of Aaron. He worked so hard on the new place, and it definitely payed off.

If you're ever in College Station, you'll have to check it out. Though there are lots of options for frozen drinks and shots, I recommend the Peach Colada (Peach Bellini and Pina Colada mixed) or a Cherry Coke (Cuba Libre and Cherry Limeade mixed). They're yummyful :)

Panama Muster

Since I never posted pictures or wrote about this in April, I will now (better late than never!). I had the great honor of serving as the Muster speaker for the Panama Muster ceremony. And this was not your average Muster ceremony (to add to the nerves!). As many of you know, the president of Panama (well, at the time) is an Aggie. And, since this was to be his last Muster while in office, he decided to have Muster at Casa Amarilla (equiv to our White House). The place was BEAUTIFULLY decorated and full of the Aggie spirit. Yours truly ate dinner next to THE president (thank you mom, dad and Nette for teaching me manners!)!!!!!! He is such a nice guy and so easy to talk to. The speech went great, though I will say I was more nervous that night than I had ever been before!

I will say that the Panama Aggies are fantastic. They welcomed me as if they'd known me forever. I even got a personalized VIP tour of the Panama Canal (which is run by an Aggie!).

This will definitely go down as one of my most favorite Aggie memories--such a humbling experience and true honor!


Well, there you have it! I am really going to try to be better at this (no promises though). Aaron and I celebrate our 6 year anniversary in a few weeks and he has another surprise up his sleeve and we're going back to Vegas. I'll be sure to post some pics :)

Coming Soon....

An epic post. This time I promise. Lots to report and lots of pictures!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

East Timor

I arrived in East Timor last night (first time here). Here are a few of my initial thoughts...

  • it's a crazy combo of Indonesian and Portuguese (rightfully so, I guess!)
  • The UN is everywhere, and I mean everywhere! There are about 12 UN police officers stationed at my hotel (I'm down the street from Embassy Row...nothing like DC's embassy row!)
  • The country is beautiful and lush...I imagine Bali to have looked this way 50 years ago
  • It's expensive...way too expensive for what you get ($110/night for room...you've got to be kidding me!)
  • Internet isn't reliable, but what's new in a developing country.
  • For those who told me ET is the Africa of Asia, they were correct.
  • The airport was like stepping out of a 1940's movie! It's all outside...even the baggage claim..crazy. Oh yeah and our plane skidded to the very end of the runway...yes, all the way. I was a bit nervous to say the least
  • People are very hard to reach by phone and email...have to admit I'm a bit jealous!
I'll post some pictures later (probably in Indonesia when the internet is better).

Also, three upcoming posts--1) THE TIPSY TURTLE IS OPEN! 2) Speaking at Muster in Panama and 3) Old Crow Medicine Show.

Stay tuned....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

April Update

So, I haven't been very good at this blogging thing lately!

Here's a quick update in pictures from April:

Lake Whitney with Friends

A beautiful place! We had a great time w/ Brian, Jodi, Pat, Angela, John, Jess and Baby Carter (who stole the show, precious thing)! Jodi's pics are MUCH better than mine...check out her blog pics

Visit to See Sweet Baby EK

I take every opportunity I get to see sweet miss thang (and her mom and dad too!). A couple of weekends ago, I drove over to Fredricksberg to see the Foster Fam during their last family vacation before Easton's arrival (which is VERY soon!)

Tipsy Turtle

Aaron has been working NONSTOP (literally) to get the Tipsy Turtle open! It's definitely come a long way from a tattoo shop. We're hoping to open by next week...can't believe it. I'm so proud of him!

Random Pics w/ Friends

Here are some random pics from recent times with friends (though admittedly not all from April!)

Also, would like to congratulate all of our friends/family expecting little ones in the coming months: Kristin, Casey, Jodi, Angela and Jen....baby fever is here!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dr. Borlaug Turns 95!

Last week Dr. Borlaug turned 95! We celebrated his birthday in style...well, with a luncheon at least! It was an honor to be present for such an amazing event. This man is such an inspiration for so many people around the world. Every time I'm around him I feel compelled to help others and to never give up this fight of ending world hunger.

Here's a pic of our staff with Dr. Borlaug.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Paddock Lane turns 3 years old!!!

I can't believe that we opened 3 years ago! Time flies....lots has happened in 3 years and the place has changed so much. I am so proud of Aaron!

Here are some pics from the night's festivities....

Here's a sneak preview of the TIPSY TURTLE!! Stay tuned for progress updates.

Grammie's 90th Birthday

Last weekend Aaron and I were in DC/VA to celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday! It was really neat to be able to celebrate such a special event! Grammie has had such an amazing life with lots of fabulous stories and adventures (Aaron's grandfather was a 3 star general in the air force). She is a phenomenal women!

All of Aaron's cousins came into town for the event, so it was GREAT to meet their wives and to get to know one another. Can't wait to see everyone again!

Here are some pictures from the weekend....

Grammie w/ Robin, Laura, Sue and Ken

Me, Mere and Baby Dean

Aar and I w/ Grammie

The fam w/ Grammie

The cousins oldest to youngest (who stands out?!)

Sweet baby Dean.

Greg, Megumi, Nate & Mere at Cheesecake Factory

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'm actually in Kenya right now for work. The internet is horrible, but I am going to try to post some pictures from my visit to the National Park last week. Fingers crossed it will work.

lions in the middle of the road...needless to say, we turned around and went the other direction!

Zebras, zebras everywhere!

water buffalo!

sunset on the Savannah

and my personal favorite! it's not very clear, but i'll try to add better pics later!