Monday, January 2, 2012

2011: A Year in Review Part 2

Warning: long post ahead. Grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable.

In the last post we took a trip down memory lane from January all the way through May. This is just some of the highlights of the year for the Happy Texans.

My baby girl turned 16! How did that happen? She had a birthday party with a few friends at Splashtown water park.
Chuck and I went for a weekend trip to San Antonio for his birthday and stayed at the most beautiful inn we've ever been to called Noble Inn.

 Part of our weekend package included a ride in a Rolls Royce to our downtown destination. Sweet ride!
 For dinner we went to Texas de Brazil where they keep bringing all kinds of meats to the table. There was also an acrobat on a wire who would do spins and fly through the air by the wines. Great experience!
 After dinner we walked the streets of San Antonio and ended up at Mi Tierra. It was a great night.
The weekend did end on a rather sad note as my parents' horse had to be put to sleep. The kids were there so we left San Antonio and drove to Beaumont to pick them up.

We attended an 80s sing-a-long with friends at Alamo Drafthouse. That was a lot of fun!


As a family we completed the Houston region of the Texas Geocache Challenge hosted by the state park system. We visited several parks and had a great time searching for the caches.
 I worked on conquering my fear of heights.
 I started testing recipes for America's Test Kitchen. Tasty and fun!
 Rachel got her first car!! A Sebring convertible.
 Poor Libby got declawed and "fixed". She's been a much better kitteh since the operation. I felt bad at first but no more!
 I totally geeked out with new hiking gear.
There was a lot of hiking this month. I loved seeing the wildlife and visiting different places even though the temperatures had three digits. It was the driest summer on record for Texas.
 I also discovered the Stewart Mansion in Galveston. I fell in love with this place. It's in ruins but it still has a charm about it.
 Paintings of pirates on the walls adorn the front gallery. It's a shame that it just sits there falling apart.

Chuck and I went on a night paddle where we accidentally ran into an alligator. I screamed then we laughed. It was a great evening paddling under the full moon with a bunch of other crazy people.

Spent a family night at the museum and met Dr Richard Bakker.
We went hiking with a group and discovered that we do not enjoy speed hiking.
There was a lot of hiking in July and I made sure to drag my family along as much as I could. And it was hot!

July ended with a great date night for Chuck and I at Julia's Bistro then a trip to Royal Oak Bar. It was a great evening.


We celebrated Charlie's 11th birthday at the lake with family.
 I was reunited with my BFF from high school Wendy.
 Took Charlie and his friends to Rainforest Cafe to celebrate.
I joined the USAFit running club in Pearland and started training for a half marathon. It was one of those things where I did not think about it but just did it and freaked out about it later.  I was terrified but soon learned that I could keep up with the group.

We took a mini vacation to Castroville, TX near San Antonio. I even kept up my running even though there was a smelly goat farm and Chuck threw up because of the smell. The hotel was very nice though and not near the smell.

Another beer dinner at BJS Brewhouse.

Hanging out Labor Day weekend with friends and acting goofy.

Ran the Purple Monkey 5K with Chuck and my running club buddy Renee.
We went camping at Brazos Bend State Park.
 We stayed active biking (some of us went running) and hiking and meeting the locals.
Got to meet the band Tomfooligans and hang out with friends.
Shelley, Jeff, Chuck and I completed the Beachpalooza obstacle course in Galveston. It was the most fun I've had at a race! What a great weekend that was.

 Climbing over that tall cargo net was a big mental victory for me. Heights and I do not get along. You can see the relief on my face.

 I can't even describe how much fun we had! Totally doing this in 2012!

Went to help Shelley when she had her ankle surgery.  Of course it included a shopping trip!
Ran the relay of the Space City 10 Miler.
 In the rain!

Aeros hockey game with the family!

Ran the Harvest Moon & Margarita 5K which included a run down the Seawall in Galveston, howling at the moon and a free margarita and Mexican food buffet. Lots of fun!
Got t meet fellow blogger Jinny!
Went to Beaumont for a girls' night out on the town.

Completed the Houston Half Marathon Relay.

Celebrated my 21st wedding anniversary by surprising Chuck with a scavenger hunt type overnight stay. I left cards that sent him to different places until we finally met up at the hotel bar. It was fun to plan all of it and we had a great time.

Ran with a friend in the Great Pumpkin Fun Run. It was pretty big for a 5k.

Halloween parties!


Ran the Hope for Health 5K with Chuck and Wendy.

 Helen from Biggest Loser was there too!

Chuck won his shooting match in November. He beat everyone out there. Of course, I was very proud.

On Veteran's Day, I ran two races.

The Veteran's Day 11K which turned out to be more like a 10K. It was a tough run for me. And it was 34* outside when we started!

Then that evening we did the Energizer Night Race 1mile family walk/run together as a family. It was so much fun! After the race we were given barbecue plates and had a picnic under the moon. What a wonderful day.

Chuck and I went on a group paddle with the Houston Sierra Club.

Had Thanksgiving with family I hadn't seen in years.
 Chuck had knee surgery. Success!

Ran my first half marathon!!!! The Run Girl 13.1! I finally earned my 13.1 bumper sticker.

I had my crew there cheering me on along the way.
 This moment had to be one of the highlights of my year. I can't believe I actually did it!

 It was a good year of running. I got a lot of pretty medals.
After the race my calves were injured and I was not able to run again for the rest of the year. I had to take Prednisone and do stretches.

We spent a week at Lake Conroe after the race where I got to recover by swimming, being lazy and sitting in the hot tub.

We spent Christmas Eve Eve with my parents and brother and had a feast fit for a king!
 I spent about a week making tons of sweets.
Christmas morning the kids opened gifts....
Then opened gifts at the in-laws' house.
We had our annual trip to Moody Gardens to walk through the Festival of Lights.
 Chuck and I had one more date night.....

The last day of the year was spent in Beaumont with my friend Wendy and her family. The kids wanted to play with their cousins at my parents' house.

We sat around a fire, laughed and watched fireworks all night long. Great way to end a great year.

I know this was a long post. If you made it this far, thank you! It was fun going through the year and remembering all of the good times. Many of the little adventures I had forgotten.

I'm looking forward to 2012. I hope to meet some more of my blogger friends, experience more adventures and continue to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

In 2012 may your wallet grow fat and your waist grow thin!!


  1. Love the pics and recap! Happy new year! I hope 2012 is even better!!


  2. You definitely had an adventurous 2011 Kelly! It will be fun to see what 2012 brings for you and yours.

  3. Great post, Kelly. I'm ashamed to admit it but you have done more in each month in 2011 than I did all year. I'm just not active and I need to be. You inspire me to try. I hope this will be my year to get up and get moving.

  4. good blog.. yes. Grand Bazaar Istanbul fantasic mall...

  5. I can't wait to see all your adventures in 2012 - you sure do know how to live life, my friend!

  6. love the post like your last line especially best

  7. You are just ketting kinder and more beautiful every year. What a good year this has been! Here's to many more!


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