May 30, 2011

Meg D.!

Meg D. came to Austin! She, her sister Katie and their friend Sandy all spent Memorial Day weekend here in the live music capital of the world. Apparently Katie and Sandy had heard of Austin's fabulousness, called Meg while she was on a biz trip once and said "Wanna go to Austin for Memorial Day? We're buying plane tickets." Done.

jeddy4.jpgMeg was here for the wedding (see awesome pic) so she was a little familiar with Austin. But from the sounds of their weekend, now she's a lot familiar and I think they really enjoyed their trip. I had drinks with them downtown last night and wow, they've done some Austin things I haven't even done yet. Good for them!

And for those of you who know Meg: she looks great, she sounds great, she is great. And so so so much fun to catch up with! (Unfortunately we didn't take any pics so you are stuck with this old wedding pic but personally, I think it's a winner.)

If you are looking for a weekend adventure and would like to pull a Meg D. by flying to Austin, well I say go for it. Especially if you are a Delta. There can never be too many Deltas in one place.

May 29, 2011

Kevin Lowe, US Sailor

Thursday, Mom, Dad and me piled into their SUV (last minute decision against the corolla was very wise) and drove and drove and drove east on I-10 to Pensacola. After plunging ahead through some hail and tornado warnings around Mobile, AL, we finally set foot in Pensacola at 5:30 p.m. We grabbed Kev from base and headed out for a steak dinner.

SDC10571Then Friday morning we packed up from our hotel room and headed down to Corry Station for Kevin's A-School graduation. There were about 100 people graduating, a big class from what the officers told us. It was a mix of people from all branches of the service, all there studying intel and technical communications.

One of the things I liked best about the graduation ceremony was they told you not only the graduates' names, but their hometowns and where their orders were to (Kev's are to San Diego). It was a pretty laid back ceremony yet with military precision on everything from the start time to the way the graduates turned corners walking up to the stage.

After graduation, Kev packed the SUV full of all his worldly possessions (again, good thing we took the SUV) and we started back down I-10, west this time. And actually we had a lovely 75 mile detour in Louisiana that allowed us to scope out SH 190 which is narrow but straight in case you were wondering. We finally made it back to Seabrook at 10:30 p.m. Friday night and all promptly crashed.

And today I'm back in Austin but it is also an important day of note for Kevin Lowe, US Sailor. It is his 23rd birthday! Happy birthday Kev!

May 28, 2011

Oprah & Gayle

Back from Kevin's US Navy training graduation (more on that in a couple days when I get pics from Mom but it was GREAT), I'm catching up in my Google Reader. And as you probably know, Delta blogs are my favorite. It's blogging and TriDeltas combined, what's not to love. I just finished reading Jess's blog about the Oprah show ending and while I can't say I had the relationship with Oprah that she did, it did remind me of one of my favorite relationships of all time: Oprah & Gayle.

As you probably also know (also, as in, in addition to my love for Delta blogs), my BFF Melissa and me have been BFFs for a million years. I think the official tally is 18 years (HOLY COW WE'RE OLD) but a million more or less sums it up.

Some time ago, we decided we were like Oprah and Gayle, BFFs taking on the world. When we call at unacceptable hours for a frivolous meltdown we say things like "...and I just had to call and tell you about it because you are my Gayle" or when we're trying to explain some other people's relationships we'll say "it's like he's his Gayle."

My Gayle and Me
Other things you should know about Oprah and Gayle as they relate to Melissa and me: whoever is Oprah is the person who is requiring attention at the moment, the person to needing to be the star (not because we think Oprah is needy or anything but because let's face it, she is the star of the show). The supporting BFF is always played by Gayle. On my wedding day for example, I got to be Oprah and she was an awesome Gayle.

I DVRed and watched the last five episodes of Oprah, mostly because it was the TV event of the year and I was not about to be left out. I just watched the last one today actually because when it was live, I was quickly finishing up my work day to, how appropriate, drive to Houston to visit my Gayle before going to see lil bro's graduation.

Anyways, that's all. I love having my own Gayle...or Oprah if that's what the moment calls for. And I hope you too have a Gayle and that you are able to let each other play Oprah whenever necessary.

May 24, 2011

Best Plan Ever

View from our potential PCH adventure
Tonight I ran into Brittany at the gym and we concocted the best plan ever.

Next April I have a conference in San Francisco. I told her she should go with me because that would be super fun. We could visit Napa and drink wine. Excellent.

Then we concocted an even better plan. We should fly to San Diego, see Kev, rent a car and drive all the way up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco. GENIUS.

So we're saving our pennies. I sure do hope we're serious about this because that sounds STELLAR.

PS That would make two Cheryl-only trips in 2012 which on top of the Cheryl & Ross Greek Weeks is fantastic.

PPS I know that's a full year away and no I am not getting ahead of myself. I'm quite excited about starting my Pensacola trip tomorrow night, about seeing Meg D. this weekend in Austin (that's right y'all!)and about my August trips to the northern corners.

May 21, 2011

It's Sunday Somewhere

It's Sunday on the other side of the world. And by all accounts, Australia and its inhabitants are still around.

If you predicted the world would end at 6 p.m. on Saturday, are you feeling a little foolish right about now?

May 20, 2011

I know my luck

In water-deprived Austin, rain is normally cause to sing to the heavens. We are in a perpetual drought. Literally we had zero inches of rain in April.

Tonight started our third rainstorm in the month of May. I was at the gym, 10 minutes into my elliptical work-out when CBS started telling me that we were under a "severe thunderstorm warning." Whatever, I'm from Houston. Say "hurricane" and I'll start being concerned. And besides, I'm an ABC news gal, I don't trust the other stations.

Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mark Murray, my local ABC chief meteorologist, standing in front of an extremely red and orange digital map. Hmmm, this couldn't be good. Red and orange on weather maps rarely means "sunshine, butterflies and an excellent breeze." I flipped channels in time to hear "reports of 1 inch diameter hail and expecting cloud-to-ground lightning."

Well shit. Now I've heard it from ABC News (and CBS) and I'm only 13:30 into my cardio work-out. But if I stay at the gym and my car is pelted with hail, that's not going to be good. Assuming the world doesn't end tomorrow, how am I going to explain to my hubby that the hail damage was all in the name of another 15 minutes of cardio? And I know my luck and my luck says the world will not in fact end tomorrow and I will have to explain this.

Of course my luck also says if I leave the gym now, it will be barely a drizzle by the time I complete the 10 minute drive home. What to do?

I came home and blogged. And once I'm done blogging here in a minute, if Lexi will allow it, I'm going to try to sneak in 20 minutes of pilates as a consolation prize.

And if Lexi and I have to do rain dances to keep this rain comin' down enough to make me feel like leaving the gym early was warranted, well then by gosh, a-dancin' we shall be.

May 18, 2011


The tiara brings out the
pink in my face.
Tonight was YNPN Austin's annual Do Gooder Games (or #DGGames for you tweeps). I'm not really in an article-style blog mood but let me hit the highlights for you.
  • Convio had a team! The Queenvios. We wore tiaras and got hella points in the costume category.
  • I rocked a couple questions during the trivia section, quite proud I must say. And just in case you wanted to know, the first YNPN chapter was in San Fran and there are 7000+ open board positions in Central Texas. I think my teammates were impressed (or their jaws hit the table for other unrelated reasons).
  • We made the finals! Woohoo!
  • The last round was 60 seconds about why your organization should win the $500 for charity prize. I gave it my best shot but let's be honest, teaching girls about self-esteem, curing cancer and literacy are all had me beat. Which is why Convio works so hard to help them raise lots of money. But alas, their missions are just sexier.
  • We won second place!
  • Young Professionals for the Cure which is a fundraising/volunteer group for the Komen Foundation in Austin was the big winner. Way to go Komen! Woohoo!
  • I saw lots of my YNPN and nonprofit friends. It was fun. One took this amazing picture you see of me here.
PS Remember that 7000+ board positions thing I mentioned? Crazy right? If you live in Austin and want to help shrink that number by serving on a board, you should attend Greenlights' Board Summit next month.

May 16, 2011

The Year of Travel

Me thinks that 2011 will go down into Black Family Lore as the year of travel. As a team we've been to Dallas and South Carolina and have our next vaca to Canada all tied up with a bow. I've already been on business trips to four different cities (with Deltas in three and YNPNers in the fourth!). I have a fifth business trip to Baltimore on the books and of course the Cheryl-only trip to Seattle in August.

Imagine adding to the craziness a Lowe family trip to Pensacola.

Yup, because that's what's happening. Next Wednesday night I'll begin the car-tastic trip to Pensacola for Lil Bro's US Navy training graduation. I drive to Houston Wednesday (stopping just once for an all-important visit with Melissa) and then Thursday bright and early in the A.M., Mom, Dad and me will pile into the little red Corolla and drive our happy selves to Pensacola. Hopefully we'll get in early enough to have a couple hours on the beach and maybe even a seaside dinner. Then Friday morning is the main event - GRADUATION. Woohoo! I get to see Kev all dressed up in his Navy blues alongside the other Navy boys (and girls). Then all four of us are whisked away back to Houston via the Corolla. Yes, that's right, four grown Lowes in one car.

Hehe I tease about the cozy Corolla but I'm really looking forward to the trip, transportation craziness included. I'm bummed that I didn't get to see Kev graduate boot camp and this is a great opportunity to still be involved in supporting his Navy career. As I told Mom & Ross, things like this are a big part of why I moved back to Texas. In Boston it was just too hard to have quick weekend trips for things like graduation or Easter. Now there's so much more opportunity to see each other and it's only a short (or medium length) car ride away.

May 15, 2011

Surprise of the Day

For about two weeks I've been asking Ross if I could book our trip to Canada. At first it was "we're not even off the plane from South Carolina yet...wait a day or two" then it was "let's make sure my foot isn't broken because I want to hike and stuff up there." (Note: foot not broken, just a bruised muscle. Whew.)

So today when I absent-mindedly said "Babe, can I book our Canada trip?" and he just said "yes" I was floored. What!? Yes!? Just like that? I can book it!? WOOHOO!

I confirmed with him, we'll go early Monday and come home late Friday. Yes, yes, that was fine (he had video game zombies he had to kill, couldn't I see that?). I wised up, quit asking questions and just logged on to Then I further wised up and called Enterprise to make sure we could rent a car in Buffalo and drive it into Canada. No problem, thus rental car question: check.

And then I booked our Canadian vacation!

Mike & Brenda's Lake House, pic stolen from Facebook
We're flying into Buffalo, NY on August 1 at the crack of dawn. We'll get in around noon and are then driving to Toronto where I hope we'll spend a little time getting lunch and seeing the city. Then off to Mike & Brenda's lake house for four nights of laid-back Canadian fun. On Friday we'll drive back to the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area, check out the falls and hop on a late flight back to Austin. Woohoo! I am so excited for our summer vacation. Yay!

May 14, 2011

Congrats Meg!

Proof: Niece Ava finds Meg's name
Today Ross's sister Meg graduated college. Woohoo! She graduated magna cum laude from Texas State with a BS in Criminal Justice. We're so proud of her! And as if graduating (with honors!) wasn't enough, she's been accepted as a full time graduate student for the fall and has landed a gig as a TA. Yay Megan!

We had at least 15 people, maybe 20 at graduation. Then we had 25 people at Trattoria Lisina (winery/restaurant) for the big celebration dinner. Four courses! Antipasta, lasagna, chicken marsala, salad, chocolate mousse cake and of course, wine. It was so much delicious food. I was starting to feel full after the second course but like everyone else at the table, pushed through til dessert.

024I also borrowed my favorite loaner-baby, 11 month old niece Adele, during dessert. (Her dad passed her to me "just like we passed the chicken marsala," down the table, person to person.) She was actually much messier than this photo implies. My napkin took the brunt of the disaster that was an 11 month old with chocolate cake within an arm's reach.

And after dinner we took some lovely family photos. (Oddly enough while taking the photos we ran into Norm, Ross' co-conspirator and BFF from high school who was at the same restaurant for date night with his girlfriend.) Here's my fav pic of new graduate Megan and Ross.


May 13, 2011

Family Portrait Time

If you read this blog, you are probably also my friend on Facebook...or you are my mom. Either way, it means you've already seen our little family portrait. But lucky you! You get to see it again!

Family Portrait

On Wednesday we used the LivingSocial deal I bought way back in March to get a family portrait taken. (For what it's worth I would have posted this picture much sooner if Blogger hadn't been down for two days in a row. WTF Blogger?) Originally, it was just going to be a Lexi picture...and when I say originally, I mean for the first 5 minutes after I purchased the deal. Then I became fixated on having it be the whole family. And my husband, because he is so wonderful and is a sucker for all things Lexi, well, he obliged to this level of ridiculousness.

Our photo package got us not just an 8x11 (probably going in my cube at work), some 5x7s, 4x6s and wallets, it also got us a jumbo 10x13. Yup. I've framed that bad boy and hung it prominently in the living room. If ever we wanted to pretend to be cool, that is so out the window. We're blatant puppy-loving suburbanites who get their pictures taken by inexpensive yet talented mall photographers, so says our living room wall. 

May 10, 2011

1:10:33 for 4 in 10/2004

Tonight I worked out for 1 hour, 10 minutes and 33 seconds.

Why the hell did I do that you ask? Because 10 minutes into my work out ESPN started showing the most miraculous hour of television I've seen in nearly 7 years: "Four Days in October." A one hour summary of the 2004 ACLS in which the Red Sox, down 3-0 in the series came back to beat the pants off the Yankees.

And I couldn't leave the gym because my drive home is longer than a commercial break and I obviously could not risk missing any of this.

Now I'm not someone who says "ooo it gave me chills." When Ross proposed, I shook (like a leaf as he'll tell you.) Now when I look at my wedding album, I get mushy. When I look at Sydney pictures, I get nostalgic. But not chills. Not goosebumps.

Watching that one hour special today, I got chills and goosebumps.

How can you not? Two Big Papi homeruns. 14 innings in Fenway Park. An A-Rod ball slap...that went in Boston's favor. A bloody sock. Johnny Damon grandslam! What's not to love??

What's more, and this I just find funny, I got goosebumps but let's be honest, I know how this ends. Not only did I watch it live on the edge of my seat and run into the streets of Kenmore Square after the victory, but the boys I babysat for in college (Izzy & Louie!) had the 90-minute highlight video and we watched it so much they could quote it. (No they didn't really know how to read but those little boys could tell you every Sox player, their position and why 2004 was the best year ever.) And I saw Fever Pitch, at the Fenway movie theatre nonetheless, where the audience stood up and cheered in the movie theatre during the final scene when the Sox win. I think I speak for most of that audience when I say I only saw that movie so I could relive the Sox win.

But OMG, it's amazing. So amazing I have to gush about a 7 year old game 7 here on my blog tonight.

And because blog reader, I love you so much, I'm going to share with you the YouTube video that is the preview for what I am calling the best hour of TV since the actual 2004 ALCS.

PS I love this opening line on NESN "Dear Red Sox fans, would you like to feel good?" and then the trailer. Awesome

May 9, 2011

What did they do up at Hood?

When watching ABC World News (hosted by my BFF Diane Sawyer) there was some Osama bin Laden coverage. No surprise; it is definitely one of the biggest things to happen in recent months. The story, though having nothing to do with our local armed forces at all, started a train of thought in my mind that resulted in this question:

What did they do up at Ft. Hood when they got the news?

Ross suspects that the people at Ft. Hood and our other military bases were happy and relieved. I'm not saying I doubt that but how did that manifest?

Did they cry? Cheer? Hug? Break open a bottle of champagne and toast? Call their loved one in the Middle East and share a moment? Sit on the couch quietly trying to wrap their head around this, what it means for our country and what it means for their family?

How did they find out? From their loved one in service? A special correspondence from a military or government official? Or like the rest of us, via "USA" chants during that Mets-Phillies game, an overly eager tweet or "breaking news" alert?

Whether you are military or not, how did you react? What happened, if anything, at your home that day?

May 7, 2011

Post with Google Account

On the default Blogger settings, comments can be posted from a variety of accounts including through your Google account. (Note: you can't test this here on my blog because I recently started installed Disqus for comments. But you could test it on Jess or Jane's blog.) This is usually the option I pick. So I type my comment, click on the drop-down box and select "Google Account" and then hit "post comment."

Now this next part is why I'm even writing about this. The next screen I see is like 1/5 of the CAPTCHA. Like it really wanted to show up but just couldn't quite get there. So I push "post comment" again and I inevitably get the same thing. It isn't until the third time that I get the CAPTCHA and see my little Google account avatar next to my comment.

Does that happen to you? Or is my Google account a freak?

May 6, 2011

Seattle Bound

With all the excitement from seeing the Deltas combined with Ross' excitement for an upcoming bachelor party trip for a buddy, I started chomping at the bit to book my Seattle adventure.

So I did it!

August 19 I board a jetliner to Seattle to visit the lovely Val and dashing Justin for a long weekend. Hurray! I'm so excited!

While I love traveling with the hubs, I also thoroughly enjoy my annual Cheryl-only trip. They always center around Deltas, have frequently included weddings and until now have always taken me east. This year I'm going crazy - west coast for no reason at all other than love of Val.

Can't wait! Yay!

May 3, 2011

BenAnnaWedding Weekend

Whew! And we're back from BenAnnaWedding Weekend. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I'll mostly share pictures here but I'll do my best to fill in the holes with captions.


Friday night we had dinner downtown at Fleet's Landing with the Deltas. It was the first time since my wedding (as in yes, 18 months!) since I'd seen Val. We were very excited to see each other and I'm looking forward to a Seattle adventure probably in June to see her more.


Saturday morning Ross and I took a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Charleston to learn about all the historical sites and the city in general. (Yes, our tour was led by a Confederate soldier look-alike.) The tour included a drive-by of Hibernian Hall which in addition to hosting the 1860 Democratic National Convention, is better known for hosting the BenAnna Wedding Reception of 2011.


Then we got all dressed up for the wedding! Lindsay took this lovely picture of us on the porch at our waterfront Marriott Courtyard. (My first hotel via Priceline and all around, a good deal.) I think this is the photo we've voted into the "Cheryl & Ross See the World" album.


The ceremony was at the French Huguenot Church on Queen Street. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take any good pictures of the wedding in action but I did get this nice shot of the location. I loved the blue chandelier as well as the random gold delta (ie triangle) that you can see up at the very front. I'm not really sure why there is a gold delta in this church, other than to make all of us Deltas very happy, but it was there nonetheless.


Then off to the reception hall where after a round of cocktails, we were greeted by our favorite bride and groom, Anna and Ben!


The party included a great deal of dancing and merry making, kicked off by who better than BenAnna.


Lots more dancing. And we took a Delta picture (have to wait on Anna's photographer for that one) and sang "I'm a T" because that is what we do at weddings. You know, Anna told us that she actually had a nightmare that the wedding ended and she hadn't had a Delta picture nor had "I'm a T" been sung. As if we'd let that happen! No way! We did both, excellently too might I add.


And then we went to Folly Beach and did a whole lot of nothing for a few days. Well, nothing but work on our tans, read good books, drink a few cocktails and eat lots of delicious seafood.

And you can see all the pics (and download them at full size if you want to my lovely Deltas) on my Flickr page.