Monday, August 29, 2011

Family "Staycation"

Lucas came for his family visit last week. I decided weeks ago that I wanted to turn this particular visit into a sort of "family vacation" visit.

In all honesty, my ultimate goal is to make Austin (and us) so appealling that he has no other option but to pack up and move his butt here with us...after all, mother's have a right to be persistent where their children are concerned....

Anyway, I don't know if I succeeded in luring him to Texas but I certainly did have a good time trying. I think we all did. The week went off without a glitch! We had a great time with very little family bickering...well, less than usual anyway....

We spent time hanging out, swimming, peering through a telescope at night, watching T.V., eating, riding bikes, shopping, rescuing baby birds, exploring new creek areas of the greenbelt, etc.

The highlights.....

WONDER WORLD PARK, San Marcos, Texas



And as with every visit, they day he rolls out of the driveway I'm already anticipating his next visit...this holds true for each and every family member that comes to visit.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Weekend" Getaway

Last week I got a wild hair and booked us a couple of nights in Houston. We have been through Houston a few times but never actually TO Houston.

One of the benefits of living in Central Texas is that we are very conveniently located to some great cities North, South, East and West of us.

Houston just happens to be one of the cities that we have not made a visit to yet. Ironically, Houston is also the city we had planned to move to before Austin caught our eye.

I also have some cousins that live just outside of Houston that I wanted to visit so in a sense I was killing two birds with one stone.

We packed up the kid and the dog and set off Tuesday morning. I was pleasantly surprised the route was an easy one with very little traffic landing us there in just a couple of short hours.

Once we got there we got checked in, unloaded our luggage and headed to the Galleria to grab a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe located inside. Rainforest Cafe is overpriced and the food isn't all that great for the price but it has atmosphere. Neither Toby nor I or mall kind of people but I knew Summer would enjoy seeing the 3 story mall complete with a huge indoor ice skating rink.

With so little time and so many things to do in Houston we were having a tough time deciding what to do with our one full day in the big city.

We finally decided on the Aquarium..actually Toby and I were so indecisive we just let Summer make the choice. It was a good choice. We had a blast. I even rode some rides, something I NEVER do.

After the Aquarium we decided to walk a couple of blocks down to the WELCOME CENTER. So many things to do and so little time....we finally decided to take an elevator ride to the top of the 60 story J.PMorgan Chase Tower building and take in a scenic view of the city. It was a challenge for Toby and Sum to be up that high without getting a little nervous but I had no issues.

The view was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! It was the first time I had ever been up that high except for in a plane.

I wondered why for such a huge city I didn't see many people walking downtown. I figured it out when we toured the "tunnel".

I envisioned the "tunnel" to be like an underground roadway system for vehicles. This was an underground travel system but for pedestrian travel. We were pretty impressed with the underground system. So impressed, matter of fact, that I didn't get any video or pictures of below. If you are curious about what the underground world looks like you can view it here.

Next we headed back to the hotel to check on Bo and rest a bit before we headed to visit my cousins.

We had delicious steak dinner and a nice evening catching up on old times and family gossiping. I also got to meet my littlest, newest cousin. A cutie pie indeed.

Another instance in which I was having so much fun I didn't get as many family pics as I would have liked. No worries though, as easy as the trip to Houston is I'm sure I will be making it there more often in the future.

Shannon and Emma...

The next morning it was time to go back home. I decided since Bo had been such a good dog by being left alone for long periods of time in a strange hotel room without soiling or destroying it that on the way home we would stop off and reward him for his good behavior.

I researched and found Lake Fayetteville at the halfway mark to home and figured it would be a nice place to stop for a swim and some exploring.

Summer endured it, but she wasn't as near as enthused as Bo was about the place...of course Summer had not been pent up in a hotel room for 2 days straight either...

It was a worthwhile getaway. I look forward to going back and exploring the Houston area in the near future.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No Other Way... pass an extremely hot summer than to spend time in the backyard pool. I have noticed that around August and September interest in the pool will start waining so I decided to try and spiff it up with a new pool toy.

This time of year is the best time to scoop up on some clearance pool toys and here is what I came up with....

I'm just trying to make lemonade out of lemons during this record breaking drought. I know that weather changes are fleeting. Before you know it, there will be some other weather condition to be complaining about so why not just enjoy the sunny days and hot weather for what it is????

Friday, August 5, 2011

Out and About

Today we ventured out to take advantage of free museum day at the Blanton Museum of Art. I enjoy art museums for the most part but my main reason for going to the museum was to avoid the extreme heat with an indoor activity and try and spot some of the cow sculptures floating around town in the Cow Parade.

Downtown is always a nice way to pass the day.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I won't sugarcoat it. Pure blogging laziness and lack of interest is the excuse I am giving for my absence. It's been so long since I even thought about my blog that I thought maybe I should visit it before it totally vanished from my mind.

I am having some issues with being able to post on some of my fellow bloggers blogs and also hear that some readers are also having trouble posting comments on mine. I don't have a whole lot of time or expertise to troubleshoot the issue, but it is annoying when I want to comment on a blog and blogger insists on posting my comment as anonymous and my readers end up having to reply a comment via facebook or e-mail instead of on my blog.

Anyway, out of blog dedication here I am again....

Nothing major has happened over the past couple of weeks. I did have a birthday come and go. July 23 I turned 47 years young.

I am so grateful to have the friends and family that I do. They all made it very special with surprise visits, much needed new running apparel, and a wonderful day spent browsing plant nursery's topped off with a very potent margarita at Baby A's....and last but certainly not least an iPad from hubby.

They all must really love me. I hope they don't expect me to be quite so creative when it comes to

On the weather front it's been hot as was the 50th day in a row that we had triple digit temps. July was a record for temps and this year has been the worst drought on record since 1914. Quite honestly, I don't mind the excessive heat. It beats the alternative..excessive cold. What does bother me is the drought conditions associated with the extreme temps. I'm going on my 4th year of living in Austin and I think I have seen an actual rainstorm only twice. On the flip side you never have to worry about the rain ruining your weekend plans around here...

As far as my running goes, I am still running as much as possible. I run/walk seven days a week twice a day. I try to dedicate myself to exclusively walking at least one of those days but find that I have to force my legs not to take off. I'm addicted. I do still have bad days and good days. Some days I feel like I can hardly lift my feet up far enough off the ground and other days I feel like running for miles. Either way, I love it. Running has changed so many things about habits, my routines, the way I think and feel. It's my new drug of choice.

Summer...although she has a few public schooled friends, we have gotten word that her best and one and only homeschool friend for the past 3 1/2 years will be by choice attending public school this year. In so many selfish ways it's so sad for me and Summer both, but I know from personal interaction that Jordan is a very bright and personable young girl with an amazing personality who will certainly be an asset to the public school system. I cross my fingers and wish her luck and hope the system will reciprocate and be all it can be for her too....

Despite the coercion from her public schooled friends, Summer has opted to remain homeschooled. She is older and more developmentally social now, so our agenda for the upcoming "school year" will be different from in the past.

And Toby, well, Toby is just Toby. He's our soft place to fall. Most of the time he is out of sight but certainly never out of mind. He's the one that enables our household to run as efficiently and comfortably as it does. He's a very important piece to our household puzzle and if we ever lost him we couldn't function as this family as we know it

Here are some random pics from the last couple of weeks...

Summer has a flair for creating artistic looking food arrangements. She also loves to create faux dinner parties for herself and anybody else that will attend.