Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Free Lunch

I feel like Allison. We just went to a free lunch at Rudy's with friends. The girl won it. They're new in town, Brando was their realtor and they don't know anyone so they invited us. Yippee! Actually they came to a client appreciation event when I first met them and she and I had on the EXACT same pair of jeans. Express jeans that ROCK even though they're three or four years old. We clicked and told each other we'd get together again soon. Three months later here we are : ) . hehe. Funny how life sneaks up on you. Any way we have plans to scrapbook and do first thursday in Austin tomorrow but her little girl was sick at lunch today and has a fever so we may have to postpone that. Either way we had a blast today. Her brother and his girlfriend just moved to town and his girlfriend, and her Dad, who was in town came with her and her hubby to lunch today so it was fun to be able to meet them. I love meeting new people! I loved getting to know her more. We're starting to look at moving down south and she's one of the ones it would be fun to be closer to. Becky girl's the other, and Kel Bel's the third. Boy I know more people down south than I do up here. It's so much more unique. Not cookie cutter (as much) like the north. But that's for another post. For now Rudy's was a blast, not to mention free, we met a financial advisor who seems great and who's company footed the bill as a marketing strategy, and had a nice lunch with friends. Fun!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In Reply regarding School

What I want to study is something to do with psychology. What I want to accomplish is something that will allow us to travel, even internationally. The counselor recommended if I was going to make work my lifestyle to do something I enjoy and if I was going to have it support my lifestyle than go for the money. She also recommended I meet with a career assessment specialist which is my next step. In the meantime I'm taking a course to get me oriented with the college mindset and ease me into going to classes without a whole lot of pressure, and be super ahead of the game by being informed to boot - I love that.

Oh and it's taken so long because I was waiting to become a resident (again) so as to not pay those ridiculous out of state fees.

Thanks so much for all your support and inspiration to courage!! I appreciate it SO much. Oh yes and Girl I agree. It was SO nice to even go and meet with that counselor at the brand shiny new campus and just BE for a moment. It's been amazing Brando has been SO supportive too. Now to figure out the kid thing without family around... I did ask them about drop in childcare if Brando isn't available and they suggested a few.

This turned out to be an addendum to the original post so I made it a new post instead of a comment : ) .

The Thing about Kids

It always surprises me when people freak out about their kids not eating enough. My little one has gone through eating like a champ at six months then evening out to normal amounts, then eating like a bird for a good two or three years, and now he's putting down two bowls of oatmeal and an english muffin every morning which is what made me think about this. They eat when their body needs it. Usually when they're going through a growth spurt. Other times they eat hardly anything and sleep a lot, another version of growing. Sometimes they just don't eat very much at all. I've always been okay with that. If two bites at dinner works for them, that's fine. If they're hungry enough for dessert then they need to eat more otherwise they can eat two bites. The important part is making sure whatever IS going in is healthy - so if he's eating like a bird, make sure he's eating like a healthy bird.

I heard somewhere that your stomach is about the size of your fist - an adult stomach about twice the size. If you think about their stomach being that small there's no way a toddler can eat their whole sandwich or their whole hamburger.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I Rock

I haven't done any of the actual work yet but I'm all registered as a student. Whoohoo. Now to decide what will make me money so I can travel the world. hehe

PS Nope not doing the online thing. I asked the counselor if she recommended it for someone with a family and she said she wouldn't advise it at first.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What I Mean by That Way

When I said I was raised that way in the previous post, what I meant by that way was I was led to believe the minute someone is saved you're going to be perfect instantly and you're a miserable human being if you're not. Which I now know is absolutely not true. Even after we begin to have a relationship with God we are just as ugly inside and out, we are just forgiven, and able to START the process of not being quite so ugly. Even still, 8 years later, there's a whole lot of ugly left inside me.

The other way, which I've discovered slowly along the path of life, is it's all about God and how He is glorified and it has nothing to do with you except for how He needs you.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lazy Saturday

We're all MUCH better. Still on the recovery though so we had an inside day - with the door to the verandah open to let some of the fresh air in. The boys and I went to Hollywood video last night and they each got to pick out two movies and an XBox 360 game. We came home with Cars and Sonic for the Xbox and some random movies for the kids. Today they watched Crocodile Hunter Collison Course and played Xbox all day after a yummy brunch of fried potatoes, cheesy scrambled eggs, fried eggs, bacon, and orange juice.

This afternoon all four of us piled on Brando's and my king size bed with wheat thins and a veggie tray and watching Facing the Giants. The film is done by brothers and the cast is volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church in Georgia. They hired five professional film makers and filled the rest of the crew with volunteers. They wanted to make a movie without all the profanity, sex, and influences that you get in most movies nowadays. GREAT movie, it made me cry and laugh after getting over the initial feeling that the actors weren't experienced but were doing a great job at it I loved it. It did make me cringe when they started to preach, though every time it ended up being applicable to life and not just the Bible says this so do it, but it still made me cringe at the beginning of each of those scenes. There's a scene where a bunch of kids are confessing their sins to God in groups on the football field, some of them were crying. It made my insides turn in the way that it turns when I think about when I attended those kinds of things when I was younger. I looked over and Brando had tears streaming down his face and I realized it was because of the way things were forced down my throat that I felt that way, not necessarily because the movie was actually trying to be that. In the end it still left me with an ukky judgemental, holier than thou, why can't everybody be perfect like me feeling, but once I get over that and let it go it's an awesome movie. I loved that the four of us were sitting there lined up sitting against our headboard snacking and watching a movie.

After the movie I looked through our french doors leading out to the verandah and realized how dirty they were and took window cleaner and a paper towel to them. When the towels came out black I couldn't stop and ended up cleaning ALL my windows, the insides at least and a few of the outside while Brando and the boys played Star Wars on the Xbox. My neighbors were headed out to the mall and L lured me in with a yummy cookie she made with melted Snickers in the middle before they left. Now we're sitting down to watch Agent Cody Banks and eat turkey, bacon and supposed-to-be-avocado-but-they-weren't-ripe sandwiches on wheat rolls.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll be back to normal and we'll get to enjoy this beautiful 72F to 80F degree weather we've been having!

Just for Nancy

I installed Haloscan. This fabulous lady is the wife of the husband and wife team who took our gorgeous family pictures when we were still in California. She has a wonderful blog that warms my heart to read - partly because it's her and partly because she lives in the very part of Santa Cruz I grew up in. Any way she's been over here a few times but hasn't figured out how to comment on blogger, Girl's mentioned it's difficult, so I figured I'd make the jump again. Funny thing now a bunch of my super old comments will reappear and some of my newer ones will disappear : ( . Sorry about that! Oh well it'll be fun to go back and read some of the older comments for me.

Update: Argh. They only send out email comments every 30 minutes instead of when they come in and I love seeing comments the moment they come in. I'll try it out for a bit any ways though.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's the Flu

It's been going around. We showed up at the doctors yesterday and there were no less than ten kids with the same glassy eyed flushed face and hacking cough that Justinbustin had. It's intriguing how being at the doctors can actually make you feel better. It's hope. Hope that you won't be feeling this miserable forever. That or being out of the house and off the couch. Maybe both. Any who she gave him a flu test and a strep test and it was flu. Flu that can have fever that lasts 5-7 days!! She gave us a prescription for an anti-viral and said it's no magic pill but it'll lessen the time and if we take it'll help us from getting it. We went by my health food store afterwards and asked the owner what's good for the flu. He said lots of colloidal silver. Oops. The one thing I hadn't been giving him. So we stocked up and now we're ALL on it as an alternative to the anti-viral medication. I still have the prescriptions and will fill them if necessary but for now I'd rather not kill EVERYthing in our sytems and just work on the bad stuff.

It was strange driving into small town Marble Falls. Time moves so slowly out there. It felt like we drove 20 miles and it had been 4 minutes. We finally got there and this is SO shallow but even the cute people didn't have style. I am SO glad to be out of there. There was a little bit of nostalgia when we stopped by the health food store and had smoothies but even then it wasn't enough to be sad we weren't there in our house, but enough to be glad for the time we had there.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Such a Bad Mommy

We're taking Justinbustin out to our old doctors in Marble Falls today because Mommy hasn't found a new one in Austin. Good news is I'll ask her if she knows of a good one in Austin. I just get so sick of coming across bad doctors that I don't want to make the effort to find a good one. On top of that I found my ideal doctor in Santa Cruz and I'm pretty sure no one will compare to her. Such is life. Her philosophy was western medicine is just a small part of the pie concerning health - chinese medicine, herbal remedies, all are part of the pie. I like the theory so much I may adopt it myself. Too bad I don't have the M.D. and the brainy family of child psychologists, etc., to go along with it. So if you are looking for the best doctor in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Soquel, Scotts Valley, or Watsonville Karen Harrington is it. I'd even drive over the hill for her. I think I found her by liking the name. Ha. That should tell me Who's in control.

Hopefully I'll find a good doctor here soon. In the meantime we are pouring the Pedialyte popsicles down, the jello, the echinecea, and the olive leaf (just started that for J today - I've been taking it the last few days but it's nasty stuff so I was trying to spare him), and visiting the MF doctor.

Annie Chun's Miso Soup is very, very good. The noodles are soooo yummy. Throw some chicken in it and it might pass for that sizzling chicken rice soup. Almost. I can't wait to try the other flavors.

As for me I've been gargling colloidal silver - how nasty does that sound - every hour for the last two days, along with the olive leaf and feel TONS better today. Not so stuffy either. Yay! Nothing worse than a sick Mommy when her baby is sick too. Please pray for him!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chicken Sizzling Rice Soup

Is all I want right now. To keep my body from reacting to the other not so sick friendly foods that I'm trying to eat so I'm not so hungry. Golden Buddha made the best. It's MUCH more common out California's way as evident from Courtney knowing exactly what it was when I mentioned bringing it to her if I could last time she was sick. I can't seem to find it anywhere here. There's no puking yet, fortunently, just a cloudy head and dry, scratchy throat and general feeling of not wanting to lay here all. day. long. Justinbustin still has a fever. Yes, chicken sizzling rice soup would make it all better.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sick, Sick, Sick

This morning greeted me with a nasty sore throat. Reminds me of strep. I'm fighting it with colloidal silver and olive leaf as well when Brando brings that home. Justinbustin's on the couch with a 101 fever and his face is all bright red. My head feels like a giant cotton ball. Brando's bringing home Pedialyte popsicles, and olive leaf and I'm cleaning toilets in preparation for the puke. Nobody wants to puke in a nasty toilet. Least of all me!


These are Kel Bel's puppies. They're purebred Australian Shepherds and SO adorable. There's twelve of them. There were twelve rather, one died last night. They think the mommy might have accidentally laid on it and suffocated it. Poor baby : ( . They are so sweet and we got to cuddle the bazookers out of them. If you've been wanting a puppy I'm pretty sure they would ship : ) .

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mt. Bonnell

Brando and the boys and I climbed Mt. Bonnell that has the best view of the Austin skyline and a spectacular view of the river today. All 99 steps. The beauty and serenity reminds me of places along the coast in California that I would go to sit and breathe at. The boys climbed the rocks and Brando enjoyed his new tripod and took tons of pictures. The weather was a perfect and gorgeous windless 67 degrees. I'm so very happy to discover Austin has places like this!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Valentine's Day Hangover

I guess Valentine's Day sent me into a tizzy it was so wonderful! Hehe. Brando took me to our favorite restaurant North by Northwest. They have literally the best food in Austin or pretty much anywhere. And free valet parking. Can't beat that. I dressed up in my pretty new dress and we shared our favorite appetizers - roasted garlic and goat cheese on the softest bread ever and beer batter onion rings, the best onion rings I've ever had and our favorite meal marinated pork, spiced red cabbage, and wasabi mashed potatoes. Yum. Normally I hate pork and will not eat, but the wasabi mashed potatoes are out of this world and go perfectly with the delicious pork that only THEY can make. Brando ordered their beer sampler which is six different small glasses of the six different kinds of beers they offer, including a cherry red Valentine's beer. So pretty and my favorite! Brando mentioned renting my favorite movie ever, Sabrina, and going home to watch it with a great big brownie sundae in our bed. I had thought about watching it earlier just because it is SUCH a romantic movie but didn't wanted to spoil the night he planned by mentioning it. I love being on the same page with him! So that's what we did. Rented Sabrina and had a great big brownie sundae in bed.

Since then, on top of all the clothes my MIL bought for me in California (did I mention she took me on a shopping spree? wheeeee) my Bible study leader from last semester emailed me and asked if I'd like a bunch of sweaters she was giving away. She is SUPER cute and tiny and I love her style. And she works at Banana Republic! Of course I emailed her right away and said yes. She had two HUGE boxes of sweaters for me (plus some skirts!) to go through. SO much fun! I took it all home and went through it all and kept one box and have another box to give to my sister. They are all Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, Banana Republic, American Eagle, and even one white angora sweater with an angora fur lined hood that I absolutely adore. That one I wore to Kel's house and she LOOOVED it. I told her she has to take it to California with her next week when she goes to South Cali for a business convention. After all she did supply my entire wardrobe for California, up until my mil took us shopping. I used all her earrings for the trip as well. Love them!! I came back here and pierced my second hole and started my own earring wardrobe. Yay! Now I have my own super cute earrings and some new fun necklaces to boot : ) .

Speaking of Kel's... the boys and I spent the night at her house last night and got to cuddle her TWELVE PUPPIES that her girl doggie birthed yesterday!!!!!! Sooooo cute. She has Australian Shepherds she breeds and this is the momma's fifth and last litter. So glad we get to enjoy them!! Her hubby is out of town so we jumped on the opportunity to do a girl's night. We drank wine and ate chocolate, took pictures with puppies, watched movies, and talked til' 3am in the morning. SO much fun! We woke up this morning played with makeup, held the puppies some more, made cheesey eggs, turkey bacon, and fried potatoes. She took off to pick up her hubs from the airport and I took off to meet my hubs after HIS night out at his friend's house playing the Nintendo Wii until 4am in the morning. He's so sweet. He came home and picked up Brownie so she could go with him.

This afternoon I went with a friend to the mall with a coupon I had for Express and came away with FREE earrings and a velvet jewelry bag. We stopped by Macy's and she scored two five dollar shirts. We made a few more stops and we were out of there.

I came home to the boys playing their Xbox 360 that Brando's Mom got us when we were in Cali and we sat around and chilled while I uploaded pictures. We just ate dinner and we're running back out for some errands and then bed.

Such a long post, but what an absolute blast filled few days!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Justinbustin Art

Justinbustin worked on this for three days for me. He got the idea of the flowers and the hearts from a picture Brando's brother drew for his Mom. Sooo sweet. I love all the little details he put into it! He loves making interesting writing - he's signed his name with swords creating the letters or swirlies and he's taught himself cursive. This is one of my favorite that he's done because it was so sweetly created just for me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

"If you don't go to sleep then the sun won't go down and we can't have a Valentine's Day." says Shawners.

One of these days I'm going to post Justinbustin's amazing beautiful artwork that he creates that is just as creative, original, thoughtful, and awe inspiring as Shawner's little quotes.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Power of Technology

Oma just put Shawners to sleep by reading him a story from twenty four thousand miles away. There are benefits to a new computer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Yay! I have my deck back

Since we got Brownie and have had FREEZING weather in Texas I have very lazily put her on the deck to "do her duty" which has resulted in a patterened disgustingness all over my deck which my husband has yet to develop a habit of picking up regularly, something which I refuse to do. Today he cleaned and picked up everything, hosed off with a jet spray the entire deck and covered it with vinegar. Then put all my deck furniture back in it's place - something which had also been destroyed by puppyness, oh the vase is still cracked but I'll get a new one - and lit the votives I have out there. Sooo pretty. I'm still not walking out there with barefoot until it gets powerwashed but for now it's pretty again!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It Rocks Having a Photographer for a Husband

Westcliff Drive. Santa Cruz, California.
And that little piece of my heart I was talking about.

Rooks, Knights, & Queens

We spent all day at a chess tournament for Justinbustin. He took a 1/2 point bye for the first round, lost two and drew two. He'll be working on checkmating when he's got a king and a queen at chess club on Wednesday. But he rocks! He took notations on the fourth round which involves writing down the position of every play and capture. Brando and Shawners played Gameboys and hung out with Brownie while I spent time in the computer control room learning the lingo of chess tournaments with the two ladies who run the chess club we go to. That was strangely fun. I look super cute in my new Guess workout pants and shortsleeve ruffled hoodie with rhinestones and pink hearts and my long sleeve thermal shirt underneath with gathered sleeves and rhinestone buttons. LOVEd it and was sooo comfortable temperature wise all day. Justinbustin got a participation ribbon and is hoping he'll win a donated chess set for good sportsmanship which they'll email us if he did.

On another note, I think I'm pretty much done posting about Cali. We saw my family Friday night, Saturday night at my Dad's INCREDIBLE client appreciation dinner at The Cocoanut Grove - 17 piece orchestra and ballroom dancing for four hours and all, Sunday night with my mom and best friend from growing up and her two kids at our favorite downtown Santa Cruz restaurant, Monday night at my parent's house, the rest of the time we either shopped, got manicures (at least I did), lunched with Courtney, ate breakfast on the harbor, learned how to play poker, took pictures on the beach Brando proposed to me at, played with my sister and her kids and my best friend from growing up and her two kids, visited with a friend and her two sweet boys who could be twins with mine, or flew home! Fabulous, FABULOUS time. I feel like a little piece of my heart has been ripped out coming back here but am SO glad we went.

Friday, February 09, 2007

This is Beautiful


On the way there

I've always ordered Ginger Ale on airplanes ever since I was a kid. This time was no different. Until I looked over at Brando sitting on the other side with a coke and looked back down at my caffeine free Ginger Ale and determined on the way back I was getting a coke. Which I did.

Shawners was very cute on the plane - he had to go potty so bad but wanted to hold it until we got to Oma's house. I convinced him to hold it until the airport where he could go WITH Oma.

They were SO excited when they found out we were going. Oh, I think I neglected to mention we got the tickets last Thursday when my Dad offered to fly us out for a client appreciation dinner he did on Saturday night and we flew out Friday afternoon. Last minute trip to say the least but it really worked out well that way. We got to see a LOT of people in a short amount of time, and the people who really wanted to see us were there and/or cleared their schedules for us. Yay! We also got to have some fun family time as well, as evidenced by the Natural Bridges state park pictures.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Natural Bridges Photo Shoot

Photography by Brandon B.

Happy happy about about Brando's and my spinning picture! That one and this one are my FAVORITE.

Brandon proposed to me on the cliffs just behind me in this last picture and the cliffs in the picture above this one. I love going here to take family pictures. I love remembering the sun setting on that day and standing on the beach afterwards with him watching my ring sparkle.

Oh and I've reinstated my Flickr pro account so there's lots up there as well! I'm posting Cali little by little because there's just too much to put in one post. I'll post the chronological order when I'm done.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Where We Stayed

Brando's Mom decorated her guest room a few years ago in blue and white with an East Coast feel. It's sooo pretty and we got to stay in it! We've stayed in it a night or two before but this time we stayed the whole weekend. It felt like we were staying in a bed and breakfast with the down pillows and comforter, the pretty decorations and the soft lighting.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oh My Gosh!!!!!

I got to meet Courtney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Courtney drove out to Santa Cruz to meet us for lunch at the delicious Crow's Nest on Saturday. We drank Bloody Marys, Sunset on the Beaches, Mai Tais and ate Creme Brulee and Cheesecake. We laughed way too much, took way too many engagement pictures, and had WAY more fun than should be allowed. Which is why we are cracking up in just about every one of the gazillionth pictures we took. I love this one the mostest! I absolutely LOVE her and I can't wait to do it again.
Brando was making fun of how goofy we were being together
for the pictures so we had to take an engagement picture.
Oh and Courtney I neglected to tell you this before you left, probably because we were too busy having a blast, but you totally get my mil - fun and crazy side and all. I love that. hehe

PS California was a BLAST and absolutely amazing. We are home safe and sound and unpacked. I'll be posting many more pictures and memories to be soon!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Next Day Tomorrow

We'll be in California!!!!! And hopefully get to see Courtney !!! As Courtney would say : ) Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Meaning to Comfy

We woke up this morning to Shawners in Brando's sleeping spot with legs and arms spread out. We were discussing it at the coffee shop and Shawn says "I like to take his spot because he is comfy. And he smells good. He takes better showers than me, or Justinbustin, or you, that's why he smells good."


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