Monday, August 9, 2010

Stepmom Reflections

Stepmom has always been one of my favorite movies, but I can't put my finger on why.  Maybe it's the all-star cast, or the connections I made with the moments dealing with cancer, or that despite the box of kleenex I go through while watching, it is still a romantic comedy.  Or maybe it was the way I could distance myself from the plotline, because I never dreamed it could happen to me...I would never be divorced or a stepmom....

Oops!  Wrong!  Enter reality, I AM a stepmom!

I remember watching the movie when Scott and I first got married, and counting my blessings that life was NOTHING like that!  A year later, I'm still counting my blessings, but there are some moments when I feel like I could be a part of the film.

Take the stepdaughter for example...she hates Julia Roberts' character.  Kaitlin and I used to have such a strong bond.  Not only was I her stepmom, but I was also a friend, someone she would talk about her day with and confide in, and spend quality time with, but lately she has become a typical teen, talking about hating her parents....but not all four of us it least she didn't make hating her Mom and Mark public knowledge like she did about hating coming to our house.  (That's the thing about technology today...when I "hated" my mom, I would tell my friends and there would be no paper trail...nowadays with texting, myspace, and facebook (and even this blog) everything is in writing and visible.)  So does she hate me like in the film?  Highly doubtful.  Did she truly mean everything she said about us and our house? Probably not.  Does that make it any less painful?  Unfortunately, no.

Then there's the whole concert scene...when Julia Roberts is trying to reach out to the stepdaughter and asks to take her to a Pearl Jam concert, but Susan Serandon tells her not on a school night, and then gets the tickets herself and her daughter loves her that much more...  Well, this weekend was supposed to be our weekend with the kids.  It was also Longhorn Night at the Dell Diamond.  Jen and Mark asked to switch weekends because they had been invited to the lake with neighbors.  Since the lake trumps baseball in the kids' eyes (except maybe Harrison's), we switched.  So, imagine our surprise when we looked in the box above our seats and saw Kaitlin and Kennedy!  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Jen sabatoged me like Susan Serandon did by any means....she had NO idea we were going to take the kids to the game, mainly because we don't like to share many of our plans with the kids so they're not extremely disappointed if something comes up.  But it still hurts to see them do something special with their mom they were supposed to be doing with us.

But, not all of the resemblences to the movies are negative: I take great pride when I pick them up at their mom's house and see a picture I took framed on the mantle.  And besides, they ultimately become one bing happy, cooperative, extended family in the end...and that's what makes all the ups and downs worth hopefully our story can one day end as so many have before:
and we all lived happily ever after.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wine Weekend

Between summer school and the kids, Scott and I didn't get much of a "break", so we decided we needed a weekend getaway.  What better place to go than Fredericksburg and the wineries of the Texas Hill Country?!  We stayed in the cutest little house just outside Stonewall near Becker Vineyard.  It was AMAZING...and surprisingly no more expensive than a regular hotel room.  I HIGHLY recommend it if you're planning a trip to the Hill Country!

The beautiful jet tub to welcome the sunrise.

So, we decided to hit every winery on the official "Wine Road 290."  At each winery, we either split a tasting, or if there were several wines we wanted to try, we each got our own...making sure to get different wines, and splitting those too.  We calculated that together we tried almost 100 wines (combining the wines tasted on both Saturday and Sunday)!
Below are my thoughts of the wineries we visited Saturday:
Texas Hills Winery:  Great wine, casual tasting setting, best deal for your $
Pedernales Cellars:  Interesting flavors are brought out, making their wine fantastic!  I really wish it was sold in least it's not too far away for another trip!
Woodrose Winery:  The tasting was in a dance hall with the most beautiful wood floor...think it would be really fun to make a trip there when the dance hall is up and running.  Very good wine.
Becker Vineyard: What a disappointment!  All of my friends talked up this vineyard, but it was extremely impersonal, the wine was good, but not great... and they charge more per bottle at the vineyard than I pay for it at HEB!
Torre de Pietra:  One of my two favorites.  Loved everything I tried.  Deciding which bottle to buy was the worst part of this vineyard!  I would go back in a heartbeat.
Grape Creek Vineyard:  The other favorite.  If I were to join any of the vineyards' wine clubs, it would be this one.  I didn't try anything that I didn't like...and would love to have any of them delivered to my door!  
Fredericksburg Winery:  Not the best way to end a day of tasting.  Their wines were mediocre at best.

Touring the wineries...what number was this?!

We were also able to meet up with Paul and Tiffany, in part of her "uncelebration" of her birthday.  We met them for dinner on Saturday night, and then spent the day with them on Sunday.  We visited the last winery on Wine Road 290, Rancho Ponte, and then headed into Sisterdale to visit Sister Creek.  Both had some extremely yummy wine, but didn't quite make my favorites list.  Afterwards, we headed to Luckenbach, and ate the most delicious fried food while listening to a local band.  Luckenbach is seriously in the middle of nowhere, and there's absolutely nothing to it, but yet I absolutely loved being there!

Everyone is someone in Luckenbach...even us!

We stopped at Flat Creek Winery in Marble Falls on our way home Sunday afternoon...I would really like to go back there again and visit the grounds when we're not hot, exhausted, and ready to get home.
So, as it says on the sign Scott almost bought me, "Dinner is poured!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fun With Bo-Nana

So, the kids have always called my parents Sherry and David.  Didn't bother me or my parents, because they're not their "original" grandparents, but for some reason it bothered Scott...not to mention if I ever have a baby, they'll call my parents whatever their siblings do.  So, we started to brainstorm what they could call them.  Since Scott's parents were Grandma and Papa, I wanted my parents to be called something different.  Mimi and Granddad were also out of the question, because that's what they called Jen's parents.  So, we decided on Nana and Grandpa.  Nana didn't go over too well with Kennedy when it was first introduced, but when we went to Dallas this summer, Kaitlin managed to transform Nana into Bo-Nana, and it became an instant hit!  We really did have a fantastic time in Dallas (as usual!)'s how the week progressed:
Friday: The kids and I drove to Dallas, while my dad flew down to pick up Scott after work.  We had a really nice steak dinner with my parents, Mark, Aunt Judy, and Uncle Paul.
Saturday: We went to Medieval Times...which was SO much fun!  Although our knight didn't win the tournament, he was very handsome, and he did throw his carnation to Kennedy.  Kaitlin and Harrison preferred booing the green knight...and he seemed to enjoy the taunting.

Loves the Blue Knight
Sunday:  Loved seeing everyone at Northway!  Afterwards, we played in the pool and had dinner with Paul and Tiffany...SO FUN!
Monday: We spent the day at Hurricane Harbor.  Kennedy wasn't ready for many of the big rides, so my mom and Scott alternated spending time with her while the older two and I (and sometimes Scott) waited in line for thrill ride after thrill ride.  Despite the amount of time spent in line, we had a blast!
Tuesday:  Scott had to go back to Austin and help his mom out, but before he left we went ice skating at the Galleria.  It wasn't as cold as we thought it would be, but it was still a lot of fun!  While my mom delivered Scott to my father's office for a pre-flight teeth cleaning, the kids and I went shopping!  I was so proud of mom gave each of them cash to spend, and they all bought cute school clothes instead of junk!

Ice Skating: Daddy, Kennedy, and Bo-Nana

Ice Skating: Harrison, Kennedy, and Daddy

Wednesday: We went to see Toy Story 3.  Such a sweet movie!  What made it even better, though, was that we were at a theatre that instead of normal seats had couches, ottomans, and comfy!  Afterwards we went to Paul and Tiffany's to swim, make our own pizzas, and a much needed haircut! 
Thursday:  I went to see my daddy for a teeth cleaning while my mom swam with the kids, then we loaded up and headed home...then off to the hill country...the kids to Marble Falls for a family reunion, and us to Fredericksburg for some wine tasting.

"Boys Of Summer"

Blake and Scott both have early July birthdays, so Emily and I decided to throw them a joint birthday party.  I think we thought it might have been cheaper than throwing two separate parties, but I highly doubt it ended up that way.  Since we both love 80's music and it was July, we decided on a "Totally Tahiti" theme...with "Boys of Summer" as an obvious theme song.  We planned the party for months, and I think the prep turned out better than we could have imagined!

Scott's birthday cake

The Birthday boys and the pinata

The slide...yes, that's my mom!

There were basically three invitation lists: Blake's friends/family, Scott's friends/family, and CD Fulkes friends/family.  Although there was a great turnout, none of Scott's friends came, so I felt bad that Blake had a huge pile of gifts and Scott didn't have any...but  I think Scott's ultimate gift was the fact that the waterslide was in THEIR backyard and not OURS... :-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer's Princess

Kennedy had a BUSY summer!  It started with her very first dance recital.  She was SO excited and looked absolutely adorable!  She had two whole rows full of spectators!  Even though I'm a little bit biased, she was definitely the most beautiful ballerina out there!  Unfortunately, towards the end, she tripped, but she even fell with poise and grace!

Then it was her birthday.  I can't believe she's already 7!  She's growing up SO fast!  She LOVES the Wizard of Oz, so we went to see "Wicked" in all-time FAVORITE musical!  My favorite part was when Glinda says something about "Dodo," and Kennedy shouted out, "His name is TOTO!"  Too cute!
No Oz birthday is complete without a yellow brick road and ruby slippers!

Her sister was even sweet enough to wear a matching outfit!

We had the kids most of the month of July, which was really fun!  We spent a lot of time in the pool, relaxing around the house, and went to Dallas (to be detailed in a later blog post).  Our month of "kid time" culminated with Kennedy and I going to church camp...which almost didn't happen!  Kennedy was registered for camp, but couldn't go unless I was there to monitor her blood sugar overnight.  Unfortunately, I wasn't needed as a counselor this summer, so that put us between a rock and a hard place.  We met with Pastor Karen, and Kennedy was allowed to go as a day camper Thursday and Friday.  I am so glad she was able to go...she had SO much fun!  She really wants to be able to go for the whole camp next year...I hope we can work something out!
Look at me!  I'm a fish!

Playing in the mud pit!

Me, Kennedy, and her new BFF, Ella

Fathers' Day

Although I didn't actually get to see my dad on Fathers' Day this year, the weekend was really nice.  Scott and I went to Ruth's Chris on Friday night to celebrate both Fathers' Day and our anniversary.  We were seated in the wine room, and had the room entirely to ourselves.  Both the steak and the ambience were FABULOUS!  After dinner, we went to join my parents for drinks at the Four Seasons.  It was really neat to spend time listening time to the jazz band and drinking champagne...just like we had done together almost a year earlier!  On Saturday night, we took both of my grandfathers (and one of my grandmothers) to the Salt Lick for some BBQ.

It was really neat getting to spend time with them in honor of Fathers' Day, and I think they enjoyed each other's company!  At church on Sunday morning, all the fathers were given a backscratcher (VERY useful, Pastor Joe!), and that evening, Don, J.D. and Megan, and the kids all came over for fajitas and quality family time.  I am truely blessed with a family full of AMAZING men!