Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by doing something out of the ordinary for us:  we stayed home!  Crazy and wild, I know.

This summer is packed full of traveling, friends, family, and adventures.  A few weeks ago Robby and I went to Dallas to watch the Byron Nelson golf tournament.  We celebrated while there, ate dinner at Eddie V’s (terrific steak and scallops!), visited friends, and rested.

  
But for the actual day of our anniversary, staying at home sounded like a dream come true.  Robby grilled out (I will post his steak marinade soon.  It’s a game changer!) and I fixed the side dishes as well as desert.

  
Oh the desert……I made a gluten free angel food cake.  From a box.   But still….It was the first time that I’ve ever made one.  Robby watched as I whipped the egg whites into stiff peaks, folded in the baking mix, and smelled the goodness as it baked to a golden puff in the oven.    Doesn’t it look terrific?

  
I remember as a little girl watching my mother invert the angel food cake to let it cool.  I didn’t fully understand why, but I thought it was a funny thing to do with this delicious cake.  So in my best attempt to recreate her smooth skills, I flipped the hot cake.   And then…this happened….

  
HAHA!   Y’all, it just plopped right out.   I didn’t know what to do?   So I called my mother.

“Mom!?!?   Is this normal? ”

My mothers response, “Nope.  I have never had that happen before.”

Gee.   Thanks, Mom.   No advice, just letting me know that once again…..what I’ve done is out of the ordinary.  That’s love.

It didn’t stop us from eating it, though!   It was the perfect end to our dinner.

   
 Above is a a creative gift that my sister-in-law gave us for Christmas.  It’s a bottle label with our anniversary date and wedding picture.   We placed the label on one of our new favorite wines (Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso, NM) and enjoyed it after dinner.

  
And to top off our night at home, we have grass in the back yard!   Ranger was a sweet girl and posed for us in the picture above.

So here’s to another year of adventures in marriage!   My husband is such a wonderful man and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this year.

Robert and Alison-23

2014 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from The Rigneys! We started the new year with friends all together in DFW, watching Johnny Football and the Aggies win the Chick-fil-A bowl, and a great band playing a live show for us. Fantastic!

And to keep the tradition going, we ate black eyed peas for good luck on New Years Day.

Hoping the best for you and your family in 2014!

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Guys trip to Chicago

Recently Robby went to Chicago for his best friend’s bachelor party.  “Chicago?” you say!  Why yes, Chicago!  Looks like they had a pretty good time there.   Here are a few pictures from their adventures!

The Chicago sky line from they guys' place.

The Chicago sky line from the guys’ place.

Robby, Sam, and Brandon in the subway.

Robby, Sam, and Brandon in the subway.

Golfing buddies

Golfing buddies Blaine, Robby, and Kyle – the groom!

Robby, Kyle, and Frank the Tank!

Robby, Kyle, and Frank the Tank!

Wrigely Field

Wrigley Field

The whole group at the baseball game

The whole group at the Cubs baseball game

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Sam, Blaine, Robby, and Brandon

Fun picture from Troy

Fun picture from Troy

A Few Pictures

Amazing how time really does just fly on by, huh?!? I blink, and months have passed by!

Here are a few pictures that I forgot to post from trips, family, friends, and many MANY good times!

I started working on sewing (a 30X30 goal!) and made baby blankets for a few of my friends:

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Robby’s brother got married! YAY! Danny and Kayla had a beautiful wedding (more pictures to come soon). I got to watch over the precious ring bearers, aren’t they cute! Sam & Peter:

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The bull dog got a bath, and just looked too sweet to leave out of the blog post. She was quite tired from her adventures at the groomer, tuckered out in the car ride home:

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We’ve been cooking more! The grill has been so useful and we really enjoy all the great things we can make off of it. Also, we tried spaghetti squash recently. Not bad at all!

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Our nephew Sam turned 4! The family went to a baseball game while all in Midland and enjoyed the day.

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And now, we’re in Rockport enjoying a vacation with Robby’s family. It’s very relaxing and chill down here on the coast. I’m enjoying my morning runs by myself and evening walks with my sis-in-law, Jenny! Swimming with the nephews, family dinners, and just visiting. Not many things can beat that!

More updates to come soon!

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Happy Anniversary – 1 Year!

We made it to the one year mark!  WOOHOO!   And goodness, the Lord had some fun things in store for us that we never saw coming:

  1. Lived in Odessa
  2. Lived with Robby’s grandfather
  3. Alison changes from her career in Education to Oil Investments
  4. Robby changes his career to Sales
  5. We go to almost every Texas A&M home game in the 2012 season – and watch the rise of Johnny Football!
  6. We watch as Robby’s little brother falls in love and proposes
  7. WE TRAVELED – a LOT!   As in…..pretty much every weekend!  I calculated the miles we traveled together from the first year, and it was 21,178. Over TWENTY ONE THOUSAND MILES!  WOW!   Yep, we got the road trip thing down.
  8. Made new friends
  9. Kept  in touch with old friends
  10. Alison learned how to play golf!
  11. We cooked!
  12. And so much more!

On our actual anniversary, Robby and his grandfather were playing in a big golf tournament.

Quarter Century 2013

My college friends came to visit that same weekend!  Oh, it was so much fun to have them around!  My heart was so blessed to have them in our home for the weekend.

College Girls visit Odessa

Summer Mummers 2

Summer Mummers

So much fun with friends, family, and golf!

Therefore, Robby and I didn’t do anything big for our 1 year mark.  We had a few hours together on our day, but really we just  enjoyed the entire week!  Today, we spent the whole day together.   That is such a rarity these days.  We stay busy, with golf, with friends, with family, with work.  Sometimes we just barely get a few words in before I’m fast asleep on his shoulder.  But today was different!

It all started with sleep!  We snuggled and slept in till 10:30am, then watched old cartoons in bed, like Scooby Doo!  That made my day!  Being lazy together can be such sweet moments together.  We know our days are numbered before there are children in our home who won’t let us sleep in.  (No, I’m not pregnant, but we’re just thinking ahead here….)  So we enjoy the silent moments together and try to cherish them.

Then we went to lunch at Chili’s for margaritas and junk food.  I’ve been eating clean and doing so well for the last month.  It’s about time I caved for something!

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Then we went to 2 museums in Midland.  I’ve never gone to either, and was very curious about them.  1st was the Petroleum Museum.  Though it’s a little old, it does a great job explaining about the oil and gas production in the Permian Basin.  After that we went to The Museum of the Southwest.  I adored the history of the home built in the 1930’s and enjoyed the art and photography.

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After a quick stop at DQ (Dairy Queen) for an afternoon drink, we went home for nap time and watching some golf on TV.

This evening we watched a movie and played Gin Rummy and  back yard games together.

backyard game night!

backyard game night!

So happy anniversary to my amazing husband.  It has been a year of surprises, joy, and sweet memories.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the next year!

Hello Summer Time!

I blinked and it was June!  What happened to May?   Where did my 2 weeks of Spring go?!?!   Spring days are gone for good out here in Midland, TX.  Yesterday it was 106 degrees and it will only get better/worse as the summer wears on.   Yikes!

SO!  In order to keep my mind off of how miserably HOT it is outside, I’ve been traveling and focusing on work, friends, and cooking.   All of which have been a huge source of joy.

Work:  I am learning about geology and studying wells from the 1950’s-1960’s.  Today I finished a decent size project where I analyzed data and reports on how productive a set of wells were in a certain area.  This information allows my boss to better analyze the possibility of where to drill new wells and what will give us the best outcome.  Who knew!  I’m loving geology work!!    I recently ran into a friend from high school who is a science guru.  He reminded me that I slept through all of my science and math classes in high school, and yet here I am loving my job in science.  HA!  Just goes to prove that God works in mysterious ways, and can change out hearts in the most unexpected ways!

Traveling:  Robby went to Chicago for a bachelor trip for 5 days.  I went to Dallas to celebrate 2 different weddings with friends and family.  We both had FANTASTIC times!  It’s debatable who had more fun!

As for me (Alison) I enjoyed my city (Dallas), spent time with my college mentor Emily Gilstrap, went running at the Dallas Nature Center (thought I was going to die on our 3.5 mile hike/run in the humidity, but I survived!), had brunch at Oddfellows with Jenn and Johnny Mac, saw college friend – Vitateaux!  Made my first AdvoCare pick up at the Plano headquarters, visited with a very pregnant and lovely Alex M., shopped for shoes with Jenn and then attended the first wedding for Nathan and Taylor in Grapevine at a vineyard!  Just beautiful!   Then went to church with Maria at The Village (love my Dallas campus!), met up with my mom and had a cup of coffee with Jenn at Origin’s, then lunch with Mom at Cheesecake Factory, then ran errands before going tot he 2nd wedding in Denton for Brittany and Colt.  It was so pretty!!   The bride was gorgeous!  Best part was getting to catch up with family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  What a great celebration!

Robby went to a Cubs game, enjoyed some great stories with the guys on a party bus, LOTS of subway riding, golf, and more.   I would list out the rest, but you know guys….they don’t really tell you much.   For example:

Alison:  “Hey babe!  How was your trip?”

Robby:  “It was good.”

Alison:   “What did y’all do?  How was golf?”

Robby:  “I didn’t do well at golf.  Here are some pictures and videos from the trip.”

The end.

(To protect and respect the other guys on the trip, I won’t go into details about all the funny stories from the party.  Just know, they made some great memories in Chicago.  Love those guys!)

 
Food!  I stopped blogging about all of our recipes while on the cleanse.  Reason:  I got tired!  ha!   We bought a grill and LOVE having it around.  I feel like I haven’t been too creative with food lately.  Something about the temperature being over 100 degrees each day just SUCKS the creativity and desire to cook out of me.  But I’m going to work on it.  Eating while traveling wasn’t very easy.  I’m gluten free and dairy free….so, that means most things at a gas station or fast food place are off limits.  Also trying to cut back on my intake of red meat to only a few times each week.  Still, I found some great snack options.  Gluten free POPchips are really good!   A found a Flying J truck stop in Ty, Texas that has baby carrots and that just made my day!   Lesson for me to learn:  plan ahead when traveling!!

Blogging: Thank you Alex and Jenn for reminding me to blog again.  It’s nice to hear someone besides my mother reads this!  hehe (Love you, Mom!)

AdvoCare Update:   I LOVE WATERMELON SPARK!  Oh my goodness, it tastes like a Jolly Rancher, not even joking!   The 10 day cleanse was good.  I lost 7 pounds and 5 inches.  Due to that encouraging fact, I decided to keep going and finish out the 24 Day Challenge.  I’m on Day 22 right now and LOVING how I feel.  I sleep better, have more energy, don’t crave junk food, and my body is doing great while working out.  I’m trying to run more, though I’m hating running in the heat.  Running on a treadmill just isn’t the same, but it might be what I have to resort to until October when it finally decides to cool down out here.  I’m down 10 pounds from my original weight at the moment.  Rock on!  I’d post before and after pictures but….well……nahhhh.  You can just pretend like you see the difference when you see me again and give me all the compliments.  HA!

So for now, Robby is back home from Chicago and gearing up for the Quarter Century Golf Tournament at the Odessa Country Club.  I’m preparing to host my college girlfriends in Midland/Odessa for the weekend, and we’re making the best of the summer heat.

I’ll try and post a few recipes from our grill time soon.  The butternut squash is to die for!

That’s all for the moment.  Until next time!

April was a BUSY month!

I just realized that I haven’t been able to post and update the blog in a LONG time!  The month of April has gone by so quickly, but has been filled with lots of friends and family.   Here’s a few pictures and updates for you:

My bestie from college came to visit!   (More college friends are coming in June.  I.  CAN’T.   WAIT!!!!)

Jenn and Alison

Jenn and Alison

We went to John and Hilary’s house to hang out and made Lemon Drop Martini’s with fresh raspberries from my friend Rachel’s blog, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook.   SO GOOD!

Photo bomber, John, in the background

Photo bomber, John, in the background

I helped organize and clean out my mother-in-law’s storage building one Sunday.  Along the way she told me precious stories about the family and showed me their treasures.  My favorite:  finding her wedding dress!

Greta's wedding dress

Greta’s wedding dress

Every spring, my cousins on my mother’s side get together to see a musical.  My great-aunt Betty started this tradition years ago.  This year, on the anniversary of her going to Heaven, we all went to see Wicked at Fair Park in Dallas.  It was nothing less that spectacular.  Honestly, I could go on and on about it, but I’m still slightly speechless at how incredible the cast was.  Just……WOW!

Cousins at Wicked!

Cousins at Wicked!

During tutoring, my student brought out a new book.  I was a little stunned by it at first (was sort of dark on the cover of the book) but quickly I was reading through it with her.   (She’s SUCH a joy to tutor, by the way.  I will miss working with her during the summer months).  Ghostopolis is a creative story about a boy who gets stuck in the Underworld.  It’s written in comic strip form, which really appeals to my student.  Cute story line!  I’d recommend it to any 4th-6th graders, even some in Jr. High!

Ghost 2

Ghostopolis

Did I mention that I know a published author?!?!   Another best friend from college, Miranda Campbell, has been a great joy and influence in my life.  She just published her first of hopefully many books, Missing Dad.  I was excited to get her to sign my copy when I had lunch with her and Crystal (my best college roommate, ever!) in downtown McKinney last weekend.    Go buy it!   It’s great!

Miranda's book

And then….there’s was a 1980’s Engagement Party for our friends Kyle & Jenn.  Of COURSE we had to dress up!  And boy-oh-boy, did we we dress to the 9’s.  Don’t be jealous of my husband’s legs.   I”ll let the picture speak for itself.

1980's were great years for us!

1980’s were great years for us!

So yeah!    April was busy and fun!  Can’t wait to see what May has in store for us!

Robby’s Hog Hunt

It dawned on me that I haven’t posted much about Robby.  This post is for you, babe!

Robby recently went hog hunting in North Texas with some great guys.  Here are a few pictures of their hunt:

My hunter!

My hunter!

The guys in their cool sitting thingie on the back of the truck.

The guys in their cool sitting thingie on the back of the truck.

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Robby, Clay, Clay's little brother, and Dustin with their hog.

Robby, Clay, Clay’s little brother, and Dustin with their hog.

I think wild hogs are just about one of the grossest things on this Earth, but I’m glad my husband enjoys helping to control the population and hunt them in the wee hours of cold nights.   He’s so much braver than I will ever be!

Aspen, Colorado

30 X 30 goal #4 – Go snow skiing with friends.       Accomplished February 14-18th

We went skiing with great friends this winter.  Aspen was beautiful, breath taking, and entertaining.   I had never skied Aspen, so I was a bit anxious to see if I could handle the slopes!   It’s been 3 years since I skied, and by nature I know that I’m not a super athletic nor daring person.  My husband, on the other hand, well….I think he could do just about anything if he tries it.  He’s just great!  *sigh*    oh, sorry, yes…..back to skiing.    Everyone was extremely patient with me as I eased my way down the mountain.  Only 2 falls the entire time I was there!  Yippee!    The guys that were with us were so brave, speeding down the slopes, taking the jumps, and even going through the forested area!  *gasp* (That’s something I would NEVER EVER do, even if I did wear a helmet like they do.   Boys are so adventuresome.)

The group at the top!

The group at the top!

That little white jacket is me, slowly making my way down.

That little white jacket is me, slowly making my way down.

Robby and me!  brrrrr

Robby and me! brrrrr

I’m not afraid to admit when I need a break from the mountain.  I’ve learned that my body is NOT made for skiing all day, and that resting is good.  While the others kept going, I read a fantastic book at base camp and enjoyed a chai latte.   Sparkly Green Earrings, by Melanie Shankle (AKA Big Mama) is a funny and enjoyable read; a collection of memoirs for her daughter that tell the joys and challenge of marriage, pregnancy, being a mother, and learning to let God take control.  I laughed and giggled my way through this book!  YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!  And then, pass it on to your girlfriends.  I already passed it off last night and am considering buying more to give as presents for the college friends.  It’s just so good!

Sparkly Green Earrings, a must read!

Sparkly Green Earrings, a must read!

(Side note – I may have a serious girl crush on the author.  I’m pretty sure we’d be friends if we were to ever meet.  We’re both Texas A&M fans, love Texas, love Jesus, enjoy a good road trip, and so much more!  My husband says I may have a celebrity type obsession with her.  Not sure if I would know what to say to her if we were to meet at an Aggie Tail-gate…..I can only hope, though!)

We had a fantastic time in Colorado!  Glad that I got to mark that one of my 30X30 list!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We are celebrating our 1st Valentines as a married couple by FLYING TO COLORADO!   WOOOHOOOO!  We will enjoy the weekend with friends snow skiing in Aspen.   (Pictures to come soon!)  I can’t tell you how excited I am that there’s another girl going on this trip!  I was the only lady on the New Years trip to the beach.  I love the guys, I really do!  And I can try and be ‘cool’ and ‘laid back’ with them.  BUT GOODNESS, I need some girl time!    So YAY for Claire going on this trip!

Last night we celebrated Valentine’s Day early with just the 2 of us by having dinner at Venezia’s in Midland.  This is one of my favorite places to east in Midland, though we save it for special occasions.  Thanks to our sweet family (Joe, Jenn, Sam, & Peter), Robby and I were able to use up a Christmas gift and go out.

Then, the gifts began.

The gifts and crafts I've been working on.

The gifts and crafts I’ve been working on.

I have been working like a little elf in the night for the last week to make some cute little gifts and cards to give to Robby for our trip.  I researched the internet (what would I do without Google and Pinterest?!?!) and found so many cute things to do.   ****Side note- I’m pretty cheesy at heart.  I love the 5th grade humor and Valentine’s Cards.  I realize not everyone likes that, so stick with me here.

When we got home, I had a game to play for us.  It’s like memory, but on the back of each card is a task.  (Ex.  Give your spouse your best pick up line.   OR  my favorite:  give your spouse a neck rub!)    I found the game on this FANTASTIC website, The Dating Divas.  They have many fun things to help strengthen and encourage your marriage.  Go check them out!

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Valentine’s Match Game

And cue the cheesy gifts/cards:

I 'mustache' you to be my valentine!  BAHAHAHA

I ‘mustache’ you to be my valentine! BAHAHAHA

A personal favorite, "I've taken a VIKING to you!"

A personal favorite, “I’ve taken a VIKING to you!”

...because he's my lifesaver!

…because he’s my lifesaver!

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Kleenex for the ski trip! Because he ‘blows me away’!

The inside reads, "Let's get knotty"     (great for newly weds)

The inside reads, “Let’s get knotty” (great for newly weds)

Ok, that’s enough for now.   These little cards and things were accompanied by little gifts and notes on the inside, packed inside of our luggage or in the carry on for the plane.  I hope Robby likes them, even if they are pretty corny!  hehe

At our house, I tried to decorate a little bit.  To be honest, I feel like we JUST put Christmas away, so I was in no mood to redecorate the whole house.  So I went simple.  In the entry way, there is normally a tapestry that hangs over a parsons’ table.  I’ve enjoyed using it to hang fun things for Christmas and now Valentines.  These are the wedding dates of Robby’s grandparents and us.  It’s such a sweet reminder when I walk in the door that there is a legacy of love and families that make their marriage work, 60+ years!

Valentine's in the hallway

Valentine’s in the hallway

And to end the post of a fun note, I love this little video of the kids being interviewed.  Aren’t they just precious?!?!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, Y’all!