Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rabroker Family | 2009 & 2010 Christmas Card Designs

I always have fun designing Kendra's Christmas cards for two main reasons. 1) She doesn't give me any rules, so I can pretty much do what I want, and 2) Making fun of her family is not off limits.

This makes for some pretty interesting designs.

Check out 2009.

And my follow-up card this year.

You have to get pretty creative when your nephew decides he does not want his picture taken and all you have to work with is what you see above.

Mission accomplished.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Ku-Tip: What are friends for?

Reason #11: We made a snowman together
Last week I was lazy.

The week before I was preparing to be lazy.

But my awesome friend Tracy keeps reminding me that I have neglected to write a Friday Ku-Tip in two weeks.

Tracy, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. And here's ten reasons why you should.
  1. I made sure you had an awesome time at my wedding. You know you still thank me for it.
  2. I know where you live.
  3. You threw Whataburger ketchup on Brady. And it busted all over him. And we laughed.
  4. We've shared some special (and freezing cold) moments skiing in Colorado.
  5. My grandma lives in Hallettsville.
  6. I will talk you out of whatever you need me to. I will talk you into whatever you need me to.
  7. I let you hold my goat.
  8. I tried to make you a part of the family. You and Dustin didn't cooperate.
  9. I believe everything you tell me.
  10. I approve of your love of animals. I approve of your rabbit, your dog, your cat and your future chickens. I also approve of the baby goat I'm about to bring you next weekend. Well, only if you're lucky.
Ku-Tip: Don't neglect your blog, or your friend Tracy will harass you over Gmail chat for two weeks!

217 words.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


My husband has FOMO. My brother-in-law has FOMO. My nephew has FOMO.

Most of the men in my life have FOMO.

Why? Because boys never grow up, and they always have this Fear Of Missing Out.

This was apparent to me once again this past weekend when the Aggies BTHO Nebraska. At Kyle Field. With a record crowd. It was awesome to say the least.

We were only able to be a part of the game from afar, listening to it on the radio.

And when the final seconds ticked away, a sea of maroon took the field, joined arms and yelled the Aggie War Hymn.

And Brady looks at me and says, "Back in my day, students didn't rush the field."

And I say, "I know babe, but times have changed. And at least we did it respectfully."

Then Brady makes an old man gruff.

And then Ray's cell phone rings. And it's Collin, his baby brother, yelling to him from Kyle Field.

"We're on the field! This is so awesome!"

And Brady doesn't skip a beat before saying, "Man, if I was with Collin, I'd so be on the field right now."

Hypocrite? Maybe. FOMO? Most definitely. Die-hard former student? Would an Aggie be anything else?

Happy Turkey Day. And BTHO tu!

214 words.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


That's right. I got called sexy. By two of my coworkers.

One was a man. And one was a woman. So both sexes think I'm sexy.

I'm cool with that.

It must have been the new bangs. Cause that's the only thing I've changed in like, 10 years.

And, I'm still trying to get my sexy face down. My friends know I have issues with that. And if either of my coworkers had seen my attempt at a sexy face, they would have retracted their sexy statements.

Trust me. I would have.

92 words.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Ku-Tip: If It Looks Like Flour, It's Not Flour

I love my mother-in-law. She cracks us up. And she admits it.

And she loves to sabotage our healthy eating habits by baking yummy, 2,000-calorie sweets. And leaving them on the counter so we can't pass them up.

And we usually give in. Except in those very rare cases when a dog treat would taste better than her baking concoctions.

And, while 9 times out of 10, her treats are tasty, there is always that one time

That one time that my sweet mother-in-law slaved away in my kitchen to make me, Brady and Daniel homemade cookies while we were outside sweating off our first-born kid working on the barn.

And everything seemed fine until she took her first batch out of the oven.

The perfectly rounded cookies had disappeared into a cookie sheet of runny mess.

Did the missing sock leprechaun move to my oven and destroy our cookies?

Nope. That would have been the obvious culprit.

What actually happened was that my mother-in-law did not realize that while flour and powdered sugar look alike, they do not make cookies bake alike. Or taste alike. Or do anything alike for that matter.

And our labeled canisters must not have helped either.

Ku-Tip: If it looks like flour and tastes like powdered sugar, it's powdered sugar.

216 words.

Monday, November 8, 2010

We're Legit

This is all her Nana's fault
November 1, 2010. Remember it.

Why? Our lovely niece Mia Brooke Harlow came into this world. And, thanks to our tech-savvy bro-in-law, we received a play by play of the entire process.

And, just as exciting, we became official. We as in Lazy K Ranch. I waddled to the courthouse on Nov. 1, thanks to an eventful mule mishap two days earlier, to register our brand at the Robertson County courthouse.

So, we're now legit. Too legit to quit. And Lazy K Ranch is legit.

And, if anything wonders onto our ranch, we may officially brand it. Except Mia. She is too young for tattoos.

105 words.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Ku-Tip: You can't take us anywhere

This past Sunday I realized something. Brady and I should never be allowed out in public.

I came to this epiphany while we were enjoying the best BBQ in the Brazos Valley. We were surrounded by flat screens showing football game after football game. And, since neither of us actually wanted to watch some football (thanks Cowboys), it only made sense that we talk some football.

Talk football as in I ask Brady a lot of questions.

Like, if people knew tu would suck this year.

And, if people knew Baylor would be good this year.

And, why our offense couldn't get our act together when our defense finally showed up to play some ball.

And, how a team like Baylor could slowly build up their football team but the Aggies couldn't.

And, Brady explained to me that having a good offense goes hand in hand with having a good defense. Something about Baylor's offense dominating during their time on the field giving their defense time to rest up and dominate once they took the field. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Makes sense. But if this was true, then why couldn't the Aggie's offense score more points against Arkanas when our defense did their part.

"Our offense would drive down the field," Brady tells me, "But then we would just peter out."

Our eyes meet. We both get these big, goofy grins on our faces.

"Did you just say peter?" I ask.

Brady can barely get out a "Maybe" before we both burst into laughter.

And then our eyes start watering. And, it's not because of the jalapenos.

Ku-Tip: Don't say peter in public. It will always be funny no matter how old you are.

283 words.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's My Name Again?

Why this picture makes me laugh.

Cause Tinker's Striper (not stripper. Get your head out of the gutter) Guide Service got everyone's name correct except for my husband's.

Bardy Kujawski. It does have a nice ring to it.

But, they didn't stop there. Check this out to see a second version of the incorrect name calling. It's the fifth set of pictures from the top.

Poor Bardy.

67 words.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blackmail From the Old School Vault: Vol. 1

These old school pictures are from 2002. I spent the majority of my summer studying abroad in Mexico with eight of my closest classmates. How we survived I'll never know. I did a lot of stupid things in Mexico. These pictures prove it.

How I know these pics are old.
  1. They were taken with a throw-away camera. Poor millennial generation. You don't even know what a throw-away camera is. You've always used digital cameras, or better yet, a phone that has a camera squeezed right inside of it.

    Well, earlier this century, we didn't have those luxuries. We had to use throw-away cameras if we went on vacation and then walk five miles in the snow uphill and barefoot to take the film to Wal-Mart to get developed. Gasp. We did not get to enjoy the pictures instantly. And, I still had to spend an entire afternoon scanning each picture just so I could have an electronic version of it.

  2. I had not been introduced to Photoshop yet. Heck, no one had been introduced to Photoshop yet. These pictures are in their raw, glorious form. Complete with fuzzy focusing and nice little red numbers that told you the date the pictures were taken. As if I'd ever want to forget when these pictures were taken.

This photo is awesome because we're making hair nets look sexy. And, there is absolutely no discrimination going on here. Only the girls had to wear hair nets. I mean, short hair can't contaminate produce. Only long, girly hair.

I spent a lot of pesos on souvenirs. I mean, how can you go to Mexico and not bring back a picture of a burro (which is framed and still hanging in my kitchen as we speak) or this monstrous sombrero (which came in handy when Brady needed a last minute quirky costume idea for Fish Camp). Yep, don't let me loose in a Mexican market. Or I will buy awesome things like this.

So I admitted doing a lot of stupid things in Mexico. One happened this night. The girls all decided to go salsa dancing at a local club not far from our dorm. We met up with some of the local college guys we had met earlier in the trip. Apparently in Mexico, you are unknowingly paired up with one dance partner for the night. I got left-footed Magee (far left). It was a joyous experience. Trust me. I wanted to go home. So I did. Alone in a Mexican cab. Stupid, I know. But, just look at him. What part of He. couldn't. dance. do you not understand?

Aggies in Mexico like to make everyone feel welcome. We like to make everyone an honorary Aggie. We like to show people how to Gig'em and Whoop. And we made everyone at this restaurant an Aggie for life. Even our poor roommate Maggie (far right). She made a good Aggie too. Just look at her form.

Why this picture is important. Because you have to focus in on my feet. My bandaged, held together by some purple dye and cloth, feet. I got attacked by a large cow with horns that was at least 9 feet tall and 5,000 pounds. Or maybe it was just a little calf that happened to trip me up with it's rope, causing me to scrape my feet in the dirty, rocky Mexican dirt. I got a tetanus shot in my butt in a Mexican hospital because of this calf. And my poor roommate Shawna had to duct tape plastic bags around my feet just so I could take a shower. And, I kept the X-rays and glued them in my scrapbook.

I like sombreros. And so do my friends. And after calling my mom from a pay phone in Mexico City a few nights before we returned to Texas, I had to think of a creative and inexpensive way for my mom and dad to find me in the Houston airport. So, the three amigos wore our over-sized sombreros on the flight home. And through customs. And through baggage claim. And my parents had no problem finding me. Remember, this was the 17th century, so there were no cell phones.

My dad really liked my sombrero. And he liked my double-taped luggage. Apparently, in the five weeks I had been gone, I bought a lot of souvenirs. Apparently, I should have brought bigger luggage. Cause I had to leave some American clothes behind in a Mexican hotel just so I could fit all my "can't live without" gifts in my bags. Why do you think I had to wear the sombrero at all times? My head was the only place it could fit.

793 words.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cap'n Pryce & Scallywag Snook | Halloween 2010

Who names their bird after the town they live in? My sister.

And who makes their son dress up in a pirate costume for Halloween even when he is crying his eyes out? My sister.

And who forgets all about being sad the minute there's a bird on his shoulder? Pryce.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Ku-Tip: Just another day in Aggieland

Yesterday some weird events happened on campus. Luckily, everything turned out okay. And while I'm not saying that this abnormal activity is anything to laugh about, I can't help but share some of the humerous events that happened because of the drama on campus.

I invented a new word. Spreadshit. Spreadshit? Spreadshit is what happens when you're thinking of the words spreadsheet and list. Spreadshit is what happens when you're on lock down in your office thinking about the armed suspect on campus and trying to multitask and have a conversation at the same time. Spreadshit. Add it to your vocabulary. It's kinda fun to say. Spreadshit.

I had to ask permission to go to the bathroom. I haven't asked permission to go to the bathroom in a million years. It was awkward. But I had to go. Thank goodness they let me.

My immediate family did not call, text, Facebook, moarse code or stone tablet me to see if I was okay. I called my sister to fill her in and tell her thanks for caring. Her response? "I don't get on the damn Internet." Point taken.

I called my dad to tell him and Mom what had happened and that I was safe. Dad said he had heard about the events on campus but got busy feeding cows and didn't worry to call me. His response? "I knew if that shooter ran into you that you'd show him a thing or two." Compliment? I think so. Thanks Dad.

I tried calling Brady five times to tell him I was okay. Brady never answered. Brady never called me to see if I was okay. Almost two hours later I finally made it home. Brady is washing the mower. Makes sense why he didn't answer his phone. I walk up to him and pretend to be mad and ask, "Did you even hear what happened today on campus?" And I proceed to tell him. And he smiles and says, "Jenna, you know I live in a bubble."

Apparently my entire family lives in a bubble. Note to self.

And, finally. I know the old excuse "My dog ate my homework" has been used for years. Even decades. Heck, possibly even centuries. But now I can legitimately use the excuse "But there was an armed suspect on campus."

Yep, that's the excuse I used yesterday when I got home at dark and couldn't see to work out. And that is the excuse I used when I laid on the couch and didn't feed the animals or cook supper.

And my sweet husband that lives in a bubble fed the animals without one little gripe.

Ku-Tip: Welcome to Aggieland. Please leave all plastic training rifles at home. Please.

456 words.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Guard Dog That Wasn't

Why living in the country is awesome:
  • Lots of space
  • Lots of stars
  • Lots of peace and quiet
Why living in the country isn't awesome:
  • Weird noises scare me
  • The dark scares me
  • Being home alone scares me
Brady thinks it's funny when I act like a scared little 2-year-old. Which is why I think it's funny when Brady acts like a scared little 2-year-old. Although he would never admit it.

One night in particular, Brady went out back to put Massey up for the night. She never barks. It's one of the reasons we choose to claim her. Except this night, she started barking at something in the dark.

Our wannabe guard dog playing dead as part of her attack method
Playing innocent is also part of her game
Protecting Brady from big bad monsters
If you haven't ever lived in the country, or haven't lived in the country in a while, you may not realize that when I say dark, I mean pitch black. No moonlight. No street lights. No stars. So now we all agree why this can be scary.

As soon as Massey started barking, Brady claims he heard a thundering noise.

Thud. Thump. Thud. Thump. Thud. Thump.

Are you scared yet? Well you should be.

Massey ran out in front of Brady into the dark, when all of a sudden, she came hauling ass back past him.

Guard dog reporting for duty, sir
Don't make me come over there and lick you to death
 The thundering noise got closer.

Thud. Thump. Thud. Thump. Thud. Thump.

Brady is now running after our dog. Our supposedly guard dog. Our dog who is supposed to protect us and scare big bad monsters away. Yep, she tucked her tail between her legs and ran as fast as she could back into her pen. And Brady was right behind her.

I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey
See what I did to this Frisbee? Don't tempt me.
As soon as Brady shuts himself and the wannabe guard dog in the pen, a huge horse runs past. A dang horse. It wasn't a big bad monster. Just a horse.

This would have made more sense if we had owned a horse. But we didn't.

If a neighbor's horse decides the grass is greener on the other side, do you get to keep the horse? We couldn't find any laws pertaining to roaming horses. So, Brady delivered the horse back to our neighbors. Brady walking as calmly as he can while the horse chases him the whole way. Sometimes Brady having to run around in circles to keep the horse from running him over.

I think the horse thought this was fun.

Anyway, the horse found his hole in the fence and reluctantly went back home. Back home where the grass isn't always greener. And there are no wannabe guard dogs to pester. Or 24-year-old boys to scare. Cause I wasn't scared. But Brady was. His pounding heart and wide eyes told me so.

448 words.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Ku-Tip: How to catch a peacock

Last summer I found a peacock. Found as in I was driving to work down our dusty gravel road when a random peacock darted out in front of me and decided to waddle (do peacocks waddle?) down the middle of the road. It was like a peacock on parade. And it wouldn't get out of my way.

So during my 35-minute commute to work, I had nothing to do but dream up how I would catch this peacock and make it my pet and hug it and love it and call it George. Or Petey. Yep, Petey the peacock. I like the sound of that.

Since Brady was out of town for the week doing manual labor for his parents in Garden City, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to surprise him with our very own peacock upon his return. Surprised wouldn't even have captured his reaction appropriately, especially since Brady has always openly declared his complete hatred of owning any type of fowl. Ducks. Guineas. Chickens. And peacocks.

Ignoring his complete hatred for all things fowl, I decided I wanted to try to catch the peacock anyway, and relied on the power of Facebook and my Facebook friends for advice on how to actually achieve this.

I received a variety of suggestions in less than a few hours. My favorites included:
  • Using cheerios to lure it down the road into a pen
  • Chasing it with a fishing net and strategically making sure this net landed on the peacock
  • Enlisting the help of a full-length mirror to make the peacock think it had a friend it needed to follow
  • Using the full-length mirror to make the peacock think there were double the cheerios
Yep. I now had ideas. I was going to catch a peacock.

I called Brady to advise him of my plan. Without taking a breath, he told me I was not allowed to catch the peacock.

Then I hear some talking in the background. Brady laughs and gets back on the phone.

"Jenna," he says, "you're still not allowed to catch the peacock, but Deb's here, and she's supposedly an expert pheasant catcher. She says the key to catching any bird is to make sure you grab both its legs at the same time."

Thanks Deb. Great advice.

I never saw the peacock on my way home from work. I didn't see the peacock the next morning. I never saw the poor little lost peacock again. And, too bad. Cause it would have liked being my pet.

Ku-Tip: Never ask your friends for advice on how to catch a peacock. They'll tell you anything just to see if you'll embarrass yourself. Some will even offer to show up with a camera to capture the moment and call 911 if necessary.

465 words.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And the Pot Calls the Kettle Black

The husband, cowboy and teacher
You already know that Brady hates getting into arguments with me because he feels I intentionally use "lawyer talk" on him to win. Well, I do like to win. But I don't intentionally do anything. It's just how I argue. I like to use points.
  1. They're effective
  2. They keep my thoughts organized
  3. They annoy Brady
There, so sue me.

But, now there's a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Have you ever gotten into an argument with a husband who is not only a teacher, but a pretty darn good one at that?

This conversation actually happened yesterday while Brady was squinting to see what he was working on using his iPad.
Jenna: "Have you even worn your new glasses yet?"
Brady: "Nope."
Jenna: "Why not? Why did we spend money to get your eyes checked and buy glasses if you weren't going to wear them?"
Brady: "Because I see worse with them on. And I never even wanted to get my eyes checked. You made me."
Jenna: "You have to wear them for a while to get used to them. Will you please go get your glasses and wear them!"
Brady: "I'm not going out to the barn to get them. Maybe if you would be a little more constructive instead of just yelling at me than I would want to go get my glasses."
Jenna: "Fine, here's constructive for you. Will you please carry your glasses with you at all times so you can wear them when necessary?"
Brady: "Fine."
Constructive? Really?

Stay tuned for the next courtroom/classroom battle.

267 words.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ran to the Chicken

Saturday I ran to the Chicken. I did not run to the Chicken because of a drink special. Or because of half off Tijuana fries. Or because I wanted to grab the last set of dominoes from the bar. Nope. I ran to the Chicken because I paid to run to the Chicken. All 3.1 miles of it.

Fortunately for Brady, he decided to get really sick Friday night, so he did not have to run to the Chicken with me. Unfortunately for Massey, she had no choice.

Since this was a fun run with NO rules, everything but the kitchen sink was allowed. Dogs. Bikes. Rollerbladers. Two college guys on a tandem bike. College kids in costumes. Dogs in costumes. A chicken. You get the point.

I politely hung out in the back of the pack since I would be dragging my sidekick along. Bad idea. I have always known that both Brady and I are very competitive, but it seems we own a very competitive canine as well. Massey took off like the lead dog in an Iditarod race. Only there was no snow. Or scenic landscape. Just asphalt and bars.

What did I enjoy most about the race? I passed a lot of people. A lot. And most of them were younger than me. Take that college kids.

I dropped my stupid cell phone twice. Once, I'll forgive myself. Twice, I would have put myself in time out if I had the chance. Luckily, it still works. It looks like it just survived a cat fight, but it works.

I got hit on by a team of college guys wearing pink. I was wearing pink. They wanted me to join their "pink" team. Massey too. Too bad I was too fast for them.

Massey got lots of "Oh, how cute." "That's the best looking mutt I've ever seen." "She's doing so good." She also got several "nose" slaps as a sign of encouragement.

Brady even left the comfort of the truck (I was supposed to take him to the doctor as soon as the race was over) to cheer us on. Massey saw him and got sidetracked. Thanks Brady.

We sprinted across the finish line sometime around 27:30. That is my best guess since I forgot to wear a watch and since I started long after the gun went off.

We got cheated out of a prize since they didn't categorize humans with dogs as a separate group. In fact, I wasn't too excited how they categorized any of the groups. My group alone consisted of 25- to 39-year-olds. Seriously? You've got to be kidding me.

So, I finally ran to the Chicken. And I have a T-shirt to prove it. And, now I'm contemplating something I told myself I would never do again. I'm thinking about training for another half marathon in the spring. And making Brady do it with me.

I'm just too damn competitive for my own good. Thanks Massey for pushing (I mean pulling) me to do my best. And thanks Chicken for letting me run to you. I've had 10 years of great memories with you. Many Goodnight Irene nights. Sangritas. Ring dunkings. Aggie football wins. Aggie football losses.

And, now, my own Chicken Iditarod.

543 words.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Expecting Mia Photo Shoot

I already know what you will think when you look through these pictures, so I'll beat you to it.

Yes, I took them.

Yes, they have been digitally post-processed. That's how I roll.

Yes, I will take your pictures.

No, I am not free. :)

I do not consider myself a professional, but I do consider myself pretty handy with the camera. I'll let you decide for yourself.

Harlow Photo Shoot
Location: Garden City, TX

75 words.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We're Expecting!

...this to be delivered to our house this weekend.

...and this to come home with us sometime next week.

What were you expecting to see on here?

27 words.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Ku-Tip: Let me direct you

About five days ago my office phone started ringing. A lot. A lot more than usual. And with some of the most random questions.
"Yes, I'd like to make an appointment to spay my cat." Nope, not for me.

"I'd like to verify employment for {insert name other than people who actually work in the CEHD}." Never heard of them.

"I'd like to order a transcript." I don't handle transcripts.

"Yeah, uh, I need to book a racquetball court." This is not the Rec Center.

"Do you know when Texas A&M's homecoming is this fall?" We have homecoming?
I could go on and on, but I won't, because this post would never end.

I finally had enough gumption to ask one of the callers how they found my number.
Random Caller: "I Googled it."

"You Googled it?" I asked.

Random Caller: "Yes, when I Google Texas A&M University, this number appears."
Well crap. This is so wrong it's not even funny.

Sure enough, I went to Google and tried it myself, and this is exactly what appears.

Sorry, just got off the phone again. When will it end?

Ku-Tip: Memorize the university's main directory number. It comes in handy when you have to repeat it about 24 times a day.

210 words.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Expecting Pryce Photo Shoot

This was one of my first attempts at photography.

All I had to work with was a tired and grumpy 9 1/2 month pregnant woman and an abandoned building.

I think I made the building look pretty good.

And Kendra too.