Thursday, February 27, 2014

Space Center Houston

Last Friday I went to Space Center Houston with my friend Trish and her son, Trey.  

They are down from Washington to attend cancer treatments at MD Anderson.  Tre has a form of cancer in his muscles that he had when he was a toddler and they just found out it came back again.  He is having surgery on Friday, so please pray for him!

To get their mind off of the surgery, we went to Space Center Houston and Kemah for the afternoon.  I have been to Nasa multiple times, but they have never gone.  We got there late and only had time to do the tour and walk around for a bit.  The tram tour is interesting and you make three stops.  One is the actual mission control used when the USA first went to the moon.  Can you believe that the first computer was the size of a huge room (think bigger than an average size bedroom) and only had enough memory to power a cell phone ringtone?  Not a cell phone, but the ringtone on your cell phone.  Crazy!

At this stop, they also mentioned that even though we aren't currently sending anyone to space or the moon, they are working on a manned mission to Mars.  It takes us about 3 days to get to the Moon, but it will take about 6 months to get to Mars!  Crazy!

The next stop was a huge building where they practice in-flight situations and new features.  I thought I got a picture, but there is even a Ironman like robot that is so precise, he can type perfectly on an iPhone keyboard!  I can't even do that. :/

The final stop was a warehouse where an actual rocket was housed in a mini museum. 

Can you tell how big it is?  No?  Well look at this one and see the people on the left. Now can you tell?  It's huge!

After the tour, we went to the main building to walk around.  There is a part where there are special articifacts that were taken to space.  Here is a chess set that was used to play "Earth vs. Space" against a set of championship
 winning third graders...Earth and the third graders won! :)

This is a pair of shoes that was taken on board a ship, and to date the other shoe has never been found!  What?  An alien has his shoe!  Maybe the shoe is part of an alien collection like Ariel in the Little Mermaid?

Just before we left we went to the gift shop and I saw this cute shirt!  It made me think of the Big Bang Theory.  Too Cute.

We had a fun time at the Space Center and afterwards we went to Kemah for dinner on the Boardwalk.  We ate at Landry's and it was WONDERFUL!!!  So yummy.  I had their Habanero Margarita and it was sooooo good, check it out!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snowmen and Caterpillars

I got to babysit this cutie the other day while my sister ran some errands.

We spent the day making tons of play-doh figures including snowmen and looooooong caterpillars.  He would come up with a figurine to make and I was 'forced' to make them.  We even made a dragon, but I am not sure you can tell it is a dragon, can you?
Maybe?  I never said I was an artist! :)

The rest of the day we spent playing outside and taking walks.  Cole loves to race and I did a lot of running while I was over there.  I thought it would wear him out to where he would fall asleep, but NOOOOO.  Of course not. LOL.

I got a snack from my car and he stole it from me, apparently he loves Nutella.  After eating all of it, he took a bath; I think he got more on him than he did in his mouth.

My sister got home just as my Mom came to pick him up for the night.  We had tons of fun and the next morning Cole's words were "Where's Aunt Steppy" as soon as he woke up! :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Hands Horse Show

This past Saturday was the HLSR's Top Hands Horse Show and I was lucky enough to volunteer for it!  I am on the Special Children's Committee and we help put on the event for the kids. 

The Top Hand Hands Horse Show is for mentally and physically handicapped kids/adults, where they get to participate in rodeo events.  As part of their therapy, many children go to horse camps and ride horses.  Once a year, they participate in the Top Hands Horse Show to win awards.  They go at their own pace, with helpers walking along side of them. 

My scheduled volunteer time was from 7 am - 1 pm, but I ended up staying all day and left around 8:30 pm.  I stayed in the hospitality suite most of the time helping to ensure all snacks and drinks were stocked and also helping to serve lunch and dinner.  I got to wear my new badge holder!  It's is pretty, so full of bling! :)

The kids would come in to get drinks and show us their awards, it was so cute!  They were very proud of their awards, and for many of them it was their first award ever!  The first place winners got a cool belt buckle and the other winners either got this cool trophy (below) or a ribbon.
It was a great day and I am glad I was able to be a part of it.  I have several other  nights I have to volunteer and I cannot wait til they come!  We have a day tour scheduled and three concerts that I will be working.  More to come!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2 moms and 2 single ladies take on Nac

A few weekends ago I traveled to Nacogdoches to meet some friends for a fun night and also work on some Driving Jacks 5K stuff.  I hadn't seen some of my best friends in so long, I needed a friends weekend!

I got to Nacogdoches right at 11 am with the worst headache!  I stopped at CVS to purchase some migraine medicine and then headed to the DJ office to meet with some 5K committee members.  After our meeting we headed to Cotton Patch (which I LOVE!!!) for lunch. I try to go to CP every time I travel to Nac, but it doesn't always happen.  I love me some Cotton Patch.

Krista and Clarissa were traveling from Beaumont and Dallas and I met them at the hotel we stayed at.  After we got dressed to go out, we headed over to Brittany's house to make some thank you cards for people/companies that donated to the Driving Jacks 5K and raffle.  We headed to dinner at Casa Tomas and we had so much fun!  We talked and talked.  I missed my girls!  All three of those ladies were friends from my Driving Jacks days, Driving Jacks honestly is were 80% of my best friends came from. :)

After dinner we headed to the Driving Jacks office to hang out with the members that were working that night.  We played games with them and just talked about the olden days.  We had meant to pep them up for the 5K and raffle sales, but I think we sort of preached and 'mom-ed' them instead of giving a pep rally. OOPS!  It's just that all of us were Presidents and Vice Presidents of the organization at one time, and we care so much about it. We just wanted to instill that passion in them too.  Later that night though, when we were dropped off, the people who took us home said it was a good talk and they glad they heard it, so I didn't feel too bad. :)

We went out to a local bar after that and then crashed a fraternity party (Theta Chi) after the bar closed.  Before we went out, we were all saying that we didn't think we would make it past midnight, but here we were closing down a bar! LOL.  We drove around and found a fraternity house that had beer and we just hung out there and made friends.  Clarissa and Brittany played beer pong, but Krista and I just hung out and talked to some guy who was in the military.

After a while I was feeling light headed (I hadn't felt very well for a few days prior, hence the head ache earlier) so I headed to my car while they finished their partying.  They came to check on me to make sure I didn't want to leave, but I didn't want them to not have fun.  I was fine in my car, just playing with my phone.  I'm a weirdo! LOL.

About 2:30 I called Driving Jacks to have them pick us up since we had all been driving.    They close at 3 am, so I wanted to be sure they would pick us up.  They got there around 2:45 am and we headed out.  The entire time we were talking to the members (they new who we were since they met us earlier) and telling old stories.  I'm always glad when I can hang out with other DJ members and alumni, just seeing Amy's vision come to life.

The entire time we were there we were using hash tag speak #twomomsandtwosingleladiestakeonNac and #toooldforthis.  We thought we would be home and in bed by midnight, but we made it to 4 am!  What is up with that?  Who am I?  That NEVER happens!

The next morning we went to our continental breakfast and then lunch before heading home.  I had so much fun and I really needed to see my friends.  I miss them so much!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Volunteering at the Houston Marathon

Last year running the Houston Marathon was great, but this year I knew I wouldn't be running in it, so I decided to volunteer!  I had several friends doing both the marathon and half marathon, but more on the half marathon.  I felt more led to volunteer on the marathon course though, since the volunteers really helped me last year when I was at the end of my rope on mile 20.

I was able to sign up early (I think back in November) for the mile 21.5 water station.  We had to be there at 7 am to set up the station, but I ended up being there at 6:45 am since I didn't know what the traffic and road closures would be like.

At first I thought I would be the only person (besides the captain's) over 21, but then some mom's came and we became friends!  There were two groups of students that were volunteering with us for volunteer hours.  I would say there were about 40-50 of us.

They gave us all free t-shirts to wear on the course and if you signed up early enough, you could get a free rain jacket as well (didn't get a pic of it).

We set up the water stations with cups of water that were stacked 4 deep.  Would would fill up the water on the table, add a piece of cardboard, and then add more cups.

We were ready to go by the time the top finishers came by.  The men seemed like they were waaaaay ahead of the women, but it was probably about 5-10 minutes.  I didn't count the time difference though.  Both the top men and women groups had a police escort and video escort filming the race.  It was pretty cool!

Then the masses came!  We were handing out tons of water, I think the captain said over 20,000 gallons!  What's funny/gross is that the water they were giving out came straight out of the fire hydrant!  Yep!  We lined trash cans with restaurant trash bags and filled them up with fire hydrant water.  We were handing the cups out when I realized that they were having to walk a long way to get them so I stayed behind the table to manage the layers of cups.  Once a layer of water cups were almost all gone, I would move them down and remove the cardboard.  Everyone was thanking me for looking ahead and doing that so they could focus on handing out the water, otherwise they would have to do that plus hand out the water and it was too much with the large crowds.  I know it sounds kind of dumb (typing it does, LOL), but they honestly were so happy that they could be more efficient. There were also a few cups that weren't filled all the way, and I would fill them to the correct level so they wouldn't have to do it.

I only saw one friend (way to go Debra for your Boston qualification!!) on the course, but I missed about 4 others! :/  That's ok because I was able to encourage lots of people by saying their name and cheering for them!! I even gave two hugs to random strangers that looked like they needed it.  I said, "You look like you need a hug" and they both said yes. LOL.  I'm glad I could encourage them and everyone else! :)

At the end of the race, the trucks came by to pick up stuff and let us know we could clean up.  They made people get off the course and walk along the side walk since they wouldn't be finishing in time.  It was so sad!!  These poor people made it to mile 21.5 and were forced to get off the course, they walked with their heads down and looked so defeated.  I felt so bad for them.

After we were free to go, I went out to lunch with Krista and her mom Ginger.  Who celebrated their 4th and 3rd half marathon finishes!!  Krista's aunt Terry was supposed to run too, but she opted out because she was sick.  It was a fun lunch and a fun day.  I had a sunburn over the next few days on my face.  Ooops!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

To my relationship friends: Happy Valentine's Day!! Being in love is awesome!

To my single friends: Happy Friday! Love is overrated and being single is awesome!