My girls were up (relatively) early this morning and must have been in a busy crafty mood because they found me after yoga to take my picture with Sylvie's new "camera". Tessa decided Sylvie needed an early birthday present and made her this camera from stuff in the recycle bin. So adorable!

Preparation for furture mountain climbers


Sylvie is a kid who makes a choice and sticks to it. For over two years now she has told anyone who would ask that she would be "a candy shop" or a "baker" when she grows up. But today she decided that she will now be a mountain climber. My girls absolutely adore climbing around the dry creek bed at Barton Creek and today Sylvie was really on fire. My sister Xandy was the only one in my house to wake up early enough to come with us. It was really beautiful out and almost not hot at 7:30 am.

More pictures on SmugMug here.

We also went to Blues on the Green tonight with the whole crew but I wasn't together enough to remember my camera. Sad face here. It was fun and certainly very Austin-y.

Super fun


It's good times here in Austin with my family visiting. It started with my brother Ben flying in to visit on his way home cross country. And then my mom, sister Anna and her Nick, and sister Xandy decided to jump in the car and come on over to make a party of it.

Tonight we went over to the pool and did our best to make the tallest human tower possible. With me doing some fine photo documentation of course. We all have our place on the team.


We also found one of our neighborhood toads on our walk home. We took him in the house to show the non-swimming folk and then let him go.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


The Unbearable Lightness of Being The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I certainly don't think this book is perfect. There are parts that I find more pretentious than profound. But there is just so much to ponder in it's pages that I know I will be drawn to read it again and again. I loved the opportunity to stop and consider each theme the author laid out. So much meat to chew on. So many lovely secrets. The characters were beautifully flawed and well drawn. I am tempted to start again right now at page one, but I think it would be better when I am in a different place of my life to consider it again.

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See! We do do something!

I'm feeling like I came off like a lazy oaf in the last post. So lest you think my children are running amok reenacting Lord of the Flies or something, we do have a modicum of structure to our days. Witness the spectacle that is swim lessons!

Slow summer

What happened to my summer? I had such good intents of structured days and nutrient rich activities for my school-less girls. But here it is the middle of July and I still feel like we're just trying to get out of pajamas. My primary communication with my girls is to ask them yet again if they have brushed their teeth. I'm a good portion okay with this. I'm all about the slower paced mornings and not much to do attitude. I guess just feeling a wee bit guilty that I'm missing out on an opportunity here.

It is terribly hot here. Is that a good excuse?

I need to remember


Things that make me happy today:
  • Laura Veirs
  • Dove chocolates with peanut butter (straight from the fridge)
  • Finding an audio book from the library that I thought was lost and I was going to have to pay for
  • CutePDF Writer
  • FAIL Blog
  • Air conditioning (can I get an amen?)
  • Watching my girls play together like best friends
Add to that a nap and an Excedrin and I'm good to go

Righteous Porkchop


Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Hahn Niman

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed what the author had to say, but her general tone throughout the book struck me as somewhat self centered in that the "right" always seemed to conveniently fall around her personal choices and views. She happens to have married a beef rancher so therefore beef must be the most humane of meat choices etc. I didn't really expect this to be as much of a memoir and was hoping for more of an information/research based book. Still enlightening though.

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Yee Haw 4th of July


Is this what you do on the 4th of July?

Well, unfortunately the answer is yes. (I pulled out my old Game Boy Color a few months ago and the girls fell in love. A good alternative to Tessa's plan to save up her allowance for the rest of eternity to by a DS too. We bought another on eBay because well, you know how the sister thing goes.)

But we also went to the Wimberley Rodeo which was a lot of fun even if it was as total oven outside. Last year we did the small town thing in Dripping Springs and had planned to go back again but city budget cuts forced them to forgo the fireworks this year. Good thing hill country is full of charming towns. I love Austin, but dealing with city traffic for fireworks is just no fun. 4th of July just feels good in a small town anyway.



Well greetings! I've been a little lean on posts lately so I thought I'd give a mini state of the Amber address here. Thrilling I know.

It's summer. It's hot. I was working in the yard today and even though it was a balmy 80 something degrees (early morning mind you), there was sweat pouring down my face from that novel thing called humidity to which I'm slowly becoming accustomed. The girls are feeling the boredom of summer a bit already and I'm scared to see how we'll be faring come August. But they're still (mostly) getting along so I'll count that as a blessing. Not much going on routine wise. I'm still working 20 hours each week (from home) so there is still some structure to our days. We'll be starting swim lessons this week so that will be another thing to make the days of the week somewhat differentiated. As it is now, Tessa has no idea what day it is (she's never been much a one for clocks and calendars to begin with my free floating girl).

So we're all fairly healthy and sound. Mostly thanks to the public library system. Yay for books! No more vacations planned for the summer - maybe a weekend to one of these Texan cities that we have yet to discover. Texas is big. Have I mentioned that?


Outliers Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I found this book a little more loosely bound (thematically) that his others, but still fascinating. His process of illustration is really wonderful and engrossing if perhaps a tad lacking in rigor. The power of context is a story that we don't hear very often because we somehow prefer the fairy tale of the self made man (or woman). Great read.

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