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A very merry Christmas

Merry Belated Christmas from me and the Santa dogs.

Merry Belated Christmas from me and the Santa dogs.

Belated holiday greetings to you all! We had a great Christmas.

It’s an Amparo family tradition to celebrate on Christmas Eve. We have a late dinner (this year it was delicious, of course) and then spend the rest of the time hanging out until midnight. At midnight we do our Christmas greetings, sing a round of “We wish you a merry Christmas,” then pass out and open the presents.

We spent Christmas Eve at my aunt (Tets’s) house. Lyn, Kev and Kyra drove up from Beeville to celebrate with us. As we waited for midnight to roll around, we sang karaoke using our handy dandy magic mic. Sadly, Scott was unable to improve on his magic mic score and Kevin was the evening’s singing champion. Unfortunately, Tito Vic wasn’t feeling well so, despite the fact that the party was held at his house, he spent most of it in bed! Being the trooper that he is, he came out just in time for the gifts. 🙂

On Christmas Day we hung out and Dave and Kris’s place (that’s Scott’s parents for those of you who don’t know). We had yet another delicious dinner, opened even more presents, and did even more magic night singing. It was a lot of fun of course but, we were so tired from the night before we ended up falling asleep at 11:30 pm!

Scott spent a lot of our Christmas celebrations practicing for his International Guiness Chug Challenge. It is exactly what it sounds like. I won’t go into any more details as I’m sure he’ll recap on his blog. I WILL say that his first attempt was very messy. Thank goodness for Shout stain treatment!

It is always nice to spend time with family and friends and Christmas makes it even more special. Hope you all had as merry a Christmas as we did!

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European vacation-the quick and dirty version

In March we headed back to Europe, this time with a few other members of the Evans clan: Kris and Dave (Scott’s parents) and Robyn (Scott’s sister). It was their first time over there so Scott and I were happy to show them the ropes. Obviously, we packed a lot in during the time we were over there so I’ll hit just a few of the high points.

London: The Tower of London was amazing! I would have loved to explored it more. The Crown Jewels were very sparkly. I could have spent hours at the British Library.

Edinburgh: Toured the castle. Had a delightful lunch with our friend Rebecca’s family.

Dublin: Had an “excellent adventure” on the bus ride from the airport to our various hotels. Had a BLAST on St. Patrick’s Day at the Guinness Brewery. Found new best buds in Kristy and Dave who also introduced us to schwarma. Met a fellow Bobcat (GO, OHIO!) at the Brazenhead (a really ancient cool tavern).

Spent the rest of the time driving around Ireland. Kudos to Dave for driving, not just on the other side of the road, but on teeny tiny roads to boot! We stayed in a bunch of tiny little Irish towns, listened to great music, met a lot of interesting people and ate a lot of great food. It was an awesome time. Scott and I think that, the next time we go back we will establish a home base and do a lot of day trips from there. Of course, our adventures will take another turn since we’ll have a little kiddo with us!

The big downer for me was that I got sick towards the end of the journey. I had a fever, the sniffles, and a horrible cough. Thankfully, I stopped in at the chemist in Dublin and she gave me all kinds of good meds that sent me on the road to recovery.

Sorry this was so brief. I had a great time but honestly, so we did so much I would be going on and on for forever. We did take pictures, of course. You can see those on Scott’s Flickr (I think they’re also combined with pics his sis and mom took):
London (England), Edinburgh (Scotland), Dublin (Ireland), Kinsale (Ireland), Doolin (Ireland), Dingle (Ireland), Galway (Ireland)

BTW, we took on Rick Steves’ Ireland travel guide with us on the trip. We’ve used his books on other trips and found them extremely helpful. This was no exception. Thanks, Rick Steves!

Hanging out at the Guinness Brewery on St. Paddys Day.

Hanging out at the Guinness Brewery on St. Paddy's Day.

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A new woof woof

Well, it’s really last year’s news but I thought I’d include it here anyway since it happened so close to the start of 2008.

Last year, we thought it was time for Bailey (our bassolab) to have a canine friend so, on a rainy December day, Scott, Bailey and I trooped down to Operation Kindness to see if we could find a new member for our family. Since we got Bailey from there four years before we were hoping we had would have the same success. We met a few dogs but we just weren’t feeling it with any of them like we did with Bailey. (With Bailey it was instant adoration but that’s another, older story.) So, we decided to think about it and come back the next day.

We returned the next day, this time with our friend, Greg. We were wandering around and, just as were about to ask if we could play with a puppy we had seen the day before, another puppy caught my eye. He stretched out when he saw me and tried to climb up the side of the cage. He was such a goofball we just had to meet him. It was instant love! He was all over us and, since Bailey didn’t seem to hate him, we decided to take him home.

That’s how we got our Guinness.

One of Guinness's first pictures at the house.

One of Guinness's first pictures at the house.

He is a wonderful addition to our family! We think he is a pit bull/lab mix. He’s definitely got the lab playfulness and the pit bull stubborness and obsessiveness. He is somehow a big barker and scaredy cat at the same time. Between the 2 dogs, he’s often the one who follows me from room to room. When I got to the bathroom, he’s usually waiting right outside the door. He’s been a handful, but we love him! We’re looking forward to many years with both our big puppies!

Bailey and Guinness

Bailey and Guinness

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Scott’s world of work

Scott on the Emmys red carpet

Scott on the Emmys red carpet

This year Scott became a municipal employee as well! He now works for the City of Allen as a Video Producer. I think he likes it because he gets to spread his creative wings a lot more than he did at Hot on Homes.

He’s already doing fantastic things there. In this first year alone he’s been nominated for several awards. His team cleaned up at one of the statewide award shows (I don’t remember the name, you’d have to ask him). They’ve also won first place NATIONWIDE for Excellence in Government Programming.

The most exciting news is that Scott was nominated for a Texas Emmy! Unfortunately, he didn’t win but there’s always next year! He did get to go to Houston for the award ceremony AND walk down the red carpet. We even bought him a new suit for the occasion. Doesn’t he look so handsome all suited up?

Anyway, he’s doing all kinds of cool things for the City of Allen. One of my favorites is a weekly “what’s happening” show called the Dilly-O. To take a look at this show as well as his other projects check out their YouTube channel.

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My world of work

I’m still working as a Librarian for the Carrollton Public Library. Officially my title is Librarian but unofficially I’m the Teen Librarian. Basically, I do all things teen related. This means planning activities to get teens into the library, buying books (HOORAY!) for the teen collection, and overseeing the teen advisory group. I really truly enjoy it. When one of my teens (a true sweetheart) presented me with a baby blanket she knitted for the baby, I felt so lucky to be doing what I’m doing.

Not knowing that I’d be carrying around a growing human being, I planned all kinds of stuff for the Summer: a murder mystery program, three after hours programs, and a Guitar Hero 3/DDR tournament. Thank goodness I had LOTS of help. I cut out a lot of stuff I was planning for the Fall before I actually  finalized everything so after October my programming workload lightened a bit. (Maybe the little guy was already dropping hints on his appearance!) But we did do a lot of fun stuff for Teen Read Week. We made stuffed critters out of felt and had an indoor Capture the Flag.

I’m still working on the library’s website but not as much as I used to.  I think my website partner in crime lets me get away with doing less because I’m responsible for our teen blog. I’m also still serving on the library’s System Support Team which means, if the computers are acting up, I’m one of the people they call.

Volunteering for Libraries Build Communities

Volunteering for Libraries Build Communities

I was appointed to the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA, it’s a division of the American Library Association) Committee for Professional Development in the Summer of ’07. Although their charge sounds pretty self explanatory one of our tasks this year was to rewrite some of the committee’s duties.

This was also my first year attending ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia and the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. It was an amazing experience, especially if you are a librarian nerd like me! In Philly I didn’t lick the Liberty Bell but I did have dinner with a bunch of Asian librarians. And in Anaheim, I got to spend some quality time with my dear friend Elle who drove all the way out from Phoenix!

I’m really excited about my latest appointment. This year I was nominated to serve on YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults–a committee I’ve been dying to get on for years! Beginning in February (hopefully, I never got a confirmation from the chick in the YALSA office about my acceptance of the position), I’ll be doing a lot less reading and a lot more reading. It just make maternity leave way more interesting.

I’ve had to make some schedule adjustments. It was getting so hard for me to work from 12-9. (I was always wiped out the next morning!) I’m trying to get everything together before I go out on leave. That part has been pretty hard for the control freak in me because it means I’m going to have to turn over my duties to other people for a while. I’m hoping to be able to take 12 weeks of maternity leave. It’s going to be hard to be gone but I think it’s going to be even harder to go back!

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