swim out past the breakers...

The eagle has landed. Back home in the midwest, but haven't a free second yet! I can't wait to share all the pictures and a few stories from our trip to L.A. But, for now, here's a little preview of what's to come...

...Four lovely ladies on the shores of Santa Monica.


Current events.

Megan, I hope you don't mind if I borrow your 'easy update' tool...

reading: lauren weisberger's Everyone Worth Knowing. thanks for the recommendation, ladies.
cooking: tonight it's the first chili batch of season & I hope to try out the cute little halloween cookie cutters we bought last week... on deck is definitely the pumpkin spice cupcakes I've been promising Aaron I'd try {pretty much since last fall}.
watching: well, I'm pretty convinced that our kids will wonder what we did without TiVo's, pretty much the same way we wonder how our parents did without remote controls. I love not having to watch crap-tv when I sit down to relax, or even just want something on in the background while I'm cooking, cleaning, doing laundry. etc. what do you have on your season pass list? We've got a little Grey's Anatomy, the Office, House, the Soup, Family Guy, Project Runway, Heroes...& a guiltly pleasure that comes on Monday nights at 9 on MTV. ehm.
recommending: Aaron & I caught the movie Fireproof this weekend. We really enjoyed this movie. I highly recommend it, it has such a strong, inspiring message that we all need to hear about marriage. As a disclaimer - it's a very small budget film, so you have to look past the 'production' part and some of the acting. But, as a Christian film, we definitely wanted to support it in the theatres. I hear it's doing very well. Go check it out for yourself -
pondering: square footage. half bathrooms. outdoor space. tiled backsplash. garage space {how delightful}. the master bathroom with separate shower...with my daily 'property search' emails from a kind, patient realtor. and of course, nervously pondering the current state of our economy and if this translates to something like a 20% down payment to be able to get into our first home...
missing: pretty much anyone I don't see on a regular basis. which is a large handful of people I care so much about...family, friends, the adorable face of my niece, Emma.
anticipating: leaving in two days for this year's NSGC {national society of genetic counselors} conference in Los Angeles! Excitingly, as a staff member, this year my department will be financing my travels & we get to stay for a full week! It's being held at the Hyatt Century City...Julie, Melissa, Christine, & I will be having our little 'slumber party' at this swanky hotel in beverly hills. I'm looking forward to the conference, but of course, thrilled about the host city this year. We'll mostly be in seminars, but will definitely steal away to see a bit of the city. I picked up a pocket guide this weekend @ Barnes & Noble, there's way too much to choose from! ...i want to be a total cliche tourist. I've put us on the list for a few studio tapings, crossing my fingers for the ones to Jay Leno!

and the icing on the cake is being able to meet up with my dear friend, Candice, who's just a short drive away in San Diego.

...I'll see you next week, unless of course, I win some cash in the showcase showdown...in which case, I might extend my trip just a little. ;)

fabulous appreciation.

so... what do you think?!
I have to take a moment to give a heartfelt plug to kelly over at fabulous-k designs. She designed this adorable new page for us. Since it looks like I'm actually hangin' with this new blogging thing, I definitely wanted something cute for our little ol' page.
I was one of the lucky winners of a much needed blog makeover... and did she ever deliver! She's got such a 'fabulous', creative style. Thank you so much!


sunshine on my shoulder...

We moseyed on up to cowboy country for their homecoming game this weekend... and boy do they go all out, their homecoming festivities are quite impressive! They took on Baylor, but wasn't quite the Bear victory we'd seen last weekend. Perhaps the most exciting was all eight of us, below, all in the same place for all the fun! Unfortunately we missed most of the tailgate action, but there are big plans to make this a new annual Chaloner tradition! Next year, we'll have a new little cowboy among us. :) the 'new' unbeatable Chaloner-trifecta.
Any baylor fans were quickly engulfed by the sea of orange.
a 'house divided'...with a few 'sibling' rivalries. Go 'pokes.

the new and improved Boone Pickens Stadium.

We stuck around for dinner & hung out, played some games @ Cody and Sarah's adorable home sweet home. While my own family may be miles away, I know I 'feel' like I have so much family nearby...and Aaron & I want to truly appreciate and take advantage of the time we all have here in Oklahoma right now. Who knows what the future holds for all of us? But, for now, this is home.
and we love it.


we flung our green-and-gold afar.

So, I could not hide my excitement all last week. The trip was on again, off again about 4 different times before we decided we were to head south down I-35, down to rock the classic 2-5-4.
Aaron and I left with a moving van packed to the brim about 2 1/2 years ago, and for reasons that don't seem good enough, had not been back. until now.
I think I had a little tear in my eye as we passed by the 'Lacy-Lakeview' and 'Elm Mott' signs...inching closer and closer to the city that was my home for 5 incredible years. The first familiar sights [the Alico was the first on the horizon and close behind was the green glow of Pat Neff] brought a huge smile to my face. I really can't describe the flood of emotions that emerged...truly untapped for such a long time. I hadn't reminisced with such fondness, ever really, about my time at college. I can only describe it as a love for this place. I'm serious, an actual deep, heartfelt love. I decided I missed a career calling to be a recruiter for this amazing institution. But, then, apparently, we're not doing that good of a job convincing Melody, are we? I so hope that changes for her, because this place has so much to offer....and truly has been the foundation for such 'life' experience, great fun, personal growth, many unforgettable memories, wonderful friends, and even my current career that I love, and precious fellow baylor alumni, my husband. [...and you know, if it doesn't, I hope she finds this love somewhere.]
But, we had such a good time visiting our new Baylor Bear. We're so proud, she's working so hard! She showed us around to all the new changes, which were many, ...you know, they definitely weren't kidding about that Vision 2012 thing guys. We managed to squeeze so much into our little weekend...visiting many of our old haunts - el mil taco (questionably safe little taco stand out of an RV), dr. pepper soda shoppe, vitek's, Spice, wing stop, common grounds, health camp, the SUB, our old apartments, and of course the campus itself.
the old stomping grounds.
first time as husband and wife in Waco, Texas.
aw, we have some of our engagement portraits that were taken right here. This was Baylor's official 'parents weekend'.
Checking out Melody's dorm in North Russell, so cute!
& They can even have males in there past 6 pm, *gasp*!Ok, I saw THIS @ Vitek's, and then decided Aaron & I have to move back to Waco.
In case you can't tell, it's Dublin (pure cane sugar) Dr. Pepper in a
(this is the scene where the clouds part and the angels sing...)
What would a trip to BU be without a visit to our baylor bears? Joy and Lady have gotten so big, It's almost scary to see them on their little leashes at the football game.
All of these pictures could be prefaced by..."What would this trip be without a visit to----?"
Clearly, the shoppes @ SPICE, my old employer, is no exception. Thank goodness Aaron let loose of the purse strings just a little. ;)
It's amazing to think back on all the energy we had back then. (I know it sounds strange as I'm only 25...) but, now I never stay up regularly until 2 and 3 am, eat a 'fourth-meal', drive to West for Kolaches in the middle of the night, break into old tire factories or 'haunted' old schools, sit around & watch movie marathons with 15 people, hit up the branch dividian compound at the risk of the scary watchman on the porch, trek through the asbestos-filled underground tunnels, catch a midnight movie and then have plans afterwards, play in the fountains, sit around a campfire by the lake playing guitar and chubby bunny, hang out at common grounds and cheering on our musician friends, make scandalous bets to seemingly innocent board games, dance the night away with the 'finest crowds' in Waco, head off to Dallas and Austin on a whim with carloads of friends... I could truly go on for pages and pages.
there are so many more. help me out with your favorite memories, kids?
I have to applaud our imagination...it was definitely never boring.
I did study my butt off, too. and worked some.
After Carly was here the other weekend, we reunited ourselves with our old livejournals. Yes, I had a blog before you. Neither of us can hardly remember half of the stuff we journaled about, but it sure is some laugh-out-loud reminiscing to read through some of these posts...we dug pretty deep in the archives. I'm so glad I have these, it's mainly from my sophomore year. I only wish I had more. It gives me new reason to keep on 'doing this'. If you're so inclined (especially my fellow Baylorites will get a kick out of this...) here's mine, carly's, and katie's.

...we'll march forever down the years-- as long as stars shall shine... Mrs. BU & Mr. Didn't miss a single home game while he was here. We were sitting up in the 'box seats', or the heavens. All you can eat in a fancy padded chair. yeah, sic' em bears.

We swept ol' Iowa State 38 to 10 for our first Big XII win of the season. You can check out ESPN's No. 3 Top Play right here with the second touchdown of the night. Unbelieveable. You have to watch this to see for yourself.

and win all your victories for the GREEN and GOOOLD! Practicing their Bear Claws. Did you know there's actually a wikipedia entry on Sic' em Bears? So informative. Yep, that's it. I'm going to have to quit my job and go join Baylor Admissions. We're actually headed to Stillwater next weekend to catch the Bears v. Cowboys - we may just be tailgating - but, excited nonetheless!

And now, in an act of total nostalgia... a snapshot from my own Parent's Weekend, all of us donning our green and gold.

my goodness, Trae, Logan, haha I don't even know what to say...we're all almost unrecognizable!


birthdays and best friends.

As if these words haven’t crossed my lips a hundred times already, but Happy Birthday to my one-and-only. & Happy Birthday to my dear mom!
My man just crossed over into---gasp---late twenties. The big 2-6er. And my mom too! Imagine that. (well, she could get away with it anyway) We celebrated with our palettes last week – slipping off for a lunch at Sala Thai and then a dinner & presents with family at the Cheesecake Factory. It is more fun to give than receive, I get such a kick out of seeing Aaron smile on his big day. He’s the most selfless, amazing, generous man - who deserves a wonderful day and a giant slice of chocolate chip cookie cake. (no, cheesecake is simply not enough!) In bloggy etiquette, I think here is where I’m supposed to eloquently display my affection for the man of the hour, but I think I’m gonna save it for the birthday card. And you all already know I’m crazy about this guy, and that I pretty much feel like the luckiest girl in the world thanks to this here twenty-something.So, my man is all set – ‘twas a bicycle birthday. Between Aaron’s parents and I, he’s now hooked up with Specialized biking shoes and clips [they replace your pedals so you actually are connected to your bicycle. So tour-de-france. This beautiful union provides 20% more efficiency apparently, and an increased awareness of the possibility of falling to the ground still clipped in - and looking ridiculous to passersby]…as well as a pair of PG-13 six-panel padded riding shorts. This guy means business. It’s my goal to get him to look up from the books at least one night this week to actually get out and ride before all this gorgeous weather disappears!
…& we were pumped to have some very special visitors recently! Our little apartment swelled to five inhabitants as Carly (the bff), Franklin (her maltese), and Mr. Bo Jangles shacked up here for the weekend. Unfortunately, the birthday boy had quite a bit of studying to do – but we planned for some major much needed girls-eyes-only time. It’s so effortless when a great friend comes to town, you can always just jump in there and pick up where you left off – like you were still just down the hall in the dorms, just a few steps down the hall as roommates, and then as next door neighbors. We strolled through the City in classic Jae-and-Carly style hitting the shops, indoor and out…only spending a meager 6-7 hours in retail therapy. A mere warm-up round in Jae-and-Carly terms… [who once spent 12 hrs in Dallas, returning home only after visitng FIVE different shopping malls.] …but, needless to say, we had a gay ol’ time & I think Aaron may have been happier that he was left at home with the pups.

...wouldn't you agree?
needless to say, the puppy passion has resurfaced here in our house.
and now for something completely different.
This is how Carly & I found my car after returning from shopping around at Spring Creek. The e-brake was still pulled as far as it could go when we got inside. It had rolled backwards out of the parking spot all on its own. And then the wheel had been turned just enough (because I'm a lazy parker) that it didn't back straight up and roll down the giant hill (that you can't see off to the right) into 5 lanes of traffic. We'd been away for at least 2 hours...and wondered what the store owners and other shoppers thought as we just walked over to the car, got in and nonchalantly drove away. We decided our day could have spun in a completely different direction... but, sure thankful it just provided us with a furowed brow and a laugh instead.
We grilled steaks, made our original 'seacrest swirls', and hung out on the first night, & Aaron was our breakfast chef the next two mornings. He made us some killer blueberry pancakes. So proud of his massive flapjack. [Deb's blueberry pancake 101 was a lot of help!]
gettin' our kicks.
We took Carly to Hideaway for the "best pizza in OKC" and then a little arcade action. you know we left with some awesome prizes.
how carly earned her 72 tickets. shoot the hillbillies, a politically incorrect target practice.
On Sunday, we took the doggies and had lunch al fresco by the lake. It looks like Franklin's trying to get away, or that they're moving at 65 mph...but, no, just another blustery Oklahoma afternoon. walking the 'boys' along the lake...
He's not mine, but I'll claim him.
Carly's first lighthouse. Had a great visit with you! We'll do it again very soon. I'll be brushing up on my Virus Blaster.
Everyone give a 'bronx cheer' to a wonderful weekend!