Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hot Wheels

Here's something new our big boy has learned to do fairly recently:

pedal--forward AND backward. What skills!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

I turned 36 today. It just didn't seem like my birthday this year for some reason. I'm not afraid of 36 or anything, it just kind of snuck up on me. Is that a sign I'm getting old? It was a rather unusual week to say the least, but we pulled through as usual.

I finally picked a place and felt completely guilty about not taking Riley with us to celebrate. Being almost 3, he's not the most pleasant person to have around in public while we are trying to enjoy a meal. I couldn't think of any "kid-friendly" places that sounded good for my birthday dinner, so I chose an UN-kid-friendly place when my wonderful mother-in-law offered to babysit.

To ease my guilt, I stopped at a cutie little cupcake and coffee spot after work (Cupprimo) and picked up 3 cupakes for us to have BEFORE dinner. White on white for Riley, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip for me, and Chocolate Chocolate for Russ. We had candles in each one and sang "Happy Birthday" three times.

After the birthday celebration with Riley, we met Mom and Gary at Gumbo's.

The food and the wine were fabulous, the beer was nasty as usual (but only to Mom and I), and our waitress was spectacular. It was a lovely evening! Thanks to our parents who made it happen. It felt like a birthday after all!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Time Travel?

I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife at this time, which I highly recommend. I've realized that I can also time travel and that I do it often--through music.

Chris Brown--Forever--takes me to Las Vegas with my girlfriends.

Angry All the Time--Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis--takes me back to when Russ and I were dating and seeing them live several times.

Annie--from the musical--takes me to Jennifer and Jana's garage, singing our hearts out into wire whisks.

Baby Got Back--Sir Mix Alot--takes me to any given dance floor with Tina.

In the Garden--a spiritual tune--takes me back to sitting in my mother's lap in a rocking chair, singing and saying our prayers together.

How Great Thou Art--another spiritual one--takes me to Nana and Papa's house on a Sunday after church--Papa always sang that song!

She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy--takes me to a Kenny Chesney concert at The Backyard with girlfriends...we were drinking! I ran into Robbye at the time and gave her a memory to laugh about.

Dance With Me Henry--an oldie--reminds me of Karol (my mother-in-law) and Riley when he was teeny--she would sing it to him.

Madonna--takes me to Texas Stadium with Jana--I must've been in 8th grade.

Rock and Roll All Night--and anything else by KISS--reminds me of my first date with Russ at the Frank Erwin Center.

Yeah--Usher--takes me back to Vegas when a group of us went for Kari's 30th birthday.

An Empty Glass--Gary Stewart--takes me to Dallas Nightclub at 2:00 a.m.

Happy New Year--ABBA--takes me to Thomas and Lotta's wedding in beautiful, snowy-covered Sweden--and the coldest I've been in my entire life.

Itsy Bitsy Spider--takes me to road trips with cranky Riley when he was a wee one--that song always calmed him down for some reason.

Canon in D--Pachabel--takes me to my wedding day.

Salty Boogie--Cooder Graw--takes me to New Mexico, skiing with Russ.

Your Love--The Outfield--takes me to the chartered bus on our 8th grade trip to Houston.

Ditty--Paperboy--takes me back to college--driving in Papa's car to San Antonio with Tina and Mac on our way to Midnight Rodeo.

I could go on for days. You get the idea, right? Where does music take you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Banjo Billy's Bus Tour

While searching online for things to do in Boulder, I came across this random, wacky possibility. It is the type of experience that probably won't happen in any other city, so I tried to talk my traveling partners to do it.

We had a tour of downtown Boulder that was pretty unique--Banjo Billy's Bus Tour.

Along the way we stopped at various houses and were given details about ghost stories, murders, suicides, madam's, wacky laws and why they came to be, etc. All the while on a converted open air school bus with a 6 pack of beer (for Russ) and white wine straight out of the bottle(for Robbye and I). It was great!

We'd almost finished our wine when the tour ended. We started talking about Austin (we were the only out of towners on the bus) and discovered that our narrator had written a comedy skit for Esther's Follies. We asked which one, not thinking we'd know it, but he said Sam I Am--one of our favorites by far. We were shocked at the coincidence of it all and he was thrilled that we knew some of his "best work!" What an event it was. We would all recommend it if you're in the area.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Estes Park

We took the hour drive to Estes Park so that we could do some sightseeing in the mountains and I could see some fall color. First stop was a scenic overlook between Broomfield and Boulder.

That is a prairie its natural habitat--they were squeaking all over the place! It took us a while to spot them because we were busy enjoying the scenery!

We cruised around downtown Boulder and quickly drove through The University of Colorado's stunning campus.

We met Dennis and Nancy(friends we have that now live in Longmont) and were on our way to enjoy the drive to Estes Park. Along the way we stopped at Boulder Falls. It was breath-taking to see the mountains and the leaves changing color.

We arrived in Estes Park (a city, not a park)and they were celebrating their annual Elk Fest. Also there, the hotel where The Shining was filmed (and I wouldn't stay there if you paid me)!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Game Day in Boulder

Russ, Robbye, and I finally left our apartment and headed to Boulder for the game. Kickoff was at 6:00 and we obsessively checked the weather forecast wanting to be prepared. We heard rain, wind, 80 degrees at kickoff, 62 degrees at kickoff, and everything in between. What are two girls and a guy to wear? (Not trying to bring Russ into this because Rob and I were 100 times more worried about it than he was!)

The 80 degrees irritated me because I was looking forward to a cool game--and besides, I didn't bring any short-sleeved burnt orange things! I wore a long sleeved tee and brought a hoodie, a rain poncho, and Russ's heavier jacket--all in a beautiful shade of burnt orange. What a dork. I was prepared for everything but HOT and FREEZING!

We (Robbye and I again) were genuinely concerned about the Colorado fans--we had a horrible experience with them at the 2001 Big 12 Championship in Dallas. I was prepared to put out my claws (oooooh, scary) and no doubt get my husband into some trouble (whoops)! As we were walking through the 29th Street area, we were honked at, yelled at, "Texas sucks" at, and had a few conversations regarding losing--all with drivers in the intersection we were trying to cross. It was pretty tame compared to our last meeting.

We made it safely through the streets of Boulder and spent the early afternoon at a Texas tailgate at the Millenium Hotel with many other fans from both teams. We had a few drinks, a hamburger, but mostly enjoyed people watching, the weather, and each other's company.

We walked to the Folsom Stadium and I was surprised how pretty it was. I didn't know what to expect.

The game started off with a bang and continued to go our way most of the 4 quarters. We had more control of the game than the score showed.

We had lovely TX fans in front of us and behind us as well. We talked with them through much of the game. When you're at an away game, the burnt orange folks are your family. It's crazy how you talk to or smile at complete strangers, just because they're wearing your color. It's funny how that camaraderie doesn't exist when we are the majority!

After the game, we left the stadium as usual. As we were leaving, we saw a gathering of folks by a back door. Of course we hung out to see what the fuss was. Well, we were with the press and the family and nobody stopped us. I was snapping away while the press was interviewing the Longhorn starters. Russ was getting handshakes from: Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley, Mack Brown, and Quan Cosby. He talked with Brian Orakpo. Mack Brown patted me on the shoulder. We were hob-nobbin' with the football elite!

What a wonderful ending to a fabulous football game!

'tis the Season

I've put off my Pumpkin Spice Latte's because of our 90 degree fall weather. No longer.

We awoke in Broomfield, Colorado and it was a cool 52 degrees. Today had Pumpkin Spice Latte written all over it!

Robbye and I snuck away in our burnt orange hoodies as Russ slept (only to mutter "black coffee" when I asked him what he wanted from Starbucks). It had to be a Venti too!

It was as fabulous as I remembered (from last fall) and I'm anxious to have another (when fall arrives in Austin). Don't ruin it for yourself and take the lid off though--some things, like the color of a Pumpkin Spice Latte are better left unknown!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Salt Lick (North Side)

Plan B tonight was Russ's great idea--The Salt Lick (at the Dell Diamond). It's new, we haven't been, and I wasn't cooking tonight.

We walked in just before 7:00 and were seated immediately. The food was great (sausage and brisket for me), cole slaw was fabulous as ever, and the potato salad....well, it had onions. Yuck. The iced tea should've been MUCH better than it was--a BBQ restaurant in Texas, c'mon!! It tasted more like the iced tea they serve the faculty in our school cafeteria. I've had better!!

Overall, dinner was great. The place was beautiful, but it wasn't the original. There's something about the aged-ness of the Driftwood location, the memories there, and it's history that make it special.

This Round Rock location is great if you're craving that Salt Lick BBQ sauce though...and not near as far as B.F.E.!!

Dear Riley,

Every night while you're sleeping, before we go to bed, your Daddy and I walk into your dark, quiet room. We watch you sleeping peacefully. I kiss your cheek and make sure you are all covered up. When I kiss you, I try to commit to memory how wonderful you smell--clean from your bath and your clean pajamas that smell like Dreft and Downy--THAT is the best smell in the world!

Sometimes we watch you for a little bit, lying there so still (you don't do that very often).

Some nights when we get up there, you have moved off of your mattress (which lays on the floor) and made a little spot for yourself surrounded by Lion and Bevo. Your head is on your pillow and Dog in your grip. We put you, Dog, and your pillow back on your bed. You wake up just enough to wrap your arms around our necks (and we love that) and then go back to sleep.

Sweet Dreams Little Man.

We love you,
Mommy and Dada