Home for the Holidays

We had a nice Christmas in San Antonio this year. We attended a Christmas Eve service at my parent's church, Oak Hills. Max Lucado gave a GREAT sermon. We spent the rest of Christmas Eve eating hors d’oeuvers and visiting. My brother-in-law, Ryan, had to work on Christmas day, so he opened his gifts Christmas Eve. Christmas Day was relaxing... gifts and a nice meal, followed by a hike in the park. My mom always does an amazing job at making our holidays special. From the Christmas tree to the dining table to the presents under the tree... everything is always beautiful.

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Christmas Baking with Mom and Jenn


Kodak Girl's Night

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Last night we had our “Kodak Girl’s Night.” In 2004, Kodak had a huge restructure and we lost good people. I was fortunate enough to work in the Houston market, which had lots of young people. Some areas of the country only had one or two employees. Over time, we all became great friends. We decided to keep in touch by getting together once a month for a “Kodak Girl’s Night.” Last night was our annual Christmas get together, which is always extremely fun! We had a great dinner and desserts, played a game (we’re old), and exchanged gifts. I got the idea for the “Merry Christmas” banner from Lori’s blog. I don’t think mine is as cute as hers are. :)


Formula Program in China

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched… But they are felt in the heart…. Helen Keller

The leaders of my China mission trip last year, Carrie and Jacob, are two wonderful people, completely unselfish, with hearts for God and His kingdom. Carrie and Jacob quit their jobs and they are volunteering in a China orphanage for at least a year. What an extraordinary calling!

Carrie has a blog and just recently posted about a “Formula Program.” I was moved after reading the post on the Formula Program. Carrie has given me permission to mention the program on my blog for anyone who is interested in contributing.

For more detailed information you can visit Carrie’s blog or the New Day site, but I’ll give a quick summary.



The Formula Program provides formula to babies in orphanages and foster care in parts of China that are extremely poor. The baby formula is not available for purchase in these rural areas. The babies are sometimes fed water, which can cause severe malnutrition and sometimes death.

The cost for formula for one child for one month is only $25 or $300 for one year. If you’re interested in donating, click on the New Day link. You can donate for one month, two, three, or one year.

It’s very easy and it only takes a couple of minutes. The New Day site will take you to PayPal and you’ll receive a receipt immediately for tax purposes. You can make the donation in someone’s name if you would like. If you’ve lost a loved one this year - what a great way to honor them by possibly saving the life of a baby in China.


Things I Love That Start with the Letter "C"...

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Carmex or Chapstick- I am completely addicted to carmex and medicated chapstick. I would much rather wear chapstick than lipstick.

Crème Brulee- My absolute favorite dessert. I love it when a restaurant has a Crème Brulee sampler with different flavors.

Children- I love children so much, especially China babies. I can’t wait to be a mom.

Cardigans- My second favorite piece of clothing, next to dresses, is the cardigan. They’re so classy. I have the blue cardigan in the photo. I got it on sale at the end of last summer, I can’t wait to wear it next year.

Cosmetics- I love make-up and getting makeovers. If you’re ever feeling bad about yourself or having a bad day, just head to the mall and have a makeover!

Caffeine- Who doesn’t love caffeine, my favorite fix is diet coke.

Church- My church has the greatest people in the world. The picture above is my church, it’s so pretty.

Computer- Oh my… what would I do without my computer? If it weren’t for the computer, my life would be so boring and dull. Its hours of entertainment!

China- My heart is always in China.

Candles- I love Yankee candles. The scents are super strong. When the weather is getting cold (which doesn't happen often in Houston) , I love to burn the fall scents.

Camera- I take my camera everywhere I go. You never know when a great photo op. will arise.

Cupcakes- My favorite is vanilla with butter cream icing. Yummy….

Cable- Digital cable is the best. Who doesn’t love recording all your shows, never missing an episode, and fast forwarding through commercials and boring scenes.

Chandeliers- Need I say more?

Cell Phone- I can’t live without my phone. I don’t have a home phone, so the cell phone is it. When I was in China last year, I would have dreams at night that my cell phone was ringing.

Charmin- Random, I know. I was a Procter and Gamble baby and Charmin was a staple in our household. In college I tried generic brand… NEVER again!


You Know You Travel A Lot When...

The lady at National Rental Car in Dallas knows you by name. Each time she sees you she greets you with “Well, hello again.” As you drive away she says, “Until we meet again.”

You have a sick, sick obsession with Marriott points and frequent flyer miles.

The sound of the airplane is completely relaxing and knocks you out. They should sell relaxing CD’s with the airplane sound for home usage.

While cleaning out your computer bag, you discovered 6 movie headsets.

Randomly, you crave the Continental “cold plate” served in first class. It’s light and delicious.

If you don’t receive a first class upgrade, you take it personally.

You awaken in the middle of the night in a hotel room and you don’t know what city you’re in or why you’re there.

You awaken in the middle of the night a home and don’t know where you are.

While sleeping hard on an airplane you awaken and you know that you’re on an airplane but you have no idea where you’re going or where you’re coming from.
I've never flown on the Hello Kitty airplane, I just think it's super cute!

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My Top 5 Favorite Restaurants

I’m currently traveling about 100% for work. One great advantage is I have experienced some of the best restaurant around the country. Here’s my Top 5…

1. Joe’s Stone Crab (not to be confused with Joe’s Crab Shack), located in Miami, FL. I love this place! Joe’s Stone Crab is the best dining experience I have ever had. They are only open during crab season and they are extremely busy. Of course, the crab is excellent and the service is amazing. If you’re ever in Miami during crab season you have to try Joe’s, get there early. We arrived at 4:00 in the afternoon and waited 2 hours but it’s worth it!

2. The Angus Barn located in Raleigh, NC. I was in a rental car line once and over heard a group of people discussing how disappointed they were because their flight to Raleigh was canceled and they had reservations at The Angus Barn. I would be disappointed too! I have spent a lot of time in the Raleigh/Durham area and I always eat at Angus Barn. I’ve never been disappointed. The spinach salad is the best.

3. Japonais, located in New York City, Chicago, and Las Vegas. I ate at the NYC location with my sister and our great friend, Leslie. It was Leslie’s birthday and a FUN night. We ordered a variety of items. The portions are very small, similar to tapas. I love this scenario, you get to taste a little of everything. My favorite thing at Japonais is the beef that comes to the table raw and you cook it on a hot rock. I don’t eat a lot of beef; however, this beef was excellent. It melts in your mouth. Note: Hugh Hefner takes his girlfriends to Japonais.

4. Del Friscos Steak House, located in New York City, Dallas, Las Vegas, Colorado, North Carolina and recently they opened a location in Houston. I have dined at the NYC location and attended the grand opening party at the Houston location. The grand opening party was so much fun, complete with a red carpet as you walked in and people cheering and taking pictures. It was incredibly exciting! I love the lobster and crab cake. All the side dishes are excellent, the mashed potatoes and creamed spinach are the best! They are known for their lemon cake for dessert.

5. This list would not be complete without a Houston restaurant. Houston is the #1 dining out city in the nation and often the #1 fattest! It’s so hard to name a favorite in Houston but I’m going to have to say the Taste of Texas. It is the ultimate Texas steak house experience. It’s not your typical trashed out steak house with peanut shells on the floor. It’s beautiful; the décor is classy, ranch-style. The food is excellent. You can pick your steak from a window to the kitchen if you’d like. I love the salad and bread; I could just have that as a meal. I’ve had almost everything on the menu and I’ve never been disappointed. Go hungry because they give Texas size portions.

Honorable Mention- The Lady and Son’s in Savannah, GA (Paula Deen’s Restaurant), Ibiza in Houston, and Star Pizza in Houston. No wonder I can’t lose that annoying 5 pounds!!!

Jamie and Bobby Deen at The Lady and Sons
Del Friscos

Leslie's Birthday at Japonais