Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Happy 33rd birthday to you Husband!!!! You are the funniest person I know and I am so blessed to be your wifey! I love you a million times over and can't wait to see what this crazy life has in store for us together. You are my other half, knight in shining armor and all that gushy stuff. Love you honey!!!!!

Oh and happy birthday to your silly twin brother too! I made sopapilla cheese cake and we are going to go eat some yummy take out with the other Herrells, demolish the cake, and play with the Mackster!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Basket Excitement

Easter/Birthday weekend!!!

This year my 26th birthday fell on Good Friday! What a priviledge! It was so humbling to think all day what the true meaning of Good Friday is. Jesus died on this day for me so that I could be born to live eternally with Him! WOW!!!

I had worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night that week so I was more than ready to get back to a day schedule on Friday after sleeping all day Thursday. Thursday night husband and I went to Firewheel and ate at San Francisco Oven and checked out the Carter's outlet store to get some fun outfits for the Macker. We had fun making an Easter Basket (well, bucket actually) for Mack for his first Easter!!! I also just absolutely HAD to make the cats Easter baskets. Yes I know this probably sounds reeeeally weird, but I grew up with my mom making Easter baskets for the dogs so I don't really know any different! I had specific instructions from husband though that I was alloted 5 dollars per cat. I think they turned out pretty cute though. And yes I stayed right at my 10 dollar total limit!

Jack trying to sneak a peak at the finished products!

Mack's in the middle!

Andrew works 1/2 day Fridays, so I got to spend the whole afternoon with my Honey! He came and picked me up and we drove up to Plano to have a birthday lunch at Cafe Express! Mmmm California turkey burgers and sweet potato fries...so good! After that we shopped around for a few hours and then headed back to the house. That night we met mom, dad, Abby, and Will at Fogo de Chao in Addison. I have always been wanting to try this place after hearing such wonderful things! We celebrated all the April birthdays in our family (mom, Andrew, and me!) It was such a fun and long dinner. We ate for over 3 hours! At one point, there was skewers of meat coming at us from all different directions! So delicious! I received some very sweet gifts including an awesome chip and dip from crate and barrel, an "E" coffee mug, a yummy smelling 
candle, and money! Husband and I are putting our birthday money together to purchase a new entertainment center for the new tv! Mom made this awesome red velvet cupcake cake for dessert! All in all, it was a wonderful 26th birthday spent with the most important people in my life!

Saturday, we drove with the "other Herrells" to Azle to celebrate Easter early and all the March/April birthdays. I got to ride in the back with this little cutie who entertained us most of the way!

After a delicious lunch of brisket, pasta salad, chips, and fruit made by Mama Herrell we packed up all the adults and all the kids and headed to the new park nearby!

Jonathan and Josh

Sweet Emmy and her PawPaw

Mack took it all in from his stroller!

After we got back that night, husband and I rented some movies and enjoyed them on the new tv! We gave the cats their Easter Baskets and enjoyed watching them play with the contents for hours! It's funny, b/c they both seemed to know which one was theirs. I specifically picked things for each of their baskets that I knew what they would like. Jack took off running with his feathered mouse toy and Lilly went to town with his chirping bird! Then they had an Easter supper of wet(gross, but they love it!) cat food. Man, I really need to have some kids. This is borderline obsessive!

Easter morning was cold and rainy! We got up and went to church and arrived 40 minutes late!!! I was so embarrassed! Turns out, the Easter service started at 9 instead of 9:30 like usual! I don't know what happened that we didn't know about it...we went last week and didn't hear anything about it! I tried not to get upset that we missed pretty much the whole service, but the important part was that we were there and felt the joy of the fact that HE IS RISIN!!!!! Great music at the end too! I love our church! I had to work Easter night (boo!) so we came home and cooked a spaghetti lunch and then I went back to sleep!

I gave up cokes for lent(no I'm not Catholic. Just wanted to participate) and finally had my first one yesterday in over 40 days! It was actually not that great! I am going to keep sticking to water and the occasional sprite if I can!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sonoma Salad

My mom sent me some great salad recipes from Will's mom. We had this salad at Will's graduation party. I made the sonoma salad a few weeks ago, and it is sooo good! I ate it for a week straight!


1 c sugar
2 tsp dried mustard powder
2 tsp salt
3/4 c white wine vinegar
3 Tbs grated onion with juice
2 c vegetable oil
3 Tbs poppy seeds

Place onion in food processor and process until liquid. Measure out 3 Tbs and discard the rest. Add sugar, mustard, salt, and vinegar. Turn on machine and add the oil in a slow steady stream until the dressing becomes thick. Add the poppy seeds.

Candied Nuts...

2 large egg whites
1 c brown sugar
4 c pecans or walnuts (i used pecans)

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk egg whites. Fold in brown sugar. Fold in nuts. Stir to coat well and transfer in a single layer to a greased cookie sheet. Bake in oven for a bout 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Allow to cool and break into small clusters.

To finish the salad, mix together...

Fresh spinach or chopped romaine
3 cups cored, seeded, and diced red apples
1 1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
1 c craisins
candied nuts
your wonderful homemade salad dressing!


We are all going to Fogo de Chao tomorrow to celebrate the many April birthdays in our fam. None of us have ever been there before, and can't wait to try it! Bring on the many kinds of meats!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Stuff!

Lots of new stuff going on around here!!!

Mack Thomas turned 6 months old on 4/5/09 and he has been showing off his new skills including rolling over and eating baby food at his big boy highchair!

I wanted a new wreath for our front door (seeing as I just took our Christmas one down last month) for spring. I really wanted one at Williamsonoma.com, but it was 60 bucks! I went to Hobby Lobby and got all the crafts to make one myself! Our new wreath only cost about 20 bucks! The best part...I made it myself!

Little Sierra enjoying her new digs!

We made a spur of the moment purchase with our tax refund and got a new TV! The boys also got a new toy out of the box and played for hours in it. You should have seen husband and I trying to lift it on top of the entertainment cabinet. Pretty interesting and I thought I was going to drop it at one point! We are going to eventually get a new tv stand and mount it on the wall. Watching TV on this thing is a whole new experience!

Lilly enjoying his new sleeping area where the old tv was.

For my co-worker Claire's baby shower I made some red velvet cake balls and chocolate chip cheese ball dip in honor of her new baby boy coming this May! Husband got to lick the beaters. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my sister and I always got to lick the beaters of whatever our mom was making at the time.

This cat is crazy!

Showing off some of his new tricks from the last few weeks!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Can't sleep.

Ahhh the joys of night shift. Turns out it is not my turn to go to days just yet. Be patient Emily.....

A week ago last Sunday I came home from work that morning, and did my usual round on all the animals. Where are the boys? Do they have food/water? I give them a good petting and them move onto little Sierra, my ferret of nearly 6 years who just turned the ripe old age of 7 January 12. She's usually in her hammock chillaxin. I always check her food/water too and make sure she hasn't knocked her blanket off her top(sleeping) level to her bottom(pooping) level. (I know...gross) So this specific morning she popped her little head up to look at me and I immediatly noticed that in the course of 24 hours, she had lost pretty much all the hair on her back!!! I freaked and grabbed her out of the cage for an inspection. Clumps of hair had fallen out and I noticed her little tummy was really tight and distended. 

Here come the water works. You see, I have been mentally preparing for "this day" when something went terribly wrong with her for awhile now. Ferrets just don't live very long and she has surpassed my other two by a longshot. My first, Madee, was 5 when she got the dreaded adrenal disease and Sadie (Sierra's sister) was only 3 when she got a spinal cord tumor. With Sierra being 7 now, we are in uncharted territory!

I ran into the bedroom and woke Andrew up shrieking for him to look at her. It was really hard for him to see her without her hair. I put her in our bathroom to see how she was walking etc. She was walking just fine, but didn't seem to have that pep in her step.

I babied her all day, and then first thing Monday morning we called for an appointment with our beloved ferret specialist Dr Kendrick who we have been with for 10 yrs!!! I wouldn't trust her with anyone else, even though he referred us to a ferret specialist out in Farmer's Branch. We made the 1 hr drive to Mansfield together, and the whole way I talked to God and selfishly prayed for Him to give me more time with this sweet girl while at the same time praying that she was not in any kind of pain or suffering. Once we got there, they popped her on the scale and I immediatly noticed that the little girl had gained a whopping 5 oz since her appointment the month before in Febuary! Not good. Especially when you only normally weigh 1 lb 10 oz.

He took a good look at her, listened to her heart/lungs, felt her tummy, and watched her walk around on the floor. She even peed and pooped for him. He verified my suspicions of her tummy- that it was very swollen, but he gave me really good news as to why this sudden change in her! He explained that older ferrets just don't handle the time change very well. 

I was like "That's it???

 I was prepared for some very bad news! I had been holding back the tears the whole appointment. Just being in that room brings up some very sad memories for me with Madee and Sadie.

He proceeded to explain that when the time changes, older ferrets have trouble regulating their hormones. He said the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and adrenals just don't "talk" to each other correctly and it was a simple fix. This hormonal offness made her spleen swell which explains the distended tummy.

So she's just a hormonal girl like the rest of us! I told Andrew that now he had to deal with 2 hormonal women in the house. I don't think he laughed. He did laugh though when I explained to everyone the horseshoe male pattern baldness look she had going on. 

She received a fancy melatonin implant in her back that will secrete melatonin correctly for the next 3 months, a lupron shot, and another shot to help her with all the itchiness she has been having. Praise Jesus, because her treatment worked! She already has a beautiful, new coat of hair coming in and within a day her tummy and personality were back to normal!!!!

We are going to continue to love on her and make her as comfortable as possible in this new geriatric ferret stage we have never encountered before. To celebrate, we got her a new pink and green "cozy cube" with matching hammock as she had completely destroyed her old one. She is back to her old bouncing around self too! Thank you Lord for answering both of my prayers of asking for more time with her and asking for her to not hurt as well!!!!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever."
Psalm 107:1

In honor of Sierra, I'd like to list some of our nicknames for her...

Little Ceasars
Sierra Mist
Little Sierra
CiCi's Abici's (don't ask...I don't even know how that started)