Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ready for 2015

Is it too early to make end of the year blog posts? Good news is, I don't care. 

Just going to go ahead and say that Out of the Woods by T-Swift is the anthem for this last year of pharmacy school. No lie, I've listened to that song a couple times recently and gotten highly emotional. IDGAF about 2015 except that it's the year that Brendon Hogan graduates. IT'S THE YEAR HE GRADUATES. This is a big thing. I have no idea what that will mean for us and our future, but ohmygod I cannot wait. There's a lot of uncertainty ahead of us. Eerily similar to this same time at the close of 2010, when we had no idea what was ahead of us. Pharmacy school? And if so where? Turned out pretty good though. Not knowing where you're going to live in the next 6 months is unsettling, but also exciting. No matter what happens, life will be different. And I'm ready.

2014 felt like the year of getting ready. The year of waiting. Calm before the storm? Too lofty? Regardless, I spent most of the year pacing. Feeling restless. Waiting. Ready to start our life. Which sounds harsh, because even in pharmacy school life has been reeeeeally good (and also reeeeeally challenging), but you know what I mean. Like really start life. Life without school, which is something we have never experienced. I am very curious about this life. I think it will be good. Very good. Not only does it mean a huge stress off Dr. Hogan's adorable shoulders, it also means TWO INCOMES THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. No matter what happens, we will no longer be living off of my income alone. Although don't get me wrong, I do not mind supporting both of us financially and I enjoy it. I'm proud that I can, in an "I don't need no man, I can float myself AND a man" kinda way. (THAT deserves a lofty post of its own). But knowing that there will be an additional income soon... y'all, that makes me giddy. Do I sound materialistic? Shallow? I don't care, at all. Life with two incomes will be something fantastic, I know it. I will be able to breathe a little. Just a little.

But truly you guys, aside from the one teensie little thing of Brendon finally graduating, doesn't two-thousand-and-fifteen sound magnificent? It's there something grand about it? I'm sure I'm loading that number with all kinds of feelings and ideals considering the two paragraphs written previously, but doesn't it sound exciting? I think it brings good things to everyone. Not just the Hogans. I'm hoping. I'm hoping it brings change of the good variety to many. I feel a general vibe of things leading up to something, not just in my life. And maybe this is the year. Or maybe not. We'll see. Life is what you make it, so let's try to make it a good one. 

Cheers, 2015. You sound like a winner.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas marathon 2014

As has become tradition since we moved to Austin, Christmas is a sort of marathon for us. We do Christmas Eve with my mother-in-law Deb and little bro-in-law AJ, then Christmas morning with my my mom and sister, then Christmas afternoon with my dad, step-momma Lynne, and step-bro Jason, and THEN we come back to Austin and do a little Hogan Christmas with just me, Brendon, and the cats. It's always a lot, but it's always fun and always worth it. 

This year, I was sick. Bonus. I got a cold on Christmas Eve's Eve and am still getting rid of the remnants. Even though I felt a little rotten and feverish, it was still a wonderful Christmas. Thanks to my sweet family and cold meds. Lots of cold meds. 

So here it is. The Christmas marathon with all the photos. Lots of them. All in one post because I've got to work today!

On Christmas Eve Deb and AJ came over to my moms house for presents and fun times! Deb brought us all kinds of drinks, Mr. Hogan was happy!

My mom made the biggest totally vegetarian feast, it was very awesome. And delish. Two kinds of enchiladas, veggie chili, rice, and of course, tons of queso! My momma is the best cook.

Coolest hats ever? Deb got the boys little minion hats! They're so cute!

My mom won this round. Table ping pong, coolest thing ever.

Deb's traditional Christmas Eve PJ's! They were perfect! Why can't we wear PJ's all day long, they're so comfy!

We wrapped up the night by watching Elf, my favorite! We were all cuddled up on the couches together, it was lovely. Especially for someone who has a fever. (SORRY IF I GOT EVERYONE SICK.)

The next day Julie's boyfriend Casey came over and thus began Christmas morning! And Christmas morning means breakfast taco feast. Every year. My mom always kills it with the breakfast game, and this year was no exception.

I am generally, a friend of all cats. However, this little cat is not a huge fan of me. Like at all! Moments after this photo was taken she ran away.

After opening  presents, stuffing our faces, and playing a few rounds of Scattegories (ahem, which I won), we headed over to my dads house for round 3. Christmas at my dad's is always full of shenanigans, and animals!

This turkey is abnormally old and in his old age he's become a man hater. He hates men! He kept running at Brendon, trying to get the best of him. Pet turkeys are funny!

The cream colored 20+ year old joke sweatshirt reappeared. Brendon was gifted it again! This time with an addition of tons of cat hair.

Also, the spam made another appearance this year.

Truly how I felt.

After dinner at my dads, we headed back up to Austin. Christmas at home is the calm after the storm. Even though it is kind of crazy to come all the way home and then open presents, I love it. We get quiet time together, and the cats are there! Highlights included, a home brewing kit for Brendon and a Lego Millennium Falcon for me! And Elf on the Shelf!

By the end, as always, we crawl into bed worn out but so happy. This Christmas was so lovely. It's the saddest when it's over, but thankfully the year always seems to fly by, so before we know it we'll be celebrating again! Big kudos to my amazing family for knocking it all out of the park, as you always do. Seeing all you guys is what makes Christmas so magical. 

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and the real world doesn't call you back too quickly! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday photo 2014

Compared to last year, this Holiday Photo might seem a little weak, but you guys, it was so perfect. Because it was more than just a picture, it was an experience. A memory, y'all. So here's the story on how we met Santa:

While walking to Dinseyland on the most wonderful day ever, we stopped at the Paradise Pier hotel so Mr. Hogan could use the bathroom. At first I was like oh no, lets not stop there, you can hold it (ha, rude), but then I was like, what the heck. I wandered around the gift shop and then as I was walking into the lobby while texting Brendon I heard someone say, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" And I was like "OH GOD, they know I'm not staying here!" I looked up and lo and behold, it was Santa. "Who's on the phone?" he asked. I'm beet red at this point, "uhhh, my husband." "Your husband? Let me talk to him, I'll leave a voice mail." "Eh, heh, heh, I'm just texting him." "Oh okay. Well have you been good this year? I remember you from when you were a little girl. You know, I think we need to take a picture, you look like a candy cane!" And then, I took a picture with Santa. And giggled a lot. He told me that Ariel and Flounder helped him decorate the tree but Sebastian wouldn't help because he was too crabby (eeeeee!). Then some little kids came out and did their thing and then Brendon came back and Santa was like "BRENDON! Where have you been?" And then Brendon met Santa, we took a photo together, and the rest is history. It couldn't not be our Christmas card photo.

Walking to Disneyland I was just like "omg omg omg Santa. Did that just happen??" Truly, the most excellent timing. I think I mentioned in the Disneyland post how lucky we were with timing, and this was what started it all off. I mean, how often do you meet Santa? Not often enough I say. Not often enough.

And for a walk down memory lane, holiday photos from 2013, 2012, 2011

Friday, December 19, 2014

On pianos.

My cousin and I "playing" my grandparent's piano. I'm the one dressed like Beetlejuice with beads.

I have this thing. This obsessive thing. Where I get an idea in my head and it just won't go away. It's usually about making something happen. Like going to a certain place, eating a certain thing, learning a certain skill, obtaining a certain object. Sometimes it's no biggie. I just think and dream about whatever it is that is occupying my thoughts. Sometimes I completely forget about it and move on with my life. Sometimes I work on it gradually and it pans out eventually. Sometimes it spirals out of control and I HAVE to make it happen. These are the crazy times. Oddly enough I was talking to my sewing ladies about this the other day. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes. I HAVE to make whatever it is I want happen. Usually you guys, it's something super stupid and insane. Like a purse. Or a motorcycle (yes, that's how that happened). I will go to whatever lengths (obviously within my means) to make that little dream come true.

Today we are not talking about that scary sort of absolutely-have-to-make-it-happen-determination, but just of the normal obsession. I've been obsessing for years about obtaining piano. I don't really even play you guys, I just need one. My sister and I got a keyboard for Christmas when I was like 12? And I immediately claimed it and obsessively taught myself how to play. Mostly just the treble clef because that's the kind of sheet music I could read. But a little of the bass too. I could play most of Pachebel's Canon with both hands. I obsessed over that too. I loved loved loved that song and was determined to play it. I spent hours and hours learning the keys and notes and line by line I taught myself how to play the piano with that song. Which was cool because then I could play other songs too. At least with my right hand. My grandma had this lovely piano book of songs from the Sound of Music (it's been a lifelong love, y'all) that I inherited (possibly swiped?) and viola, I could now play music from it!

I couldn't tell you if I still remember how to play, but I really really want need a piano. Not a new fancy one, just a piano. Made of wood with keys that plink. And maybe a little bench. I've looked on Craig's List and you can find some and for a good deal too, but unfortunately we have no where to put it. AND we live in an apartment with the thinnest of walls and ceilings and I refuse to be that neighbor. Although some of my neighbors more than deserve it. But one day, when we have space and a home that's maybe not rented and attached to other homes, I will own one. And I will relearn how to play and maybe even splurge for legit lessons. Because I want to annoy the heck out of Mr. Hogan with my misplunked keys over and over. Because a home full of music is a happy home. And because my grandparents had a piano and when I was little I thought it was the most magical thing. And if any thing you guys, I'm all about magic.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Writing this post is making me emotional. YOU GUYS I LOVED THIS PLACE. And I did not get to spend nearly enough time here. As much as I enjoyed California Adventure, this was what I was all about. Disneyland. This is the magic. It was older and kitschier and I loved all of it. At least all of it we saw, which was about half (SOB). I had vague flashbacks from my childhood (the Enchanted Tiki Room!), but it was still all so new and I was totally enchanted. I'm such a sucker.

Also, the Christmas game at Disneyland totally spanked California Adventure.

Fully prepared to kick Sleeping Beauty out and move in.

The Enchanted Tiki Room! I think this gets written off as silly and outdated, but I LOVE IT. I love the cheesy animatronics and the corny songs. (Mom, do you remember me and Julie singing the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room song forever? I do! I think we had it on tape.)

The Jungle Cruise was turned into the "Jingle" cruise; a plane with Christmas decorations crashed in the jungle so now all it's inhabitants were graced with holiday goodies. Our jungle guide made puns the ENTIRE time. It was cute, but I think I'd skip it next time. The line was WAY too cray cray.

Oh, the Pirates of the Caribbean. They have totally integrated Jack Sparrow into this baby. He was not there when I was a kid. Also, we got stuck on this ride. The ride broke down. For like 15 minutes we sat in the same spot next to this drunk animatronic pirate trying to give rum to a cat. We got to hear him say "here kitty kitty, be a nice pussy cat", like a thousand times. Classic old ass ride move.

The Haunted Mansion was redone Nightmare Before Christmas style. Pretty cool, but I'd like to see what it was originally. We also rode the Indiana Jones Temple of Doom ride and it was SO BOSS. There's this big ass snake and it's like the freaking Chamber of Secrets. I LOVED IT.

IDGAF what anyone says I love this ride. I love that obnoxious song and I love all the little dolls. However it was CHRISTMASED OUT. Like they sang a chorus of "It's a Small World" then a Christmas carol chorus. Next time we go back, it wont be around Christmas so I can see the real deal! Don't get me wrong though, I love that holiday magic. It was beautiful!

They had this little show that we happened to walk into (Something must be said for our luck and timing at Disney. We just so happened to walk into this show, a Christmas parade, and someone just happened to hand us a fast pass for Radiator Springs as we were walking up to it! The mouse must have been looking out for us.) in front of the castle, it was a cute little song about snow, and at the end it started "snowing" and they lit up the castle with snow:

This photo does not do it justice, but I mean, come ON. So pretty. I think it was at this point that panic set in, I realized I had to leave this place soon and I did not want to.

Waiting for the World of Color to start, which as I said before was a total waste of time! The fireworks show at Disneyland however, was not:

They turned all the street and Christmas lights off for the show and then they call came back on towards the end, except this time they were dusted with white lights, snow! And it started snowing on Main Street!!!

SO MANY EMOTIONS! I was dead tired, a little stressed because there were a gazillion people around me, beyond happy to be right where I was, but sad because we were leaving, happy because I had the loveliest day full of magic, but sad because I know I didn't see it all. But mostly, so so so happy. So happy to be at the happiest place on earth during my favorite time of year, with the sweetest boy in the world.

So, this is a thank you. Thank you Brendon Hogan for going on this adventure with me and putting up with my love for all things silly and magical and Disney. Thank you for hugging me and promising to take me back at the very moment when I felt I was going to fall apart from having to leave the happiest place on earth. And thank you for tracking down the shop that embroiders Mickey Mouse hats and getting them for us right before they closed. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME EVEN THOUGH I AM A CHILD. You're my favorite ever and Disneyland with you was so so very perfect.

For real though, can't wait to go back. Two days+ next time.