Tales from the Hill's Country

Quips, stories and observations from our adventures in marriage and parenting (as told by Katie).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chris' Green Thumb

Look was Chris made!
And there's plenty more where those came from...
(do not adjust your monitor... they are blurry...)

I'm SO impressed with by husband's new-found gardening talents! Fresh veggies for everyone! (Well, so far, just for two... but give it a few days and you can see we'll have lots more!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Fortune

In January, Chris and I were ready to tell our families that I am pregnant. We wanted to have a fun story and a little surprise fun with them, so we decided to order take-out Chinese food and replace the fortune cookies with ones that were stuffed with our own announcement!

The only problem was that we had to wait until the END of the meal to tell everyone! Here is the cookie, looking like any other take-out fortune cookie:
And here's what we put on the inside!
We knew that telling my parents would be easy. Just tell them that we're coming over with dinner-- they wouldn't suspect a thing. Sure enough, when they finally did open their fortunes, they didn't know that it was an announcement! They both just thought it was an odd fortune! Finally, they caught on.

I am SO disappointed that we have NO photos of the surprise on their faces (or with the Baton Rouge family either). If there's anything I could go back and redo it would be those two moments!

At least we have a photo of Chris and I at my parents house:
And my dad with Chris and I and our ultrasound photos:
The next day we drove to Baton Rouge... and we knew this would be a harder surprise to pull off. First of all, there were 10 people we had to get in the same place at the same time. Harder still, we couldn't make a big deal about why we wanted to get all 10 of them in the same place at the same time. For two people that don't really lie (and Chris can tell you, I'm horrible at it!) this was difficult!

We concocted a story about Chris needing to be in Baton Rouge for work on Monday, so we thought we'd come in early. We told everyone we'd bring leftovers from our Super Club (which had been canceled, though they didn't know) and not to prepare lunch. Then we picked up Chinese food and told them when we got there that we'd forgotten the leftovers and felt bad, so we got Chinese food instead. Thankfully, no one caught on... which is a minor miracle!

Again, I SO regret not having any photos of the event! But here's Johanna, reliving the surprise:
Now here's something interesting for those guessing gender... Andrew's fortune cookie was different from the rest of ours. I think the woman who made ours accidentally put a cookie from a different order into our batch:
It says "Soon a little girl will enter your life". Accident? Coincidence? Or is there some prophesy going on in the fortune cookie factory? I guess we'll find out in early April!

A note to any friends who plan on announcing they are pregnant, ever. TAKE PHOTOS of the big moment!! Trust me, you will regret it if you don't!! And many apologizes to my friends, family and future child. Now that I feel the pain of not being a shutterbug, we're buying a fancy pants camera and I intend on chronicling every future detail!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Remembering Gma

Chris' Gma passed away last Saturday evening. She was surrounded by much of her family. Today, I'd like to share some of my favorite photos of sweet, spunky Gma.

And, for those that aren't long time followers, here's a link to another post featuring Gma.

 Here's Gma ready for Crazy Hat Uno at Thanksgiving, 2009:
And at the Hill Family Reunion the summer of 2010:
 (with her two sons)
(chatting with Chris)
(hanging out in the Hen House)

Gma was always one to lend a helping hand, as seen here when she insisted on helping out the boys during our shed weekend!
A few shots of Gma at our wedding:
(with Justin)
(being escorted down the aisle by Conrad)
(Eskimo kisses with the bride)
(sitting with Jojo at the Rehearsal Dinner)
(dancing with Chris)

(getting a lipstick refresh from Jojo)
(chatting with Chris at the Sunday brunch)

And, of course, Gma (the King's Mom) thoroughly enjoyed her time at last year's Mardi Gras parade and ball!
 (proudly wearing her "King's Mom" pin)
(waiting for her son, King PD, to arrive on this float)
(with her son, Uncle Dewey)
(and with her other son, King PD)

Lastly, here are two photos that don't really fit into any other category, but that I think are delightful:
Gma will be greatly missed, but we are happy that she's tearing it up in Heaven at the most amazing party imaginable!

(Seeing as it's Wednesday, I'm still linking back to my pal, Alison, who features pics from the past in "Way Back When-sday:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Carnival Time

Growing up as a good, Texas girl, I was always taught that Mardi Gras was a dangerous, wild event that should be avoided.

Then I met Chris. On our second date he told me that not only does his family go to Mardi Gras, but that they actually rides in the floats! Thankfully, instead of running away from such a dangerous and wild family, I learned more... and now Mardi Gras is one of my favorite holidays!

Here are Chris and I at my very first Mardi Gras parade-- the Krewe of Jupiter in Baton Rouge:
For the record-- Chris told me NOT to buy that hat and that I would regret the purchase... four years later I still pull it out for various "crazy hat" events (which, of course I have many).

Unlike the parade that Chris rides in, the Krewe of Jupiter is co-ed. If you look closely, you can spot Laura, Jojo and PD on this float:
Later, at the after-parade-party we enjoyed photo ops:
(That is Laura's brother, Fun Bobby, who came down from Chicago that year.)

There was lots of dancing, but I don't have many photos of that. Instead, I'll leave you with a photo of Jojo and Chris (and the cups that I painted for the occasion).
For more Way Back When-sday fun, check out the link below:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rainbow Sandals

It's a running joke with Chris that Hills are issued a pair of Rainbow sandals when they join the family. The morning after our wedding, I found a pair just for me in my overnight bag at the hotel. And I made sure to supply Maria and Lucy with their first pair at the hospital. (Even though the smallest pair they sell is meant for older kids!)

There's an art to breaking them in at the beach and an unwritten rule that you don't replace them until they are falling off of your feet.

Here are Chris and I in our sandals. With...
A pair ready for the newest Baby Hill!

Yep. In August of this year, Chris and I will be adding to the family with our own little baby!
As you can see, it's a little early for Rainbows... but we are overjoyed and look forward to the day that we can head to the beach with our little one!

The details:
Due date-- August 15, 2012
Gender prediction-- Katie thinks boy, Chris thinks girl (we'll find out in early April)
Photo taken-- at 12 weeks
Baby-- healthy and growing! (and per the ultrasound appointment we know he/she loves to kick, wave and bounce)
Mama-- glad to be nearing the end of morning sickness, but otherwise doing well
Daddy-- sweetly fetching pregnancy foods... including a 1.5 hour Luby's run during rush hour traffic!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gordon's Shopping Trip

Yesterday I posted about Chris and my quick trip to Baton Rouge. We left our dog, Gordon, in the good hands of my parents.

In the middle of Saturday afternoon, I received this photo text from my dad (let's pause to be impressed that my father can send a photo text.)
It appears as though my dad needed Gordon's opinion on some home improvement supplies. Or perhaps he just didn't want to leave his side. Or most likely my mom was tired of the barking and begged for my dad to take him out of the house. Either way, Gordon looks happy content to go on the ride along.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Babies of Baton Rouge

Chris and I were able to make a quick trip to Baton Rouge a few weeks ago. Which means... it's time for more photos of my adorable nieces!

Lucy in her strawberry hat:
Can you tell what Justin is carrying?
It's little Lucy!
And when it's time to pass her off to mom... the sling becomes an easy stork-like carrier*!
*Probably not a use condoned by the manufacturer.

Maria had a grand old time in her... well... I don't really know what to call this:
But with the lights, colors and moveable parts... I'd say it's her version of Disneyland!

The cousins are becoming fast friends! I think...
While I was capturing the cuteness... the non-dads were enjoying a beer on the patio:
It's amazing how different the conversations were!

But Chris was able to come in and have some snuggle time with his newest niece:
Do me a favor, though... don't tell Chris I called it "snuggle time". Tell him I called it... um... "super manly holding of the baby". Or something like that. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One of these things is not like the other

In 2008 (is four years "Way Back" enough?), the church I was attending had a Valentine's social. The theme was "black and white".

Most of the ladies assumed this meant they should wear their most snazzy black and white cocktail attire.

I did not assume that:
I assumed I'd be surrounded by referees, panda bears and jail birds.

Knowing that theory, my penguin outfit fits it quite well, yes? In actuality, though, my outfit did not fit in quite well. Oddly-- this was not embarrassing for me. In fact, I refused to take the easy way out (wiping off the orange nose and taking the white paper off) and instead walked (and danced) like a penguin all night.

For the record, Chris and I were dating at the time, but he was out of town on business. Otherwise, there would have been a second (much taller)(and much more embarrassed) penguin at the party!

For more Way Back When-sday fun, check out: