Aug 30, 2010

The Austinites

Most the time, Ross and I are your typical young, suburban couple. We go to work, eat dinner together, do chores, love on the pup, etc. We BBQ with friends, run errands and sit on back porches.

It all makes me feel very Texan, which I love. But sometimes I want to feel like an Austinite, get out of cookie-cutter suburbia and live it up Austin style. (Note: this rarely if ever means I want to go to 6th Street after 8 p.m. That is not being an Austinite; that is being a UT student.)

And this weekend, without really even planning to, we were very Austinite-ish. As you know we hit up the downtown dog park along Town Lake, like a couple of yuppies with their puppy. Then on Sunday, we got up the gumption to go to the Austin Chronicle's 20th Annual Hot Sauce Festival in Waterloo Park. Talk about Austin-acious! Hosted by a local paper, in a downtown location, entrance fee of canned good donation to local food bank, eating the national condiment of Texas, sweating bullets because its 100000 degrees and listening to live music in the background. The only way it could have been more Austin-ish was if we were drinking Mexican Martinis but that is just inappropriate at 11 a.m. on a Sunday.

I loved loved loved feeling so local this weekend. I'm looking forward to doing even more local things in the next few months, especially now that I have more girlfriends living nearby.

On a similar note, I had another Austinite moment today and just had to giggle. I was grocery shopping, and suddenly realized that along side my (newly adopted) organic produce were my reusable shopping bags. My mind wandered to our solar patio lights, desire for hybrid cars, all-natural puppy food and I just giggled. Ross may fashion us to be red-blooded conservative Texans but I think my slightly liberal more Austin-esque ways are winning out!

Aug 28, 2010

Bark Bark in the Park Park

This afternoon we took Lexi to the Auditorium Shores off-leash dog park. This is the same place we took her for my birthday a few months back. And again, she LOVED it. She did get a little roughed up when she put her nose (literally) in another dog's fight but that serves her right. She should have more puppy sense than that.

Auditorium Shores is great but it isn't the most convenient location for us. And if we move to Georgetown one day, it will be even less convenient. So I got onto Google, knowledge source for all things, and searched for a dog park in Georgetown.

Omigoodness, they have a 6 acre park known as Bark Park. It is off leash and has separate areas for big dogs and little dogs. This is a serious park. It actually boasts amenities! Amenities such as water fountains for people AND PUPPIES. I do not know what a puppy water fountain really looks like but I am eager to find out.

As if water fountains and benches weren't enough they are adding trails to the park. And...are you ready, they are adding a doggy agility course. Can you believe that? Once that is complete, we can take Lexi for agility training! I have no idea what doggy agility courses look like but my goodness, we are definitely going to find out.

Needless to say, Lexi has now cast her vote for an eventual move to Georgetown. And with Bark Park, how can I argue?

Aug 26, 2010

Lexi-Dog Underpants

A few weeks ago we were taking a bubble bath and into the bathroom pranced Lexi - fairly uncommon because she hates water and the bathtub. But what was even more uncommon was her, er, attire. She had boxers around her neck like a necklace!

Ross swore up and down that he did not put them on her before getting into the bath. Then how the heck did they get on her head!?

The next week we came home from where ever we were and she greeted us at the door with another boxer necklace. How was this happening? What did she do to get boxers on her head?

iphone_picIt had been a couple weeks since Lexi wore underpants but yesterday she and Ross were playing, tumbling and rough housing. She grabbed one of my sports bras in her mouth, shook it like a toy and threw it into the air. They landed on her head and with one puppy shake, became a sports bra necklace.

Aug 24, 2010

Speak Up

I was watching an encore episode of The View yesterday while I worked out and they had the most interesting hot topic.

Miss Oklahoma recently (like May) was asked about Arizona's immigration law. Specifically she was asked if it should be mandated by the state or federal government. Her response was well thought out and honest. Yet she was booed and came in second place, apparently as many thought, because she gave an unpopular answer to the question.

Her response, see below, was essentially that she is a proponent of state's rights but that she is also opposed to illegal immigration and racial profiling so sees both sides. My impression is that her support for state's rights wins out. OK sure fine.

The way I understood the question, it was more about which governing body should determine if this is a law or not. That has less to do about the ethics of the law and more about constitutionality. So isn't her response about states' rights fairly spot on as to the actual question?

Personally, I'm proud of her for having an opinion, speaking her mind and answering the question. I'm glad she didn't somehow manage to just say "I believe in world peace," thereby dodging a bullet.

Miss Oklahoma's answer won't dramatically change the world. But I'm curious, what do you think?

Aug 23, 2010

Low Sodium, Organic, All-Natural, 100% Natural...Huh?

Up until very recently, I've not paid too much attention to the labels on my food, other than the price tag and maybe "reduced fat." I guess you can say it's an indulgence and luxury of expendable income which frankly, until about 6 months ago, we really just didn't have. (I am reminded of the Notorious BIG song "Mo' Money Mo' Problems.")

Add that to not working Mondays, thus having leisurely Monday morning grocery escapades and y'all, I spent 70 minutes at HEB today trying to decide what we should or shouldn't eat! And 10 of those were in the pasta aisle!

Slightly overwhelmed by all the options, I resolved to Google when I got home. So in case you, like me, don't know, "organic" is the only label that is terribly legit. To be organic, food has to pass USDA standards. If its made with multiple ingredients, like say pasta sauce, 95% of those ingredients have to be organic. This means no chemical pesticides, more natural solutions like crop rotation and no growth hormones in animals. "Natural" is a term that can be thrown around on food willy-nilly.

Of course my next question is "What are the implications of not being organic?" Is there research out there that says my health will suffer or my kids could develop autism? (I mean real research - I'm sure I could find nutcases to support anything.) Or will I build a stronger immune system by eating the occasional pesticide coated fruit, the old "a little dirt never hurt" idea?
Well the USDA says:
Is organic food better for me and my family?
USDA makes no claims that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food. Organic food differ from conventionally produced food in the way it is grown, handled, and processed.
From all my reading I've come to one conclusion: nobody else is really sure either.

I think for now I'm aiming for whole wheat/grains, low-sodium, fresh (not canned) and of course, that old stand-by, low-fat. I also appreciate this list of items more or less contaminated by pesticides. Perhaps I'll break into the world of organic food with this list.

But come on, who the heck knows. I guess if my kids end up with three eyes each, we should re-evaluate.

Aug 22, 2010

20-Something: The New Adolescence

I stumbled upon a very interesting article today from the New York Times Magazine called "What Is It About 20-Somethings?".

I'm certainly not a psychologist so I won't try to give you all the nitty gritty but in short, the article discusses the trend of so many 20-somethings to not grow up at a "normal pace" and the probability (or not) that the slowness is caused by a new developmental stage.

Super interesting. On the one hand, I don't think you are "grown up" at 18 just because your legal status has changed. I certainly wasn't a grown up until I finished college. That said, I can see the argument for a few years of something not quite adolescence but not quite adulthood. And sure, for everyone its a little different, a little more or a little less time to grow up.

But (you knew there was a but) is it a good idea to say "Well it isn't Johnny's fault that he doesn't have a job/house/girlfriend/etc. I mean goodness; he's 28, that's still an emerging adult"? The article, which introduced me to the term emerging adult, points out some of the practical issues of not expecting 20-somethings to take full adult responsibilities. Do they need to be able to stay on their parents' health insurance until they are 30? Who is going to pay into social security to support grandma or great-grandma? We'd only be making the "sandwich generation" be in the sandwich that much longer.

I think there is also an element of self-fulfilling prophecy. Right now, there's a general expectation that after school, be it high school or college depending on your family, you will start to take care of yourself fairly independently. Let's average that out to being around the age of 22 but as we know from our own experiences and the article, plenty of people push that to 23, 24, 25, heck, 30. Now what if the general expectation becomes that you don't care for yourself until after school and 3 years of meandering? Do people start pushing the boundary even further? Do we strain the 50-somethings finances that much more? At what point do you really HAVE TO take care of yourself?

And another practical though not monetary issue: babies. Sociologists say actually becoming an adult is based on five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. Assuming those milestones are roughly followed, what happens to the gal who doesn't complete school til later, spends years meandering before becoming financially independent, then finds a hubby and holy hell, needs to have that baby FAST. Can anyone else hear her clock ticking or is it just me? Biologically Susie 20-Something cannot wait forever to find her mate and make a baby. Aren't we setting ourselves up for more high-risk pregnancies, invitro demands and the like? And come on, I'm not even one to say women are purely baby making machines; I like careers and years of traveling with the hubs.

After reading the article, thinking of all these things, I think I'm still at what my initial reaction was: there's some laziness, indulgence and enabling happening. While I'm not opposing some job-jumping or later marriages or living with a significant other, I will say, I'm opposing mooching. Can't we be emerging adults while being financially stable? Can't the two co-exist?

Some time, maybe lots of time, in your 20s is figuring yourself and your future out, but lets encourage each other to do so on our own dime, if for no reason other than karma.

Aug 20, 2010

Anniversary Adventure

I know it isn't polite to talk about money. But to really get your help, I'll need to a little.

Our anniversary is in about two months and we're going to celebrate it big time. However, I'd love your input on where we go as I'm kinda a novice on this one. Here's our goal:

Spa resort within 5 hours of Austin, $500 or less

We can go for just one night, that's fine. Or a couple nights would be fun too. Bottom line though, our room and spa treatments must equal less than $500 and it would be ideal of most of our meals could work their way into that budget too.

I've done a little bit of research and here's what I've come up with thus far.

    Horseshoe Bay
  • Horseshoe Bay Resort on Lake LBJ is my first choice at the moment, so much so in fact that the budget was set as it's what this option would set us back. There are several dining options on-site, spa services, pools and of course, the lake. It's about two hours from home I would say, maybe even less.
  • Lajitas Resort is way more than 5 hours away. It is in Big Bend and is a whole whopping 9 hour drive. However, I've never been to Big Bend (I don't think Ross has either) and we could make a full long-weekend trip out of it. Also, Ross loves west Texas and after my one adventure there, I'm not opposed. And the price is right, especially since they are offering stay for two nights and the third is free.
  • Dolce Lakeway Resort is on Lake Travis which is very pretty...but within an hour of home. I know that shouldn't matter too much but you are talking to the lady who refused to go to Girl Scout camp in her hometown and insisted her mother drive her all the way to Conroe for camp AND then who refused to apply to colleges within a three hour radius of home. I am so not a home-body. I mean this is a chance to go someplace new. Maybe we should save Dolce for when we have kids and hours on the road are inconvenient, even for couple retreats. That's good rationale right? (Side note: the price is better than right.)
  • Escondida Resort is one I stumbled upon tonight. It's about 2.5 hours west, into the Hill Country. It looks really nice and offers a couple's massage. And in fact, Fredericksburg is on the way so it could call for a wine tasting on the way out.
  • Lost Pines Resort is in Bastrop. I'll just go ahead and throw it out there now - no matter how lovely I hear this place is, I am not spending my anniversary in Bastrop. That I just cannot do. (And it feels like this is THE young couple's place to go if you are from Austin, which is fine. But in addition to having an urge to go far, I also have an overwhelming urge to do something unique, as if it matters.)
Obviously I am biased to Horseshoe Bay but I am really trying to be open to other ideas. I'm not entirely sure why I think I should consider other locations but alas, I do. Do you have any recommendations? Anything in the Houston or Dallas areas?

SHU too

You know I'm often on the hunt for writing prompts, so I'll take inspiration from Jane, Anna and the SHU Box for this one.

If the clock set back 60 minutes right now I would...
  • Probably repeat my evening. Its been pretty swell thus far.
If work were canceled and I had the day off, I would...
  • work out, ideally at a morning weight-lifting class (the kind offered by my gym always in non-morning hours)
  • have brunch with my hubby (in this fantasy-land, his work day is canceled too, with pay of course)
  • take Lexi to a dog park and enjoy weather below 90 degrees (obviously this is fantasy-land or not Texas in August at least) 
  • read a book or Texas Monthly from the new in-ground pool that would suddenly manifest itself in my backyard...complete with a waterfall
My Mexican Beach
If work were canceled for the next week, I would...
  • run off to Mexico...the safe, touristy beachy part
  • read books on Mexican beaches
  • get mildly more tan through my SPF 30
  • and eat shrimp for at least one meal per day
  • and not do any cooking or cleaning
If I could take a year paid sabbatical, I would...
  • immediately cancel as many bills as possible, beginning with my student loan payment which would be the most gratifying not to pay, followed only by a large portion of my AT&T bill. And find a renter for the house.
  • Crete = fantasy destination
  • spend at least two months in Europe visiting Venice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Crete, Seville, Madrid and other warm, near-the-Mediterranean locations
  • come back to US of A for Christmas and 4th of July, for sure. And probably good healthy portions of football season too. I do love all those very American things.
  • hop back on a plane and go down under to explore more of Australia, the south island of New Zealand, Fiji and the Cook Islands.
  • inevitably go up a dress size from all the delicious food I would never refuse while in such fun and amazing places
  • post-sabbatical, I would invest in WeightWatchers.

Aug 19, 2010

Rings, Pflags, Etc

For all the delta readers, so old news. But for others, the big news of the week was Jane and Chris got engaged! Woohoo! Since Jane can tell her own story, I'll just encourage you to read it on her blog.

They are thinking a 2012 wedding, maybe spring when its still cool. I think this is great. We've had two (very different) Boston summer weddings so spring would add a nice change to the Boston wedding scene.

Pronounced "flags" but like everything else in P-ville, it is an F sound that begins with a P, silly Pflugervillians. It is relevant though because it is our newspaper and I am going to start writing for it this month. Because I miss writing so much and because I've been intrigued by the idea of newspaper writing for a couple years now, I've chatted with the editor and will be doing a few freelance articles every month or so. I also think this is good timiing because as sad as it is, newspapers may not be around in their printed form for that much longer. If I want my writing to be printed on newsprint, I've got to get on it. You know in like 40 years, I'll be showing those clips to my grandkids and they are going to think they are as antiquated as I think microfilm is. I'm quite excited. :)

You should subscribe to the Pflag or at least, read it online. I'll update you as soon as my first article is out.

Ross' training weeks at GFD continue. Today was swift water training which was both a blessing and curse. On the one hand, it was a blessing that he spent a triple digit heat day in the lake. On the other, the man is pooped!

driving to camp
Speaking of pooped, Lexi is totally. We so infrequently are both at work all week that we started feeling bad for her. We remedied her boredom today by taking her to doggy day camp. Holy cow, she is WORN OUT! I'm glad she got the exercise and socialization though. Its always good for her. (Yes I am one of those puppy mommys who talks about their dog needing socialization. But whatever, my dog knows how to play nice.)

Saturday morning we're going to a breakfast fundraiser for one of the guys at the department. His daughter needs a surgery and our breakfast will help fund it. And gosh, do I love breakfast.

Also on Saturday, Brittany, Nichole and I are going to a wine tasting which I am super excited about. Its been years since I've been to one (ok well I've only really been to one...). I need to practice before my work wine tasting event on Thursday. So really, its all in the name of Girl Scouting.

Aug 16, 2010

Summer Reading List

This summer, especially the past month or so, I've been inhaling books. I've been in the middle of one with another on deck all summer. And for being such a loyal blog reader, you get the priceless gift of reviews...or I just want to practice reviewing things so maybe one day I'll get paid for it. Either way, here are my reviews of my summer reading list.

The Associate, by John Grisham: If you like Grisham or Law & Order, you'll like this book. A brand-new associate out of Yale Law is blackmailed into spying on his employer. Props to Grisham for writing a book based above the Mason-Dixon line. Bottom Line: good read.

The Twentieth Wife, by Indu Sundaresan: Nearly left on the side of the road as a baby by her poor immigrant parents, Mehrunnisa captures the eye of India's favorite son and sets her own sights on becoming empress. Based on a true story, it seemed to me that the author did a great job maintaining the historical integrity. Bottom Line: must read.

The Ivy Chronicles, by Karen Quinn: A quick read and fluffy girl-book. Newly divorced and fired Ivy discovers a career in helping NYC's rich get their precious little children into elite kindergartens. The antics are absurd but given what I've seen parents do in little league/gymnastics/Girl Scouts...I doubt that they are far off the mark. Bottom Line: bubble bath reading.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins: Set somewhere in the far future, 12 districts are ruled by the oppressive Capitol. To reiterate its power, the Capitol requires every district to send 2 child tributes to the annual Hunger Games where the tributes will fight to the death. The winner's district will eat heartily for the next year; the other 11 districts will not. A young adult book, it is less about the sci-fi element of it and more about the head-games of fighting to the death. I read this book in less than two days and was disappointed when it finished because I wanted to keep reading. (Thank you Nichole for the recommendation.) Bottom Line: buy. it. now. must read.

Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, by Tracy Quan: Another fluffy girl-book, but one I can't say I recommend. It was OK for the most part but the last 10 pages take the main character on a 180 that really isn't explained. Bottom Line: don't.

In the Woods, by Tana French: Set in contemporary Ireland, Adam Robert Ryan is a detective assigned a murder case in his the same woods where 20 years earlier, his 2 best friends disappeared and he was found scraped and bloody hugging a tree. The present murder story is great but the cold-case doesn't intertwine as well as it could making for a disappointing finale. Bottom Line: eh, indifference. (or, re-write the ending yourself)

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins: The sequel to The Hunger Games, it picks up practically at the same train station the other leaves off at. With a more complicated plot and a little less character development, it satisfies the "must read more" hunger from the end of the first book. As the second of a planned trilogy, it is definitely setting the scene for the final book, Mockingjay due out August 24. Bottom Line: read before August 24!

Now I must begin The Constant Princess so I can report back to you on that. How I love summer reading :)

Aug 15, 2010

It only feeds the fire

If you read this then I'm going to go out on a limb and say you know me. And you know I am mildly obsessed, in fact towing the line if bat-shit crazy, about traveling. Ross and I have made a pact to take two vacations a year (at least!) until we have kids. I kid you not, we get home from one and I'm planning the next. I've already started checking out hotels in South Carolina for our April trip!

Friday he told me something that only feeds the fire. On October 1, GFD does their vacation draft/lottery thing. They start with the most senior staffer and go down the list requesting days. After one round through, they start back at the top. There are 83 firefighters and Ross will be roughly number 75 in order to pick his days (the benefit of being the top of his recruitment class).

Attitash, NH ski destination
You know what this means right? Yup, by October 1 we have to figure out what weeks we want for vacation through September 30, 2011.

Obviously I'm on this like white on rice. Here's the rough draft of our vacation hopes and dreams
  • November 19-22: Tennessee to visit Gramma, Spike and Kathy
  • December 28-January 2: New Hampshire to ski and visit Woodacres with Ryan and Susannah (and for me, probably see Jane, Chris, Amanda, Joe and Taygan)
  • April 15-17: Lake Travis for Ross' 30th Birthday Spectacular
  • Folly Beach, SC
  • April 29-May 3: South Carolina for Ben-Anna's wedding and to frolic on Folly Beach...probably also with Ryan and Susannah
  • September 2011 sometime: Port Aransas
I think those should require 8-9 vacation days and he has 14. His plan is to request 10 days off and save four days for "oh crap" or to roll-over to the next fiscal year...which is good because you know where 2012 takes us: GREECE!

(See compulsive! Its August 2010 and I can probably tell you my vacation destinations through summer 2012. Ah but it makes my life so fun to know there are so many fantastic destinations in your future.)

Aug 12, 2010

Chatting Up Lexi

Not so many blog posts ago, I confessed that I have a somewhat compulsive need to write. I never realized it til I wasn't doing it in mass quantities every day. I suppose that isn't surprising given that for roughly the past...oh 20 years, writing has been pretty prevalent in my life. Sure I still write emails and whatnot, but not press releases or essays or scripts or PSAs. While an email needs to be grammatically correct and spot on with tone, it doesn't have the challenges of professional or academic writing. And I'm a freak who craves that.

Today I attended a luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals focused on fundraising via social media. I hate to admit this, but instead of getting me all jazzed about fundraising, it got me all jazzed about marketing. It was all I could do not to jump out of my chair and get into a very excited conversation with speaker David Neff.

Anyways, long story short, it meant today I felt that compulsive need to write something. But really nothing terribly exciting is going on for us right now and while I love to write, I also firmly believe in actually writing something as opposed to nothing. And wouldn't you know it, the web is full of writing prompts for weirdos like me. One lengthy explanation later, I shall finally write about the title of this post, using the writing prompt I found online.

Prompt: What are some of the questions you would like to ask your pet?
  • Why do you insist on sleeping on top of me each night?
  • How do you get Ross' boxers on your head when we're gone during the day?
  • Why does water freak you out so much?
  • You really like our house better than Jack & Nancy's house, right? RIGHT?!
  • Where did your appetite go? You have organic dog food for heaven's sake!
  • Have you figured out where we go every day? Actually, do you even care?
  • Are you a true believer that we will continue to come home to you yet? (In the early days you did not seem to believe this. I can't decide if you buy it now or if you've just stopped caring.)
  • Do paper products taste good?
DSC00488I think she might answer like this...
  • Because, Mom, you are soft and comfy to sleep on.
  • I'll never tell.
  • ...Ok I really have no idea why water scares her so much.
  • I totally love Mom & Dad's house best.
  • I'm trying to force you into giving me a people-food only diet. I seem to be failing.
  • Dunno where you go, don't care. It just better not be to see another puppy. You better not be cheating on me.
  • Yup; I buy it.
  • Like chicken.

Aug 9, 2010

GFD, Here He Comes!

Breakfast of ChampionsDSC00633Ross tried to tell me I was being a little ridiculous but you know what, I don't care. So there. Today is his first day at GFD and by gosh, I was determined to document it. Secretly, I know he loved me stalking him with the camera this morning. I know it.

First having breakfast with Lexi. And yes, you are seeing that correctly. Lexi is eating cereal off the spoon. Uh huh.

Then into the jeep and off to his first day of work. Hurray! I can't wait for him to come home tonight and tell me all about it. Actually he gets to tell me and his whole family as we have a Gramma going away party tonight. Starting tomorrow she's back in Tennessee with Spike and Kathy.

It's a big Monday!

Side Note, 1:22 p.m.
I've always thought being a housewife would be terribly boring and that I have too much energy to do it. Y'all, I so take it back. I am doing an AWESOME job at being a housewife today. Like killer. Morning work out, dr.'s appointment completed 8 months after recommendation, wedding present purchased, banking issue resolved, cute clothes borrowed, home decorating in process, laundry running. See what I mean!? KILLER. Who knows, maybe firefighting will be so lucrative I can be a housewife every day. (much to the chagrin of my parents who put me through college and my hubby who is helping me pay off the remainder of my loans...maybe out of consideration to them I shouldn't be a housewife. But dang it, I'm good at it!)

Side Note's Side Note, 6:23 p.m.
OK I would be a terrible housewife. At about 5 p.m. I started to go crazy. I had ONE. DAY. of housewifery and managed to go nuts by the end of it. Newest resolution: stay employed.

Aug 8, 2010

Party in Leander Y'all

Blake & NickI've found one of the casualties of getting older to be proximity. Our friends are starting to have (really cute) kids and need room to stretch out. The first of these here in Texas was really Nick & Kristi who had baby Blake in February, giving them 1.5 kids (Nick has a kindergartner who is with them on weekends). They stretched all the way out to Leander which if you aren't from Austin is fair to say is far. Its a great move for them, especially since Kristi teaches in a Leander elementary school. But it does lend itself to a somewhat comical feeling of making a great adventure when we go to their house as we did last night.

WashersAs I talk to our friends, I realize that Nick & Kristi aren't going to be the only ones in the boonies for very long. Jon & Erin are looking at a house literally 1 minute away from them, also in Leander. I'd be amiss if I didn't sing it - another one bites the dust.

But I shouldn't be so shocked/sad for them. Ross announced a couple weeks ago that when President Obama let's us move (we must be in this house for 3 years to keep our tax credit), he wants to move to Georgetown. If he gets his way, they'll be singing another one bites the dust at me.

I'm not totally sold on this Georgetown thing, mainly because its REALLY far from downtown and could limit my career opps one day. But I agree with Ross on the idyllic nature of raising our kids in the same community he's firefighting. I'm all about close ties to home. Thus I've told my husband he has two years to prove two things to me: 1) we can get a kick ass house in the best neighborhood in town for under $250k and 2) that our kids can get a good education either because the public schools are on the up and up or there are affordable private schools.

And then we can say "Party in Georgetown Y'all" while another one bites the dust plays in the background. ;)

Aug 5, 2010

Boston Wedding Bonanza

I just returned from six nights in one of my favorite cities...and from the title of this blog post, you can probably figure out which city that is.

Day 1, Thursday was kinda like a kindergartener's book. I drove in a car, flew on a plane, rode a bus and took a train to get to my final destination. A lesson in transportation. If only I had taken a boat ride at some point. I spent that night in Wellesley with my wonderful family eating delicious food and staying up late with my cousin Wes drinking wine. Poor Wes had to work the next morning but not I. (The beauty of vaca.)

DSC00590Day 2, Friday I met my TriDelta sisters at the BU Pub for lunch, wandered over to Fenway and made my way downtown. Kristin very kindly invited me to stay with her at the swank hotel Jess' wedding was at. We got checked in, ran into the bride and groom and headed out for a lobster dinner. YUM! Then it was back to BU for the rehearsal night party at, appropriate for the BU themed wedding, White Horse, one of our old stomping grounds. At White Horse we discovered the overwhelming wedding-nature of everything. Three engaged TriDeltas were there and a few others are looking down the tunnel of love at diamonds. Hence the "wedding bonanza" of it all.

DSC00591Day 3, Saturday started out with Kristin and I taking it fairly easy and ended with one awesome wedding. Jess and Rob had their ceremony at Marsh Chapel on campus and the reception at the Colannade Hotel in downtwon Boston. It was nothing shy of amazing. Rooftop cocktail hour, lighting effects in the ballroom, NY strip for dinner, live band and flip flops for when your heels became too much. Jess' dress was beautiful and her dad's speech was spot on one of the best I've heard. They invited the guests to join in their first dance and we rounded out the reception with a few choruses of "I am a T," our fav TriDelta rush song that I believe has been sung at all our weddings thus far. I think we had two photographers capturing that moment and I can't wait to see the pics. And of course in the middle of all that I got to meet baby Taygan, Amanda and Joe's little bundle of baby boy joy.

Day 4, Sunday Eight or so of the college friends met back near campus for a gluten-free brunch, recommendation of Jane and Chris. It was also Amanda and Joe's first anniversary and according to them, they loved spending it with all the guests from their wedding last year. Brunch ended trying to decide who would get married the last weekend of July/first weekend of August in 2011 so the tradition could stay alive. (It also ended knowing we'll all see each other at Ben and Anna's wedding in April which is quite promising.)

DSC00614Day 5, Monday was spent relaxing with the Renaud family in Brimfield. Lots of baby kissing.

DSC00617Day 6, Tuesday started in Brimfield and then migrated to Boston when Rachel, Amanda's sister, flew in from Florida. The four of us (3 girls and Taygan) spent the afternoon and night in Southie at Aunt Pam's place. As it was Taygan's 2 month birthday, we celebrated with cupcakes and wine. Taygan, I'm telling you now, all birthdays should be spent that way. (The sweets were from a local placed called Sweet Tooth and were soooo good. Its a good thing we don't have one of those that close to my house because I would eat it every day.)

Day 7, Wednesday was primarily a travel day but began nicely with a light Dunkin Donuts breakfast with Amanda and Rachel and then a tour of Arlington by Jane and lunch at pizza place in the town's center. Then to Logan, then Newark - which for the record I am never ever ever flying through again - and finally into Austin around 11:30 p.m. to be greeted by my perfect husband with red-tipped yellow roses, precisely my favorite kind of rose.

Whew! There you go, the Boston adventure in nutshell.

Now its back to work for a couple days, getting my life back in order after 2.5 weeks of being all over the place and getting Ross ready for his first day at GFD on Monday. Woohoo!

PS I had to go back and fix like 6 spelling errors in this blog post. I am clearly losing my writer's touch. Only practice makes perfect so I suppose...I shall have to blog more?

Aug 1, 2010

My New BFF

iphone_picTaygan is my new BFF. We're having a blast. More later when I return to Texas.