Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yoga & Fanny packs & Yardsales, Oh my!

Our July craziness continued with a fun visit from the Riley clan. It was so good to have them here and the girls had so much fun together. It's great seeing old friends because you can always pick up right where you left off.
We celebrated my 30th birthday dinner at Pei Wei with Kristy and Andy, and then later had cake with Nicole. She made this masterpeice with 3 layers of chocolate filled with chocolate mousse and cherries, covered in ganache. It was AMAZING. Unfortunately, we flew out the next day and left most of it in the fridge. It was all I could do not to stuff it in my carry-on. I did eat it for breakfast though.
In order to sufficiently launch me spiraling into middle-age weight gain, I had TWO cakes. Micah got me a sheet cake, and sadly, the frosting was all melted by the time I blew out the candles. That's right, I left two barely eaten cakes in the fridge. (I also realized as I was posting this just how sad it is to be in your pj's for your birthday party. What can I say, I like to be cozy when I sit in front of a fire.)
The next day it was off to my parents house in Camden, SC where we hit the ground running. We decided it would be a great idea to have a yardsale to unload some of the accumulated junk. So we spent the days leading up to it going through the attic, shed, garage, etc. Thomas and Margaret came home to help, and Thomas entertained us all by demonstrating some of his yoga moves from his summer yoga course. This is what 310 pounds of grace and agility looks like:
We came across our old dance recital costumes when we were going through the attic and had fun dressing Skylar up in them. Here she models the Hershey Kiss costume:Dawn broke on saturday morning to a frenzy of setting up. Our yardsale was scheduled to begin at 8--the crowds rolled in at 630 and they didn't mess around. They kept going in the garage looking for things that weren't on sale. We felt like we needed more stuff for them. I ran through the house grabbing things and they were gone almost before they touched the pavement. This is AFTER it was picked over:

Skylar woke up at some point and we stuck her out there with all the stuff. Nobody bought her, but a few people tried.
She was so sleepy and just wanted Uncle Josh to carry her around.
Here is Bekah modeling a hot pink velvet dress coat. It could have been yours, sorry you weren't there.
Like the proud Austin woman she is, Margaret held her head up high, strapped on the fanny pack and took money from those poor souls who eagerly haggled for our trash.
Then it got really, really hot and the fun stopped:
After all of our hardwork, we needed a little R&R, so we headed up to my Aunt Nell and Uncle Carl's new house on Lake Murray. My Uncle David, Aunt Tish, and cousins Abby and Sarah were visiting from Florida so we had a little reunion. This is one Big House--so big in fact, that I would have had to stand in the lake to fit the whole thing in one frame:Here is Aunt Nell working in her amazing kitchen filled with appliances from the sci-fi channel.

No Austin family gathering would be complete without some kind of rowdy, violent, competitive sport. In this case, water rugby:

Sarah helped Skylar play fetch:

Now off to bed for me!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Just like every other stay at home mome, I spend a majority of my day in one-sided conversation with a little person. I also pick up the same 40 toys and books everyday that she loves to pull off her shelves. The highchair is never clean. The car seat is always crusty. The stroller is filled with food. Her clothes are always stained. And I fold those tiny clothes over and over again.....only to come back to a big pile on the floor. It's not a new story, you all know what I'm talking about.

So what is a stay at home mom to do in order to keep from losing her mind???

Enter The Playdate.

Initially, it had nothing to do with Skylar since all she did was sit there and drool. Playdates are more about moms. It's how we keep our sanity. I usually schedule 3-4 a week. Over the last year, the playdate has become more than just a social hour though. It's a chance to see other moms in action, to learn from each other, to encourage each other AND to commisserate. It was worth having a baby just for all the mom friends I got out of the deal.

Now that Skylar's older, she actually gets something out of too, so that's a nice perk.

One of my favorite get-togethers is with my long time friends Jess and Edi. All three of us met and dated our husbands at Spring Canyon. We knew each as teenagers before we were wives or mothers, and I think that is so cool! I decided they deserved a little blog time.

I've known Jess since the summer of 1996 when she was on paid staff at Spring Canyon and I was a lowly volunteer. Even though she's only a year older, she terrified me. Then several years later we were on permanent staff together. She had married Peter and had a newborn, Jude, at that point. We lived in an isolated little bubble so we really only had each other. She and Peter were very generous with their home and always reached out to the single people at camp. Now that baby is 9 and she has two other girls!

I think I met Edi sometime around 1998. We worked together in the summers. She was fun, motivated and really talented with children. Although I've known her for a long time, it's been fun really getting to "know" her as a mom this past year after she and her husband Travis moved back to Colorado Springs.
This past week we decided to meet up at America the Beautiful Park so the kids could play in the fountain.
Ashley Crum:

Ashley and Aravis:
Chubs McGee enjoying the water:
Edi's daughter Hailey is the cutest little thing ever. I didn't get any pics of her son Riley because he was off playing the entire time.
The carrot sticks and banana I brought for Skylar were no match for everyone else's yummy treats. Skylar stole everybody's snacks!
Hailey shared her chips with Skylar and even fed her one at a time.
Jess always packs a cute little basket for her kids. It all very Martha Stewart-esque.
This is Jude, otherwise known as mini-Peter. He is the spitting image of his dad.
I'm so going to miss these ladies when we move!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The rest of the story.

First, I need to revise my statement about having an anti-climatic 4th of July. We went to the Falconer's house for brunch where Natasha served a smorgasbord of delicacies, including a yummy baked french toast dish that I need the recipe for. So here is a picture of the highlight of the day:)
We had to go to the Flying W Ranch while everyone was here. It's just what you do. Besides, it had been a few years since our last time and we had to refresh our memory as to just how bad that boiled beef and chicken "BBQ" really are:) The rest of it is good though!

According to Skylar, Granstud is hilarious. We knew he was a stud, but we didn't know he was this funny:
Erica looked so cute all dolled up like a cowgirl!
She liked carrying Skylar around, and Skylar loved it too.
Walking around town with Granbabe:
The boys weren't quite as excited about the Native American dancing as we were:

Andy was hoping there would be a gift shop so he could get a genuine cowboy souvenir. Imagine his relief when he discovered every building had one!
Skylar enjoyed the show for about 15 minutes until she got too cranky and we took her home. They really are talented musicians.
Here's a shot of Skylar's first ponytail. She looked like a big girl for the 5 minutes it stayed in.
Gayle modeled her bargain: A turquoise suede jacket with fringe and bedazzles....only 5 dollars (originally $190). In the end it was too hot to wear to the Flying W. Oh well......
We celebrated birthdays at Kristy and Andy's house. Micah and Squirt were reunited. Anyone who knows Micah knows that he loves kitties more than anyone you will ever meet. He's been known to pull over the car and chase one through a field to pet it. It's actually a little obsessive......and creepy......and endearing.
Everyone wanted a piece of Squirt. That's a lot of hands for a very small cat.
Bill opening his gifts:
Kristy didn't conceal her enthusiasm. Sorry Kristy....I just love this picture.
Kristy did perk up when it was time to light candles. Then she cut the cake into pieces the size of our heads as demonstrated below:
So we had a great, whirlwind visit with the Rue/Evans clan! We look forward to doing it again someday. In the meantime, we are hanging out with the Riley's and then off to South Carolina!


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