Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bitter Sweet

I am having an emotionally charged week with feelings that are both happy and a bit of sad.  Bittersweet.  Yesterday we closed on our house here on Hewitt Dr.  The buyers are 39 weeks pregnant. I remember buying this house when I was 28 weeks pregnant with Catherine.  Five years have come and gone so quickly. So many memories were made here. So many firsts.  This house is the best 2,137 square feet in Houston.  It will be missed dearly but I know it will be loved all the same by the new family that moves in Friday.
Flying the MFD

Can you find our Millennium Falcon Drone?  (Look on the middle of the street about 10 feet high)

Big Red will be missed

This guy is getting a huge step up as the next house has a rod iron gate which allows more barking opportunity.

We are set to close on our new casa today at 3pm. I am a bit skeptical because it has been pushed back a day and half and we need to close.  I am looking forward to more space and we are most excited about the neighborhood. It is about 1.2 miles from here so we are  not moving far.  We will be zoned to the same schools as that was a requirement in our search.

Regardless of how far you move, you still have to pack EVERYTHING.  

The kids are back in the saddle.  Logan started 1st grade yesterday and Catherine started Kinder two weeks ago.  We are excited to see what the school year will bring.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Catherine turned FIVE years old on Saturday. We had a fun filled day which included a birthday party at Wonderwild, playing, and eating Mexican.  We could not be more proud of her!  She has grown up so much the last year.  She loves to talk and eat. I don't know where she inherited that from.  She has a large appetite and is willing to try any type of food.  She sometimes wakes up from a nap and just starts talking as though a conversation had been taking place while she was asleep.

She is definitely a leader (non pc word would be bossy) and appears to be fearless.  She attended different types of camps this summer and has truly enjoyed each one. She adored Writers in the School that took place at OFE. The fact that she got to attend Logan's school was excitement enough for her.  She enjoyed summer safari at St. Rose and VBS at St. Rose as well. This week she is at zoo camp and gave rave reviews after just one day.  She was quoting animal facts and statistics so fast I could hardly understand her.

She will stay at St. Rose for Kinder as we feel this is the best fit for her this year.  At first I thought she would be upset not to transfer over to Logan's campus but she was fine with it. She loves the social aspect of school.

We are trying to work on patience which is a constant goal for ALL members of the Dwyer clan. Her intense love for animals continues to grow and she still converses with, pets, and harasses Winston ten times a day.  She is going to make an awesome big sister come January.
Her hair has not faded

These two are thick as thieves

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays. When I was younger, I associated it with the beginning of summer and enjoyed that feeling of knowing a 3 month break had just begun. I don't think I gave much thought to the sacrifices made by American military men and women, the ultimate price paid to keep America the wonderful country that she is today.  As an adult, I try to take the time to truly reflect on the sacrifices made by our soldiers, both past and present.

I use the word soldier because Logan talks about soldiers and war anywhere from 50 to a 800 times a day.  I try to explain things on a level that he understands and at age 6 he understands a good bit. He knows that 3 of his great grandfathers were WWII veterans.  His mom's maternal grandfather was a Navy Officer stationed in the South Pacific. Both of his dad's grandfathers fought in the Battle of the Bulge and his dad's maternal grandfather also fought in Normandy.

As much as I want to protect my six year old from some of the harsh realities of life, I also find my self wanting to educate him on historical events such as WWII. Our last trip to the library concluded with 5 kids based historical war books.  In Logan's mind, war is quite simple.  It consists of the good guys vs the bad guys, and the good guys always win.

This Memorial Day we were excited to have our annual Houston visit with the Dawsons.  Donald, Clare, Michael, and Laura flew up on Friday and after hours and hours of weather delays made it to Houston by 1am.  We had so much fun reminiscing about various childhood stories and events that you can only relive when you actually talk about them with your family.  Like the time Donald dressed up as Freddy Krueger and chased me around the house with knives taped to his hands. We agree on that. We disagree on exactly what type of knives he had taped; kitchen or steak.  Anyway, my poor parents had just gone to the grocery store and although I don't know exactly how old we were when this happened, I am certain we were old enough to know better.

We ate Gatlins BBQ and their brisket is second to none.  Saturday night we grilled pork loin stuffed with sautéed spinach and feta, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower salad, and roasted potatoes. Delicious!  Donald always impresses me with his culinary skills.

Sunday we ate at Liberty Kitchen and over indulged in oysters, crab cakes, and fish filets.  We actually had a night out sans kids so we headed to Cottonwood for local music.  I did not get any pictures, but the kids played for hours on end in our new blow up slide.  We also took the metro rail to the Museum District and hit the Children's Museum. Catherine was all about monitoring every square inch of baby Laura's movements and decisions. Clare was patient with Cat.

My brother told me when they flew home that Michael was actually crying on the plane because he was going to miss Logan so much. I really do like ages five and six.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chef Joan

I have been a cooking machine over here on Hewitt Drive.  Blue Apron has inspired me to try new recipes and has also renewed my appreciation for home cooked meals.  As I add recipe's to my recipe box I always title them with the name of the person who gave me the recipe.  The two below are my breakfast favorites.  Jana introduced me to the breakfast cookies and it was my first time eating almond meal.  I now try to substitute almond meal for flour whenever possible.  It has protein and fiber and helps me feel full longer.

Jana's Breakfast Cookies
3    large ripe bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil (heated to liquid)
1    tsp vanilla
2    cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1    tsp baking powder
2/3 cup coconut (I substitute walnuts or almonds as Brian does not like coconut)
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I double this and maybe even triple it)

Preheat oven to 350.
Mash bananas, add coc oil and vanilla
Add oats, almond meal, baking powder, and salt
Stir until combined.
Add nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut
Spoon cookies on to parchment paper with a tablespoon.  Press the center of the cookie down to make the cookie flatter.  Makes about 30 cookies.
Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes.

Texture is similar to a granola bar.  Can freeze and they thaw in minutes.

Tracy's Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata
8 large eggs
2 tbs water
olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cups chopped cooked broccoli (can do more)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Separate 4 of the eggs, saving the whites.  Add remaining 4 eggs and 2 tbs water. Wisk together.
Saute onion over med heat, 5 minutes, add broccoli and cook additional 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook until egg has set around edges.  (around 8 minutes)  You want the middle of the skillet to still be somewhat liquid.  Sprinkle with cheese.
Preheat broiler. Place skillet under broiler about 2 inches from the flame for 2 minutes or until surface is golden brown.

You can make this with any vegetables and can always add more egg if needed.

Both of these recipes have minimal kitchen clean up.  A lot less than gumbo at least.  I would love to post my gumbo recipe but I do not have exact measurements for the roux.  I will try to measure it out sometime.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Choice Wine

Brian and I just finished a course at St. Rose called The Choice Wine.  It consisted of weekly presentations with discussions and concluded with a renewal of our wedding vows.  We enjoyed it a lot and agreed with 99% of the couples that renewing our wedding vows had a deeper or at least different feel after many years of marriage. And when you add children into the mix, it becomes even more special.  The seven topics discussed are listed below.

1) Honor your wedding Vows
2) Use money for others
3) Give God some of your time
4) Set your mind on the things above
5) Find God in yourself
6) Find God in other people
7) Make it easy to be good and hard to be bad

We met a bunch of great couples and are excited we had the opportunity to attend.

Switching gears, the kids just had their field day and water day at their schools.  They had been counting down to Friday, May 13th for a while and were thrilled when the day finally arrived.

I volunteered with Catherine's class for 3 hours and was EXHAUSTED when it was done.  I continue to have the utmost respect for elementary school teachers.  As my mother always tells me, everyone has their own unique skills.  The skill set required to be an effective, loving, caring, and patient teacher is not necessarily one that everybody possess.  I am grateful for the teaching staff that both of my kids have had this  year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


2016 official Dwyer Patch events that have been documented via my iPhone camera.


He turned 11 on Sunday and we bought him some new dog toys.  He has had two visits to the vet this year, one for his annual which went great (except weight gain from excessive dog treats given to him by an obsessed child) and the second for a missing toe nail.  His toe nail clipped the edge of our door and tore off.  Dog nails bleed more than human nails so there was a whole lot of blood involved.  Brian and I did not realize it was just his toe at the time and thought he was seriously hurt.  Our vet wrapped up his foot, prescribed pain meds and an antibiotic, and advised to keep his bandage dry for 24 hours.  Within 5 minutes of getting home Winston had eaten his whole bandage and walked through piles of mud in the back yard.  We headed back to the vet and this time he got to wear his favorite accessory for a day.

Houston Half

I ran the Houston half in January and had a lot of fun.  This was the first 1/2 I have ran in Houston and I was fortunate to be able to train with a great group of moms and runners.

Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy came to our house for the first time.  Logan had a loose tooth for probably 6 weeks and refused to touch it.  It was literally hanging from his tooth socket and we begged him to remove it.  He had his permanent teeth behind ready to get to work.  There was a month where he had two rows of teeth. (the color marks on his cheeks are icing, just an fyi).


Blue Apron

We are very much enjoying our Blue Apron meals. They have so many creative recipes that I would never think of let alone make.  It has given Brian and I a chance to cook together again and it is always something new and different.  Last night we had wild pacific cod pan seared in a rice flour.  Can you say DELICIOUS!  A few weeks ago we had Mexican spiced salmon served over black rice with mandarin oranges and an avocado salsa.  It too was delicious.  The kids don't always eat it but sometimes they surprise us.

4 1/2

Catherine celebrated her 1/2 birthday in the class room in February since her real birthday is in the summer.  She brought in her favorite stuffed animals and read her little poster to the class.  Well I don't know if she actually read it or memorized it but you get the picture.  She surprised us as she is a little shy at school and not nearly as assertive as she is at home!

PRE-K B Art Project

We were the highest bidders on PRE-K B's art item at the St. Rose of Lima silent auction in January.  It is our Texas Picasso.  100% of the proceeds went to the St. Rose capital fund to help build a new middle school.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras was super early this year but we were able to make it.  It may have been the only time this winter we wore coats as it has been a very mild winter.  I booked the cheapest flights on SW so we had to fly at crazy hours but it was so worth it.  We also celebrated Donald's big birthday so that was extra special.

And this picture is just too cute not to share.  This is one of the only times Logan got to hold baby Laura because Catherine is very protective of her little cousin.