Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dell Children's Give Dinner and Giver's Gallery

May was a big month for Dell Children's Trust events! First we enjoyed the Give Dinner, our big event of the year where we review the list of grants and vote on what to fund from our pool of money. There were 9 grants, and we watched a video about each grant. Even if I wasn't pregnant these videos make me cry! I just want to help everyone!
In the end all 9 grants were funded from generous additional gifts following the Give Dinner. We love being a part of this group of amazing philanthropists!
Our next event was the Giver's Gallery a week later. Nicholas was one of the artists who participated in the Art of Giving. After working with patients of the hospital and kids of the Trust to make plaster molds, Nicholas created these concrete cast torsos. The Giver's Gallery in late May was a place to display all the final art pieces and celebrate the artists and sponsors of the Art of Giving. It was a lovely evening!
Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely dinner at ZTejas. We love date night!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Books Read--January to June

I have always loved to read. One year we lived in Rhode Island, I tried to read 100 books in a year. I think I made it through 88. Ever since Big Bro was born, I have lost a little bit of a desire to read, and have had trouble finding time to read the books I always used to enjoy. Until this January! I finally have my appetite for reading back and have enjoyed getting through some novels! Here's the list of books I have made it through since January. I suspect the list for the second half of the year won't be as long...but I hope to continue keeping up the streak.
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
  • The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
  • The Heart of the Matter by Elizabeth Griffin
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Theresa Ann Fowler
  • At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
  • The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McClain
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-hr Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Friday, June 17, 2016

Long Center Concert in the Park

We made it to the first Long Center Concert in the Park of the season to hear the strings play. It might be the only one we make this summer, and it was a pleasant evening!
Photo by Big Bro:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The End of an Era

I'm not really sentimental about cars. I've had four cars so far in my driving life. Two in high school, one in college and one post college. That post-college car lasted 12.5 years! Yesterday, the college car and I parted ways, and I've found much to reflect upon. In December 2003, my shiny new silver 2-door Civic coupe and I began our relationship. It wasn't my first new car, but it was my first new, nice car that I purchased mostly on my my name, my sole responsibility. I was fresh out of college, ready to start a career (not that I knew what that career would be), and all done babysitting, so I intentionally wanted a 2 door car because I didn't want carseats in my backseat.
I never dreamed at the time that this car would be with me for 12.5 years and 160,000 miles AND still be a great car. And, oh my, how life has changed in 12.5 years!

In December 2013---
  • I was still dating my college boyfriend (for 4 more months).
  • All my grandparents were still alive. I have since lost 3 of the 4 (March 2004, January 2006 and December 2011).
  • I lived in Austin, but moved back in with my parents shortly after I bought my car to be closer to that college boyfriend. 
Since December 2013--
  • That college boyfriend and I broke up.
  • I moved back to Austin after 5 months of living at home to work summer camp in 2004...and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
  • I started going to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and met Nicholas.
  • I was baptized. 
  • My car made many trips to Wimberly where Nicholas was living while we were dating.
  • My car and I taught Nicholas how to drive a standard.
  • In the summer of 2005, my niece left green crayon in the backseat that melted in the Texas sun on the black seats. To this day, there is still a little green residue. 
  • Nicholas and I got married.
  • We moved to Rhode Island. Nicholas' mom and best friend drove my Civic to RI a few weeks after we were married...because Nicholas flew back to Austin for our wedding after grad school had already started.
  • My Civic was our "family" car and traveled all over New England--Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. 
  • In the summer of 2008, the Civic vacationed us to Cape Cod, and shuttled John Turman to Tanglewood in Lexington, MA. 
  • In the summer of 2009, the Civic vacationed us to New Hampshire, Boston, Tanglewood and various parts of Rhode Island before being packed up for our move back to Texas. The Civic was packed to the hilt as we took a two week road trip down the East Coast en route back to Texas with stops in Delaware, Williamsburg, VA, Charlotte, NC, Columbia, SC, Athens, GA, Birmingham, AL and finally Rowlett, TX before officially moving back to Austin.
  • Feb 2011 brought our bouncy Big Bro, and the Civic got fitted with a carseat!
  • We continued to use the Civic for awhile to travel a little bit back and forth between Dallas and Austin.
  • Then May 2014 we added Lil' Bro to our family, and I squeezed 2 carseats into the backseat of the Civic. It was tight, but doable with the infant carseat and Big Bro being able to get in and out of his carseat all by himself.
  • Daddy and Big Bro took a road trip to Santa Fe in December 2014 for the Civic's last big trip. 
  • In March 2015 we moved into a new house with an even greater inclined driveway than our previous house. It was pretty hard to get the boys in and out of my car...especially once Lil' Bro upgraded to the convertible carseat and Mommy became pregnant!
  • It is literally impossible to fit 3 carseats in the backseat of the Civic, so we knew we would need a new car before baby #3 arrived...but we put it off as long as possible because we haven't had a car payment in 6 or 7 years!
After as much shopping around as we could handle with 2 energetic boys and a very pregnant Mommy, we are now new car owners with plenty of room to tote our growing family! Introducing our used, but mostly new 2016 Honda Odyssey. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Big Bro's Preschool Graduation

Big Bro is officially a pre-school graduate! We enjoyed his graduation ceremony last Thursday night in the sanctuary. Grandma, GranBo, Uncle Derek and Beth came to celebrate our little graduate. Big Bro had been waiting for graduation all week!
When he was in front of the sanctuary full of people, he got a little nervous, but Lil' Bro cheered him right up by waving furiously!
The ceremony was precious. The kids sang a few songs. Then they departed to put on their caps and gowns. Pastor Lynnae presented the graduates! Then they sang a couple more songs before they sat down for an adorable slideshow.
During the slideshow, Big Bro's tassel fell apart, and that made him sad. Unfortunately, he didn't tell us what was wrong for quite some time, so we didn't really get any post-graduation pictures. Lil' Bro was very excited to hug Big Bro!
I can't believe our first bundle of joy is off to Kindergarten in the Fall!