Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Among the presents and excitement, the food and the family time may you find a few quiet moments to steal away to reflect on the Christmas Story and it's wonderful meaning today.

Above all our hope is that you would find Jesus and accept Jesus' awesome gift this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Eve of Christmas Eve

Today was the day before Christmas Eve.  My husband greeted me this morning with a "Happy Christmas Eve Eve Day, Wifey!"

I love my husband because he knows how nuts I am for Christmas and embraces me.

The love I have for Christmas comes honestly.  My mom is the same way.  There is something about Christmas that just causes me to dance ridiculously around the kitchen to carols while "baking" baby cupcakes.

I believe that the crazy-love I have is an overflowing of the excitement of knowing the true meaning of Christmas.  There is something so humbling about the realization that my Jesus was born into this world, lived a perfect life of example and died for me so that I may live in Him.  The Ultimate Gift.

It's just extraordinary.

Tonight before dinner Noah picked up my camera and started snapping photos.  With Noah, you never know what you are going to find pictures of on your camera.  Growing up it was pictures that looked like this:
This is a self portrait of Noah and his finger after he got it caught in his gas tank in Tyler.  That's a gross story for another time.

Here are a few from today:
This one didn't turn out half bad...  Note the new haircut!  It was time for a change.
No, Dad is not sticking his head into the ferns...he is checking to make sure his frogs are still living...  Thanks for this memory, Noah.
Noah's mad camera skills coupled with my Dad's awesome crazy eyes makes for great pictures like this that we will be able to use for Dad's 80th birthday party some day.
And of course, we had to get one of Noah doing what Noah does best... torturing poor Lulu.  It's no wonder that she barks at you!
Mom and Jingle-Jangle.  Noah didn't take this.  I did.

I will say though, this one did turn out quite lovely!  Thanks Noah!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Everyone!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Not a whole lot of meal planning going on this week.  We will be making meals to clean out the fridge before our trip to see the family!  Hooray for vacation!

Happy 5 days until Christmas!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And the winner is....


Betty left a post on Facebook saying, "Favorite Family Vacations - Disney cruise!  It was amazing for everyone & couldn't beat the airline discount.  Second favorite - Breckinridge, CO in the Spring.  It even included a 12 mile bike ride downhill all the way!"

Congratulations!  You have won a one year subscription to Budget Travel Magazine!

And because it's only one week until Christmas.... 
And because I love giving things away...
And because my husband doesn't mind when I give things away...
we drew a second name...

You have won a one year subscription to Budget Travel Magazine!

Tammy left a blog comment saying, "One of my favorite vacations is Estes Park, Colorado.  My in-laws go every year during the summer.  They rent a cabin at the YMCA of the Rockies large enough for the whole family and friends.  The whole week (or 2) is spend doing hikes in the mountains to pristine mountain lakes where the fly fishing is really great!  I'm not a fisher, but I love laying on the shores of the lake with a good book while watching the family fish.  Soooo relaxing!"

Betty and Tammy, contact to claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who entered the give-a-way.  All of your vacations sound awesometown and I want an invite the next time you go!  We love having the opportunity to give fun things away and appreciate your wanting to get them!  Without you reading, there would be no one to give to.  Except my mom....  Hi Mom!

Happy 7 more days until Christmas!!  
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unicorns in Plano?

Folks, apparently there was a Unicorn in Plano today and I missed it!  I received an email in my inbox this afternoon titled, "I tried to get your attention, but it was had already disappeared!"

Yup.  You read that correctly....."it was had.."

Anyway.  When I opened the email this is what I saw:

A tiny unicorn standing on Andrew's hand!!  How did I miss that?!  :)

This email is one example of the many fantastically magical things that happens around me each day.

Happy 9 more days until Christmas!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 Days Left!

That's right folks, there are only 10 days left until Christmas Day!!  Hooray!!  We still have a few more gifts to pick up.  And I am SO looking forward to turning our living room into a Wrapping Wonderland!!

Don't forget to put your name in the hat for the Budget Travel Give-a-way!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

If it feels like forever since you have seen one of these entries, it's because it has been forever!  With interviews, holidays and late nights at the office meal planning has not been consistent at the Cozad household.  This week is changing that!

Monday:  Beef Stroganoff and cracker crumbed califlower
Tuesday:  AM Christmas dinner for me; Benjamin on his own
Wednesday:  Baked Ziti and veggies
Thursday:  Quick Chicken and veggies
Friday:  Dinner in Waco
Saturday:  Wherever the wind blows us
Sunday:  Fish sticks and macaroni

Happy Monday to you all!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Traveling on a Budget + a Give-a-way!

One of the things I look forward to every month is my Budget Travel magazine.  I discovered Budget Travel quite a few years ago when I popped into a Target looking for something to read during my lunch break at work.  That first volume opened my eyes to Shady Dell Trailer Park in Bisbee, AZ as well as Marfa, TX and the mystery of the lights.

And those two things were enough to make me a fan for life!

The magazine has nifty tips from other readers like when you travel to other countries and accumulate a lot of change, donate it to a nearby church.  They often write up reviews on handy travel accessories or just things that are plain nifty.  Like the Roll-Upz, crazy light-weight shoes that roll up - convenient for quick shoe changes.  They also do a section called "room finder" which gives cheap but chic hotel options in a selected city.  From time to time they do a piece on stops you should make should you drive this particular route in this fun city and pieces about a city from the perspective of someone who lives there.  Two months ago the magazine had a write up on Dallas which inspired our Saturday adventure day.  It has great photos and in the back they have really great travel offers!

In conclusion, I love my Budget Travel magazine.  Sure, the website has most of this stuff on it if I were to look hard enough + more, but I just love getting fun things in the mail!

This magazine is for the person who loves to travel and who enjoys finding a good deal on hotels, rental cars, and adventures around town.

If you are that person, than this week is your week!  You have the opportunity to win a subscription to Budget Travel for one year!

Tell 'em how to enter Bob:

Simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite vacation was and why.

To get extra entries:
1 entry - be a follower of Crazy Cozad's and leave a comment telling me about it
1 entry each - post a link to this give-a-way on your blog or facebook page and leave a comment telling me you did it.

Ideally you could get up to 4 entries!

Deadline for all entries is Midnight CST, Friday December 17th.

Please enter a valid email address for notification purposes.

And if you are wondering - both Bisbee and Marfa are on the bucket list!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Packages and other things.

Have I said enough how much I just adore this Christmas season?!  It truly is my favorite time of the year!  Benjamin and I have been doing loads of online shopping this year.  I mean with no tax and all of the awesome free shipping discounts, why not?  AND, it means you will come home to mounds of packages outside your door!

I just love opening packages!

Today the FedEx man brought giftess as well as our Christmas cards!  Tonight I will be stationed with pen in hand to start addressing envelopes and licking stamps.  Or sticking stamps actually.  Thank the Lord for sticky stamps.

Even though all of this Christmas cheer is going on internally, if you were to come visit our house right now you would think we were Scrooges!  We don't have 1 stitch of Christmas out besides the Lego Christmas village that is in pieces on our kitchen table.  It's currently a work in progress...

Hopefully this weekend we will have time to catch our breath, get down ornaments, wrapping paper and Christmas dishes so that our home can match the same amount of Christmas bliss we feel on the inside!  Any one else decorating a little slower this year or is it just me?

C'mon weekend, c'mon!
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas in my mailbox

Every year at this time I look forward to getting the mail each day.  Not only do we have boxes arriving from the online Christmas shopping we do, but tis the season for Christmas cards!

It has become a fun game to see who sends the first Christmas card and every year for the past four Christmases, I have been right in my estimation!

Carles and Lacy's card has always been the first to arrive at our home.  And this is because Lacy get her Christmas cards in the mail so that they arrive after Thanksgiving.  She has the timing of sending the Christmas cards down!

Who did you receive your first card from this year?
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the results are in...

The number of interviews extended:

The number of interviews and cities that were travelled to:

The number of schools attending:

We found out this morning that Benjamin has been accepted to the Orthodontic residency at University of Texas in HOUSTON!

Our first reaction was a crazy mess of jumping, cheering, and crying.  Our second was to huddle together and praise Jesus for this awesome blessing!  Little Lulu was confused as to what to think because then we were on the phones calling parents back to the excited stage!

All day today my emotion has been one of thankfulness and to be honest, I have been overwhelmed by the Goodness of God.  It was our heart's desire to return to Houston and it was Benjamin's first pick.  The fact that God chose to bless us with this amazing opportunity just blows my hair back!

We know that Benjamin's classes will start the first part of July and that he will graduate in 2013!  Over the next few weeks we will be putting together a timeline and continuing to seek God's direction for the move.

But for now....we are still celebrating that we are going to ORTHO SCHOOL!!!
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Final Countdown!

is the number of our family.
is the amount of years Benjamin and I have been married.
is the number of days we have left before we know about Ortho school!
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Oh Happy Day!

Congratulations to the newly weds!  May God bless your marriage and give you a love that overflows every day!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Welcome Friday!

Happy Friday Dear Reader!

This weekend is wedding weekend for us.  Benjamin's sister Samantha is getting hitched!  I will have an opportunity to meet some folks on the Cozad side that I haven't yet.  Sunday will be a full day with church, a Cozy Pet shoot and a dry run on new Thanksgiving dishes with our fabby friends from Vintage.

I love the weekends!

Here are some things that I came across this week that just made my day!

Whatever the weekend holds for you, I hope that it is outstanding!
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is it too early?

I love Christmas.

No seriously.  I am one of those people who starts singing about Christmas as soon as November is here.  Just ask Benjamin.

I do not, however, jump on the early bandwagon of decorating for it.  Decorating comes after Thanksgiving.

Christmas shopping, Christmas singing, Christmas lights - all things okay to do before Thanksgiving.

Tonight as Benjamin and I were heading out to do our Three Trees shopping, I saw it...  A house glowing at us in the distance... Christmas lights!  One of my favorite things to do the closer it gets to Christmas is driving around looking at lights.  There's something festive about seeing streets lined with the little twinklers!

C'mon Christmas!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gift Guide: Chalkboard Everything

A while ago I posted about how I like the feel and look of chalk and chalkboards.  Today I came across these fun finds which also would translate into fantastic gifts for anyone who loves writing on anything and everything...

Chalk labels that you can put on anything from bradensgracewallart. You get 12 labels for $8.  How cute would these be on glass jars filled with holiday goodies?

And how about these adorable gift tags from Anthropology?  You get a set of 6 for $14.

Chalkboard jewelry from twinklyspangle for $15.40.

I also stumbled upon Chalkboard China - they have an awesome assortment of products - everything from vases to chocolate trays to plates!

Happy Chalkboarding!
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Interview Update

The interview process is finally complete!  Last week we took our last trip around interviews to Philadelphia.

Last Saturday, Benjamin submitted his final preferences.
Saturday night we prayed over the school order he submitted and gave our future over completely for God to work out where He needs us to be.

Now we wait....

We still have 17 days left until we know if and where.  The time should pass quickly though - we have Samantha's wedding this weekend, a visit to Houston, Thanksgiving and then The Day!

December 2nd could not get here soon enough!
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

saturday adventure day

The realization that this was our last unplanned weekend until Christmas occurred to Benjamin and I when we were at dinner on Friday night.  It's all good stuff that we have going on between now and then - interviews, visitors, weddings, graduations, parties!

While thumbing through my Budget Travel magazine, I read the article Rediscovering Dallas.  In the article it talked about the Bishops Arts District.  Since  we hadn't ever been before, Benjamin and I popped into Blue Barry and headed down to Oakcliff to walk around in the rain.

Our first stop was Fete-ish, a cute little shop stuffed wall to wall with original paintings, knick-knacks, and fun gifty things.  We picked up a cute painting that we are going to get framed.  We ate at Eno's Pizza, which was delish!  We ate Eno's Original complete with tomatoes, salami, garlic and peppers.  It was the most flavorful pizza I have ever eaten.  For dessert we headed to Tillman's and shared their Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Tower.  The banana ice cream was outstanding!

Our Saturday adventure wrapped up with Benjamin and I sitting on the couch watching Iron Man 2.  I am thankful for days like these and look forward to the weekends that we have coming up!

Eno's Original Pizza!
Coffee at Tillman's... the milk is in a cow!
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Tower!!
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Everything's up to date in Kansas City!

Kansas City had beautiful weather on Sunday.  We started our day by heading out in search of a Target so that we could see if they had any little Lego men still available.  In our quest for more Lego men, we drove around the Shawnee Mission area which was full of beautiful trees and really cute houses.

After our search for Lego men was complete, we headed back to The Plaza to eat some lunch and walk around.  The highlight of my visit was being at the Hallmark complex!  I read the biography of J.C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark, a couple of years ago and that combined with my love of Hallmark ornaments and Gold Crown Stores led me to geek out when I saw Halls, the Crayola store, and the corporate office.

We a few more hours to before Benjamin needed to be ready for dinner, so we headed to the World War 1 museum.  I was extremely impressed by the exhibits of the museum and the memorial tower that had a panoramic view of Kansas City.

Extreme concentration!
The cow jumped over the moon!
In front of the Hallmark Complex
World War I monument and museum
Happy Couple in KC, MO
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Interview Update

Last night Benjamin and I realized that it had only been one week since we dropped Lulu off in Houston to stay with my folks while we traveled around for interviews.

Only one week!

This past week has been quite a busy one for us.  Starting last Thursday...  Benjamin and I drove to Houston so that he could attend his first orthodontic residency interview!  Thursday night's dinner went very well and that momentum carried into Friday's interview with the different panels.  Benjamin felt confident that all went well in Houston and that makes waiting until December 2nd even harder!

Saturday we drove from Houston, to Dallas so that we could pack with enough time to get to the airport to fly to Kansas City, MO.  We were able to have all day Sunday to sightsee and check out some neighborhoods around the school.  I totally geeked out with excitement because we were able to see Hallmark headquarters!

The interview process in Kansas City was insightful.  Not being from there, Benjamin was able to get a good feel of the program and residents that currently attend there.  We left Kansas City with a confirmation of where to rank it in our order of preferences.

We arrived back in Dallas on Monday night late.  Tuesday involved us going to back to work and to patients.  That evening we packed Benjamin so that he could get up and head to San Antonio Wednesday morning.  Things at work were quite hectic so we decided that I would stay home instead of trying to work remotely from a La Quinta.  The interviews at San Antonio also affirmed their position on our list.

Last week God was present in the interview process - giving Benjamin clarity of mind, allowing him to be confident in the answers he gave as well as forming good impressions with the residents and interviewers.  He has blessed us with safe travel, wisdom and restful sleep.

This week Benjamin has his Dallas interview and we will be traveling to New Orleans!
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Hello Again!

Doesn't it seem like life just gets away?  I mean, where does time go?  It seems like just yesterday we were home in Houston playing with Lulu in the swimming pool!  
Since that time I attended a wedding shower for Samantha.
We went and saw the Blue Man Group with Beazley in honor of Benjamin's birthday.
My Grandparents came into town.  Mom brought them to visit us in the Big D.  Noah and Salem popped in for dinner.  We went to the Heard Museum and also to the Plano Balloon Festival.
We went to a fancy dinner for a school event.
We saw Shrek.
And we went to the State Fair!
Whew!  I'm tired...  The next few weeks will be crazy but enjoyable as we are heading into interview season for Orthodontic residencies!  We will keep you posted, dear reader on what where we are and how things are going!
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