Happy Birthday to my Sylvie!


We visited the playground at Zilker Park and rode on the Zilker Zephyr train. It is about a 25 minute ride through the park and next to the lake. It was really green and beautiful.

After lunch (McDonalds at my girl's request - yuck!) we went to the Austin Children's Museum. Totally incredible stuff, the girls had such a good time.

I'm not quite processing that my baby's four already. That was a long and hot July four years ago. And true to her character she stubbornly waited until the very last day to come. I love my baby.

Can you smell them?


Making cinnamon rolls with grandma. So yummy.

Did they wear pink cowboy hats at the Alamo?


We traveled down to San Antonio yesterday. Now I have officially seen two whole cities in Texas. We visited the Alamo and the River Walk. I was surprised by how beautiful it was at each. Just under a two hour drive, so I'm sure we'll be back again soon.

Sylvie gets car sick, so we doped her up with Dramamine before leaving. It made her a little groggy and upped the grouchy factor by quite a bit. We ate lunch at a restaurant named Dick's, where they're "called Dick's for a reason". The waiter was rude and loud and kept baiting Sylvie to yell or kick at him. She just stared him down. I was sure she was going to break down and cry at some point because they went way over the line with the "service with sarcasm" but she held her ground. If looks could kill...

Our oh so charming waiter gave the girls lovely hats to wear. Sylvie's said "I'm the reason mommy takes the pill" and Tessa's said "I have cooties". They both flat out refused to wear them. I think the waiter was afraid of me because I wasn't fortunate enough to get a witty hat.

We took a ferry ride on the River Walk and it was pretty hot, but really lovely and a great way to see it all. We had to make sure everyone knew we were tourists and not real Texans, so we caved and bought the girls flash pink velvet cow girl hats. Sylvie's has feathers and lights up and Tessa's is covered in Sequins and has a tiara in front. Classy.

Dirt + Rain = Mud


So Dave has decided to run his commute to work. At least part way - he drives a few miles away and then parks and runs across the wilderness to his office. I'm sure if he were the one writing this there would be included a lengthy description of the route, but I am not he. Anyway, it rained yesterday. I mean it RAINED! Let's just say he was a tiny bit wet and muddy when he got home. But of course he loved it; big huge smile on his face when he got home.

Ender's Game


Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, Book 1) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
So engrossing and fun. I really enjoyed the characters. It was so hard to remember that they were children. It waxed a little too philosophical at the very end, but still good stuff.

View all my reviews.

Fun stuff around town


My mom and youngest sister Xandy are in town for a visit. We took the opportunity to show off a little bit of the local flavor to our guests and went downtown to visit the bats. First we stopped by the best candy store/soda fountain on earth called Big Top. Yum. Truffles anyone?

Then we headed down to the Congress Bridge to see the largest urban bat colony in the world. Totally fun. Every night a million or so bats come screaming out from under the bridge to eat up our plentiful mosquitoes. Being Austin, there had to be a twist. Some guy goes running through the crowd dressed in a batman costume. Everyone claps and cheers, must be a regular. He ran right by Dave and Sylvie, greeting them with a manly, "Hello, children". I was surprised how many people there were to see it for a random Wednesday night, probably two or three hundred.

We miss you Anna!



My friend Audra left a great challenge on her blog to describe yourself in 10 words. Hmmm. I'll try.

lover of God's creation
reader, lover of words

I realize I stuck a few phrases in there - I've never been very good at editing myself. They are in no particular order, but the last one is my favorite and probably deserves two spots. Who's next?

Every girl needs some sparkle


The year was 1980 (ish) and let's face it, I was adorable. Tap, ballet, jazz, I could do it all. Why post, you ask? Just because. I was looking through some old photos and decided that my darling girls shouldn't get all the limelight when it comes to cuteness.



I spent over two hours waiting in line at the DMV today. This after waiting around something like four hours last Friday to get our cars registered. My girls now know what it's like to be an American citizen. We wait in lines. We become bitter.

I was sad to relinquish my AZ drivers license. It had an uncommonly good picture on it. Even one with my long hair which has been gone for a very, very long time (sorry Dave). We'll see how the new one turns out. They send it in the mail so I'm left with just a temporary slip of paper saying I'm a Texan now. Weird.

Things Fall Apart


Things Fall Apart: And Related Readings (Literature Connections) Things Fall Apart: And Related Readings by Chinua Achebe

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I very much enjoyed this book. The main character was certainly a force to be reckoned with. I would like to read more by this author to more fully understand his characterizations.

View all my reviews.

A different kind of update


So I have been informed that my blog documents very well what I am doing, but not how I am doing. (Thank you Suzanne.) This surely is the mother in me that seems to forget that yes, I get to have an opinion too. (Like I've ever been short on opinions!)

I am doing well here in my new little town. I love Austin so much already. I am itching to explore so much more of it as the weather permits, but the parts I have seen are fantastic. I am jealous of the lovely green Dave brags about every weekend when he goes running through the wild. I need to find a way to get out and see more of it myself. Again with the hot. But for those of you reading this from Phoenix it's really not as bad as I was fearing. Yes, the humidity is bad. But honestly, if your tires aren't melting into the blacktop how bad can it be? Does it make your face feel like it's literally burning off of your skull? No. It's kind of funny when people ask us where we are from. They almost seem disappointed that it's Phoenix because they lose bragging rights over their terrible heat. The weather is fine in the morning and evening. I love the crazy zany vibe here in Austin. The restaurants are fantastic, the music is insane. We really need to find a good babysitter. I love the sense of community and the fact that I am no longer considered liberal. I love, love, love the trees.

I am still lonely and miss my family and friends wherever they may be. I miss my ward where I know which kid belongs to which family. Where people know my girls. Where people know to take my opinions with a grain of salt. People stopped introducing themselves to us after about three weeks at church so now I'm stuck knowing about four people's names and still not really having anyone to sit by. I miss having people to call last minute to come over for dinner when I needed motivation to actually prepare a meal for my family. I miss Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl even though I really do hate football. I miss the Nuttall's pool even though I really don't like swimming. I really miss going into the office, but I'm glad to be home with my girls again. (Does everyone here know I kept my job? If not, I kept my job.) I miss my book club. I miss Cold Stone. I miss our library. I miss my friends.

Okay, now that I've ended up significantly more sad than I began I'll wrap this thing up. New city = good. Missing people = bad. I shall endeavor to add these things moment by moment so it doesn't end up quite such an epic next time.

I really, really love the trees.

Green is my new favorite color


We went for a walk tonight on the greenbelt surrounding our neighborhood. It was so lovely. A perfect little wooded path with monkey bars and other exercise stations along the way. The girls thought it was the greatest thing ever. Tessa's grade school playground callouses came in handy. More pics over here.

Ta Da!

I got that itch this week, that need for change. I always wait too long between haircuts so by the time I get an appointment I'm ready for something drastic. I was surprised how much hair ended up on the floor - I didn't realize I had let it get so long.

Wildflower Center


I took the girls Friday morning to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was so much fun. Lots of flowers for the girls to see and not so much walking that they lost their enthusiasm.

Here's the view of our pretty city from the top of an observation tower. This is pretty much what we see driving anywhere, lots of lovely live oak and other green.

The girls were in a picture mood today. They had to pose on pretty much every bench and rock. There are more pictures over here.

The Girl Effect


I found the most amazing video the other day. I have it embedded on my sidebar or you can go to the website at http://www.girleffect.org. Take a minute and check it out.

One more room!


I painted the guest room last weekend. The color is a major departure for me, but it's grown on me immensely. I think it's called clove bud or something equally silly. The room is really cozy and warm - not quite as orange as it shows in these photos. I've also discovered it's fantastically conducive for Sunday naps.

The room is doubling as a library. We had to do some major pruning to get the books to fit on three shelves. Plus one full of kids books in the girls' bedroom. Unfortunately the hallway is still full of book boxes. I think we had 30 boxes or so of books alone. I can't seem to get rid of any more so I guess we'll use them as door stoppers or something.

The girls had to be the first to try out the new room. They of course stayed up way too late talking. They've always shared a room, but I guess sharing the same bed was just too exciting.

Pretty landscapes


We went for a drive this afternoon through the hill country west of Austin. The sky was breathtaking. Big puffy clouds tinged with gray. It was very much in keeping with the scripture that's been running through my mind all day, one of my favorites, "Be still, and know that I am God."

Wet and wild


We finally got the key to our neighborhood pool so we spent the afternoon out at the pool. It's down our street across a greenbelt, a short walk of less than a block. It was thankfully not crowded, and lots of fun. There's a kiddie pool with fountains that the girls loved. I've got more pictures on my SmugMug July album if you're so inclined.

P.S. One month today in Austin! How time flies!

My little artists

The girls playroom definitely has color, but it was lacking a little interest, so I had them paint some art for the walls. They had super fun with the paints and brushes. They did a fantastic job if I do say so myself. Tessa was careful and precise and Sylvie was enthusiastic and creative. Sounds about right.

Are you a good wife?

Dave sent me this handy little tip sheet today. What a sweet hubby!

Happy 4th of July!

We went small town on the fireworks last night and had a fantastic time. The weather was oh so fine and there was lots of space for the girlies to run around. We drove west out of Austin to Dripping Springs to crash their party. The drive itself was fantastic, but the atmosphere was just what we were looking for so I'm so glad we ventured out of town. The funniest part of the night was when the pyrotechnic guys started a small fire causing a 15-20 minute interruption in the big display. Everyone in the crowd thought things were simply over so we all started packing up to leave. Then the emcee came on and told us they almost had the fire out and would be back up and running soon. Too funny! Tessa made fast friends with another girl in the crowd, only to find out she's also going to be a second grader at Tessa's new elementary school. What are the odds? It was a super evening. We still miss being with friends in Phoenix - we've always had such great 4ths with you - but this was a nice consolation prize.