Mar 29, 2012

Big Plan

On Tuesday I attended a day workshop at UT. Being an urban campus (not quite as urban as BU but not much different), it really felt like college to me. Tangent: when I visit more campus-y schools, those don't elicit thoughts of undergrad from me. Quad? What's a quad? Frat row?? Give me a subway stop and downtown skyline any day!

Anyway, in addition to nostalgia for college, strategic planning was the focus of the day. I think I learned some good things I can use at the office. But for the purpose of this blog, it was also interesting how the prof pointed out using strategic planning in your personal life. Without being morbid, he made the point of when you die, what do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to have under your proverbial belt?

It got me thinking. Ross and I talked a little about it and while I know it was recommended to have three objectives, we're steadily at four:
  • Fulfilling careers: Probably pretty self explanatory
  • Positive impact on community: Whether at work or by volunteering, this one matters. What good are skills if you don't use them to help people?
  • Meaningful relationships: The first two were easy but this one was kind of a product of saying "but we want friends! and date night!" because accomplishments are cool and all, but people are important.
  • Happy & healthy family: I don't mean to imply this is the least important but it is the one that makes me giggle. Certainly it's big things like healthy kids who eat good food and exercise (ditto for us) and who are generally happy because they know they are loved. ...But it's also travel, college-savings, ranches and beach condos. I had to have a bucket for those because I am not giving them up.
In chatting about this on a Lexi walk, we realized none of our objectives were "to have a clean house." By the logic of my class, I should eliminate those tasks from my to-do's... which to me means another check mark in my mental "reasons to hire a cleaning person" column. I mean that's the only logical conclusion right??

Mar 25, 2012

Pinterest House

I tried out Pinterest a couple months ago because as you probably know, its all the social media rage. And part of my job is literally being knowledgeable about the social media rage.

Anyways, I can't say I'm a huge fan. I guess I'm more of a text person when it comes to online research for just about anything. (Contrast: when hubby researches something he always starts with YouTube...which never even crosses my mind.) However, I have found I like Pinterest as I think about the new house we want to build this year. I like it so much in fact I have no less 9 boards relating to it.

And because I'm so excited about some of them, I wanna share my fav pinned pics with you. Here we go

Yard: I've long since come to terms with the fact that cactus and rocks are the only things I don't kill. So I'm running with it.
Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

Living Room: A slightly warmer, brighter version of what we currently have (except I don't need a tea pot on my coffee table. That's strange right?)
Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

Kitchen: Once you go red, you can never go back. I thought I wanted dark cabinets but having seen some pics of that have realized it's much too dark. Light cabinets with dark countertops, here I come.
Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

Guest Bathroom: Yes, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to our guest bathroom. Again, along the same lines of what we currently have (though way more swank). I especially love the blue walls.
Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

Mar 24, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, you are reading the blog of the wife of the most famous MetroRail rider in Austin.

Last night we jumped on the first weekend evening service of MetroRail for a night downtown. Jon & Erin jumped on at the stop nearest their house and a couple stops later, we jumped on. On the ride into town we joked about being a part of Austin history - first train ever for weekend MetroRail! Woohoo!

Ah, foreshadowing.

When we got downtown we noticed a reporter and cameraman and thought we'd have .5 seconds of fame as they captured footage of people getting off the train. Oh no, it was so much more fame than that.

Sheldon Green from KVUE interviewed me and Ross. He actually told me my first answer was too spot-on and asked if I was planted by CapMetro. (No, just years of professional PR work and training.) I thought my interview went fine but Ross' interview was excellent. He's such a natural! Laid back, guy-next-door sounding, and of course, good looking.

Anyway, we missed the news clip because as mentioned, we were having a night out on the town. But we know it showed because Nancy's friends, the guys at GFD and a couple of my friends (who noted my name was spelled "Sheryl") saw it.

In the absence of a video clip, allow me to share my husband's fame via the web story. And I quote

Friday night about 20 people hopped on board Capital Metro’s first permanent weekend train ride stretching from Leander to downtown Austin.
“I went on the website and it said (the train would arrive in) 30 minutes and it was on the second for how long it said it was going to be,” said Ross Black who rode with his wife to meet two other couples for a night out on the town.
Evening Update: Video clip!

Mar 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Oreo

Dear Oreo Cookie,

Happy 100th birthday! Your special birthday cookie with the sprinkles of color in the cream filling is spectacular. If you want to continue making those forever, it's cool with me.

(Although I must admit I just threw the last few in the package away out of self-preservation. I've been eating them all by myself and unfortunately I don't think "Oreo Cookie" has been added to the food pyramid. Yet.)


Mar 20, 2012

St. Patty's Wedding

Jane and Chris got married!

Two posts ago I hinted at this and since then, it's actually happened. Friday morning I flew out of Austin wicked early (and forgot it was both SXSW and spring break so did not give myself enough time at the airport. Consequently I ran from security to my gate barefoot...fortunately it was the gate closest to security so that was only about 15 yards. After ascertaining that my flight had not left, I promptly put on my shoes and boarded).

I made it to Beantown a little after noon and met up with Val. We surprised ourselves with exactly how little we remembered of the T map but did in fact make it to the 1:20 commuter rail up to Salem that we were aiming for. We had lunch in a little cafe (mmm chowdah), checked into our Inn, took naps, shared a bottle of wine with Kristin and headed to dinner. Dinner turned into drinks which turned into dancing with the entire wedding party and many college friends to the tune of a 90s cover band. It was a good night.

Saturday (St. Patrick's Day) started with one Taygan being thrown into bed between Val and me. Cutie pie! Then lunch and then before we knew it, wedding time!

Jane and Chris officially earn the award for shortest (college) wedding ceremony. I think her beautiful self was down the aisle, married and back down with a hubby in all of 15 minutes. Nicely done you two.

Let's pause here to admire Jane. She was gorgeous! Her dress was fantastic: a full lace overlay, modest train and some sparkley beading. Her hair was very classy in a side ponytail with a great little headband and the make-up was perfect (hats off to Ang).

Then cocktail hour, during which I discovered just how many Deltas were in attendance and met Margo's soon-to-be-hubby; dinner - complete with lobster bisque - some very impressive speeches (Chris' was my fav) and then the dancing began. As was no surprise to anyone, Taygan was among the most popular dancing partners.

In true Delta fashion, we sang (chanted) "I am a T" and then had a group picture taken. (There were a few girls who hadn't been to the other weddings and I have to say, they looked a little surprised by the singing. Apparently they don't break out into sorority rush songs every time they attend a wedding. I recommended that they start.)

Post-wedding we hit up a wine bar in Salem to relax and continue chit chatting a bit. Then it was back to our Friday night location to wrap the night up with a dance party because everyone loves a dance party.

It's late now and I must get some sleep but I'll leave you with these two things: 1) I also saw my family during my trip which was awesome and relaxing. I loved spending my last day just hanging out with them in Wellesley. And 2) PICTURES!

Created with flickr slideshow.

These are some of my favs. I'll upload the rest to Flickr later this week.

What's Goin' On

Holy mole it's been a long time. Let me try to summarize...
  • SXSW: Owned me for 5 days. It was a lot of fun and I had my first experience on the MetroRail here in town (success!). As expected it was also very busy and I was a tired girl when it was all said and done.
  • New Job! Well, very similar job, new title. A week or so ago I was promoted to Sr. Marketing Specialist. Very exciting :)
  • Date Night: Ross and I took advantage of a Wednesday night off together and saw a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. Our flick of choice, John Carter, starred the kid (Taylor Kitsch) who plays Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights. Given the premise of the movie, Confederate war vet ends up on Mars, it was better than I thought.
  • Boston! And more importantly, Dr. Jane's wedding. More on that later.
  • The Castaways: I finished this book on my flight home from Boston yesterday. It's about 3 couples who are all besties on Nantucket and the way the accidental drowning of their 4th couple friend affects them. It sounds more morbid than it was and I enjoyed all the soap opera like twists.

Mar 16, 2012

Mar 9, 2012

Puppies on TV

Applying same theory to this blog by adding Lexi pic
Lexi really hates when other puppies are on TV. It throws her into a tizzy. She just cannot stand it.

Which causes me to ask...

Why must EVERY single commercial include puppies!? This morning we saw a commercial for Quicken software that included a dog. I know dogs have nothing to do with their software.

At work we always joke how we need to add puppies and babies to our marketing materials and press pitches so we'll get more attention. Apparently every other company in America has the same strategy and some are doing a really good job of it.

Mar 7, 2012

The Girls Are a Mess

I wish I could tell you that something interesting was going on in this house of mine but alas, nothing is.

Well unless you count the fact that Lexi and I have been a hot mess.

Sunday night Ross and I were FaceTime-ing while he was on shift. Per the usual, I turned the phone to Lexi so he could see her. I said "Want to talk to your dad?" and she started to shake her head. I thought it was just a little puppy-dog head shake, you know like when something gets in her ears. But it kept going! And it wasn't the usual big shake but steady rhythmic shakes.

Naturally we freaked the hell out.

I sat with her, made sure it stopped and at Ross' suggestion, called her into the kitchen for a treat. She seemed fine, good balance, plenty of energy. OK on to the next thing - Google.

Google told us they are known as head tremors. If you need a video to better "get" it, here's one - but trust me when I say freaky.

I've since talked to the emergency vet's office who said unless she starts having full body seizures or otherwise acts strange (which Lexi's case would be what - not barking at horses on TV?), she's probably fine. Apparently it can be caused by something as mundane as running into stuff (ie walls while chasing bugs), muscle spasms or as Ross researched, a vitamin deficiency. She's now on a puppy multi-vitamin, but as for running into stuff, I got nothing on that.

And me, well I had some sort of food poisoning or something similar Monday night. Suffice it to say, not fun. I stayed home from work Tuesday to recuperate (and whine and mope and groan). Ross made an early morning grocery run to get the appropriate sick-person foods and then made me homemade chicken noodle soup Tuesday night. I went back into the office today but can honestly say I didn't feel even 90% until after dinner tonight. However, with the exception of being a little achey (I guess that will happen after laying in bed for 36 hours straight), I'm doing pretty good now.

I have approximately 1.5 days to get myself back in tip-top shape because Friday evening one of the funnest, definitely busiest 4 days of the year start - South by Southwest!

Mar 5, 2012

Cirque du Soleil

Saturday night the hubs took me on date night to Cirque du Soleil. This was my big Christmas present - floor seats!

Having never seen anything like this, I was really impressed. As I told Ross, the act that most knocked my socks off was the ribbon dancer-hanging lady. How did she do that? Some of the other acts I could kind of wrap my head around like "oh you'd have to have crazy good balance" or "its kinda like cheerleading pyramids on crack." But that one...I just don't know where you even begin. How do you train for that? What makes you wake up one morning and think "I'm going to hang from the ceiling by a ribbon-sheet thing today"?

Just. Plain. Cool.

I can't really do it justice in words so I won't try. Here's a video instead.

Mar 4, 2012


Lucky number 13. That's how many calls the hubby went on Thursday during his shift. Now considering that a call takes at the very minimum 30 minutes and there are only 24 hours in a day/shift, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this was a very busy shift. He was exhausted but when keeping in mind how many people he helped, that ain't so bad.

(Speaking of busy, y'all, March is busy. I'm sure we'll talk a few times but don't take the inevitable lapses personally. I'm not saving lives but I am in at least 10 places at once every day all  month.)