Thursday, April 30, 2009


Last year Shawner's kindergarten teacher suggested planting a parsley plant because it attracts caterpillars. We bought some parsley seeds, and Shawners planted them. The plant grew, but no caterpillars. Somehow the parsley survived the winter and is now a huge lush parsley plant. The other day I came home to find this note:

There's over twenty caterpillars on there now! Some are as tiny as a staple, only a little thicker. The most I could get in a photo is nine of them.

This morning he wakes me up with, "Mommy, there's a caterpillar eating a leaf! It's big and fat!"

Later he says, "I'm the luckiest boy in the WHOLE city! Unless, there's a boy who has a bigger parsley plant."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sushi Night

I love my dates with Brando. Ever since my Grandma started paying last year for a baby-sitter for us to go on a weekly date, we have been on a date each week unless we were out of town or both of our babysitters have happened to be out of town. She totally got us on the routine of going OUT and not feeling guilty spending the money on ourselves (well, because it was her money). We would eat out, or go get a coffee, discover something new, whatever, but just spend TIME together. After the first few months we even found something other to talk about than kids! So when a few months later my Grandma wrote me a long letter apologizing because she couldn't pay for our babysitter anymore, I wasn't sad. She had given me the best gift anybody could have ever given us. The gift of realizing how precious time together is, and how every eye roll at the idea of a weekly date was just because we hadn't realized the significance of it. Even after she stopped paying for our babysitter, we continued to go out. We just cut out the cost of the date portion of it by eating dinner beforehand. Now we splurge every few dates, but mostly we just go out and spend time together. Whether it means with a two dollar coffee, one of Austin's pretty views, going downtown for s'mores, picnics on Mt. Bonnell, or just being with each other at any number of places.

Tonight we had sushi together for the first time EVER at Kenobi in the Arboretum. We've both had sushi (his more of an adventurous version than mine), but not together.

Outside Kenobi


Brando LOVES sushi and I have always hated seafood of any kind. Until my 26th birthday. I decided then it was time to start liking seafood. Since that day (literally, yum! Coconut shrimp) I have slowly added to my repertoire only by letting experienced seafoodies try it first, asking them if it's the best they've ever had, and if it is or close to then trying it. I'm acquiring my taste. And so far (which means coconut shrimp, garlic angel hair pasta and shrimp, avocado salsa salmon, herb crusted salmon, talapia with mushroom sauce - that was a real stretch since I didn't like mushrooms either and hadn't decided I was going to get over that one, lobster bisque, and crab in California Rolls), it's been delicious! Well, I'm not quite ready to try sushi, but California rolls qualify for sushi in most people's books and it does have seafood so I had that while Brando had tuna rolls. I also tried sake. Very vinegary smelling, with a hint of vodka, and a butter aftertaste. I love doing firsts with Brando, and this one was a blast!!

We went to Cheesecake Factory afterwards for coffee and lemon raspberry cream cheesecake. Mmmm!

After the Cheesecake Factory

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Killer Weekend

We had such a blast this weekend! By 3pm on Saturday we had all already had a completely full weekend, and now we have just been relaxing.

Yesterday morning, my girfriend, KT, and I took Shawners and road-tripped to College Station for the annual A&M Veterinary Open House.

College Station

We listened to a lecture by an exotic animal veterinarian called, "A Day in the Life of an Exotic Animal Veterinarian". We learned they do surgery on fish, wallabies, tigers, cockatoos, bald eagles, and mice. And that's all in only one day!

The exotic animal veterinarian lecture at A&M

Some of the animals they work on.

After the lecture we stood in line to take a picture with Reveille VIII BUT before you get all excited if you're an Aggie, we realized after 20 minutes that is NOT what we came there for. When we realized it would be another twenty minutes (and we were going to have to deal with super awful lady behind us, telling her daughter she was going to knock her out) to wait for the picture and our legs were already hurting we moved on! Then we walked through the large animal clinic and learned all about how they do surgery on horses and cows, and how they move them about when they are anesthized with padded rooms, and three ton lifts.

After the large animal clinic, Shawners wanted to check out the agility dogs, so we did.

Shawners resting his feet on KT. Not sure why this picture is so small!

Our next to last stop was the hallway of dogs. There were at least ten different breeds of dogs, and at least thirty dogs in all. Shawners pet every single one.
Shawners was this way with every dog there.

After that we were going to stop by the exotic animal area, but when we realized the only exotic pets they had there were the ones that we go cuddle and hold at our local exotic pet store (ferrets, snakes, turtles, iguanas, etc.) we decided the thirty-five minute wait in a line wasn't worth it. KT suggested McAllister's for lunch and off we went. Man, was I almost as thrilled about lunch as I was about the vet open house, when I realized they have .99 kids meals with a full meal, side (chips, fruit, mac n cheese, or a billion other things), and graham crackers!! Dang! The best news is we have one in Austin, and I didn't even realize it!! So excited!

Being goofy with Mommy! Not sure on the size of this one either...

.99 Killer Deal!!

On the way home we honked at the cows and waved at them like we did on the way there (something KT's Dad always does, so we carried on the tradition), and while we were a little too tired to enjoy the view again, I did snap some pictures before I zoned out to music while driving home.

The pretty drive. Sorry these are so small!

While KT, Shawners, and I were road trippin' it, Brando took JT kayaking, to his art class, and to his flag football game. Unfortunately no pictures to show for it, but they had an awesome day taking two single kayaks out (JT is getting SO big!), kayaking with a three inch draft (how far the boat goes in the water) in a four inch depth. Brando took a nap while JT was at art class. Then, took him to his flag football game where he played a KILLER game and made two awesome catches and one amazing touchdown catch!

They got home at the exact same time KT, Shawners, and I got home at 3pm! I couldn't believe we got back so early with a two hour each way road trip! After San Antonio and this one, KT and I totally rock the road trips! We went our separate ways, showered all the gunk off of us and promptly relaxed the rest of the day (especially for me after staying out til' 2am the night before with my girl Genie at an art gallery showing of Peter Max's famous work at Russell's Art Collection downtown with complimentary Lemon Drops and Cosmopolitans, catered by NoRTH - Allison you would've SOO loved it!, then hitting 7th street for live music). Whew!

The internet and facebook make the world a very small world

Ever notice that the six degrees of separation is falling by the wayside? You KNOW the six degrees of separation just by clicking on view mutual friends on Facebook. Suddenly you find out friends of yours grew up with other friends of yours. Or went to college with them. Or knows them from work or a previous job. Kind of creepy. It makes me wonder how much longer I'll be able to keep this private!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mechanic Girlie

I said outloud to myself today, "So it's going to be that kind of day, is it?" after I picked my car up from getting the tires rotated when they had rolled the window down and it wouldn't roll back up and I said, "Just cross your fingers it doesn't rain!" and the thunder rolled. I rock, and replaced the fuse and rolled up the window within record time after protecting the electronic part of the door with my hoody sweatshirt on the drive to the auto shop to get the fuse. Need me to fix your car? I'm on it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Girlfriends or Blogging?

I've been thinking about girlfriends and blogging and how they come into play in life since last night. GFF's last answer on her interview with Kati spurred me to write about it where she talked about having good girlfriends keeps you from needing counseling (although I don't completely agree, I do feel girlfriends are the life line to maintenance and living a wonderful life, but professional counseling takes into account your history and the psychological reasons behind what may be preventing you from making better decisions regarding life, and believing in yourself, and help you to make those decisions which can help you live a more productive and satisfying life. At least it did for me and will again when I go back!) spurred me to write about it.

The past several years have been overwhelmed by girlfriend time. Especially the last few months. Four or five nights a week I have been out with my girls and LOVING it. However, when I went to Hawaii, it put in perspective for me how much I LOVE being with my husband. It also put in perspective how much I love down time, and enjoying the beauty around me alone. When I came home I determined to only go out twice a week, and leave the weekends, Friday thru Sunday, open for anything. That leaves me at least one night a week at home, and usually Brando and I have a date on the other night. Monday and Thursdays are my girl nights now. Mondays because they just are. Everybody needs a Monday night girls' night in my opinion. And Thursdays because all three boys go to cub scouts so it's play time for me any way.

I noticed since I have been hanging out with my girls less I have been blogging more, and sharing more with my friends on here. Craving the space of sharing with girlfriends on here since I'm not getting it elsewhere right now helped me realize me why I turned to blogging in the first place, maybe why a lot of us turned to blogging in the first place. I had no girlfriends at that point. Okay, I lie. I had girlfriends but not kindred spirits as Anne of Green Gables called it. When I started I had no idea I would find such kindred spirits. All I was looking for was a place to empty my soul, and talk about whatever was on my mind. A place to empty the words in my brain. And through it, I found so many kindred spirits. When I moved to California, blogging helped fill the void of time between leaving old friends and making new. When I moved back to Texas, blogging took me through a very sad and lonely time of leaving kindred spirits behind in California and reaching out to find new ones, which fortunately happened much sooner than it did in Cali. Maybe I had more practice, or maybe there's more kindred spirits in Austin, either way blogging filled the void and even gave me the opportunity to meet some of my very first kindred spirits here in Texas (that would be you, Allison, and Laura, and has gone on to include Hannah and Tina, not to mention the ones I have met while visitng my home state and other states and hopefully more to come in my state, other states, even other countries!). It gave me that outlet to share my soul even though I didn't live near my girls at the time.

Now that I am limiting my own time going out, I have found a safe haven back in the blog world. A place where somebody cares enough to hear me (hopefully, as I always hope my girlfriends do!), but matches the time frame that I need. Even though I'm wanting to spend more time at home I sure as hell still need my girl time conversations, outlets, and two way streets with sharing and venting to stay sane. I don't know if it's always the case to have one or the other, but that's the way it seems to work best for me. Or at least I have to have a little balance - I can't go all out in my social going out life and all out in blogging. Either it's a little in each, or a lot in one. Right now it's balanced and I'm loving it! What about you? Do you need to have balance or can you go all out in both? Does blogging fill a void for you too, voluntarily or involuntarily (moving locations, friends moving away, needing to find new inspiration, etc), in your life?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Teddy

We have been through so much together in the short nine years we have been married. 
Owning a home, living in mini suburbia, living on a low but sustainable income, moving to Cali, working for my Dad, living with someone, having money to blow and blowing it, moving across country again, living in an apartment, no steady income for two years, then a steady income that almost makes it but not quite, working three jobs, having our first vacation evAH.
 Not to mention having children turn from babies to toddlers to pre-schoolers to kindergarten to middle-school in that time.
I like to think we've come out on the better end, and have learned so much more because of it, and love each other all the more. I love you all the more, any way. 
I love that you're my man, I love that you're turning 28, I love ALL the things you do - from your sexy manness, to the laundry, to getting the boys ready, to family outings with us, to going to work every day, to the little things you do to make me smile like buying me a stuffed lion, a flower plant for your birthday, or being goofy in the shower. 
I love vacationing with you, I love being with you. I'm so glad you're my husband, and so proud of you! My 28 year old man.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Can't Believe It

Three types of flowers bloom every spring in Texas by the sides of the highways - bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and pink sundrops. I am in shock. I feel like God just smiled on me a little. Every spring I have seen them and loved them. The prettiest pink flowers ever. And wouldn't you know? They are called the name of my blog all along.

(will start posting pictures again as soon as I get this business of being too full all figured out)


Is it weird that I have absolutely no desire to go to Vegas with my sister and best friend from way back when? Before you answer, let me tell you that my sister has been known to be a little on the crazy side. Even after assuring me she doesn't want to get very drunk, but just wants to gamble and lay by the pool, I got a very uneasy feeling when I saw her status update that said she played strip poker last night... with her hubby, the best friend, and her new boyfriend who is twenty years older than all of us. And they were all very drunk.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Vegas! But if I'm going to be in Sin City with only two other girls I sure as hell want to make sure we've all got our heads screwed on straight. Or some guys we KNOW with us (which we wouldn't have). Still. Am I crazy for not wanting to take our girls' trip to Vegas, even if it is with somebody who I have no idea what they will do at the drop of a hat??

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Nothing Weekend in Pictures

...or not.

It seems I have run out of room to put pictures up on my blog posts. Anybody know what I can do?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is this what a relaxed weekend looks like?

I have a question for you guys. Is it "normal" to go, go, go, with nary a break in between? The past four months have been that way with me. My answer to, "Can we get together this weekend?" has been, "No, I'm sorry. But we can get together in FOUR weekends!" (and if you get back to me next week, then it will probably be six weekends, sorry!). This weekend is the first weekend where we have NOTHING planned, and Justinb's games were cancelled because of the weather so we literally have nothing planned. Is it unusual in most of your lives to have a weekend where nothing is planned back-to-back, or at all? Or is that the norm?

I'm breathing a sigh of relief this weekend that I don't have anything planned, but on the other hand I'm looking forward to my big plans coming up on the weekends! I also know this coming week I'll probably give myself a hard time for not getting out more THIS weekend. There is a dragon boat festival we could attend! However, I've also given this weekend to Brando for his birthday weekend to do what he wants with even if it is nothing ; ) so that's up to him whether we go or not.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

People Should Do Stunts Like This More Often

The world would be a happier place.

On a side note, our local theatre, Zilker Hillside Theatre, was going to play The Sound of Music this summer. I was sooooo excited about it!! Unfortunately I found out they decided to switch it out with The Music Man because they heard there might be another production of Sound Of Music. Oh my gosh, I can't explain how disappointed I am! Don't get me wrong, The Music Man is another fabulous one that will probably be even more fun for the kids to watch, but Sound of Music. Oh, Sound of Music, is my FAVORITE. Just hearing that it would be there made me want to climb the Swiss Alps and sing at the top of my lungs. So I may have to make a Sound of Music video night just for me. And make sure no one is there so I can sing if I want to. And maybe dance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


is having a sh*t ass day. I don't even want to go into the details of what I have accomplished today.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Do you have a one track mind? I have found that when I get focused on how I do something suddenly every other way I've done that same thing gets lost in the recesses of my mind.

I have straightened my hair every day for the past eight months, until I realized that is breaking my hair up into tiny bits and pieces. Fortunately, I have found a new way of drying my hair called plopping that brings out my natural waves and makes them into perfect waviness. That worked so well for Hawaii. My hair stayed that way all day and was the perfect softness in the evening. However in Texas, I'm not sure if there's more humidity in the air or what, whatever it is it does not fall into perfect waves like in Hawaii. It still falls into waves, but takes a lot more coaxing to stay in perfect waves for the whole day. A few days of that and I ended up with bedhead thrown into a ponytail all day. Ugh. Makes me feel like crap all day.

Friday I realized way back before I started this job and took the easy way out with the straightener I did my hair differently. I used to wash my hair at night, dry it naturally over night, then get it slightly wet and blow dry it in the morning. Making it only slightly wet in the morning cuts the blow dry time in half.

Once I remembered what I used to do I began doing the same routine again with a few different changes. I still plop my hair at night for half an hour because of it's so gentle to my hair and makes it perfectly soft when it finishes drying. Then I let it air dry (or fall asleep while it's drying). In the morning I get my hair slightly wet either by running it for two seconds under the shower or with the spray bottle, then blow dry. Wala! Straight hair withOUT the straightener. Yay! Also, on Saturday, I discovered I can do the wavy hair style with straight bangs in the front which works much better for Texas, so at least the non-perfect waves stay behind my direct eyesight.

Update: My images aren't working, but I found the videos for the plopping! By the way, if you've tried and you look ridiculous, I'm sure you're doing it right (yes, I'm talking to you, Sami). Here they are.

This is the one I was talking about:

Also! Here's one I found, as I was looking for the previous video, where the girl doing it actually manages to look CUTE! She uses a long sleeve t-shirt:


Wavy hair with straight bangs


Blow-dryed straight hair

Friday, April 10, 2009


Somedays I just don't like being a mom. Like the days when both the kids have off school and I am reminded of what a tornado my house was when both of them were home all the time. The constant noise where I want to plug an ipod in my ears and turn it up so I can't hear a thing but the music. Like when the dog we are watching runs off and the kids take off after him halfway down the half mile long sidewalk before I finally catch up with them and talk the dog very firmly into stopping. Like when I lecture my kids on not CHASING dogs when you want them to come back. They think it's a game and run even faster. You have to get a treat or tell them firmly to stop (of course, sometimes that doesn't work either and then you're sol). Like when my oldest says it's the baddest day ever because I got on their case for chasing the dog so far away from their house. Really, really?! What about the last 4 hours or the next 6, are those the baddest ever, too? I get SO po'd when they try to pull that Mom guilt on me!! Like when we come back from the chase and I tell them play time is over it's chore time to get the house ready to have a nice enjoyable weekend at home, and they say we haven't even played yet!! What the hell do you call the last four hours of wrestling, noys, and messes then?! Sheesh.

Okay, I'm over it. Still annoyed as shit, but over it. On to chores and making the house pretty so we can actually relax and play this weekend without worrying about it!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Afternoon Delights

Pineapple, mango, peach and raspberry smoothies.
Iced Kona coffee.
Yellow tank top.
Jean mini-skirt.
Cork wedges.
Sitting in the sunshine.
Feeling the sun on my legs.
Shawn's garden of morning glories, yellow flowers, strawberry plants, & lily pads.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Life is full

After arriving home from the airport on Monday week before last I went straight to girls' night and Brando took Justinb to football practice. Tuesday I went to work after dropping off the boys at both their schools. Tuesday evening I'm pretty sure I slept. Wednesday I homeschooled Shawners all day and probably did the same thing that evening. Thursday was more work and school, then Brando took the boys to cub scouts while I unpacked with wine and a girlfriend. Friday night was another home relaxation night. On the weekend Justinb had his first game, we went home and slept, then went with some friends to a passover seder dinner at their church. Afterwards they came over for wine and chatting and ended up spending the night (they are the closest things the kids have to an aunt and uncle out here besides my sis and three boys, and the closest thing Brando has to a brother). We made a huge yummy breakfast when we woke up then they went off to church and we went off to take bluebonnet pictures. We came home, took a nap, dressed up for REAL bluebonnet pictures and went back out.

The week was full of work, school, and girls night on Monday, work, school, and dinner with a friend on Tuesday, work, school, and a date with Brando on Wednesday, work, school, and WOW down time Thursday, only we went to get a TV from a friend. Friday we had fajitas and margaritas in the hot tub with Kels while the kids watched Marley and Me inside the house. Saturday Justinb had another game, then Brando took the boys camping while I spent the day at the pool with M with lime*ade and vodka, then over to Kels again for beer in the hot tub with a few of her friends from her small group and then spent the night at her house. We woke up in the morning, made yummy breakfast tacos, and finished watching Marley and Me, then I headed back home for more pool time (and sunburn) with M. Brando and the boys got home, then he took off for WWF with the guys.

That's just what I remember as I'm sitting here.

Today, work, school, and I'm off to girl time, but you know what I don't have anything planned the rest of the week until this weekend. Granted, the boys still have cub scouts Thursday night and I'm doing my thing tonight so that leaves us only two nights, but for the moment they are free and I am relieved.


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