Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Flight from Phoenix

Just a fun, quick story to share.

After our trip to the Big Dutch, Elijah, Jon, and I were flying from
Phoenix back to Houston.  The 3 of us occupied our own row on the
Southwest flight, with me in the aisle seat, Elijah by the window, and
Jon in the middle.  The guy across the aisle from me had dozed off,
but left his Rubik's cube on his tray table.  Jon and Elijah kept
nudging me to take his Cube.  After several minutes of junior high
girl silent communication between the 3 of us, I reached across the
aisle, picked up the Rubik's cube, signaled for his neighbor to stay
silent and handed the toy to Jon.

Now, Jon can solve a Rubik's cube faster than rabbits can ... .
Seriously.  He says its just an algorithm, which shows you his
nerdiness.  However, it's an amazing talent.  Within 30 seconds we had
this thing solved and back on the tray table of the rightful owner.
When he woke up, he picked it up sleepily, began to solve it, realized
it was completed, and looked around.  We couldn't help but giggle.  He
was a very nice guy, about our age, and I had a nice conversation with
him about Non-algorithm things.

This is the tale of the Flight from Phoenix.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The festivities

Wow, what a whirlwind! We had Christmas together Sunday night, Christmas with Patrick's parents Monday night, Christmas with my parents Tuesday night, and headed to Baltimore on Wednesday. Christmas day was full of our standard 4 stops for 4 Christmases. It has been crazy busy and wonderful. Many, many more details to come!


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said to them, "Do not fear; for behold, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!"

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

I'm not sure this has ever been done on our blog. I want you to do the following:

Did you follow? I want you to find Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson, put it on your iPod (or other digital music players, I don't discriminate), and listen to it 10 times. It will make you happy.

I think this is possibly the greatest album of all time. Yes, it's that good. Yes, I understand it's a bold statement. Yes, I'm willing to put my rep on the line for it.

And I don't care if I have to fly to the North Pole in a single-engine Cessna in the middle of a blizzard at night to see his show live next year, I'm going to do it. In fact, it's my goal to see it twice next year to make up for not seeing it this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's the holiday season....

Whoa! This year has FLOWN by! We have had so much going on, the weeks have been jam packed. Lots of work and lots of fun stuff after work. We are both very ready for a vacation. Sometimes I think it would be so much easier if we didn't have to sleep. Can you believe Christmas is one week from today?! I feel like I haven't gotten to slow down enough for it to feel like Christmas yet. So today starts the all out, 100% holiday festive feelings.

Until this year, my mom has always gotten me a little gift every day of December. It's a tradition started by my aunt who gave my mom a little cardboard tree with a box on it for every day that you were supposed to put a little gift in. The tree fell apart several years ago and has been replaced with something fancier. And this year, since I am married, the tradition stopped. I believe it was Patrick's intention to somewhat carry it on, but he has been working like a crazy person all of December. (On a side note, I heard through the grapevine that my father told him not to because if he did he would always have to. Hmph.) A few weeks ago, we were in a store discussing the cost of hair products. I normally spend a little more on conditioner because I feel that is more effective than spending a lot of money on shampoo. However, my favorite shampoo is REALLY expensive and comes in a very small bottle. So I never buy it since it seems like such a waste. This year, since Patrick has been working so much and had little time to do any shopping, he bought me my favorite shampoo to make up for lots of little gifts. And it makes my hair smell SO good! That was an exciting early gift.

Another exciting gift... we got an email earlier this week at work that we will be closed on January 2nd!!! YAY! We are closed on the 1st, but they decided to give us the day off on the 2nd as well. That was a wonderful gift. I was already very content with that week because we get back from Baltimore on New Years Eve and then would have New Years Day to just rest and enjoy. Now we have the 2nd and the weekend. I believe we are going to see my dad's family that Saturday for Christmas so that will be fun as well.

Tonight is date night. We have been spending our Thursday nights going to dinner, watching the office, and looking at Christmas lights. Tonight there is not a new Office (I don't think) so we are going to dinner, finishing up some Christmas stuff, and then going in search of a new area to look at lights. We have thoroughly exhausted our part of town. It's time for some new festive scenery. I am SO excited that it's almost Christmas! And tomorrow is Friday. Yay!

Merry 7 days to Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas, come quick!

I have been working more late nights this week. I worked about 50 hours last week, which I never considered a huge deal... until I was the one working those hours. In order to get that done, you have to work pretty late some nights. I have going to the gym to workout in the morning, and really enjoy that, but I don't usually get into the office until about 8 AM or so. This means I'm working late a few nights a week....

That scrunches everything else together. I would like to apologize to the professional world for ever doubting their long days and hard work. However, I will pat myself on the back for doing my best not to whine about it.

I am glad to be at home with my wife tonight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

Becky and I had a good day Saturday. We got up and took the Flicks to the airport to fly to catch their flight to New York for their week of fun. Then we came back home and took a short nap. After about an hour or so I went to the gym to workout, followed by a short trip to Marshall's to do some (what I thought would be Christmas) shopping. I found two dress shirts on sale, a pair of thermal's for my upcoming backpacking trip to Big Bend, and got a Christmas present for someone special. Then we went and ran some errands, Becky found some decorations to make the tree look fabulous, and did a quick swap at the dry-cleaners.

For the evening, we had planned on going to Lights in the Heights, but Becky was a little tired, so we went to La Hacienda and watched "It's a Wonderful Life" (arguably the greatest movie of all time, not really, but it is wonderful). At La Hacienda, we bumped into my boss on the BP project. It was ironic because when I told him where I lived he asked if I had been to La Hacienda and he told me he goes there every weekend. Well, we get there on my first trip, and he was there with his family. He came up and said hey and brought his daughter, who is very cute.

That's about all for our Saturday. We don't have small group or anything planned today, so it should be a nice, relaxing day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


IT SNOWED TODAY! There were lots and lots of snowflakes, BIG ones, outside my window at work! I think it's supposed to be 70 on Saturday, but today it snowed!

This was the first time since I was 5 that there was real snow... all the other times I have been in Baltimore. With the freezing cold and no snow of course.

One big fat snowflake stuck to the window but I didn't get my camera out in time to catch it. However... Patrick had to work really late and when he got home he was a really good sport and went outside with me to capture the moment!!

We set up the tripod and I'm pretty sure everyone who drove by thought we were incredibly awesome.

Monday, December 8, 2008

5 months (and some)

We missed an anniversary! Well, we didn't miss it. But we missed telling you! 5 months on December 5th. I know you are thinking MUST they celebrate every single month?? YES! We must. I can't believe how quickly 5 months has flown by.

Tonight I (Becky) had dinner with my good friend Amanda who I have not seen in a ridiculously long time and that was very nice. Patrick has been working a lot of extra hours lately, and especially this week. I know that's no fun for him at all, but he's excited to be staffed on a project he feels like he really contributes too. Plus it's really really close to home which is very helpful when you are working lots of overtime. And on top of that we have tons going on right now, so we're both busy busy at work and after work.

This weekend we have Patrick's company party, and apparently it's a cocktail dress affair. So I need to bust out my fancy clothes. I have a girls night after that so it's sure to be a late night. I'm thinking Saturday will probably be a crash day, a finish Christmas shopping day, and a Lights in the Heights night! Yes!

Anyway, this is a quick post, it's late. Patrick's in bed so I am off.

Merry 16 days until Christmas!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm a good American

I always tell Becky I'm a good American. I really am. I'm honest, fair, and proud of our country. I work hard, but am still polite to the elderly. I care about the less fortunate.

Tonight was a good example of my good-American-ness. We left the Flick's (our small group leader's house) and were going to drive by the McGown's (he used to be our youth minister and married us) because he always has an award-winning Christmas light display and, to be honest, Becky and I are suckers for a good Christmas light display. We drove by their house, gave it three thumbs up (one for each arm) and were on our way.

We were on our way home when I saw a little puppy wandering down the sidewalk on his own. I thought there was no way for that to be good, so I turned on the hazards, pulled over, called the little pup, and went in search of his home. I went to the closest house to see if it was their dog and they gave me a good lead, saying that it looked like their old neighbor's dog who just moved thinking the dog might have wandered "home" after the big move. So, like Detectives Benson and Stabler (from Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit), I followed up on this lead. They said they would keep it and contact their landlord (whose dog it may have been). Then, another neighbor came up the drive and said the little dog was his. I was excited and sad, because I knew if this dog couldn't find its true home, he would become mine. He was the cutest, sweetest little guy who just nuzzled up right next to me. My heart melted.

But he found his way home and I'm a good American for doing this.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And we're back in 3...2...1...

Sorry it's been such a long time. It has been a hectic week with later work nights and other not-so-fortunate events.

On Monday, we had a good ... Scratch that. On Monday, we had a great friend who was lost. My truck (Patrick) was hit by another car on the way to the mall to get some Christmas shopping done. I was changing lanes and this girl came across the highway and hit me on my shot-gun side. I don't want to write out the whole incident here, but it wasn't fun. I was able to drive away and I'm not injured, so I won't complain too much.

The good news is that Becky and I did Dave Ramsey. DR is the man! He taught us all about insurance and told us to keep an emergency fund. So, the effects of the accident are less than what they could have been. Thanks Dave for the sound wisdom!

I also started a new project at work that is really close to the house. Even closer than my last one. I'm working at a large, London-based energy company with a huge campus in west Houston. It takes me like 6 minutes to get to work in the morning and about 4 minutes to get home. I really enjoy it and I think it will be a good opportunity for me. I've gotten some really good feedback from the Managing Director (what would be a Partner) on the project for how I handled some time with the client, so I really appreciated that. Also related to work, I think I'm going to go back to my previous client (a men's retail company that guarantees your satisfaction) because the client said she liked me. Woo hoo! Ok, that's enough about work.

I went to the mall today to get some Christmas shopping done (since Monday's events were cut short). I really put quite the dent in my shopping, so I was excited about that. I mostly did some shopping for Becky, but I got a few other things, too. This is good because I'll be pretty busy at work this next week (working 50+).

We've also put the Christmas lights up. Becky did a great job decorating the interior and yours truly got the outside lights put up. Last weekend was Phase I then we went and drove around the neighborhood and saw some stiff competition, so I had to ramp it up to Phase II this weekend. Thanks to the in-laws for the extra lights! See the pictures below!

We went to Chuy's tonight for Becky's dad's birthday. It was pretty good. I owe Chuy's an apology. Before, I haven't been to impressed, but I think tonight (and our last visit with Isaac and Christina) were marked improvements. It was good to spend time with the family. After dinner we went back to their house and watched the Big 12 Championship with them. Keep my father in your prayers as he goes through this loss.

Those are the highlights and lowlights of our week. Sorry we didn't blog more, but life happens.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Craigslist finds!

We don't have very many pictures of our house on here, so I thought I would post pictures of the stuff we have bought off of Craigslist.
This one is our first Craigslist find, a butcher block cabinet. Which matches the new butcher block countertop Patrick made me PERFECTLY!

My second Craigslist find was the lamp in the corner of this picture. There was one at Target I wanted, but this one was cooler and WAY cheaper. We're kind of out of order, but the most recent Craigslist find is Patrick's leather chair.

The end table came after the lamp. I know Patrick was really excited to have that out of the way because I am somewhat picky. :-)

This is not a Craigslist find. This is the shelf Patrick hung for me this weekend. :-)

Also not a Craigslist find. For some reason, this is a really weird looking picture. But it's us at Chris and Leslie's rehearsal dinner.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


In June, we started looking for places to live. Yes, we got married in July. Didn't give ourselves much time, I know. We looked at a number of places, and finally settled on the one we are in. There was a lot of negotiation and we didn't think we would wind up living here, but we did. I was really not ever sold on the idea. It's narrower than I wanted, the entire place is painted white and we are not strongly encouraged to paint, it was really really dirty, it's not exactly the location I had in mind, the "master" bathroom is small, etc. But Patrick said this was the place and I went with it.

The day we got back from our honeymoon we had no power. Then the week after that they painted all week so we couldn't even unwrap our new furniture. We had boxes everywhere. Even once we finally unpacked, we had very minimal furniture. The place just didn't feel like home. For weeks after we moved in, I would need to get something from my parents and tell Patrick I needed to "go home". He wasn't a fan of that; this is our home. But it sure didn't feel like it. It has since grown on me, but especially this weekend.

Patrick did a LOT for me this weekend. He helped me put up the Christmas tree, climbed on the roof to put up the lights, decorated our small back patio, built me a butcher block to add to the counter space, and tried a number of things to finally successfully hang a shelf on our wood-paneled wall. It all looks very homey. We have lamps in our living room that at one time had no lighting. I no longer have to put food on top of the washer and dryer because it is no longer the only available "counter" space in the kitchen. We have a little table in our breakfast nook. We have a bedskirt to hide the storage under the bed. We have a coffee table. We have very cozy Christmas decorations and a tree full of ornaments that all mean something to us.

It's not at all perfect, but it's home. Largely in part because Patrick worked all weekend to set things up for me and make it home. I love him.

Also, on a side note, we spent lots of time with our family this weekend. It was nice. I saw my grandmother and we had two Thanksgiving dinners and then tonight we got to spend the evening with our wonderful small group. I also talked to two of my former roommates. Oh, and we didn't work for four days. I am ridiculously blessed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two things real quick

First, my best friend Jon got engaged a couple months ago (I have about a half-dozen friends. While I don't have enough kidneys to give each of them, I figure the odds of two of them needing a kidney are so small this is legitimate.).  He asked me to take some pictures of it for him, because, well, I'm an accomplished slightly above mediocre photographer.  It was very beautiful and he totally surprised her.  It was awesome.  Jon is very lucky he found someone as perfect for him as Bonnie.  They both love to read, love movies, and love Jesus.  It is fun to be around them.  

It's also worth mentioning that Jon somehow convinced Bonnie to marry him while looking like a homeless man.

Here are some pictures:

Second, our neighbor two doors down has a huge (are there any other kind?), black great dane.  It got out the other day.  Being the great neighbor that I am, I simply took it to the back gate, opened it up for her, and let her in.  I saw that the back door was open and I noticed the back gate was a little finnicky, so I figured she had helped herself out.  Today, I saw our neighbors huge, black great dane, and she has a black/white fence.  I had let the wrong dog into the house.  Oops. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yeah, I'm pretty handy....

Me (Patrick)

This post requires a little introduction.  If you haven't been to our house, our washer and dryer is in the kitchen.  This drives Becky insane.  Why?  Ask her.  I guess its because it is a little unsightly and it takes up (what could be) one-third more counter space for our kitchen.  We have a galley-style kitchen in our narrow, rented townhouse.    

Well, today I started a new project that serves three purposes: 1) hide the washer and dryer, 2) create more counter space, and 3) make Becky happy.  The third reason is the most important.  I decided to make more counter space.  

There were several constraints I had for this project.  It needed to be low-cost (because we're renters), it couldn't be permanent (again, renters), and it had to be easy to make.  (Style and function need not apply.)  A while ago we purchased a butcher block from a lady off of craigslist.  It looks really good.  The light wood really stands out in our kitchen.  I decided to continue this theme with the new counter space.

It literally sits on top of our washer and dryer.  There is nothing permanent about it.  You could walk out of our home with this thing if you wanted (mind you, it weighs 60 plus pounds!).  It was about $60 worth of wood, plus other materials.  I bought two hole-saws, wood glue, four C clamps, and sand-paper.  Luckily, I was able to borrow my father-in-law's sander, which was actually Becky's grandfather's before he passed, so it felt kind of cool to be able to use that.

I learned quite a few things from this project.  First, Home Depot makes cuts for $.25 each in the air conditioning with power tools.  By doing this, I let my father and the entire male community down, but I also saved myself two thumbs, an index finger, several pieces of wood, and about an hour by having them do this.  I recommend it.  Second, patience is key.  You just can't rush carpentry projects, but why would you?  Third, it is important to make sure you have all your materials beforehand.  This saves a trip to Ace Hardware or Home Depot in the middle of your project.  Fourth, Ace is much easier to get in and out of than Home Depot.  The parking lot and store is smaller, the lines are shorter, and all the employees know the store like the back of their hand.  You also feel like you're in a real hardware store.  The biggest benefit is that you're less likely to run into one of those home improvement show hosts buying junk with a camera crew, but that's an entirely different post.

Well, here are some pictures to enjoy:

Note: the wood around the edges is unfinished.  This was not part of my original plan, but it really makes it look awesome.  I'll be making another trip to Home Depot tomorrow to get more wood to finish it off.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What I'm thankful for...

The Cross

My beautiful, wonderful wife

The fact that she said yes

Maui and Hawaiian sunsets

My best friends

Being an Aggie

Being debt free


Dwight Schrute

Being a Texan

Cheap gas

The Gilgour Family First Annual Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God Christmas Tree Setup and Decoration Extravaganza Event of the Year!

Whew!  The title says it all.  End of post.

Juuuuust kidding.  Becky and I put up the Christmas tree this morning!  Some people may think that's too early, but Becky has been jonesing to put the tree since she took it down last year (probably in February...).  We really love the Christmas tree.  Both of our mothers placed a huge emphasis on the family Christmas tree, so we're just carrying that on.

Our Christmas tree ornaments, while small in number, are big in meaning.  We try to get an ornament for each fun thing we do.  We have an ornament from Tavern on the Green (where we got engaged), Maui (honeymoon), Cheesecake Factory (first date), and a bunch of other fun ones.  (Now, not to be rude, but please don't get us an ornament from your vacation.  I'm sure you had a great time, but we weren't there.  I'm sure you have great meaning, but I'm anal.)

Back to the title.  Andrew Peterson is my favorite artist and one of his greatest (if not his greatest) album is Behold the Lamb of God.  Elijah reviewed this album last week.  Its an excellent read and you should check it out.  Each year, Peterson, along with other fantastic artists, travels the country putting on the greatest show in the land.  Last year I went twice and only so few times because that's all my college-sized budget would allow.  This year, unfortunately, Peterson didn't make it very far west of the Mississippi.  I was pretty upset, but there wasn't much I could do.  I had planned on making the Christmas tree decorating a fun celebration and this is easily my favorite Christmas album ever.  So I spun the iPod right to the album, hit play, and was instantly satisfied.  

We had a lot of fun putting the tree up.  It was great pulling the ornaments out and thinking about the meaning to each of them.  We have a few from Becky's father that are especially important to us.  We sang along with Peterson and company on the album and talked about how much we love Christmas.  We look forward to sharing this season with each of you.

Here are some pictures from this morning:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here's a tip...

The days leading up to Thanksgiving are more fun if you walk around your house making turkey sounds.....


Monday, November 24, 2008


Actually, this was our tent setup.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Trunk or Treat

FINALLY... pictures!

This was our tent setup.

This was the Loucks and Greene's football car.

Me and the spider.

The Mengers spider-themed car.

The Thomas's pirate themed car. (They always have the best costumes. It's like Abby works at a costume shop or something.)

Our small group rocks.

3 day work week.

Enough said.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What makes a great day?

First, sleep in. Do it. Do not set an alarm. Keep the curtains closed. Rest.

Second, eat a good breakfast. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then Saturday morning breakfast is the most important meal of the week. You should do pancakes and orange juice or something healthy.

Third, laugh. Find something to laugh at. Read a book, watch a movie, enjoy life. Your quality of life is directly correlated to your amount of laughter.

Fourth, execute your to do list. Life is only so long. You have to get some things done and Saturday is a good time to do it. Make a list of things you need to accomplish and follow through on them. To make your Saturday perfect, avoid Target, and do all your shopping at REI.

Fifth, and maybe most important, find someone special to share all of the above steps with. If you really want to have a wonderful day, have that person make you breakfast. Laugh with them, enjoy life with them.

Becky and I had a great day today. We did all of the above. In that order, too, so I can vouch for its effectiveness.

We took care of some post-wedding activities, returned some things we didn't need, bought some things we did, and laughed the whole time. We even bought a really awesome pub table with stools. It sits in our little breakfast nook looking out the window. It's awesome. It's going to be a great place to work, eat, and play. We could put our Macs on it and blog. We can eat here, read together here, and do many exciting things. It's very fun. (I put it together myself, so I'm also a carpenter.)

From Blogger Pictures

This is what it looks like!

Also, I joined the gym today. I need to get in better shape. There's this really good picture of Becky and I at youth camp the summer after my freshman year in college. It was "hoe down" night. Becky has her hair in pig tails and little freckles dotted on her cheeks and I'm wearing a tank top style undershirt. It's a great picture. In this picture, I am tan, thin, and muscular. I was just what the ladies wanted. I am no longer tan, thin, or muscular. I am not what the ladies want. I hope to regain my physique. Maybe I'll blog about my progress. (Read: If I'm not blogging about my progress, assume no progress has been made.)

Finally, tonight we're going out for Becca's birthday. She's a Rockets cheerleader and super cool. Becca and Becky were best friends growing up, until Becca fell in love with me. Then they had a falling out period for about two years. I finally had to sit them both down. We had a long talk, lots of tears, and some real breakthroughs. Now things are much better. It was terrible being between those two*. Anyway, we're going to get sushi tonight. Sushi is bascially Japanese bacon, so it's awesome.

(*Disclaimer: This story is false.)

The beat goes on and on and on and on!

The nervous beatkeeper did his best to keep the rhythm steady. It's not that he couldn't keep the beat, deliver a unique tap, or even make quality noise. He just wasn't able to do it very long.


The little drummer could really sprout an even roll. It was smooth, but solid. He could rock! Suddenly, I feel my foot tapping to his work. I didn't want to tap my foot, that would certainly draw too much attention, but I couldn't help it. You get sucked in by his beats. Its like a bad car wreck: you just can't look away.

Tat tat tat tat tat tat......pause......doot, doot, doot, doot, dootdootdoot, doot doot.......

His only flaw.... a complete lack of confidence. Just when he found his unique groove, he stopped, ashamed of his work. He thought for a bit, then got right back to it. While too shy to keep the beat going too long, he was too afraid to keep silent.

Pop, pop, pop, ding ding! Pop, pop, pop, ding, ding!

Who is this mind-numbing percussionist?

Our ceiling fan in the middle of the night. Not exactly the beat you want to hear all night long.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bonfire Remembrance

I'm an Aggie. Even though our football team isn't anything to write home about, I'm still awfully proud to bleed maroon. Yesterday was Bonfire Remembrance Day and I think we should take some time to remember that.

Below are some pictures that I took at Muster and the Bonfire Memorial in College Station last year after class in the Spring. It was the first time I had taken pictures of something memorial-like. I hope the pictures make the feel something.

If I must post, I must post about bacon

Becky has quite a few friends that post recipes and nonsense. I figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I made dinner on Monday night before going to have pie with my friend Travis. I cooked a pasta-based goodness. This dish works best with a short, empty pasta, like bowtie or penne. Those would be the two I would make it with. I used a ravioli at home, but only because its all we had. Step 1, get that going. I'll assume if you're smart enough to read our blog, you're smart enough to cooka tha noodla. Step 2, take a frying pan/ skillet/ omlette pan. Turn the heat up. Add some olive oil. Place baby spinach in heated pan. Let sauté. Step 3, cut up some bacon. Becky and I use the pre coooked variety because we can buy about 12 pounds of it at a time at Costco. Don't use Canadian bacon, it's a fraud. (No offense, Chelsea!) I usually cut up enough to make my cardiologist cringe, then add two more slices. Rule of thumb: If it's less than a handful, it isn't enough. Step 4, cut up pepperoni. I mean, you only live once. Step 5, add meat to spinach and cook/ heat. Step 6, add a creamy alfredo sauce and simmer. Step 7, add pasta to rest of ingredients. Try to time everything so everything flows. I guess that goes without saying. Step 8, after the pasta and everything mixes, it doesn't take long, serve up.

I don't use measurements or times. I've watched enough Iron Chef in my day to know that's for rookies.

I just thought this would be good. Who knows, they might sell it at Olive Garden. However, when you read our blog, you're family! Its delicious.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday craziness

I don't think we have any free weekends until the middle of January. Phew! This weekend is Thanksgiving banquet at church, lunch with the McGowns, and Becca's birthday. Next week is a 3 day work week (YES!) and then Thanksgiving. The first weekend in December... I know we have something but I can't think of what. The second weekend is Patrick's company party, Christmas girls night, Lights in the Heights, and hopefully the theater. Then the third weekend is Justin and Kacy's wedding and our small group party. That's the weekend before Christmas; that week we leave for Baltimore!! We are there until New Years Eve, and then of course we're off on New Years Day. And I think Elijah is in Texas that next weekend so I'm sure Patrick won't be making any plans. :-) And I believe Patrick is going to Big Bend sometime in January. Quite the busy next couple of months we have!

9 days until I can put up the Christmas tree!! We saw the first house with Christmas lights up in Copperfield when we were on our way home from small group on Sunday night. We drove down the street to check it out of course. And we drove around a little more to see if anyone else had followed suit but so far they haven't. Hot chocolate and Christmas lights, here we come!

Seriously, I have to get better at posting pictures. My camera was dead at the wedding this weekend! Bummer. I took a picture at the rehearsal dinner though, I'll post it later.

Happy 37 days until Christmas!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The only thing better than my friends: Cooler Ranch Doritos

My weekend was 98% excellent. The 2% involves a large amount of intestinal extrusion in a short amount of time. I'll leave your imagination to chew on that one. I got to see my best friends in the whole world in one of the best places in the whole world. Can life get any better than this? Not without a bag of blue doritos.

Friday we left work early to head up to C Stat for the Gilbert/ Hokanson wedding. I was an Usher, which is kind of the most important job in the whole wedding. You are the first flower-donned person the guest will see. I can be rude or tell you that you look beautiful. See how important my job was? I mean, I could say to you, "This minister sucks" or "Just wait until you see the maid of honor, what a fake tan" and completely change your view of the wedding. I'm kind of a big deal. Anyway, I was pretty excited to get up there and receive my orders.

Also, Elijah was coming. Next to Becky, he's my best friend.

Saturday morning I went and had breakfast with Elijah, Jon, Cowboy John (or Brent, whatever), and Daniel. This was the first time I had been in the same room with all these guys since my wedding. The thing I love most about spending time with them is that it doesn't matter how long it has been since we've last seen it each other, it always feels the same. I waited a long time to have friends like that, so you better believe I was beyond excited to see them.

After a wonderful breakfast (with enough bacon to make your heart skip a beat, permanently) Brent and I ran to TMW to get a new tux jacket. This one was too small and apparently they guarantee I'm going to like the way I look? Then we headed to Gander Mountain because every mandated man-date includes an obligatory shotgun lust fest.

Just don't go hunting with this guy.

The wedding was beautiful. We got everyone seated (sort of). That was important. However, and slightly ironic, the ushers stood in the back. Chris looked sharp. Leslie looked perfect. And then there was pie. I love pie. I ate a lot of pie.

After the wedding we blew bubbles. Elijah and I embraced in a man hug with the non-optional "I'm not gay" three-pat back slap. We went back the Kelm's, changed, talked for a bit, and then took Michael to dinner at Blue Baker. It was fun. I miss college. Becky said she would let me wear Chacos everyday if it meant she could go back to college. I want to wear Chacos everyday.

Well, we didn't sleep a lot last night because we were so sick, so I'm going to hit the hay!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun and Friends

This has been a WONDERFUL week. I haven't been this busy at work in a long time, and that part is not so wonderful. But everything else has been. As you know, I went to the doctor last week, and I am hypoglycemic. She told me to eat more red meat. So last weekend I ate red meat several times. And I prayed about it a LOT. We had talked in our girls time at small group last week about how the world was not created to make us happy. So last weekend I decided it was time to suck it up and stop complaining and if I get up in the middle of the night and have to eat something... there are definitely worse things in life than that. Apparently changing my attitude helped quite a bit! I have slept through the night all week. And I decided if that doesn't last forever, that's ok.

Tuesday I did absolutely nothing. I came home and wanted to be totally lazy, so Patrick made me a hot dog and I watched TV. Wednesday was church and it went REALLY well. The girls are taking turns leading our group, and the first one went so well. I am excited to see the rest of them. Then last night I met Claire at Starbucks and we had a long time to catch up and have some girl chatting time. It was nice. AND she gave me the first Twilight book to start reading. I am really excited about it. I needed a new book to read in the bath; the one I have been reading is not cutting it. Everyone seems to love the books, so I can't wait to get started. I only got the first one from her, so when I need the second one we will have to meet again!

I get to leave work early today at the end of this really busy week. I need to go home and finish packing real quick, put everything in the car, head to College Station, go by Men's Wearhouse to pick up Patrick's tux, go by the Kelms to touch base with them, and get to a rehearsal dinner by 7. Phew! Then Candice and I are going to do some shopping on Saturday morning while Patrick is having breakfast with friends, and then we have wedding festivities in the afternoon. And I'm sure we'll try to see Patrick's brother on Saturday before we come home.

Oh, and I bought a shirt from Ambre today that she was going to return to Banana Republic that she had gotten some kind of member discount on so it was a good deal and it's super cute. See? Such a good week!

Alright, I need to work for a few more hours. Happy weekend!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gilgour happenings

I wanted to upload pictures tonight but it's not working. Bummer!

I get to put up the Christmas tree in 16 days. I spent a little bit of time on facebook tonight, and noticed how excited everyone in college was that the semester is winding down. The weeks before Thanksgiving in college are so fun. You're so close to going home for the holidays, and then a couple weeks after that you get a month off for Christmas. Who doesn't love going home for Christmas? I did. My roommates and I put up a Christmas tree and lots of Christmas decor even though it wouldn't be up for very long. When I was a sophomore, we strung popcorn. That's actually kind of gross. But it was always fun and my college memories are almost all amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and made wonderful friends. I am blessed.

The year we had an ice storm in College Station was also good times. Texans are totally thrown off by ice. We are incredibly dangerous on the road. So the university was closed because they didn't want people trying to drive back from Christmas break in the ice. So Lindsay, Thomas, Patrick and I were already back and stuck at home in College Station. We made s'mores in the fireplace. It was fun. I tried to convince Patrick to take me by Beaver Pond last weekend when we were up there, but it's a little bit out of the way. And my wonderful roommates are all gone. But back then, it was home and I loved it. Now this is home and I love it.

We are trying to plan out our vacations for the coming year. We will head to Missouri sometime in the spring to see Patrick's family. That will be fun. Then we will possibly stop in Florida at some point to check out my grandparents' new house. But as far as a summer vacation we don't know. We would totally go to Hawaii again but you know.. it's a little pricey. We are beach lovers, but Patrick is a serious mountain lover. But he's probably going to hit up the mountains earlier in the summer and probably also in January so we may get to do another beach vacation. YES! It's so much cheaper to drive, especially if you want to have a car while you're there. So we're probably looking at a gulf coast vacation. I'm pretty excited and it's super far away. Or who knows, maybe we'll do something totally different. We shall see. Yay vacations!

Speaking of vacations.. only one more full week of work after this one before Thanksgiving. Then 3 weeks of work before Christmas!!! You better believe I will force some pictures on the blog once we get the Christmas stuff up. I can't wait.

Ok, well I rambled a lot. The rest of the week is booked. Tomorrow is church. Thursday Patrick has a bachelor party and hopefully Claire and I can finally catch up! Then we are off to College Station for the weekend. I really need to get better at getting things done during the week.

Now if you'll excuse me, Patrick promised me a back rub!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Time's "Duh!" of the Year: Married life is different than single life

I thought it would be fun to do what consultants do best: State the bleeding obvious and get paid for it. Only I'm not getting paid for it. What I picture as a smile on your face after reading our blog is enough.

Being married is different than being single. Duh...

However, I'll start with the similarities:

1) Regardless of my marital status, I have to take out the trash and clean the toilets. This did not change. I don't mind taking out the trash or cleaning the toilets, but I don't really get much of an option. I'm not upset, but I found it worth mentioning.

2) Your joy comes from yourself and God. While Becky makes me happy and I make her beyond happy, we still have to make ourselves happy first. Becky does things that I enjoy and they make me happy, but my joy isn't dependent on her actions. We tried this. It doesn't work out well for very long.

3) Becky (to Patrick): I still love Christmas, with or without you. Ouch Charlie! That really hurts!
Patrick: Pie's sweetness is independent of your tax-filing status.

There are differences to being married:

1) While I still take out the trash and clean the toilets, the frequency of which these actions are performed has increased dramatically.

2) Becky makes me happier than ever. The satisfaction I get from our relationship is infinitely more now than it was before. We really get a joy from serving each other however we can. That means cleaning the toilets (for me) and making dinner (for her). Yes, Becky does make dinner and it (usually) tastes good.

3) We see each other more often. This is because we live together. Waking up to the same face everyday is a good sign you spend a lot of time together.

4) We have more family to spend time with. You feel like a part of the family and not an outsider or a guest. Ha! They have to like me and feel obligated to laugh at my jokes! (Unless you're a certain brunette cousin who sells out your Berger Cookie stash!)

Well, that's just a small example of how marriage differs from singleness. They are different, but one is not necessarily better than the other. God certainly has a plan for each of us and you should strive to please the Lord whatever your relationship status is.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let's use this blog for what it was intended for...

...and I'll tell you about our lives.

I have been using the blog of personal gain lately. While I'm not apologizing or in any way remorseful of my actions, I thought I would return to what it Becky originally intended it for. However, since Becky has been an infrequent contributor she can't stop me.

9:00 AM Wake up. Do not get out of bed. Its too cold. Lay in bed for another half-hour. It is Saturday morning. Why would you get out of bed if you don't have to?

9:30 AM Remove self from bed. This is initiated by Becky. I am against this. My cries go unheard.

9:45 AM Breakfast is being prepared by me. Of course. That's why Becky was so involved in getting me out of bed. She was hungry and, to be honest, her pancakes aren't as good as mine. Probably because she has never made pancakes. I always make the pancakes.

10:00 AM Breakfast is served. Pancakes, scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon, and coffee. I refuse to acknowledge that there are dirty dishes in the kitchen.

10:15 AM Breakfast is complete. Television is watched.

11:42 AM Becky takes a bath. Patrick goes to the park to ride his bike.

1:00 PM Patrick returns. Dirty dishes are missing. I assume Becky did them. I am thankful that is my assumption.

1:30 PM Becky goes to get her eyebrows threaded. Patrick goes to the dress shirt store. He was able to get two Jos A Bank dress shirts for $29 (for both), normally $80 a shirt. No theft was involved. A pair of shoes was returned.

3:00 PM (Approximately) Watch Aggies play OU. It doesn't look promising.

4:30 PM More errands are run by both members of the Patrick Gilgour family. A lampshade is returned, a child's Christmas gifts are purchased, and choice beef is selected. A trip to Target was required. Target is terrible. I hate Target because Target hates good Americans who work hard, achieve, and believe in God. Not really, but that sounds good.

6:30 PM Dinner is being prepared. We are hosting a guest, Meghan, who Becky met in college. Her husband is away hunting. I am jealous. The only thing I have hunted for today is hair ties. No camo involved.

7:15 PM Steak is enjoyed. All steaks are cooked to (near) perfection by yours truly. I believe grilling is a gift God has blessed me with. My father is also blessed with this gift. I should post about this later, but my father's so gifted many a cow, while going to the slaughter, has requested for my father to cook them.

7:45 PM Brownies are cut. I am happy. Its not pie, but hey, I don't look like Brad Pitt, either. Meghan and Becky talk. I interject with comments I find funny. Meghan laughs. I'll cook her a steak again.

9:30 PM Becky and I do the dishes together.

9:45 PM I watch TV. I don't care for Texas Tech much.

11:55 PM I'm going to bed. Have a great night.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Burger Tyme

I'm a member of secret, high society club that can trace its roots back farther than The Skulls. We are a group of professional, educated, and respected men with a strong enthusiasm for their passions. Our passions are simple, our palates are not. We love juicy, red meat. I belong to Burger Tyme.

Today I ate at Otto's Barbecue and Burgers. It is known for its BBQ, but they did put burgers in their name so they technically call themselves a burger place. Here is my review:

2 Gillies (out of 5)

Walking into a place like Otto’s makes you feel like a true Texan. The place smells of excellent food delivered in a comfortable environment. The BBQ Otto’s offers is excellent. My personal favorite is a chicken sandwich with guacamole and big eye Swiss cheese, but this is Burger Tyme. To remain neutral, I ordered a simple cheeseburger with everything on it. This “everything” includes standard burger topping fare: mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato. No ketchup. I strongly dislike ketchup on my burgers. I feel ketchup is both juvenile and offensive.

Unwrapping an Otto’s cheeseburger is like unwrapping a gift that’s almost what you wanted. You’re thankful, but left with doubt. You wonder, why couldn’t they just get it right? Right away I knew I would that this would not be my favorite cheeseburger. Their problems: a misrepresentation of beef and non-fresh toppings. The rest of the cheeseburger looked decent. The condiment variety was well spread, lettuce nicely chopped, and onion well placed, however the tomato was from last week. It was soggy like a wet gym sock.

More importantly, it is as if the meat truck driver delivered the wrong patties. Surely a place like Otto’s, known for finger licking BBQ, wouldn’t insult me with a piece of meat that looks as if it belongs to the golden arches? (I have nothing against McDonald’s, and I’m willing to give Ronald his due, but it’s like comparing a Civic to a Carrera. They both drive, but that’s where the similarities end.) The patty lacked all types of freshness, definitely a frozen meat product.

The bun is the strongst player in the Otto's burger ensemble. It was not freshly made, but it was the most fresh tasting part of the equation. The bun is the only part of the burger I would let my grandma eat.

The verdict: Otto’s is a respectable BBQ joint, but this cheeseburger was well below par. If they're trying to be a cheeseburger joint, as their name implies, they just aren’t there yet and I’m not sure it is on the right path, much less using the right map. Even a meat upgrade would barely put Otto’s into chain restaurant land.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fourth Monthiversary

Today was election day. All I have to say is that I'm glad that sometime in the near future, something other than campaign coverage will be on TV. And while the election certainly did not reflect my personal views, ultimately God is in control. So we'll just have to remember that for the next four years. Hopefully just the next four years.

On a WAY more exciting note... tomorrow, November 5th, we will have been married for four months. I know, that's not very long in the grand scheme of things. But I think it's pretty great. Patrick's working really late tonight, and it's so weird. I'm used to him either being home or close to home when I get here. I miss him! Things have been REALLY good! At first it was kinda weird, adjusting to everything. But now that we're past that part, it's on to the fun! We've had a lot going on, and we've cut back a little bit recently. But it's been great. Coming home to the same house, waking up at the same house. Having lazy Saturday mornings, pancake breakfasts. Watching a lot of Law and Order and Jon and Kate Plus 8 (yes, that one is my preference. But Patrick has to pretend not to like it.) Dinners with friends, seeing family. And of course, we are counting down to our first Christmas as a married couple. I'm ridiculously excited. 51 days, by the way!

The picture is from the day we got engaged. I can't believe it was over a year and a half ago. And at the same time, it seems like SO much has happened since then. I've been working for almost a year and a half also. That's so weird. I can't believe it's been that long. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started working. And here we are, a year and a half later. Funny how fast time goes by. What should I be when I grow up?

On a not so fun note, I've been feeling kinda crummy lately. Hopefully everything will be better tomorrow. Doctor's appointment on Thursday. Next week should be much better.

Happy fourth monthiversary, Patrick!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'd do (almost) anything to get her back

You see, I slug to work. Slugging is a unique form of commuting. You stand in a line at a designated spot and then get in a car with a complete stranger. Its completely safe, let me assure you (at least, that's what I tell myself, my wife, and my mothers). This allows the driver to take the HOV lane and provides me with a free ride to work.

Today I got to the Park & Ride and stood in line at the "slug stand". I waited for my informal chauffeur to whisk me away to the halls of boredom/ unstaffed consulting work. On a side note: its really quite amazing what people will tell you about their personal lives when they don't think they'll see you again.

So I'm riding with these two ladies who are complaining about everything. She drops me off. I grab my briefcase (only my briefcase), step out of the car, close the door, and then had an epiphany. My lunch was still in her backseat! I scrambled! I yelled! I waved! It was like a scene from a terribly depressing movie when somebody leaves someone that cares about them dearly. She noticed not. I stood there, depressed, with an empty hand that should have been holding my noon-time meal.

My lunches are special to me because Becky packs them every morning with love. She knows how much I like to eat and I know how much she likes to sleep. She gets up earlier than necessary to make me a lunch of perfect proportions. Its never too much and never too little. Its just enough to keep me going. I look forward to sinking my teeth into the soft bread, tasting the mayo and mustard, pushing the deli meat and cheese off the roof of my mouth, and smiling from ear to ear. I love crunching unashamedly on my Dorritos Cooler Ranch chips one at a time. And who doesn't eat a bag of peanut M&Ms at 4:00PM everyday?

And today I would not. In my sadness, I wrote the following.

Ode to Roast Beef

Roast beef with mayo, mustard, and Swiss
Blue dorritos, peanut M&Ms, and cookies I'll miss
Packed with tender love and care
Now with a stranger your goodness I'll share

I sat and listened to them complain
Not knowing our time would soon wain
I grabbed my briefcase and opened the door
Stepped on the street and held you no more

At 12:05 I'll miss you the most
My stomach on empty, no lunch to boast
Mid-afternoon snack stolen from me
By the black woman who's voting for Obama because he was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey

Why did I leave you and where did she go?
Why I've forsaken you I do not know
But let me assure you that tomorrow's meal
Will not take your place, my heart will not heal

For you were my lunch on this day
Your meat will not spoil, this I pray
My brown bag friend it was a pleasure
My heart longs for my roast beef treasure

Taken from me before your time
Your packages value around 40 dime
Your aroma of wheat, condiments, and cheese
Take care of my sandwich please!

If you must eat her, do so with glee
Thank the Lord for this meal and think of me.
I'll be alone when the clock strikes one
A lover left too soon, a life left undone.