9 Months

IMG_3129_BW_WEBOur littlest, teeniest baby is almost 9 months.  And she doesn’t think she is a baby anymore – I can tell.  She shrugs away from us when we hold her because she wants to be moving all on her own or standing on her own.  If I run into the kitchen for 1 minute, she has moved at least 3 feet from where she was initially planted.  And she has all kinds of opinions.  Here’s a little of what I know about this sweet girl.

Anything she can chew on
Blowing raspberries
Licking the floor (a new fave)
Playing chase and peek-a-boo
The dog and cat
Food, but especially green beans and applesauce
Yo Gabba Gabba
Reading books
Roughhousing with her Dad
Bath time


Putting on clothes
Having her diaper changed
When toys are too far out of reach
When you give her the wrong toy
Falling down to a seated position
When books are finished
When the dog licks her face
When someone takes her toys from her

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Tatum eats baby food AND leaves

Tatum likes to put everything in her mouth.  Ev.er.y.th.ing! Here are some pictures to prove that and some other pictures just because I never post pictures of her anywhere.  Never on Instagram or Facebook for sure.  ; )  Enjoy!

What Happens In…Stays In…

Have I ever told you that I hate this phrase – Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?  It was all so clever at first – assuming you can go to Vegas and do whatever you want, whenever you want.  The Hangover is based on this very notion.  It is the new Got Milk? campaign.

In order to purge my mind of this for the day I wanted to share some of the dumbest versions of this very popular slogan.

And now for one that is totally factual, but nonetheless nerdy…

My Apologies: A Whole Summer Wrapped Up In One Damn Blog Post

Hello, buddies! Have you felt all alone in the dark without my blog posts? I knew it.  You’re so predictable.  This summer has been crazy busy and I fully intend to catch you up with all the goings on.

Trip and I got to visit Fayetteville for the wedding of our dear friend Bryan Brown to the lovely Jenny Long.  The ceremony was beautiful and it was so great to see so many of my friends in one room.  It practically doubled as a reunion for us.  The weekend was far too brief, but we had a blast and were so happy for our friends.

Sean & Katie

I hopped back on a plane near the end of May and booked it back to Missouri for my cousin Katie’s wedding to the super awesome Shawn Epley.  Katie looked AMAZING and Shawn looked so dapper.  The wedding was an intimate affair – family only.  The reception, however, was a complete blow out – lots of dancing, lots of booze, delicious food, awesome DJ.  It was so much fun that Shawn was unable to figure out how to put his shoes on at the end of the night.  My Aunt helped him.  I believe there’s photographic proof living in someone’s phone.

The end of the evening at the best place ever: The Cedar Social!

My birthday weekend was spent in Dallas with some of my very favorite people on the planet: Laura, DaLinda, Brandy, Cathy, Lacy, Leslie and Jill.  There was really only one objective: to eat and drink well.  We did that very easily.  Most plans were built around food, which I love.  Sad, but true.  Lacy did the scouting for places to go, but the place we were most excited about was Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Craft.  However, on Saturday night we went to a place that trumped every place I have ever been.

Just imagine it: You walk into a place that has no sign.  It is decorated impeccably with fabulous vintage furniture.  The food is upscale, but not pretentious.  The wait staff is ultra friendly and helpful.  The cocktails are made with fresh ingredients and top shelf liquor.  You are sitting with your friends in a private alcove.  The DJ is playing all of your favorite songs.  Everything is delicious.  The company is fantastic.

That, my friends, is the definition of our experience at The Cedar Social.  It was so unbelievable that I had to ask Lacy if we took drugs and had a shared experience.

Craft was good, but it was no CS.  I had a blast seeing everyone and Lacy is forever the queen of venue selection.  Bravo!

We have been in Houston for a little over one year now and we thought it might be some time to put a little money into the house.  We decided to start with the kitchen.  I am super pleased with how it turned out and major kudos to Trip – he did all of it! Trip Jones: Master in Business Administration; Bachelors in Psychology; Minor in Eric Hobbsology.  Check it!

BEFORE: Aka Gross

In Progress

Look at him using a wet saw. So manly!

 After-ish: The tile is done!

After: Painted and Tiled – Yea!

My favorite corner in the whole house.

And now it’s time to countdown the days until we get to spend a little time with Bobby Petrino and his boys!


After much discussion about how much we just wanted a place to sit outside, we decided to build a deck on the back of our house.  We have really missed the deck on our old house in Fayetteville – people just seemed to love to hang out there.  Not sure we’ll have that kind of magic again, but we were willing to try.

Our dear friend Jonathan was willing and ready to help in any way he could – even if that meant working with the odd angles that our garage creates.  After the boys took a trip to Lowe’s, they realized a deck would be too much of a pain to deal with and thought it might look pretty stupid in the end.  Not what we want! Trip had the excellent idea of staining the current patio and buying some nice furniture.  I love the stained concrete look, but I was bummed for about 2 seconds (sayonara, deck), and got pumped for the new project at hand.

Trip did 100 percent of the work and he did an amazing job.  I swept and brought him water.  I planted our new plants.  Trip did the all of the actual work.  If you’ve ever wanted to stain concrete, I highly recommend it.  It’s pretty cheap and makes the concrete look completely different and unique!

We also bought new outdoor furniture.  I almost chose to go with some of that fancy modern resort-ish  wicker furniture, but Trip and I decided that we are definitely Adirondack people instead.  And we love them!

We have had all four of our friends over to help us break our patio in.  Lacy didn’t want to leave.  I take that as a super good sign!

A present from the Schlegels.  It's a singular Razorback!

Mystic Fish

Trip and I just got back from one monumental road trip to Mobile, Ala.  By monumental I mean that there were torrential downpours all the way there and a good portion of the trip home.  And we made it alive both times! That’s pretty monumental.  We headed over there for Mardi Gras, which I have done every year for as long as I can remember.

In case you don’t know, Mobile is the home of Mardi Gras in the south.  Lots of people will argue this point, but they are way wrong.  It’s just a true fact.

The Mystic Fish paraded for their 19th year and the theme was Pomp-an-no Circumstance.  Check out the pics, which were taken by a newbie to Mobile Mardi Gras, Katie Neely!

High Octane Jello Shots - YUM!

Jill's Aunt Kim and Cousin Scott

Some annonymous Fish. : )

Blow House!

Jill's Grandfather, Marion.


For those of you who may not know, I recently accepted a position with ARTS ALIVE! as their admin assistant.  I started last Monday and I am loving it.  It is a true bonus that it is the place I actually wanted to work out of the billions of places which I applied.

Before I even went for the interview, I thought the company would be an excellent local place to work since they are such a positive force in Houston.  Then I found out that the office is located in The Heights, my very favorite neighborhood in all of Houston.  My excitement grew even more.  When I pulled up to the office and found that it is located in a historic Heights home, I was in like.  Then I interviewed with the very lovely Anissa, who asked me what color I was that day and if I practiced feng shui, and I was in love.  I know these kind of questions may have some running out of the interview as fast as their feet can carry them, but it charmed me.

It has only been a week and a half and I feel like I’ve known everyone for years.  They have all been tremendously accepting, loving, patient, giving and gracious to me.  They are amazing with embracing new concepts and encourage creativity.  Foundress Tina Sabuco treats everyone like a family member and genuinely cares about and appreciates her staff.

We also have a house dog (Anissa’s dog Wally) and a house baby (Wendy’s baby Ronin).  They both really like it when you stop what you’re doing to play.

I love ARTS ALIVE! because it reminds me of home.  I’m so thrilled they asked me to join them.

Remy and a Door Stop

I picked up my friends’ baby, Remy, today from school and brought her to my house to hang out.  I was letting her wander around and get into things and then I would take some things away and let her get into more.  She’s so busy!

Then she found the door stop.  I will let this video speak for itself.  Oh, and please try to ignore my witchy sounding laugh.  It’s really way more musical in person…

(Sorry it’s crooked.  I never film anything with my camera.)

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/19952838″>Remy and a Door Stop</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user6033033″>Stephanie Jones</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Lazy Co-workers

So, my pets are around me all day.  They accept the fact that I talk/sing at them or that I might stay in my pajamas for WAY too long, but most of all they are my companions in the day-to-day while I trudge through the process of finding a job.  Again.

A little about my co-workers…

Co-worker #1: Dickson

Dickson does nothing but sleep and eat all day.  That’s it.  Sometimes she will wake up enough to come and meow for a few minutes in my general direction.  Pretty worthless, except she’s a champion purr machine and loves to cuddle.  This is handy when I just want to lay in bed and read.  Likes: water out of faucets, purring, being petted, playing hide-n-seek, sleeping, tuna.  Dislikes: most people, being awake, Swayze, being moved from a resting position, an empty food bowl.

Co-worker #2: Swayze

Swayze also spends the majority of the day sleeping, eating, and going outside.  He tries really hard to distract me by giving me his toys or jumping into my lap.  Sometimes he sneaks off to get a special litter box treat and comes back to me with litter all over his nose.  It’s gross.  He would almost always rather be playing or on a walk trying to yank my arm from my body.  Likes: playing, walks, toys, sleeping, being petted by my feet, licking people, being happy.  Dislikes: being told no, not getting to eat the food from your plate, baths, the cat cornering him, road trips.

Hair or: How I Will Never Look Cute Again

National Disaster: My Hair in Crisis

I think I have completely lost the ability to do my own hair.  I am now having to become content with just looking mildly to severely un-cute.  I must note that since I have moved to Texas I have been unable to find someone who can do my hair like the fabulous Chrissy Parks.

Also, in an attempt to save money, I have been dying my own hair (SEE: national disaster).  The salon I have visited down here is good, but by the time my hair is dyed and cut, the total is a kerplunking  heft of $150.  And that’s before tip.

What is a girl to do?  Oh, I know! I will get all of my hair cut off.  Not in a G.I. Jane way – just really short.  I’ve been trying to grow it out because I really want to have Nina Garcia hair.  It’s never going to happen, people.  Never!

Here is where you come in: I have carefully chosen a few haircuts (lots o’ Carey Mulligan) that I think might work on me.  I’m going to let you vote on the one you think would work best on me.  I will then get the cut that gets the most votes.

If you have any other suggestions for me, I would love to hear them.  Just comment below!

And now for the options…