Saturday, December 30, 2006


At first glance, it might look like snow, but don't let it deceive you - our puppy (if we can still call him that at 75 pounds) wanted a snow white Christmas. This is what we woke up to - what used to be a pillow for the bottom of Cooper's kennel. Note - this was quite a fete - the feathers were about 8 inches deep inside and outside his kennel and filled up a 30 gallon trashbag!

Should we be upset or proudly amazed?

Holiday Happenings

These past 2 weeks have flown by way too fast. It is almost 2007. Where did Christmas go? We were blessed this Christmas with being surrounded by family. The holidays started out with an early celebration at the Connells so we could share Christmas with Tommy, Ruth, and John before they headed off on another excursion. (I hope you all got to see some snow!) In all, there was 5 grandbabies running around - with another one coming soon in the spring (are you sure it is not twins Justin and April? - that is all of the 'firsts' left - beside blonde children that is. Peter and Amanda's cutie below, Eleanor, loved to have her photo taken and then see herself in the camera. Dash claimed I kept taking pictures of her because that is what I want my daughter to look like - snow white hair and big blue eyes.

John loved the present Ruth and Tommy gave us almost more than his own presents at first - but it does have 'doors' that open and close. As soon as the weather clears and the ground dries up, we cannot wait to use our new picnic set, complete with wine glasses!
The White House Gingerbread House shindig was great, and we moved up from last year's last place to 3rd place "Most unique" with our winter skate park.

We hope everyone had a blessed, safe, and memorable Christmas and cannot wait to see everyone in 2007!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Weekend (or bad weather day) warriors

This week has brought some not so pretty weather but I am still holding out hope for the cold front that is supposed to make its way into town tomorrow. Rainy days are always hard on us because our grass in the back yard has not completely grown in yet. Combine that with the holes that Cooper has dug and we have a few mud pits when it rains. This morning, I put Cooper outside so I could go dry my hair - and I came back to this-

This picture does not even do it justice. Dash had to carry Cooper into the bathroom to wash him off. Try carrying a 80 pound covered in mud who does not like to cuddle.
The last room, if you can consider it a room, in our house is done! This weekend we started organizing our garage and we finished tonight - thanks to the bad weather giving Dash a day off work. For those that have had the luxury of parking in a garage, you may not see the excitement in this. But for Shae, who has never parked in a garage - today was a great first. Just for proof that our garage is organized - as it may not be in a couple years - both cars fit!


December is crammed full of birthdays for our families. Here are a few of our favorite pictures from the December birthday celebrations.

Mama Mindi's birthday date at PF Changs - I hope I age as well as my mama.

Dash getting ready to blow out his candles, with Brody's help.

Celebrating Dash's birthday with Shae's sis, Jessica, and the new boyfriend, otherwise known as Dash's friend, Ryan. Travis was sweet enough (or smart enough) to offer to take the picture and avoid being in it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Dash!

Happy Birthday Dash!

I wanted to wish my amazing husband a happy birthday a day early as we have a pretty busy weekend planned with a house guest/new boyfriend in the family coming to visit. I hope to post pictures next week of the birthday festivities.

10 days til Christmas! 5 more days of work this year!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Home Video

One of the funniest things I had seen in a long time - our huge lab puppy being chased by a 7 pound toy poodle mix.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

My favorite radio station, KSBJ, has been playing non-stop Christmas music since the day after Thanksgiving, so it did not take me long to get in the Christmas spirit. Dash and I have already hung our Christmas lights on our house and decorated, but were missing a tree - until today! We started a tradition today of cutting down our tree at a Christmas tree farm. We went to Spring Creek Growers and came home with our first Christmas tree. We had already hit Hobby Lobby's 50% off sale on ornaments and as I sit here typing next to our lit up tree in our study (sadly our study so Cooper does not eat the tree whole, as he might be capable of doing so), I must say it looks great. We only have one sentimental ornament on it so far, an aTm one we bought last year together. This year's ornament, our First Christmas Together ornament complete with our wedding date and a bride and groom, has no yet arrive, and I know Dash is sitting on pins and needles waiting for it. Or not. But he will appreciate it one day.

On the hay ride to the 7' Virginia Pine section

Our tree got shaken to remove the dead pine needles and placed in netting for the ride home. Below is the finished product - our first Christmas tree!

The last few weeks

We have been so busy the last few weeks with two trips to Dallas, a wonderful Thanksgiving, a party to watch the Ags BTHO t.u. at our house, and other things. Busyness is such a blessing as it allows you to treasure the time you do get to spend with each other, family, and friends that much more.

In Dallas/FW, we stayed with Courtney and Ed in their beautiful house one weekend for Stephen Dotson's 'bachelor party'. I went with Dash to keep him company on the long drive and to pick him up from the place the limo took everyone - in my pajamas sadly. The next weekend was Stephen and Katie's wedding which was beautiful - though lacking enough seating and complete with the vows "for richer or for richer". That is still a shocker. We got to spend some time with some of Dash's friends from high school, which was great.

Thanksgiving was great, as we tried to master splitting the holiday between each of our families, and realized it was possible - and surprisingly enjoyable if you don't stress over time. We had a great group over to watch the t.u. game and see our new house. The game was so exciting and we apparently have to watch it at our house again for next year for good luck. When will the Fightin' Texas Ags stop needing luck?

And somewhere in the middle of this, Shae squeezed in a trip to Anaheim, California. My hotel was only 2 blocks from Disney Land. It has changed so much since our Parker vacation there years ago. For those of you that ever have a chance to go, check out Downtown Disney - a free admission part with great restaurants and stores and fireworks every night.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Isn't it sad?

Is it not sad how our lives stop without internet and cell phones? Our wireless modem died a couple of weeks ago (hence the no blogging) and our new one is supposed to be delivered today by UPS. Our blog will be back up and running soon with some new updates and pictures from the past couple of weeks...which included a wedding, Thanksgiving, our puppy losing his 'manhood', our Ags winning the most important game of the year, a trip to the OC, and more....

And this past Saturday was our 8 month anniversary! Sounds like nothing but it seems like years since our wedding.

This is one of my favorite pictures from our wedding. Several people have told us it looks like it could be in a magazine....yes, in case there was any doubt, we are that good!

Saturday, November 4, 2006


Pictures of our study below and the stories behind some of the items:
desk from Dash's cousin, clock made by Grandpa Connell, Aggie items, really cool computer chair

matching bookcase, lamp from Shae's Mimi (Hi Mimi!), stained glass dove made by Shae's boss as a wedding present


Here are a few pictures of our kitchen and the stories to go along with some things:

the dining table Shae and her dad made

baker's rack from the Connells that received a makeover, platter bought with Jillian's birthday present to Shae, and a painting by Shae's grandmother, Arta Jean - whom Shae (Arta Shae for those that don't know) was named after and who probably passed along some 'Martha Stewart' traits.

corian countertops, oak cabinets, tile blacksplash, energy star appliances, and our new fridge

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Halloween sPETacular

So we may be mean parents, but we dressed our dogs up for our first Halloween together. Maddy was the cutest bumble bee and Cooper was fittingly a football player since he tries to tackle or knock over anything that gets in his way. Here are a few pictures capturing the festivities:

Is that a smile on Maddy?

This was also Shae's first Halloween to have trick or treaters. It was such a joy to see the little kids trudge up to our front door in oversized costumes and mumble "Trick or treat" from underneath their masks. Though everytime we opened the door to get rid of our mountain of candy, mosquitos the size of hummingbirds would fly inside. In between each doorbell ring, I spent the time swatting the mammoth mosquitos. Anyone who know me well, knows that if there is a mosquito within a mile, it will find me and bite me. Just ask Ruth, my co in Hickory Creek - we did not leave our cabin without covering ourselves in Off Skintastic.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Living room

As if this weekend was not busy enough with work for the both of us, church activities (Shae got to be a celebrity judge for the youth's costume contest!), the Aggies beating the Baylor Bears, and a work party, we somehow managed to squeeze in furniture shopping. At the beginning of the weekend, our living was sparse with a TV center, a bookcase, and our new leather sofa for Dash's cousin Chris. The end results sure do make our house feel a lot more like a home and even inspired an afternoon nap for Shae today. Take a tour of our new living room below!

I am still trying to decide what to do or hang on this huge white wall in the next picture. Any ideas?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Be our guest, be our guest...

Oddly, the first rooms we got completed was for our guests. Having a guest bedroom means our sleep-over guests no longer have to sleep on the floor or couch. Our inflatable mattresses can now be stored (for a long time) in the garage. The first room to be completed and the first room on our tour is our guest bedroom.

And the guest bathroom...

Welcome Home!

Welcome to the Connells! Over the next week, we (ok, really only Shae) will take you on a tour through the rooms of our brand spankin' new home. For our family and friends that live in Florida, San Antonio, other parts of Texas, other parts of Houston, and even Katy that have not been able to see our home yet, we hope you enjoy the glimpse into our new home and come visit soon! A lot of family has come already but I think you will be surprised at how fast we have been able to settle in. Enjoy the tour over the next week and leave us comments on what you think!

Let the tour begin....Come on in!

Friday, October 20, 2006

the joys of homeownership

Lessons learned:

1. New, clean carpet is WONDERFUL, except it has a tendency to make me a little crazy trying to keep it clean, especially in the recent Houston monsoon we have experienced.

2. If your brand new dishwasher stops working mysteriously, don't panic - search for a secret light switch that for some reason controls the dishwasher.

3. Need a swimming pool in your backyard? Feel free to borrow our lab puppy before a heavy rain. He will gladly dig a mud pit that will soon fill up with water that can be used as a pool. He will even test it out for you and then walk on your new carpet if you so desire.

4. A bigger house IS actually easier to keep clean than a one bedroom apartment shared by 2 people and 2 dogs.

5. Seperate bath tubs and showers are a blessing!

6. FlyLady is scary....15-20 e-mails a day? Maybe I will resubscribe after we have kids and I am at home (and awake) for more than 5 hours a day.

7. Gas appliances are not that hard to operate...but are you supposed to smell gas when you turn on the oven?

And that is just the beginning. We will post pictures soon of our new house, the dining table I built (with my daddy), the painting by my grandma Arta Jean (who I am named after), our new furniture, and much more.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I will praise you in this storm

"I will praise you in this storm..." If you are not familiar with this Christian song, it is one of my favorites. We had many storms this week, literal and figurative. Today during work, we had a First Nail ceremony to start construction on two houses. As I sat in my car, hurriedly finishing my lunch, the rain started pouring down. This song came on and reminded me that when we are going through life's 'storms' is when it is the most important time to praise God for our many blessings, though it may easier to shift our focus to our troubles. God is good and He takes care of those who love Him and serve Him.

After a week of pulling our hair out, crying, yelling, wanting to hit some people, and actually throwing dog toys across the room, Dash and I got the official word that our loan has gone though and we CAN close on our new house tomorrow! Up until 9pm last night, they were still requesting more information and documents but our (and your) prayers were heard. It should be a big weekend with our move and the Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday (go Team Dash's Dudes and Darlings!). I will post pictures from the weekend next week after we settle in a little.

Monday, October 9, 2006


Dash did our final walk-through this morning and EVERYTHING was done. The only thing not completed was the patching up of a crack in our driveway which had not been completed due to all the rain this week in Houston.

Items left to do on our house before our closing this Friday:
1. Install mini-blinds
2. Install medicine cabinet in master bath
3. Install surround sound speakers
4. Install deadbolt on back door
5. Install garage door opener
6. Install front gutters
7. Install kitchen island Corian countertop

And that is it! We had our New Home Demonstration and walk-thru complete with the blue tape this morning. We will post pictures after our move this weekend of our new FINISHED house. We are so thankful for this huge blessing God has given us so early in our marriage and are anxious to use it for His will.

Thursday, October 5, 2006


I am a little late on this post, but with all the moving and house chaos, I have not had my usual free time (at work sadly) to blog and waste my time on really important things like celebrity gossip pages and the Better Homes and Garden website. My friend Roger Clemens (shown with me in the photo below) has been accused of using steroids. Based on the color of the shirt he is wearing in the photo, maybe it is true. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Our closing date is set for October 13! Dash and I will officially be homeowners next week! We will have our walk-through next Monday and Shae's aunt is generously getting a third party inspector for our house hopefully this week. The next two weeks should be crazy but we are so excited. Everything has fallen into place so perfectly. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and please continue to keep us in mind as we pack and move and pray that we will make a smooth transition.

Have any empty boxes?

By the way, anyone who has not met our puppy Cooper will be very surprised to see how HUGE our 5 month old chocolate lab has gotten. At his vet weigh-in yesterday - 5 months old - and weighing in at 56 pounds. A few more pounds and that is almost (almost people) half Shae's weight.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

On the Home Front

Today was a good news, bad news day. Our apartment has already released our apartment so we must move out on October 15. The next few days will tell if we will be moving in with family for a week or moving into our new house then. As of today, our closing is still set for October 19th. However, Dash and I stopped by our house today and it looks like it could definitely be done next week. Carpet has been installed and our kitchen sink and island are in. They have begun to touch up spots of the drywall and paint. Bathrooms and bedrooms are completely done. Our builder seemed surprised we wanted to close and move in earlier. But he did say construction would be very happy to move quicker with the goal of getting us in by October 15th.

P.S. Thank you Ruth and Tommy for opening your beautiful home to me last week! I had a great time but am glad to be back in Houston.

Let the packing commence.....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Walk to Cure Diabetes

As most of you know, Dash was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 9th grade. Type I Diabetes is genetic and Dash is insulin dependent, unlike Type II that can be controlled with diet and is usually obesity related.

In honor of Dash, we have decided to participate in Houston’s Walk to Cure Diabetes. I would love to have you walk with Dash and I. The walk will be at Reliant Park on October 14, with registration starting at 7am and the walk starting around 8am. It will be approximately 3 miles. If you would like to join us, just follow this link to register: – our team is Dash’s Dudes and Darlings (the name was all me, so don't give Dash a hard time!)

I have also set up a fundraising page - – if you are feeling generous. Each dollar takes us one step closer to finding a cure for diabetes. Doctors and researchers are predicting we will actually see a CURE for diabetes well within our lifetime.

As of today, we will not be walking alone but would love to have more friends and family with us. Shae's parents and older sister are walking and most likely Dash's mom, Debi, and grandmother, Sammie, will also join us. Tommy and Ruth and little John ( are even coming in from Austin!

Thank you all for your support!

Status Reports

Dash and I had the pleasure of showing our house to Granny and Grandpa Connell and Dash's aunt Nancy and uncle David yesterday, as well as show off the progress to Debi and Sammie. It was a great trip out - as we were surprised with new standard features that had been added since we signed our contract - four ceiling fans, a programmable A/C unit control, and front gutters. Also already installed were our corian counterops and our tile backsplash and all of the outlet/light switch covers and our alarm system. Our electricity is on and water pours out of our new bathroom plumbing fixtures and swirls down our new toliets. Our house is so close to completion, it almost seems like we could be moving in next week. You may wonder, what is left? Our list is down to:
-punch list items
-touch up drywall
-install medicine cabinet
-install kitchen appliances and sink
-install kitchen island
-sod and landscape front and backyard

Most importantly, when we stopped in to pick up a key to unlock our new front door, we were informed that our closing has been pushed up to October 19 now. Ideally we would like it to be October 13 so we could spend the weekend after moving and cleaning our apartment - so we are keeping our fingers crossed and the prayers going.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bumps in the Road

We have hit our first bump in the road with our house. Dash met with our lender today (everything is ok there) but they have set our Estimated Closing Date for October 23. That makes us officially homeless for one week. We are praying they move it up - just one week - because our lease ends on October 15. We chose October 15 on the recommendation from our Construction Supervisor. With both our parents living in Houston now, a place to stay won't be a problem (if they will take us in - hehe). However, it would be nice to just have to move once and not have to spend money on a trailer/U-haul twice and on renting a storage shed just for one week. Oh goodness. Pray for speediness for our construction workers. Maybe my Habitat for Humanity volunteers can come to the rescue.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

2 months and counting

It has been two months since our house was started....and only weeks remaining until we move in. This past week, the brick for our house finally arrived and our house now has a face to it. Other work finished: tile on floor and bathtubs/showers, light fixtures, back yard fence, and more.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Shopping lists

I am such a list person. Even for work, I keep a list of things I need to get done. I have decided I like to keep list just so I can enjoying crossing things of my lists. As soon as Dash and I started building our house, we (yes, we - I am rubbing off on him) started a list of things we needed or wanted for our new larger living space. So far we have been pretty successful crossing things off our new home shopping list.

Ceiling Fans - check
Refridgerator - check
Guest Bedroom Suite - check - We are hopefully receiving a set from Dash's cousin in NYC - if only we can figure out how to ship it down here
Computer Desk - check - Dash's cousin again - Thanks Christopher!
Outdoor Funiture/umbrella
New living room furniture set
Dining room/kitchen table - check - I built it myself!
Surround sound equipment - check
Nightstand - check
Outdoor plants/trees/sprinklers/hoses/etc
Lawnmover - check

It is amazing how much stuff you need (or want) when moving from a 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house. We have been blessed finding good deals, though we are still accepting donations. ;)

Friday, September 8, 2006

Week 6 Updates

So much is happening everyday - changes that make the bare stucture finally seem like our home. This week a few of the items we choice at the Design Center appeared and we are so excited to see our selections coming together so well.

Week 6 Photos:

Painted Living room and kitchen

Freshly painted doors and trim - and rounded sheetrock corners

42" Oak kitchen cabinets

Pantry with shelves