Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Weather Dude

The weather dude in our house has a certain amount of irrefutable power. We have a hard time convincing Jacob that it is not a shorts day when it is 40 degrees outside. (Yes, apparently it does get that cold here.) So Santa brought the kids this weather station (we have a much more adult version in our room minus the weather dude) which they refer to daily. What he says goes. At least this is what we told the kids this winter as they referred to him every morning for what to wear. If the weather dude has a jacket you have to wear one too. Tuesday the weather dude looked like this... Ummm...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back to normal

The company's gone (we miss y'all already) and Brian's back from CA (thank God, I am not cut out for single parenting) and things are back to the kind of normal insanity we enjoy around here. Saturday, after bidding a tearful farewell to Isabella - Reba's best friend ('til we see her again Monday) we were standing in the hall by the door and Jacob shouts, "A lizard in the window!" Now he is in this delightful "Made you look" phase so I obviously chose to ignore him. He then continued to shout so I decided it was safe to really look. And sure enough there was a lizard in the window way above the front door (please ignore the cobwebs in the photo - it is way up there, I promise). It's possible this was actually a Gecko. Jacob told Brian when he got home that the Gecko did not talk about insurance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pasta for dinner

Brian's pasta is hands down the best thing ever. He literally mixes the flour, eggs and water then runs it through the pasta maker for the best linguine ever. With Kristin here I knew we had to make it for her given her known love of pasta. She complimented the meal with her recipe for sauce. What an incredible meal! The kids loved it, for sure...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kristin is here, and - oh yeah, Don't Mess With Texas

Kristin, my college roommate, a person who knows me better than most and still loves me anyway, has come for a visit. Boy have I missed her. It has almost been two years since we were last in the same state much less region of the country. When together it seems like we haven't missed a day.

We spent four years together sharing a room, but so much more than that - sharing a life. She became like a sister to me. We were odd balls amongst a see of cookie cutter women. We didn't fit into Greek life so we made our own sorority - the sisterhood of us. We had funky pants day, make your own collage nights, coffee house groupies, odd bird and fish feeding detail, camping incidents, driving dilemmas, skiing snafus, Chili's funk, and angst that nobody needs to rehash. I would not have made it through college without her. (I am grateful the photo evidence of us being completely absurd is all on 35 mm and I am not at liberty to scan.)

I have enjoyed her being here. Hours of talking like we used to - we are still us, sun bathing in the backyard (with much more than a bikini on - a few things have changed), and an up for anything attitude. Today we took the kids to the lake - Lake Travis (not really the since there are so many lakes here) to look around. Given that I live only a few miles from the lake you would figure I have been there before but you would be wrong. We scouted it out and found a delightful camping area/park. I am sure there are better spots to go to, but this was just a day of exploration.

Upon arrival we found a boat dock, a clear blue lake, a bright sunny day, several unsuspecting campers, and a perfect tiny trail for little hikers to a lovely lookout spot on the lake. What we weren't thrilled to find was a bunch of litter. Jacob, my little ecologist began pointing out all the trash. Learning from my hiking mother the old famous quote, "Take only pictures, leave only footprints," we decided to leave the place better than we found it. After picking up trash the kids were yelling for anyone in earshot, "Don't mess with Texas. This is our state!" That sent a mother's heart soaring, I tell you. I was busting at the seams with pride for my little Lone Stars. They are decidedly against litter-bugs, by the way. You better not be caught littering around these parts! I'll send my posse after you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

An afternoon at the Capital

So on the way to the Capital Building (of Texas - duh, is there another Capital?) Jacob is in the car tooting (like flatulence). And my father-in-law asks what would happen if he tooted in the Capital. To which I respond it would be a Capital offense. HA! Aren't I clever?!? In our family gas is apparently always funny.

Anyway, we spent the second part of our day at the Capital where we toured with our friend (yes we have a friend) who works at the capital on the Government Reform Committee. He has an uncanny grasp on Texas state history and Capital trivia for a Pennsylvania born man. Needless to say I think we got the best tour of the day - probably of the year (unless of course he tours others - which given his knowledge he probably does).

I was especially impressed by our State Capital and continue to be enamored by this state's idea of government. The most significant difference that this group of CA born folks noted was the visible lack of security in the building. Our guide assured us that there was security we couldn't see but that part of the state legislature deems that our government offices be absolutely accessible. Weird. No metal detectors no purse x-ray. I am telling you, it was strange. I almost turned around at one point like, "Am I really supposed to be in here?" It was so cool. He also pointed out that most of the law makers themselves have concealed weapon permits so if someone decided to open fire in this building it would be a short gun fight. Good point - we are in TX.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

What we did today...

Looks like the yoga is really helping Brian - look at this position for the perfect shot...

Reason #387 - why we moved to Austin. Do we really have to elaborate?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Signs of Spring

Today I went shopping for some signs of spring. Actually I really went shopping for some flowers for our front planter with my father-in-law. He is the garden man - and by "the" I mean the garden man. He knows his stuff. Going to a garden center with him is amusing only to watch him quiz the employees. Hallelujah for the Color Spot guy at Depot. The F-I-L doesn't like buying flowers from Depot but at least the Color Spot guy knew his stuff. Shew. We bought very little - only enough for a little color in the garden.

Here is what I found in the house today - signs of Spring inside. My orchid, left by the previous owners, is doing great and shot up a knew stalk with opening buds. I can't even believe it! I didn't kill it! Also, the kids got these little pots with seeds from my mother for Easter and the little buggers are growing. All I can say is, thank God it's Spring.

A laser pointer, my mother-in-law, and two nutty dogs.

I am sure you can guess what kind of chaos this combination creates. Tut, the yellow lab eagerly anticipates Grandma Bob's (Barb - lest you jump to conclusions about our family arrangements) visits and greets her by searching her hand for said laser pointer. The dog just knows. Barb also looks forward to these visits - more for the grand kids but there is just enough of that mischievous spirit in her that gets a thrill out of making the dog crazy. All I hear now from upstairs is dogs running a muck, Barb giggling like only she can, and kids yelling, "Can I try Grandma Bob! Can I try!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Great American Pastime

It's another Spring night which means another T-ball game for our family (Lord help us when they both play). Somehow in my dreams of parenthood I didn't envision the hours I would spend at a 5 year old's baseball game. I could have predicted soccer since my sisters and I all played but this child's aptitude seems to be with a smaller ball, a glove and a bat. I am not disappointed - only unprepared for life as a t-ball mom. I wasn't prepared for the oodles of parents who would sit behind me on the stands fretting over their own child's playing skills or plays unmade or balls missed. (Incidentally my child happens to be one of the better players but I never would have imagined stressing over his game - or yelling at him for it.) I wasn't prepared for the required parent participation - baking for the bake sale, contributing to the basket for the auction, bringing snacks that don't send kids into next week on a sugar rush, and photographing every child play every game for the slide show (not that I would have it any other way). I wasn't prepared for a 4 year old little girl who desperately wants to play next season. I wasn't prepared for how uncomfortable those darn bleachers are to sit on. I wasn't prepared to entertain said 4 year old while the game was going on. I wasn't prepared for a husband that would want to coach and therefore require us to be at every event. And I definitely wasn't prepared for loving every minute of it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Reflections on a blogless week...

Right, I know, I get on a roll then something happens - usually work, and I don't blog for a bit. Not that there haven't been blog-worthy things this week, just a lack of time and inspiration to write. I was waiting to be brilliant. My mother can relate to this.

So, for lack of brilliance and a bit of sleep here, are the blog worthy moments from this past week. First - are you sitting? My sister is moving to TX. More specifically she is moving to OUR HOUSE. I am serious. My little sister (not that I have an older one) has accepted a management/clinical position as a dietitian here in TX at one of the new hospitals. She will live with us until she has saved her down payment on a house (in her very accurate figurings this will be no more than 6 months but no less than 3). I couldn't be more thrilled. Brian couldn't be more thrilled. The kids are excited to have Aunt Jenny right here (though Reba sounded a little less thrilled at the idea of changing rooms for her). I don't think the complete impact of this on our lives has quite rooted in my brain. My sister is moving here. I wondered if our close family would ever be close in proximity again. And here we are!

My sister is moving here. It is still so surreal. To get things off to a bang Jenny stopped in for a visit two weekends in a row. Several trips to the airport later we have enjoyed having her here - getting just a taste of what it will be like to live with her. When you live far away from your sisters you forget how wonderful it is to have them near. We found a picture frame for our youngest sister while she was here that had this saying on it: Sister, the only one you can tell on in the morning and be giggling with by the afternoon. Too true.

Our next blog worthy moment was Tuesday just post our visit with Jenny when my Aunt Linda and Uncle Andy visited us. They were in San Antonio for a conference and decided they were close enough to pop up for an afternoon and evening with us. I had worked the night before and, not knowing exactly when to expect them, slept through my intended straightening up time. So we ended up inviting them in, unmade beds, unvacuumed floors, bed head and all. They didn't seem to mind. I guess they have seen us at worse. We spent the afternoon talking and showing them around our new hometown. My aunt - always concerned about us and always out of love -gave me the thumbs up on the home, the schools, and the neighborhood, the job. My uncle - always a little bit wistful about farm country and cowboy dreams - approved of the little bit of country we still enjoy up here. After a few hands of Old Maid with the kids, doting on them like only a great aunt and uncle can, a long drive around town, a Texas sized dinner out, and many conversations later we said, "See y'all later." And they left to go back to catch their flight the next day. I realized after they left how important it was to me that they visit us. "Looks like your doing alright here, Sarah T," will stick with me for a long time - a heart warming affirmation from people I love and admire. You know, I think we are doing alright. Look at that - living up to my potential - finally.

And through all of that, I had a full week at work and even managed to make it to yoga - more on yoga later. More on work later too, I guess - cause who wants to hear about poo-sasters and amputated fingers right now. Probably not you... And just for fun because I can't resist these pics the kids take of themselves here are some shots from last week: