Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Real Housewives of Austin, TX

Bradley's 31st birthday turned into my extreme good fortune! Her mom wanted her to feel special and pampered so she planned a surprise spa party in place of Our regularly scheduled Tuesday night Bible study. It was one of the most fun nights I've had in a long time!

Mrs.Bradley selected the menu and my job was simply to implement! I love easy jobs like that!

Bradley came in, we all shouted "surprise" and told her what she was in for and the first words out of mouth were, "I literally feel like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!"

We sure didn't feel like our normal Austin Housewife selves that night!

Thank you so much Mrs.Bradley! What a fabulous night!

If I Were Ever to Leave Texas...

There's a good chance you'd find me in Tennessee! We had a wonderful weekend in Franklin, TN visiting Dave's grandad. He is a month shy of 94 and he is still spry, such a jokester and completely precious! He told us story after story, showed us all around Franklin and is genuinely just a lot of fun to be around!

It is such a joy to me to be able to see Dave cherish the time spend with his grandad. We sure made the most of our short time there and I hope our next trip won't be 2 years in the making!

Me, Dave's granddad and Dave

The first day when we got there, we went to Dave's granddad's apartment to visit. We hadn't been there 30 minutes and he told us we were wasting a beautiful day! He took us out to Arrington Vineyard's to enjoy the weather and the beautiful view. Dave, Kate and I also enjoyed a wine tasting. :) When in Rome!

Kate (my SIL, Dave and their granddad)

On Sunday we went out to Gentry Farms. It's an absolutely adorable pumpkin farm with tons of activities for kids. You can pick your pumpkins from the hundreds they have available or you can go find your own and pick it off the vine.

L-R: My FIL Mark, my MIL Claudia, my SIL Kate, me and David

Dave's grandfather lives in an assisted living community. He has his own apartment, but they provide meals in a community-style manner and they have activities, workout classes, etc for the residents. It is a wonderful community and he loves it!! One of my favorite things is their wall of honor. They have a Veteran's Wall where their resident's photos are displayed. I loved seeing Dr. Mayhew's photo up there. Looking all handsome in his uniform! It was tough to get a good photo because of the glare in the room off of the frame, but it was worth documenting.

(This collage has his photo on the wall of honor, Dave's granddad and his MIL, obviously :) and then Dave and his granddad)

I'm SO grateful for the men and women spanning generations who have served our country. I'm grateful to those that continue to find ways to honor them and show appreciation for their service and sacrifice. They are our heros.

What a wonderful trip! I'm grateful for family time and the opportunity to hear all of the wonderful stories Dave's grandfather has to tell! I hope y'all had a great weekend too!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's all fun and games until someone's bleaching grout in the bathroom...

I've been completely out of control lately. Life has just been throwin' me Nolan-Ryan-Style fastballs and I'm standing in the batters box with the bat on my shoulder. It's tough to complain when my weekends have been spent in New York, in Dallas and soon to be spending my weekend in Nashville. It's just crazy because my weeknights fly by in a flash too. I have a women's Bible study one night, community group (group Bible study) one night, Dave has class one night, and then add in any other social obligations and before we know it our week nights and weekends are spent running 90 to nothin'.

It's lots of great stuff, don't get me wrong. But at some point (and that point, for me, was last Tuesday night...) it all becomes too much and I reached boiling point. Last Monday I finally had a night at home. My suitcase was still unpacked after my trip to NYC, the kitchen was a mess, the floor needed to be vacuumed and I was sitting on the couch, after making dinner, watching DWTS. I looked up and in the right corner of the living room I saw a cobweb. I literally had of energy to go clean it. So, I sat there and I finished watching the very sub-par talent on this season and then went to bed.

On Tuesday, I got a call from our fertility nurse that put me over the edge and I just started crying on the phone with her. That's when I realized I was out of control in more areas than just my messy house. It seemed like every aspect of my life was overwhelming & in complete chaos. I cried to my friends about it on Tuesday night at Bible study and like the wonderful friends that they are, they just listened. I so appreciate them listening and letting me cry without thinking I'm (tooooo) crazy. I know they have to think I'm a little whack-a-do let's be honest. That night, I decided I needed to get a grip.

I have absolutely no control over our fertility situation and I know that. I realized that me asking God to take this burden and deal with it means trusting Him with it daily. That entire situation is His problem to handle and I trust Him more than anyone else with the future of our family.

It felt so good to put Him in control of every aspect of my life. An enormous burden was lifted and it actually gave me the desire and the energy to "move" and start dealing with other out of control areas, so I decided to get a move on it.

It's amazing how when you just get started and make one change everything else follows. After mentally getting my act together I decided to physically start with our house. We were finally in town for the weekend so I rallied the troops (Dave) and I spoke his love language (an excel spreadsheet) and we got down to business.

The spreadsheet listed every room in our house. I outlined what needed to be done in each room and assigned the duty to either myself or to Dave. I knew that it was going to be tough and I didn't want us to get side tracked. I also wanted it to be very clear what my expectations were and the things I wanted Dave to help me with.

And let me stop right there and say, my husband is a rock star! He totally got on board and agreed that we needed to get these things done and he helped me from 5:30pm on Friday until 3:30 pm yesterday! I am SO grateful for a help mate as wonderful as David!

Ok, back to the spreadsheet...we decided that the easiest way to skin the cat was to start with the closets. We figured we could knock out our master closet and the 2 upstairs closets and get all of our items for Goodwill. If we could Goodwill run on Saturday morning and get the items out of the house then we could start the deep clean.

I love a plan!

The problem was that 2 hours into the plan my bedroom looked like this...I felt like blowing up my entire house and starting over!

The good news is, around midnight, the feeling passed and our closet was completely cleaned out and organized.

Saturday, we woke up, took our loot to Goodwill and hit the showers (literally) around 9am. Dave tackled the bathroom while I tackled the pantry and the kitchen. At one point I walked in to check Dave's progress and he was on his hands and knees with a grout brush and bleach and he was cleaning the grout on the bathroom floor!! It was at that point when I realized he was going for the gold star in cleaning and I'm pretty sure I fell even more in love with him. :)

I didn't really take any pictures because we were cleaning our butts off and I was already pressing my luck with Dave, but we moved all of the furniture out of our formal living room to clean the carpets, dust and vacuum. I took a couple of pictures that I sent to a few friends who were questioning our dedication. ;)

After church on Sunday morning, I ran to the grocery store and got a few pumpkins because I was feeling inspired and ready to move on to fall. (It's been hard since it's still 95 degrees here...but there is buzz of a cold front coming in tonight!) I also got ingredients to make chicken and dumplings (It was delicious! Recipe here) from this pinterest recipe! I started the chi9cken and dumlings and figured it could cook while we finished cleaning. Y'all, it was SO stinkin' easy and delicious! And that brings me to my final project of the weekend....

I made this "menu planner" and I love it!! Find all of the printables here (once again, love you, Pinterest!!)

I feel like such a nerd saying this, but I actually had FUN making my grocery list on my snazzy new shopping sheets.

In all, it was a nutso weekend! We worked our tails off...and the end result is a truly refreshing and amazing home and overall refreshing feeling in my soul. That may sound silly but it's how I feel. Last night, we went for a walk and I told Dave I just felt SO productive. We got rid of things we don't need, we cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, our pantry is organized, our refrigerator and freezer are cleaned out...we are completely organized and I was able to go for a walk and know dinner was going to be ready in the crock pot when we got home. PHEW!

Why in the world don't we do things like that more often??

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Cutest Thing I've ever seen...

I'm not joking, this might be the cutest thing I've ever seen! I've watched it 3 times and literally grinned ear-to-ear and cried out of complete joy for this little girl (who I've never ever met yet I cry...what??) every time. It will make your day.

I only hope that when I have kids some day A) I can give them a surprise like this and B) they would be SO joyful about pajama pants and a DVD that the "real" surprise would be that much sweeter!

Special thanks to my sister for sending this my way! It made my day yesterday and again today. (Because I can't stop watching it!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Agony of Defeat...

Well kids, that was ugly. I think my favorite quote of the weekend goes to my Papa:

My dad: "Well, Papa...did it look as bad from where you were sitting as it did from where I was sitting?"

Papa: "Steve, there wasn't a seat in Texas that made ANY of THAT look good."

Touché, Papa. Touché. The good news about playing at the Cotton Bowl is the ability to express your emotions (good or bad) through food consumption and let me tell you, we did not disappoint! Enjoy our happier times at the TX/ou game and the fried goodness that is the State Fair of Texas!

We bought food/drink tickets the minute we walked through the gate. A) because apparently everyone needed a corny dog for breakfast and B) because we knew the lines would be crazy long after the game. This wasn't our first rodeo...

It was almost 10am...the perfect time for a Fletcher's corn dog, right? Let me just say, I cannot stand corn dogs or hot dogs. But there is something about a Fletcher's corn dog at the fair that is second to none. They are delicious!!

The Texas Star! The tallest ferris wheel in North America.

Happier times. Ha! We took all of the smiling pictures before the beating started.

The Longhorn Band's pre-game performance was awesome! The flag looked great and they spelled out Texas on the field.

I like this picture of the scoreboard because it still said 0-0. Ha!

The atmosphere at this game is electric! Some of my most fun memories from college football games have all come at the Cotton Bowl for Texas/ou games!

After the game we needed to drown our sorrows so Dave headed for round 2...

I chose probably the best thing I've EVER eaten. Drumroll please....fried queso & fried guacamole!! Y'all....I.Die. It was beyond delicious. The queso was spicy and the batter was beyond delicious and perfectly crispy. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I actually think the fried guacamole might have edged it out in awesomeness! They took avocado, mixed it with a bit of monterey jack cheese, some salsa and then battered and flash fried it. It was beyond! The only sad part was that I shared. :)

Items consumed by some (or know who you are) members of our party:

Corny dogs

Fried Queso

Fried guacamole

Turkey leg (there's always one in every group:)

Fried Oreos

Chocolate covered strawberries

Roasted corn on the cobb

Frozen sweet tea/frozen Arnold Palmer/Frozen cherry limeade (I got the frozen CL and it was incredible)

This one didn't go our way but it's always a good time...and we'll get'em next year! How was y'all's weekend??

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fun Day...

I am really weird. And this comes as no surprise to my close friends, yet it will still stir up fierce emotions in them and for that I say, "I can't help it...I was born this way."

I am a proud graduate of Texas A&M University. I loved my time in Aggieland, my lifelong best friends were made there, I had 4 amazing years there...but those 4 years somehow couldn't undo my upbringing. I was raised a longhorn. I know, I know...

The truth is, I was raised on Longhorn football. Our summer trips were spent in Austin walking the campus, bowling in the student union and taking photos on the field of Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. I spent many an early October weekend wearing my orange and cheering for the Good Guys during the Texas/ou games. When the Longhorns win it brings me great joy. When they do not, I choose food to cope with my emotions.

Let's be honest, they play at the Cotton Bowl...which is on the fair grounds of the State Fair of Texas. So win or lose, I choose food to cope with my emotions!

This weekend I'll be in Dallas, wearing orange, cheering for the good guys, and I won't count calories. And I am beyond excited about it.

Come early, be loud, stay late, wear orange! ~ Mack Brown


All images above via Google Images Credit: photos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

And let's not forget...across town, my Texas Rangers will be playing in game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers. Maybe it will be a weekend of #WINNING!