Long day at school that devolved into building structures with gum drops and toothpicks out of a need to stay awake. But now I have a blissful 16 days off in which I will do my best to think of nothing.

Austin gains a few


Austin gains a few people or Austin gains a few pounds? Read on and you'll see that both fit equally as an extrapolation of my post title.

What a week! Game changer if ever there was one. Thursday my brother and his girlfriend Katelyn flew to Austin, just having come from my sister Xandy's high school graduation in Henderson, NV. They had a few items on their Austin checklist and we are always happy to oblige when it involves yummy food. So off to the Salt Lick!

Friday we went out for breakfast tacos at Maria's on South Lamar and headed over to SoCo for a little window shopping and of course to visit Hey Cupcake and Big Top. So glad the full force of Texas heatwave decided to show up for their visit! Poor California kids were troopers about it though. But cupcakes make everything worthwhile.

Friday evening my mom and sister Xandy arrived on the scene. And not for visits but for keeps which is super exciting. They were driven all the way to Austin by my dad who was, as my mom put it, a "knight in a shining Hyundai" when he dropped everything and came and picked them up a ways past Kingman, AZ when my mom's car died an untimely death. What's an epic move across the country without a little drama? Definitely a stressful trip for my family but everyone managed it with aplomb.

Saturday I had class all day as per usual but we hung out at home and made pizzas that evening and did a little fun shopping too.

Sunday Ben and Katelyn took over my kitchen and treated us all to soooo much yummy food. Can you believe that cake?

Monday we did a little setting in around the house and I drove Xandy around to pick up every job application conceivable. Forty something all in all - she is gung ho to get things moving here in Austin. Still lots of lose ends with school and work and official resident type stuff. We took a mall trip too where Ben demonstrated his best man self by sleeping in the chairs while the girls shopped. That evening we went to Alamo Drafthouse to see Moonrise Kingdom (loved it) where I had the best milkshake ever in my entire life as everyone around me has heard me say a dozen times since.

Tuesday we headed over to Blue Hole, one of my favorite Texas spots. Lovely time relaxing and being deliciously not hot.

We also hit cupcakery number two: my favorite, Sugar Mama's. Jack's Lemon is among my favorite desserts ever and I'm not even a huge cupcake lover. We also introduced Katelyn to the magic of queso at Torchy's that evening. Torchy's gets my vote for where Xan should get a job. I'd never cook again!

Wednesday we rounded out the cupcake quest with a trip to the Whole Foods flagship store, the Disneyland of grocery stores. We had a little lunch and spent way too much time deciding on what to pick in the bakery. Ben and Katelyn flew home this evening and we'll miss them much. As will the four (four!) dogs that are currently living in my house.

Not sure what comes next. Other than packing for our trip to the Wasatch Mountains and a definite need to get back on my diet.



House guests, Check. Salt Lick, Check.

My brother and his girlfriend arrived in Austin today and we wasted no time getting out for some bbq. Yum.



I went to campus today to pick up my textbooks and check out my classroom. A little dismal at present but I'll spiff it up no doubt. Excited.

Summer thus far


Summer is going surprisingly well as of this posing. Although we're only two weeks in and I'm mostly likely jinxing myself by saying it out loud. Summer and I have a mixed history. I am not a big fan of vast stretches of unstructured time nor am I a very super mom in the entertaining kids category. But my girls have been the perfect level of busy and also just old enough to know that chores will be the first thing out of my mouth if they fight or tell me they're bored.

Tessa had camp afternoons last week at her new middle school. Supposedly lots of fun activities related to opening lockers and finding classrooms and not being a bully. Yay middle school. Sylvie has had camp mornings this week at her school library doing all sorts of disparate activities related to who knows what other than fun. As it should be. Add to that the *endless* stream of play dates and sleepovers we've been party to and everyone involved seems to be happy. I've had classwork to keep me busy, but without that whole pesky employment thing I have more than enough time in the day to read and nap and drive girls to friends' homes and clean out a few closets that have been long neglected.

Next week my family arrives in Austin so there's will certainly be no level of "normal" for the rest of the summer. Which is good. I certainly need the distraction - I am all kinds of swimming with expectations and emotions for the upcoming school year. I'm mostly okay with it all. Mostly is a win in my book.



I'm loving the first track off of Rhett Miller's new album, which he led off with at last night's concert. The sound was pretty terrible at the show last night, but it was still super fun to sit and people watch and enjoy the Austin-y vibe.



Blues on the Green tonight. Austin is my home.

What Alice Forgot

What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book. It was a super fast read for me, a bit of a page turner. The premise is very interesting and provided a lot of food for thought. I'm not sure if it's classic status, but still a great book.

What I learned:
Lots to think about with regard to memory and relationships. How patterns get set and the possibility of really re-framing things to break free. I thought the author did a good job of having me go back and forth between rooting for naive optimism and wisdom tinged realism with regards to her personality and dreams.

What I loved:
The premise. Using the amnesia for the backdrop it was really interesting to think about the make up of relationships. I thought it was really tempting to side with the naive and innocent version of Alice, but that's just not real life. I love stories where you get different points of view and this was so novel to get that in one character.

A favorite passage:
It was that her true self, as formed by those ten years, was back. As seductive as it might have been to erase the grief and pain of the last ten years, it was also a lie. Young Alice was a fool. A sweet, innocent fool. Young Alice hadn't experienced ten years of living.

View all my reviews



Me: Sylvie, what do you want to do for your birthday this year?

Sylvie: Oh, just check my PowerPoint (for suggestions).

Tessa & Me: (spontaneous laughter)

Sylvie: What's so funny?! There's a page on there with all my party ideas!

As if that was the most normal thing in the world. She also listed all of her calendar events for the whole summer and all the fun stuff she wants to do.



Date night part two. I'm taking Tessa to her first concert -Gillian Welch. Admittedly I'm more excited about the show than Tess is, but she's definitely excited for the right of passage. I guess she's been to ACL and some free concerts in the park, but this is her first ticketed show. We won't mention how far removed from the hipsters and hippies I feel with a kid in tow :-)



Date night with my girl. Eating on the patio at Phil's with a lovely summer breeze smelling like the promise of rain. Goodness.


Big change going on this week. Not only was last Thursday my last day at GCC, but the very next day I received a job offer from a local high school. I have interviewed at three high schools at this point and although it is not the closest, I really like the people there and figured it just didn't make sense to pass up a job at a campus that I like to wait for the chance of a job closer to materialize. As one friend smartly told me, better to choose a good administration rather than a good commute since the working hours make up a significantly bigger portion of my day. I will be most likely teaching Algebra, not sure if it will be 1 or 2 just yet.

Leaving GCC was hard and easy both. Being a telecommuter, there was no goodbye party or awkward leaving hugs. But that's a little sad too since I've worked for GCC almost 13 years and I kinda feel like I just slunk off in the night. My boss did ask me to contract back some this summer to help with the workload until they replace me, but I haven't heard from her at all this week so I'm guessing she's either failed to receive approval or she's just scattered and disorganized like always. I'm sixes about the whole thing anyway, the money would be nice but I'm more than a little sick of the actual work.

So with job in hand I guess I'm ready to move on from the (ridiculous) stress of job searching and transition to the new stress of getting ready for the school year. It's not feeling 100% concrete at this point which never sits well with me. I like solvable problems, not just nebulous worry.



Bed head plus goggles is the look. Pass it on.