Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Little Luke

I am officially Aunt Katie! My little nephew is here! James Luke Patterson II was born early Tuesday morning at 1:20 am. He was 9 pounds 5 ounces and perfectly healthy. I'm a little biased, but I think Little Luke is the most perfect, precious, sweet baby EVER.

My sister in law, Wendy, did an amazing job. She has made pregnancy and labor look EASY. Luke was due on September 25th, which came and went, and we weren't sure if and when she was going to be induced. Though we wanted Luke to come on his own accord, we just couldn't wait any longer to meet him! Wendy was induced on Monday morning and was in labor all day and into the night. (Praise God for epidurals!) We were hoping to see him Monday, but he was still nice and cozy and not ready for the real world just yet. Luke finally decided to make his appearance in the middle of the night when Aunt Katie was fast asleep in bed, but we ran right over to the hospital as soon as I was done with work today to see the little man. Wendy is doing awesome. Seriously - she made it seem like it was no big deal - she is very strong and brave! Luke is ADORABLE. He did not cry the whole time we were there - he just slept and made the cutest noises. He is healthy and perfect. I'm so proud of my sister and brother in law and so happy for their newest addition! Yay babies!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Noble Workout Partner Who Can Find?

"A noble workout partner who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." ~Proverbs 31:10

OK.... so maybe I took a few liberties with that translation! But still... a good workout partner is a gem for sure!!

When we moved into our new house over a year ago, my next door neighbor Diana was the first person I met. She is super nice and wonderful in every way, and the only thing I have against her is that she's a Longhorn. But we have become friends despite that fact. She says "gig em" when she texts me, and I watch UT games when she comes over. She wears maroon to our supper club, and I turn a blind eye to the UT garden gnome in her front yard. Whatever works.

The best thing about Diana is that she is a GREAT workout partner! We both joined the gym in our neighborhood, and last March, we started going to boot camp once a week with a personal trainer there, Charissa. Y'all... you should have seen us at those first boot camps - it was pathetic. I'm pretty sure we couldn't do ten squats or ten push-ups in a row to save our lives.

But, we stuck with it, and we began to get better and better. The boot camps started out as groups of five to ten people, but it gradually dwindled down to .... just the two of us. I never thought I'd be referred to as "hard core" when it came to something like boot camp but wonders never cease. We enjoyed this personal training for quite some time until the gym was on to us, and they stopped the free boot camp :-( Sad. Luckily, our friend Charissa agreed to keep training us. Now that it was just us, she really turned it on and made it her personal mission to "kill us" every week.

Not long ago, Charissa got a new job at a gym closer to her house. I may or may not have cried. We're very happy for her but very sad for us! However, she taught us well, so we quickly decided that we would carry on. We got a super cute notebook, decided on Mondays and Thursdays, and got back to work. In our little notebook, Diana plans Monday workouts and I plan Thursdays. Between those days we do our own workouts, though we are excited for cooler weather when we can walk/run together.

Basically, it's our goal to outdo one another with the difficulty of our workouts. We have both vowed to do whatever the other plans. As we walk out to the car after our workouts, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: I'm so sorry if I hurt you!
Diana: No, it's totally OK! I want you to hurt me.
Me: Yeah, I guess I kind of meant to hurt you.
Diana: I'll get you back on Monday.

The next day we usually text each other:

Me: Sore?
Diana: Yep.

So you see, we're totally made for each other! haha! I'm proud to say that those girls who couldn't do ten squats in a row can now do 40 squats holding a 25 pound weight over our heads!!

We've invited our husbands multiple times to join us, but they have declined. I think that secretly they are scared we will kick their butts. ...and we probably would :-) Diana's husband says it makes him tired just to read what we write in our little notebook.

I better rest up now because Diana is planning tomorrow's workout and we may or may not have had a few margaritas while watching football on Saturday night (UT of course... A&M wasn't on TV, people!)


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Praying for MOH!

Update: THANK YOU for praying!!! God just proves again and again that he can do more than we can ask or imagine. Today I got a great update about MOH. He made it through the surgery perfectly and is resting and recovering wonderfully. He may even get to go home this weekend. But here's the BIG news: The pathology report came back, and the tumors they removed were NOT CANCEROUS!!! It is truly miraculous, and I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.
Today I want to tell you about a very special person. His name is Michael O'Hern, but to me he will always be MOH. MOH was my high school choir director and my teacher in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade at Lake Highlands High School. MOH is a teacher who has truly devoted his life to his students. I've been out of high school for ten years (yikes!), but he still knows me, keeps up with me, and asks about my family. Now that I'm a teacher, I realize how precious planning periods are, but MOH spent many of his planning periods with me, listening to me cry in his office about how hard calculus was or the boyfriend that just broke up with me. He has devoted over 20 years to teaching, and even recently won Teacher of the Year. His choirs consistently bring home top honors in competitions, and he is well known in the community. MOH stays at school until 10:00 many nights rehearsing with choir or Espree (show choir). He spent Saturdays judging competitions. He gives up a week of his Christmas break EVERY YEAR to take high school students on a ski trip. I can only hope that I will become a teacher as amazing as MOH. If I had to pick five people who have been most influential in my entire life, MOH would be one of them.

Two years ago, MOH was diagnosed with brain cancer. He had surgery and went through intense chemotherapy. He beat the cancer, went into remission, and continued teaching. A few weeks ago, at a routine doctor's visit, they discovered that the cancer had returned. Although this was discouraging news, I know that MOH can do this again. He is scheduled to go into surgery at 7:30 on Wednesday morning in Dallas, and the doctors are confident that they will be able to remove all of the cancer. I know our God can do BIG things, so I'm asking you to pray that MOH will be completely and miraculously healed and that the cancer will never come back. MOH has a website where he is asking for prayers. He is asking you to pray specifically:

1. For the wisdom of his surgeons
2. For his continued positive outlook
3. For peace for his family and friends
4. For his Lake Highlands HS students

If you would add MOH to your prayer list for this week, I know he and I would be very, very grateful! We love you MOH!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Last Hurrah

Summer is almost officially over. And to be honest, I'm OK with that. I long for the day when I'm COLD. Also, I've been back to school for over a month now, so I'm pretty much ready for fall: spice candles, football, chili, and Christmas decorations. Yes, please. Still, today Brent was craving a summer treat that I have never made even though he has been asking me to make them for at least six months.

Brent has a few things he requests often for me to make. His favorite request is beef stroganoff. I've never posted about beef stroganoff, but maybe I will soon. It's possibly the best comfort food of all time. It's a winner. He also begs me to make these Fleur de sel brownies he saw on Food Network. I tried to make them once - EPIC FAIL. Have you ever tried to make homemade caramel? Mine turned into a solid coating of cement candy in my pan. I thought the pan was ruined, but after a few hours of work, we finally got it out. Last but not least, Brent has been begging me to make homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches. I always thought it would be too hard, but today he finally convinced me to try. Thankfully, there were no disasters involved. It was actually really easy, and they are SOOOOO good. Here's how I did it:

I made chocolate chip cookies using the Nestle Tollhouse recipe on the bag of chocolate chips. I made the cookies a little bigger than usual.

The cookies were crispy on the outside and still chewy on the inside. I let them cool completely on paper bags. (Does anyone else do that? My mom always used to do that.)

While the cookies were cooling, I let the ice cream sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes to soften up. I used Blue Bell Light Vanilla. I used a knife to spread ice cream on the cookie like you would spread cream cheese on a bagel. It was super easy.
Then I topped the ice cream with another cookie of similar size. I put them all in a parchment paper lined Pyrex dish and popped them into the freezer. One hour later, you've got homemade ice cream sandwiches! They just might make the perfect addition to your Labor Day festivities! Enjoy the last of your summer!


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