Monday, December 05, 2011

Celebrating my amazing daughter!

My amazing daughter turns 17 today (it's after midnight, so it is technically her birthday!) Words can't even begin to describe how proud I am of this girl... Everyone is proud of their daughter, but she is truly a gem. At her age I was quite the wild child, and she is so opposite of what I was back then! She is such a good student, a good friend, an outstanding leader in her school and on her soccer team and she just has such a compassionate heart for orphans around the world, for those (especially children) with medical conditions, and for those less fortunate. She's fiercely intelligent, wise, funny, brave and responsible. I could not have asked for a better daughter. I'm not even kidding - she makes parenting easy!! Oh yes, we have our moments, and she can be a "teenager" but I am frequently in shock that she is such a good, well-rounded child, err, young lady. I give all the credit to God - no kidding - she is my gift from God, and she is His! Solo Gloria Deo!
On Saturday, me and Savi had a mommee-daughter day, and we first went to pick up a dozen cupcakes we ordered from this place in The Heights district called What's Up Cupcake. We got gingerbread, salted caramel, wedding cake, red velvet, brownie, and Bavarian cream. I LOVED the salted caramel - yummo! Of course I love anything salted caramel.... Before we even left the shop with the dozen, we had a cupcake each (well technically, we split the brownie cupcake and the salted caramel so we each had half of those two, a very good combination by the way). While waiting for them to get our cupcakes together, we took some self-portraits. I love this one even though it's out of focus a bit.This one's cute too even though half my face is cut off - ha ha.

Next we went to Naked Body & Bath in Rice Village, because I had gotten Savi a Groupon for some make-your-own natural body products (after reading and learning more about how phthalates are in so many fragrances, and are so bad for you, I was especially thankful I got this for her!) I've loved this place since Daline got ME a Groupon for Christmas a couple years back (we went there in March 2010 & did FREE HUGS in Rice Village)! I also took my mom there when she and my stepdad Skip came to visit us and we went to the Menil and elsewhere this summer (though I didn't take any pics of Naked B&B then). Anyway Savi got a thing of perfume made of her very own combination of fragrance oils and we each got a thing of body lotion. A cool thing about this store is you get a free foot soak in these giant copper tubs. They put a "bath bomb" in it, you soak for a while, then the lady gives you a sugar scrub that you rub into each foot, then rinse, then the Happy Feet minty lotion, and then Happy Foot spray. It's pretty cool!While in Rice Village, we went to Urban Outfitters where Savi tried on these lovely glasses.... It's a good look for her no?Savi noticed this sign, and thought it was perfect for me... Yes! I love it! It says, No Whining, No Complaining, Absolutely No Frowning. Only Hugs, Smiles, and Warm Fuzzy Feelings. Thank you. Then we poked around in Rice Village a bit (Half Price Books and some other places) and then went to dinner at Ruggles Grill, a restaurant I had been to several times and loved but had not been to in years (it's a bit pricey but I got a Groupon type thing - I love those!!) We had the weirdest experience! So we got there around 545pm, sat down, ordered, got our soup and focacia bread. Then this 18-year old kid Andrew, one of the wait staff but not our waiter, came by to tell us that the entire restaurant's wait staff had quit, so there was no one to serve our food and the restaurant would be closing. I think the entire restaurant was looking at each other like is this a joke?! So I called him back over to ask what was the dealio and he told us that the owner (chef Bruce Molzan) hadn't paid anyone at the restaurant in months. He said he was just 18 and couldn't pay his bills and he shouldn't have to be dealing with this... Poor kid! I verified the story by asking one of the managers who did remain there (he hadn't been in on the deal - the wait staff obviously planned the walk-out in advance, since it was the busiest night) & the manager also had not been paid, and a new hostess lady who had worked for 5 weeks only but also had not been paid. What the heck! We ended up staying and getting our food even after the entire restaurant was closed down because I went into the kitchen to ask some questions and our food was there so they gave it to us. Yay! Savannah's chicken was not fully cooked though... so she just ate the vegetables (Ruggles is famous for the totally delicious vegetable sides that come with every meal). I just got the veggie platter! They're SO good! No one in the whole restaurant paid for anything, including us, due to the crazy turn of events (we tried to give them the Groupon since we did actually get our full meal, but they said no). Only a handful of staff remained. So there ya go - strange but true. I want to know why this yo-yo isn't paying his wait staff. I asked around and apparently he's known for his antics and is always hated by his staff... I guess perhaps I should find another restaurant to patronize. I reported the issue to some journalists so I hope someone does an investigation!We had tacos tonight - one of everyone's favorite meals! Notice the ginormous bottle of Lizano salsa (from Costa Rica, which I recently visited) - mmmm good! And of course there's Cholula - the best hot sauce on the planet!
Savi was tired after spending like all day with her friends in the rain at Sonic! Well not all day, but you know. Some of the day.
It's very hard to get Sam to smile for photos!
Aha! Proof that he does actually smile!! I think Sam went a little overboard on the whipping cream... want some berries with that whipping cream?!
I have a tradition of sorts that on each of the kids' birthdays they wake up and I have a bunch of balloons and flowers out along with their gifts. Though Savi's birthday is technically tomorrow, since she was with me today but is with her dad tomorrow after school, we had her little gift opening and such this evening. I got her the cutest dinosaur balloon - she named him Pete.
This is the card Sam made for Savi - the Ninja Potato... it's from some silly Youtube video he made me watch in exchange for me making him watch the LMFAO video for Sexy and I Know It... though he ran out of the room in horror the second they started shaking their weiners in speedos... ha ha ha! It is such a freaking hilarious video!
I think Savi wants to stab me with a pencil. Petey looks frightened.
She found an old Polaroid camera at her Mema's (her dad's mom) and so my mom got her some film for it. While out and about on Saturday, we stopped at a camera shop too and found another old Polaroid and bought it for $5 in case the other one didn't work. The one from Mema's is at her dad's so we tried out the other one and it worked! The photo didn't process super good but we weren't sure if it wasn't light enough in the room or the camera is out of whack. But it works, so that's a good thing!

Anyway... it's been raining on and off all day, which Houston desperately needs, but it's kind of a downer... I need the sunshine! I am just finishing up a feature story, which is due Tuesday, and then will be starting up another due in early January. I was hoping to get my Christmas tree today but didn't because of the rain. So I hope to get it Tuesday and then me and the kiddos can decorate for Christmas! I need to write my holiday letter too... so many things to do! As soon as I can, I'll post some photos from the day I spent last weekend with Daline on her birthday! We went to check out Occupy Houston - interesting stuff. I don't have any travel planned at the moment, though I am feeling the itch... I really desperately want to go somewhere in the Caribbean... my soul is craving that gorgeous aquamarine water... I love the ocean.

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