It's 1993.  

I am five years old sprawled out on the green carpet of Nana's "big room" upstairs.  I'm playing an intricately planned game of Barbies.  Ken has just asked Barbie to be his wife, only their names aren't Ken and Barbie - they are Chris and Lisa.  Lisa has a younger sister, Amanda (Skipper), and the little neighbor girl, Kelly, has just come over to help bake cookies.  Life is good in Barbie world.  I have decided all of their ages, occupations and personalities.

I am the master of Barbie universe.
I like playing independently.  This way it's all up to me; everything goes according to my predetermined plan.  I have always been quite imaginative.  I enjoy creating circumstances and story lines.

I am tired of playing Barbies for now; my brain aches.
I go outside to swing on the little round swing that hangs from a thick branch of a large tree in Nana's yard.  I push my legs out and pull them back in until I'm breezing quickly back and forth, back and forth.  I begin to sing a song, but no one knows it except for me.  I am making up the words as I go along.  Such is life...






Let Your Heart Be Light

Sorry it's been a while since my last post - it's been a busy, busy work-filled, family-filled past week, and I've loved mostly every minute of it.  I'll give you the short version of what all went down.  So, I think I mentioned my mom, sister and cousin were coming up for the two days before Thanksgiving.  I had so much fun with them!  It was really wonderful getting to spend some time with close family members around Thanksgiving.  I wasn't looking forward to being without them.  Sadly, as long as I'm in the hotel industry, I'll have to work most holidays.  I can't afford to take them all off; it goes against the best interest of the hotel and my coworkers.  Anyway, my mom and I put together a delicious menu full of traditional Thanksgiving foods (minus the turkey, haha) - Rotisserie chicken, five-cup fruit salad, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole (I should post the recipe sometime in the near future!), English peas, Sister Schubert's rolls (a Kitchen family staple) and of course raspberry tart and peach cobbler for dessert.  Everything turned out really beautiful and more than edible.  While they were here, we also watched some movies - The Help, 500 Days of Summer, Paranormal Activity 3 and The Hunger Games.  We played a ridiculously long game of Phase 10 (card game) that Jason ended up winning.  Tuesday evening, my mom and I went for a walk and checked out the hot tub at my apartment complex before we all went up to the UT campus for some Rita's "Ice Custard Happiness."  They left Wednesday afternoon after lunch, and everything went back to quiet and normal.

On actual Thanksgiving Day, I worked 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Jason got off work at 5 p.m., so when he got home we drove up to his parents' place for dinner.  They made a delicious meal as well - Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, spinach salad with feta cheese, green bean casserole, rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert.  Two Thanksgiving meals ain't too shabby, I must say.  Although, I did gain about five pounds throughout the week that I'm trying to lose again.  I'm so up and down when to comes to fitness!  Don't get me started!  After dinner at Jason's parents' we met up with our friends Corey and Helen, along with a couple of their friends, at the Draught House pub in North Central Austin for some post-holiday beverages, but we couldn't stay long because we both had to work the next day, unlike everyone we were with.

On Black Friday, Jason had to work noon to midnight so after work I entertained myself by idiotically going to Target for a few things.  Despite it being one of the craziest days for shopping, it really wasn't so bad.  That night I ordered Chinese takeout and attempted to watch Smooth Talk and failed because the disc kept skipping, so I caught up on Gossip Girl and did a little online shopping.  Saturday night I got to see Rebecca's sister Cynthia and her husband, Shelby, as they were in town for a wedding.  I got them the hook-up at the hotel and we met one of their friends and his new friend at Trudy's for dinner and drinks.  It was really good to see them - the last time I saw Shelby was back in March when Cynthia was in Italy.  I don't even remember the last time I saw her!  We all decided it was unacceptable, and I told them they should come up and visit more often.

Last night Jason and I put up all of our Christmas decorations, tree and all!  Our apartment looks so cozy and Christmas-y now :)  The cats are probably more excited than we are, however.  The tree is a feline playground as far as they're concerned.  I am a very firm believer in celebrating one holiday at a time.   I refuse to listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies or buy anything Christmas-related until AFTER Thanksgiving.  With that said, post-Thanksgiving and up until New Years, I am a Christmas fiend.  I break out my Christmas albums, CDs and movies.  I make Christmas cookies, I wear Christmas colors, I keep my radio on 95.5 FM permanently for Christmas music 'round the clock. You bet your booty I am all about it!  So I'd like to wish each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday season - may the odds be ever in your favor!  Haha.



Itty Bitty Update

I took the above picture this morning when I first got to work.  The chilly fall air seemed the perfect counterpart to the tranquil morning stillness of Lady Bird Lake - I just had to capture it and use the oh-so brilliant new photo-editing app, Afterlight.  

So it's been a little while, but not much new has happened.  Friday night, Jason and I drove out to Gruene to have dinner with my dad and Rebecca at one of our old favorites, Adobe Verde.  Yesterday I went to Evelyn's baby shower with Helen and Krista.  Jason began brewing his first batch of beer today, so we're excited to see how it turns out!  It should be ready for consumption right before Christmas.  The Formula 1 Grand Prix was this weekend in Austin - the first one of U.S. soil since the Indianapolis catastrophe.  I was expecting the city to be in absolute chaos due to the amount of people the event was estimated to bring in - about 300,000 (three times the amount during ACL).  However, I have been pleasantly surprised.  Work has been super slow and chill, traffic hasn't been bad at all (or at least no worse than usual) and it's been an overall pretty positive experience.  

I'm looking forward to tomorrow when my mom, sister and cousin Kaylie come to town for an early, mini Thanksgiving feast.  My mom and I have planned a pretty delicious menu full of my favorite holiday comfort foods.  I have to work on Thanksgiving day, but will accompany Jason to his parents' house that evening for dinner.  It should be a nice, family-filled week.  Cheers to kicking off the holiday season right!



Happy Birthday, Brother Bear!

Today is my brother Kaleb's seventeenth birthday!  I can hardly believe it.  I still picture that sweet little face on that energetic little body running around the house in his underwear with a homemade superhero cape tied around his neck.  Granted, he wasn't always sweet...he used to beat me up from time to time even though I'm seven years older than him!  I have some really great memories of him from the first day we brought that "little K" home from the hospital to now - watching him play high school football as quarterback.  Our relationship isn't always smooth, but I love him so much, and I'm super proud of the young man he's become.  Happy happy birthday, my sweet Kabo.  I hope you had the best day full of love, gifts, delicious food and sweet treats.  You're always in my heart :)

Gulfshores, AL //  2006

Micah and Kaleb // 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 with Nana

Holding our new baby cousin, Rylie // 2012


Playlist Post: November 2012

Leaves are starting to fall, temperatures are starting to drop (slowly, but surely) and I've made yet another playlist.  Although, October is my favorite month of the year, November, December and January aren't so bad either.  This playlist features some of my new favorites including POLICA and Father John Misty as well as some golden oldies such as Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse.  These songs are best listened to by candlelight with a mug of hot tea.  Enjoy!


A Week of Tricks & Treats

Fortune Teller Me

This past week was really wonderful.  I turned twenty-four on October 30 and got to celebrate with my love the day before by going out to the Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, enjoying a delicious dinner at Jack Allen's Kitchen and having a few drinks with friends on Rainey Street.  On my actual birthday, Jason bought me some Sugar Mama's cupcakes and made one of my favorite meals - jagerschnitzel with German potato salad.

The previous weekend we were invited to our friends' halloween party so I dressed as a fortune teller and Jason as a juggalo (Insane Clown Posse follower).  We had to cut the night a bit short unfortunately because I had to be at work early the next morning, but it was still a good time.  On actual Halloween, we just had a relaxing night in watching Halloween I & II and Trick 'R Treat.  I bought some last-minute decorations for outside the door and on the window to welcome trick-or-treaters, but we only had one little group of kids.  I can't wait until we live in a neighborhood that's more welcoming and open for trick-or-treaters.  I have such fond memories of the tradition from when I was young.  I would love to live in a small town that really celebrates Halloween like Katie and Danielle.

This weekend we had the pleasure of getting to attend another of Austin's renowned music festivals, Fun Fun Fun Fest.  On Friday I got to see Against Me! for the second time, southern rap artist Bun B and Run DMC.  Yesterday I saw Why?, Paul Banks, Wavves and Girl Talk.  I decided not to go today because I can only handle so much back-and-forth between work and festival, and it turned out to be a good decision because I'm feeling pretty under the weather currently.  A scratchy, sore throat and the chills make for a not-so-fun evening :(

A fortune teller and a juggalo
Some movies I got for my bday
Outdoor showing of Hocus Pocus at our apt complex
On the way to Duchman Family Winery
Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, TX

Birthday Breakfast
Bday Gifts from Jason
Anxiously waiting on Halloween night

Fun Fun Fun Fest
Bun B
Day Two of FFF Fest
Paul Banks
Girl Talk