31 January 2011

Dubai, UAE. January 2011

 Dubai, UAE. January 2011

The following pictures are not posted in chronological order! Just random pictures that I snapped while in Dubai 11 - 22 Jan 2011. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them! Please click on the actual picture to download/view the picture in larger scale(s) if/when available.

 Nighttime shots require a slow shutter and a STEADY hand. The camera can do slow shutter but it's hard to dodge traffic (pedestrian AND auto) and snap non-blurry pictures!!!

 Most the stuff coming off these super-duper old fashioned cargo boats was construction material. Not surprisingly. You will see the skyscrapers in pictures below!

 Water Taxi! Very shaky. No rails. Don't stand up!

Why couldn't we be on THAT one? This one looks STRAIGHT out of Peter Pan.

 The above six (6) pictures are from an outing to the Gold Souk in Dubai. We jumped on a water taxi (little skiff in 3rd picture above) with a loud diesel engine and buzzed across the "Dubai Creek" to the "Old Gold Souk" which now sells mostly tourist crap and silks.

I took many more pictures while floating around on the creek but, not surprisingly, they were mostly blurry! The one above of the colored lights against the standard sand buildings is at good as it gets!

 *** Drool ***
This thing is amazing.
Almost worth the 18+ hour flight time...

 Mom called/emailed while I was in the desert to say, "make sure you get  pic of the water fountains". Naively, I saw these @ the front end (circular drive) of the Burj Khalifa and thought "hm. Kind of small, but I guess this is what she wants to see!" SOOOO I snapped like 1000x pictures.

The correct fountain display she wanted was accurately caught in pictures below! :-)

 The buildings/areas/shops/etc around the "lake" (and I use that term lightly) did a fun job of blending the "old" and "new". I could've spent much more time photographing in/around them (if this wasn't a biz trip... technically!)

 I'm not sure how I caught the above picture, but it's completely 100% unedited/modified/photoshopped/etc. So... Um... I rock :-) 

For anyone who knows the downtown area, this was snapped on the narrow walkway between the water fountains and the circular drive/drop off of the Burj Khalifa.

 Fire reflecting on the water - "Lake" Khalifa.

 So, I watched Tron (2010) version just before this trip. I kept staring at this one (above) from across the lake and expecting it to take off. I mean, if that isn't a spaceship, I don't know what is!

 Restaurants downtown.

 Caught a picture of the top of the Burj Khalifa and the MOON! AWESOME! This is also unedited. C.R.A.Z.Y. You just stare at this thing in absolute awe. For more information see:


 So what these pics don't catch is the loud decidedly pop-Arabic music blasting over the speakers in the shadowy foreground to a large crowd of quietly, observing non-dancing, non-singing people.

The music was super hyper bollywood and the fountains were dancing in beat to the music but the vast majority of people there (work night, not tourist) were just calmly sitting/standing still watching the show. Much more reserved than you'd see people @ Baltimore Inner Harbor if there were loud music and a Vegas-style water display. Noticably conservative culture/country/city.

 You guessed it... THESE are the ones that Mom Cooke wanted pictures of! Hope these suffice!!! :-)

 I TOLD you! BLAST OFF!!! (Okay, slightly misleading, this is the water fountain display in the foreground and the building much further in the distance but HEY! IT LOOKED GREAT!)

 This picture was taken from "At The Top" of the Burj Khalifa. This wavy rooftop is the ceiling of the indoor-ski arena at the Dubai Mall. Crazy Emirati.

 The downtown major intersection and the Gulf! It was kind of sandstormy (lol, yes. sand-storm-y) but still neat pic to see the gulf!

 Yes. The "world's largest". This is exactly why this is as close as I got to the building! For a guy who abhors shopping what ON EARTH could be more tedious, exhausting and physically/mentally/emotionally draining than the worlds-largest-mall!?!? Ugh. SO happy I skipped this one ;-)

 More spaceships! I'm telling you! These "pods" were the train stations. They're awesome. Emeratis, I love 'em. The more the merrier.

 Another pic from 124 floors up. Yes, for the record my ears popped passing the 48th, 84th and 108th floors. Yikes! Some say the elevator ride is so smooth you cannot feel it (I disagree). My body knew when it was >100 floors up!

The infrastructure for the water fountains can be seen snaking around in the lake below. The "Dubai Mall" is on the left.

 Again, sandstormy but this is facing inwards towards "the rest of UAE" vs. the Gulf.

 The narrowest part of "At The Top". Pretty cool but not for those afraid of heights!

 GOLD-TO-GO! This has GOT to be the most photographed GOLD ATM in the world. Wait... what!?!? An ATM that dispenses GOLD????? Yeah. Emeratis, this is bragging just a little. I would've gone w/o on this one at the top of the Burj Khalifa. It's a little "over the top".

 This is the inside of the elevator that lifts you to floor 124. The TV screen in the corner lets you know what floor you're on along with regional advertisements but the elevator is completely dark and those rows of lights circle around you on flat LCD-like monitors (that ARE the walls) of the elevator. It was pretty cool. A little Willy Wonka "when's the elevator going to stop" ish but it was nevertheless a fun ride.

 My flight was the top one. Supposed to leave @ 0500. Delayed until 0635. Ugh. Good thing the terminal was a fun shopping mall!!!

 That's my airplane wing and the moon (actually) over Dallas on the way back! Trinity river snaking through!

 Fun picture I took from outside my hotel room window. I love taking from-the-hotel-window shots on travel. Just never know when you'll be randomly assigned a good one! Yes, yes, yes. Edited a little, cropped, straightened, etc but all good! :-) This was dawn, just before a jog around town, not dusk.

 Lobby of Layia Plaza Hotel. Pretty nice place! Forgot to snag a pic of the pool on the roof. Shucks. Next time.

 Sunrise City Supermarket! ALL signs in Dubai are written like this with English on the left and Arabic on the right with commonly a logo in the middle. This was in between DGH and Layia. I ate a side-shop called "Quick Bite" right near here. On the menu? Mostly Indian/Pakistani food. I chose Prawn Fried Rice (Yes, like shimp but not quite).

The Indian guy thought I was hysterical going in there. Laughing at me beginning from across the street as I eyed the place up. They don't see many Yankees apparently. His English was limited to uh almost, "Hi" and my Hindi is limited to... well... I'm a dumb American and don't know Hindi BUT he knew "hi" and he talked at me a bunch and so I talked back at him a bunch too :-)

Beautiful thing. People. He was amazingly friendly, his food was great and he'll remember this dumb American who liked his friendly (albeit unfamiliar) banter and doesn't know what a 'good tip' is so I just left him a boatload over the bill :-)

 Standing in the open-air section of "At the top" (124th floor) of the Burj Khalifa. At my feet, forever lays the camera bag, where I accidentally left it that high in the sky. I guess the altitude got the better of my short term memory skills! R.I.P. camera bag. Those skyscrapers in the background are quite aways away and I'm uhh... still almost 2x higher than all of them.

Let's not forget this was a "business" trip and the vast majority of my time was spent negotiating contracts, facilitating existing agreements, touring commercial space(s) and meeting with people. So, I will close with a photo I call "Dubai Meets Andrew Cooke". 

Random shout out: That suit is so freakin' comfortable. Thanks Banks and to the older gentleman who fit me for it in downtown FTW with a handlebar mustache and bolero necktie. You knew my dims when I walked in the door. You called 'em almost spot on. You rock.

Dear Tim and brothers-in-law aka "the boys" (especially J), don't you even think about photoshopping my face from above on to any dancing squirrel in a polka-dot bikini dancing the Irish jig at the north pole or parachuting from the Burj Khalifa. I know you were thinking about it, you little monsters.
Mom Jen, Mom Sue & Lisa, please feel free to talk, Fb and blog about how gorgeous, wonderful and perfect I am. You've almost got the world fooled ;-) I love you beautiful ladies. Humble and modest too ;-)

Most of all and I should've started the post with this... I'm so incredibly blessed and grateful for my loving wife and kids who tolerate me disappearing for a week a couple times a year. So fortunate to have a family who understands that my job helps support our men & women overseas and who knows my passion for diversity, cultures and international business [yes, I'm a dork]. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Also very thankful for our friends and family who help while I'm out and about! You are acknowledged and very very much appreciated!!! THANK YOU!

To the faithful readers of P&B, thank you for your readership and I hope you've enjoyed this lengthy, wordy, rare and unusual post from the all-too-commonly-quite Mr. Andrew Sean Cooke, aka "dad" aka "husband" aka "loverboy" aka "dirty rotten scoundrel"... I've been called even worse (it's true!), but I'll stop here ;-)

Party of 5

Friday is our five year anniversary. Rather than get a sitter and leave the kids at home, we're going to go out as a family. It seems odd, maybe, to celebrate the romance and love of our marriage with the girls at our side, but it makes sense to us. Why wouldn't we bring the fruits of our love everywhere we go? We're so incredibly proud of what has come out of our vows. Two (three!) bright, clean souls who carry this amazing image of our love with them in all that they do.
Our marriage has grown and strengthened in leaps and bounds, and we're learning so much. With each pregnancy and baby, the outward signs of our passion, love and devotion multiply. We learn new lessons and find new joys as we introduce them to our life. I can honestly say that I'd always rather have them nearby - what joy they bring, 100% of the time.
So yes. We'll be heading out on a date, our party of 5. There is truly nothing more encouraging to our marriage than laughing together across the tops of their cute little heads.
Happy Five Years, indeed. Happier by the minute, if you ask me!

30 January 2011

I am fully aware that my blogging has been subpar, at best. After Andrew left for a trip to Dubai, I really couldn't blog much for lack of time, and as soon as he got home, Grandpa C landed in the Big D for a long and full week. As soon as he flew home, we turned around and jumped into Saturday, where I helped out at our parish marriage retreat and Andrew hung with the girls.
I'm planning to sit down and write a long blog post, hopefully tomorrow afternoon. These girls have been busy, busy, busy lately, so I have lots to talk about! Just wanted you all to know that you haven't been forgotten! Pregnancy + two toddlers + a traveling husband + sunshine + Grandpa = a biiiiig break from the blog! More soon! xoxoxoxoxoxo Laura

19 January 2011

ooh, baby!

This baby is growing exponentially! (well actually, I think that's correct, right? like i know anything about fetal development...)

I have got to say, I'm so incredibly excited about this baby. If I end up with more babies after my 3, I'm pretty sure impatience will kill me on number 5 or 6.

Having one baby was really difficult. Lucy was a very demanding and tough baby. I had no idea babies could be so grumpy. She was adorable, though, so we made it through. She is now the most sensitive, polite, funny, silly kid. She's the sort of child you'd describe if you had a gift card for a 3-year-old and could just pick one out. Lucy took a lot of attention, but it's just proof that the ones who demand more give more back later.

My second baby was super easy and fun. I was a little nervous about having a second and trying to bond with it the way I was bonded to Lucy. I figured I couldn't love any baby as much as I loved Lucy. When they put Molly, all squishy and red, in my arms, I thought, "It's all true! I don't love her as much as I love Lucy!" Well of COURSE I didn't. Lucy was 22 months old - when you have 22 months to fall in love with someone, you have something to go on. With a brand-new baby, you have...a baby.

But within just a few weeks, Molly started growing into this whacky, amazing, adorable, quirky kid. She is by far the most awesome person I've ever met. After almost 2 years of living with Molly, I can't help but think about how empty this family would be without her. She brings this big, noisy rainbow-colored light to our home and fills us with a very exasperating and huge love. And what shocks me the most is that she's my favorite. Just like Lucy. They're the same and they're totally different. I knew I'd never love her like I love Lucy, and I was so right. I love her nothing like I love Lucy. She's not Lucy, and I'd never expect her to be. She's so perfect, because she's not her sister. And Lucy is perfect, because she's her own unique, thrilling little person. What a wonderful surprise, finding out just how much you can love. And what's more exciting is that I know that my love for them has so far to grow!

And now we're waiting for number 3. I can finally say that with my third baby, I am totally at peace. I'm not worried about disrupting the flow of the family, or bonding with the baby, or breastfeeding, or sleepless nights. I know how fast they grow and I know how easily they slip into a family. I'm just so ready to have another little person running around here, and I'm so ready to stretch my heart even bigger.

This is a very, very active little person who loves to go, go, go! Today s/he discovered the hot water in the shower and was just bouncing all over the place, enoying the noises and the water. To say a child in utero is aware of what's going on outside is such an understatement! The girls never woke me up in the middle of the night the way this one does. Constant movement, always kicking and flipping - I'm betting my OB finds the cord wrapped around the neck at least twice upon delivery. This is one kid who's living on the edge! I just. can't. wait. to get my hands on this baby. 14 weeks to go and I'm just BUSTING to meet our new little one!

my name is laura and i hate children (?)

No, not really, you weirdo. Who hates children?

Tonight I was talking with a bunch of friends and I mentioned not be a kid person at all and I think it probably came out as "I hate children" which isn't exactly the case.

Children are just awkward to me. I have no idea what to do with them. I do great until about the age of 5. And then they get incredibly hard to figure. You can't fool a 5-year-old like you can fool a 3-year-old. From about 5 to...say...13, I just don't get them at all. Maybe it's just the fact that I sympathize with the awkwardness of childhood and would rather not add to the confusion? Being a school-aged kid was positively miserable for me. My self-confidence was at about a 2, and I just hated everything about being me. I spent every day in school wondering if all of my friends secretly hated me. I still feel like an awkward 10-year-old most of the time - I think I just feel like kids in that set are judging me. (and I'm pretty sure they should be...)

Toddlers are awesome. There is nothing about toddlers that I dislike. They're weird, wonderful and totally confident. They know they're awesome.They always say "please" and "thank-you," which is adorable. They're constantly stripping down and running around naked, they break things, they bathe in their food...what's not to like? And they're hilarious. I always thought it would be awesome to have a pet monkey. What's more awesome is a monkey who says approximately 40 words and doesn't eat bugs out of my hair. Win-win!

I'm really not a baby person, either. Don't get me wrong, I looooooove babies, but in small doses. The fact of the matter is, babies only like people in small doses, so it stands to reason that the feeling be mutual. The only person they want to see for more than 20 minutes is Mommy. I try not to disrupt the flow by assuming babies want anyone but their mothers. (Although I should point out, my godson N seems to think I'm an amazing baby swooper - he may feel that way about everyone at this point - he really seems to reserve all judgement.)

I'm sure I'll feel differently about school-age children once I actually have school-age children. At this point, I may as well be talking about aliens, as my expertise really only lies in the 3 and under set. I sort of feel the same way about birds. Having very little experience with them, I'm mostly afraid they're going to peck my eyes out and poop on me. But every so often I meet a bird I'm not terrified of, and it gets me through. I know several school-aged children, and I'm not completely terrified of them, but I'm pretty sure that a roomful for 9-year-olds would really put me on edge. Sort of like locking me in an aviary.

This didn't help me sort through my feelings at all. 

18 January 2011

"I always toot when I go to bed."

That was Lucy. Yeah, she's amazing. And such a lady.

I'm blogging for a few minutes because I positively could NOT stand up for another second. I really want to finish up a few pairs of baby shoes tonight, but it looks like I may be down for the count. And tomorrow is one of those days where I'll need to keep a step-by-step list of everything I need to do. One of those days where you need to map it all out, or you'll forget a kid in a shopping cart or end up heading north when you should've gone south. I expect Thursday to be much the same.

Monday and Tuesday fairly kicked my derriere. That's probably because this pregnancy has finally caught up with me and any physical movement after 5pm is incredibly painful. This is about the point where I swear I will positively never get pregnant again. (knowing full well that 15 months from now, the urge to make another baby and forget the hell of pregnancy will be fully upon me.)

I have very, very, very painful pregnancy sciatica. Of course, half of the people out there say, "Oh, you mean your sacrum." I don't care what they think I mean. My butt hurts like crazy folks, call it what you will. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's sciatica, but who cares when either one prevents you from walking, bending, smiling and being pleasant to the people around you? Geez.

The girls and I have been living it up like crazy this week, sciatica/sacral what-have-you be damned. We've been shopping, almost bought a cat, enjoyed a hibachi lunch with our friends, sewing things for Baby, vacuuming up Cooper hair, (we're about 9/10 of the way to creating our own dog!) getting my blood pressure checked, Skyping with Daddy-O, attending playdates and napping like it's our job. Tomorrow is going to be full, but that's fine with us. We're a mere few hours from having the father of my children back, so I don't care if we all drop dead from the exhaustion.

How is there nothing on TV on Tuesday nights? And why would my normally incredibly thoughtful husband order up nothing but scary movies on Netflix? Rude. I can't watch Netflix online right now, as my internet is beyond whacky these days. So...I guess I'll catch up on My Big Redneck Wedding on CMT. Oh yes, I can't ignore it. Something about wrestling greased pigs with a wedding party and exchanging shotguns as tokens of love just calls my name. I can't help myself. That show is like a trainwreck.

15 January 2011

Dubai teaser (1)

Some "teasers" from my trip to Dubai. Full post, um, eventually, later!

Yes, largest tower in the world. Looked like a combination of some sci-fi structure from Tron Legacy, a drip-sand-castle (like the ones you used to make @ the beach as kid) and if you digitalized the opening scene from Superman I when they were on that ice-looking-planet; yeah. Like that but bigger and um yeah, much bigger. More to come...
not shot in B&W, just turned out that way! Many more pics of fountains to come... (per special request from Mom Cooke)
i know what you're thinking. Andrew, there is fruit readily available worldwide... Just wait until you see the rest of this handsome photo ;-)

14 January 2011


fine dining

tree story chapter 3

tree story chapter 2

story time

this is Lucy telling a story about what a tree says when he wakes up on top of a cow. it was some inspired stuff.

This is a ribbon topiary


friday i'm in love with topiaries

Oh, I declare. I get into so much trouble when I'm left to my own devices. I'm in the throes of planning Lucy's party - I say "throes" because it's not just a process for me. It's a passion. Since I've been largely unsupervised this week due to Andrew's work concerns and whatnot, I took the girls to Hobby Lobby, where I told Lucy we were on a mission for pink.

She performed admirably. She squealed and giggled and screamed for pink. She even placed periods after single words at the appropriate time. As in, "Oh. My. Heavens. That. Is. So. Cute." Is it any wonder I want 50 million little girls? She was a shopping star. We found fabric for her banner, ribbons for her topiaries, plastic cups for her party-goers, favors to die for, little woven baskets to put....something in. You get the picture. We actually went to Hobby Lobby for muslin, because I figured I'd rather just buy some muslin and whip together some swaddling blankets than pay $44.95 for 4 from Aden & Anais. So thrifty. So we spent $65 and came out with FAR more than just muslin. Nearly a bargain. (See, Andrew? This is what happens when work takes the front seat for more than 36 hours.)

So anywayyy....we came home, and I settled in to cutting ribbon and chatting with Lisa on my phone. Once I realized how much work it is to build a ribbon topiary, I thought to myself, Well, I should really just order these online. But then I thought, Dude, I could make a killing selling these online. Such an entrepreneur. (yes, that's precisely how Andrew became the proud owner of 400 cookie cutters. my entrepreneurial spirit.)

All the while I'm cutting and pinning and eating Milanos, Cooper is staring at me. Cooper is the biggest mooch I've ever met in my life. (I also caught him sleeping in my bed.) He has very sad eyes and they always seem to say, "Dude, those are my fave. OMG, are you seriously not sharing? That would be a perfect portion size if you cut it in half. I can see your hips expanding. Do you really want to do that? It would probably just be better if you just gave me some. I mean, I'm not trying to judge, but you're looking huge. No, not like, HUGE huge, just kind of blubbery. Like a whale. No, like a tiny whale. But hey...what do I know? I'm a lab..." I can totally see why Cooper's whole family is admirably trim and slender. The guilt is just way too much.

It's almost Molly's bedtime. From there...I'm planning to finish my topiary - I didn't think I was going to finish tonight, because I was using straight pins instead of a glue gun. It's just ten times easier to use pins than hot glue when your kids are constantly calling you away. But I ran out of pins, so I had to dive into my enormous stash of sewing stuff to search for more. Thank goodness Grandma Susie had some in the huge pile of notions and handy-dandies she gave to me! Grandma and I will finish it together tonight, and then I'll text pictures of it to all my unfortunate friends who were not making ribbon topiaries on their Friday night. A sad state, indeed, to have plans with real people. I mean, it's actually an improvement, since I just remembered what day it was in the first place. I could be whiling away the hours with my ribbons and styrofoam and thinking it was Thursday. Or even Wednesday.

Well, there's a naked race taking place in the middle of my house. Lucy's in the lead, but  it's not for lack of trying. Molly's legs are just too short to win. And you know what naked races mean...somebody's about to pee on the carpet.

Crafty Mama...OUT.

13 January 2011

Die, Spotty Internet.

Well, my children are playing happily in my latest bad idea, so I thought I'd take a moment to say hello. My internet has been BAD, so who knows if I'll even get this posted tonight. But I'm making the effort.

So, life in North Texas is cold. And I'm tired. 23 weeks pregnant, delivering in a mere 14.5 weeks or so. The baby is getting huge and strong. I can grab at limbs now, which is my favorite part of pregnancy, but with big limbs comes baby fat and increased weight. Blah.

Oh, yes. It's cold. Very, very cold. It's been in the 30's/40's for a week, and that actually turns me into a giant ogre. Okay, an ogre. Gestation takes care of the giant thing on it's own. That combined with the pregnancy hormones and general exhaustion, plus one other major thing, has me really, really having a hard time controlling my mood. I feel like hibernating. I'm a very, very, very bubbly person and it really gets me down when I can't be my usual self, and people seem to take offense when I'm not lighthearted and entertaining. Seriously. I don't think I'm that entertaining as a rule, but people really seem to follow my lead on moods and anything less than 100% cheerful is never well-received. Even a quiet day is perceived as "angry." I'm generally a pretty quiet person at home, so maybe that's why Andrew is truly the only person I know who is able to just love me through a "bad mood." I don't think he expects to be entertained, even though he swears he married me to laugh for the rest of his life. (I generally tell people he married me for my amazing body. Hah!) Then again, he's a positively spectacular human being, and I married him for his ability to keep from smacking me. I would smack me. I'd probably be far happier if it were 70 degrees and sunny. I've grown accustomed to nice weather, and I think bad weather tends to really bring me down, as a result.

Just an aside - I dyed rice in a variety of colors for the girls, put up the superyard on top of an old king comforter and put the rice in the middle. Their hands are completely blue. I think it's hilarious, but Lucy's going to FREAK when she realizes it won't wash off. Her daddy is the SAME WAY. Weirdos.

Let's see...Lucy is turning into quite the little comedienne - she just kills me with her quick wit. I'm almost afraid to invite these kids to Thanksgiving 20 years from now. She and Molly are both incredibly quick and their humor is very dry, just like their mama. Last night I was cutting a skeleton out to laminate. It was in pieces and I was making a sort of human body puzzle for my girl. Lucy was waiting anxiously and I said, "Well when you're cutting little things, you have to have patience!" Lucy, who was watching me VERY closely, said, "Well if you're cutting bones, you already have a lot of patients!" Ba-dum-bum.

Molly? Molly who? She's up for a quick sale if you're interested...homegirl has been pushing buttons like crazy lately! She's not just saying "no." Molly uses her standard flair and yells, "No WAY, Mama!" She also bears an uncanny resemblance to my mother-in-law. Every time she yells at me, she gives me a very angry look. And I love my mother-in-law, and I can't help but think about how much it would bum me out if my mother-in-law gave me that look. So maybe my reluctance to discipline Molly is a latent fear of disappointing my mother-in-law? Why I'm not a therapist, I'll never know.

Tonight is Big Bang Theory. I pretty much live for that show. I really, really love the fact that it's nearly family-friendly. No bad language, no snotty kids, no heavy petting or nudity, nothing but science and nerds. Which is nice, since it comes on at 7pm. It's one of the only 7pm shows that I can watch while Lucy's in the room.

A second aside. Molly has been sitting in the rice which she's been playing. She is now completely blue. She looks like a smurf. This thrills me, for some reason. It's probably the weather. The little things, you know. Gee, they're yelling for me again. Hold on a second.

08 January 2011


I really can't tell you how many times people asked if they were all siblings this week!

Well, Baby Tex is just growing like a tumbleweed! We went in for our mid-point anatomy scan and were very pleased with the results. We didn't get much in the way of good pictures, but we did get to see a wiggly, healthy, happy baby! We'll do more pictures at my next appointment, and hopefully Tex won't be hiding behind the placenta. We got a good, strong heartbeat at 155 bpm, and set the delivery date for May 3rd. Less than 16 weeks to go! 
We still do not have names, and we still don't know the sex of the baby. I'm guessing BOTH of those things will be decided on the 3rd!

Lucy = Party

 So our New Year's Eve was tame. Then again, it's been tame since...2005. Yeah. That NYE was crazy. 6 years ago. But whatever. This NYE, we made kabobs. It was pretty wicked.

Molly went to bed right after dinner and the three of us stayed up for games and Dick Clark's NYE show. Lucy thought it was just amazing, having frozen drinks with Mommy and Daddy and doing whatever she wanted til midnight. 

 She had opened a Christmas present from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Christine the day before, so she took the Molly-free opportunity to play the night away!

And of course, it ain't a party without copious amounts of chocolate milk, right? 

Happy 2011, everyone!