Highlights from the week

This week has had some ups and downs...

On Wednesday I skipped class and Jon and I got to spend the day together. It was really nice because our schedules have been off a little bit these last few weeks. He has been working more on the weekends and I am in school/work everyday during the week.

We needed to talk Hiro somewhere fun, since it had been awhile. So we decided to talk him on his first kayak trip. It was pretty funny. We rented a two-person kayak and struggled to get our timid dog on the huge foreign orange thing. First we tried sitting in our usually positions...me at the front and Jon in the back. We initially put Hiro in front with me, but quickly realized that wasn't the best idea. Together, Hiro and I weigh more than Jon and Hiro kept moving around making it difficult for me to row. We had to pull over and switch places. Once Hiro and I were in the back and Jon was in the front to steer we were able to make pretty good progress. We were able to row over to a dog park area that is right on the water. We docked and let Hiro run a play for awhile. The return trip was much easier and I think Hiro finally got the idea that he just needed to sit still and enjoy the ride. We are going to try to take him again soon.

On Thursday I got stuck in traffic and actually missed work! I left school around 2 and I was supposed to do a session from 3-5 that afternoon. At about 2:30 everything on 35 came to a complete stop! Then I saw three firetrucks drive by, and I knew it could not be good. I was able to look up traffic.com on my phone and I found out that a bus and a couple of 18-wheelers collided and there was oil and diesel fluid all over the highway. Luckily no one was injured, but they shut the highway down for 3 hours. I sat in basically the same place on the highway for over 3 hours. I didn't get home until 5:45.

Friday was my last day of summer school. Wow am I glad that is over. Driving down to San Marcos everyday is too much for me. I don't think I will be taking summer school again next year. I have 8 more classes to take before graduation and I think I am going to spread them out over Fall, Spring, and then a Fall. That means I will done December of 2009. I have about a month until Fall classes start and when they do I will only have to drive to San Marcos twice a week.

Jon and I went to see the Dark Knight Friday evening. It was really good. It was nice to go out just the two of us. It has been a while since we have gone on a date date.


Our Long Conversation: part 2

The last day Amanda and I were in Austin, we went to the Kite Festival. It was a perfect day and there was just enough wind to keep the kites in the air. It was amazing! We hung out on all afternoon. I was having a great time, but little did I know, Jon was feeling horrible. Apparently his allergies were acting up :(

I remember hoping that Jon would ask for my number sometime during the afternoon. I thought maybe it would happen when we went walking, but no. Jon waited until we were all leaving, then he asked if he could give me his number. Of course I said yes. We exchanged numbers and email addresses. Only later did I realize that I didn't press save when I entered his number into my phone. Luckily I had his email address, and as it turns out it didn't matter anyway. Jon sent me an email the next day, saying he had fun and he hoped we could talk soon. Yay!

We exchanged emails throughout the week, as well as a phone call. My family happened to be going to Austin the very next weekend, so Jon and I planned to get together that Sunday for our official first date.

Stay tuned for Our Long Conversation:Part 3: Our First Date

Our house, in the middle of the street

Jon commented that I had not posted any pictures of our backyard now that the two trees have been planted. So here is our backyard remodel part 2. Keep in mind this is a work in progress and it has been super hot here so our grass is pretty dead. The red shade sail will eventually have a flagstone patio underneath it, with a couple of chairs and hopefully a chimina. We have not figured out what to do with the excess dirt from the holes. Right now the black buckets that the trees came in are filled with it. They are both too heave to move so we will have to come up with a new plan soon. I am so proud of Jon. He worked really hard to get both the trees planted before one of his business trips. I am excited that we are slowly taking our backyard back from Hiro. I will post updates once we get the next step done.

I have decided to take on an inside project. I am going to paint our kitchen, cabinets and all. Here are a few shots of our kitchen now. Notice the white walls and plan cabinets. My plan is to paint the cabinets antique white and then I am going to attempt to mud the kitchen walls. This will involve a few steps. First I will add mudding to the walls to create a cool texture. Next I am going to paint the base coat (which will be antique white). The final step will be to add stain on top of the paint. It will give the room a Tuscan feel. I have done it all before, but never on my own. I am hoping I can do a good job. My goal is to start next weekend and get it finished within the week. I will post pictures once I finish.

Here are some other pictures from our cute little house. This is our living room. Notice Hiro looking at me. He is not sure why I am walking around taking random pictures. The picture on
the right is from our entry way. I love how you can see straight to the kitchen. We love having such an open floor plan. This is the other side of the living room. I am still looking for something fun to hang on the wall. I can't decide if I want some kind of art work or a mirror.

Our long conversation: part 1

Jon and I have been married for a year and a half now. We have had so much fun in the last 18 months, but our story obviously began before the wedding. It was once said, "a happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short." (Andre Maurois). So I am going to share our long conversation.

Let me set the stage...
My best friend, Amanda, and I wanted to go somewhere for our spring break. Unfortunately our spring breaks were a week off so we only had a weekend to get away. On top of that we were not exactly rolling in money, so something affordable was a must. We decided to make our way from Dallas to Austin for the weekend and stay with my Aunt.

So we arrived in Austin early on a Friday afternoon. We stopped by Round Rock Donuts to pick up a dozen of the best donuts in the world!! If you are ever in the Austin area this is a must try! After picking up some healthy breakfast treats, wink, wink. We drove into town to meet up with my Aunt. She took us out to dinner...I don't remember where we went, but it was good. After dinner Amanda and I went to a coffee shop on the river called Mozart's (also a must see attraction). We ordered some yummy drinks and settled out by the water for some girl talk. To this day, every time Amanda comes to visit we always go to Mozart's at least once.

On Saturday the three of us (my Aunt and Amanda and I) when to Shady Grove for a great lunch. Then Amanda and I headed to Barton Springs to get some sun. It was a perfect day, the sun was out but it wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze. We had a relaxing afternoon of people watching, and swimming in the 68 degree water.

That night my Aunt took us to a concert at Antones. My Aunt had invited some of her friends and we were talking to a group of them when "cute boy" walked up. When he stopped next to us, I was a bit surprised. Well, it turns out that "cute boy" had come along with one of my Aunt's good friends. I am horrible with names so for the rest of the night I would refer to him as "cute boy" (only to Amanda of course). We were in a pretty big group so "cute boy" and I didn't really share many words throughout the concert or at the coffee house afterward. My Aunt wanted to take us on a walk down 6th street, and that was when we started talking. However, at the end of the night we went our separate ways with just a simple "it was nice to meet you".

When my Aunt asked us if we had fun, Amanda mentioned that I thought Jon was cute. So my Aunt decided to call her friend and ask them if they wanted to come with us the next day to the Kite Festival.

Coming soon, part 2: kites and crushes.

It's been awhile...again

Well, once again it has been about a week since my last post.
Last weekend I went to a birthday party with the rest of my small group. We all went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and dessert...wonderful! Here is a picture of us after dinner.

On Sunday I took Hiro and his friend Woodrow to Jon's soccer game. I must have looked crazy walking with my chair, a huge bag with stuff for the dogs, and two crazy puppies jumping around at the end of their leashes. Sigh. I think next time I will be going dog free to the game. :) We babysat Woodrow all day, so once he left our house was nice and dirty. I went into cleaning mode and swept, moped and vacuumed the place. When I finished I was putting up the vacuum and realized that the LCD screen on our thermostat was off, which meant our AC was off. Ahh...

After a night of no AC, I was not in the best mood. It didn't actually get that hot in our house, but even with every window open it was sooo stuffy. It didn't help that Jon insisted on closing all the windows except our bedroom when we went to bed (he said it was a "security risk"). I rolled my eyes. We got an AC man to come out first thing Monday morning and it turns out it was just something small and we got our air back on. Yay!

Other than that the week as just been moving along. I just got back from dinner with my Dad. We took Hiro to play at Auditorium Shores and then walked to my favorite hamburger place for a good dinner. It was great to hang out.

Alternative Vaccine Schedules

This is a great link. It has a lot of information about how vaccine schedules have changed and some good information for parents on alternative schedules. It makes a lot of sense...why give a baby vaccines the day after they are born? Why give them so many when they are 2 months, 4 months and then 6 months? Why not wait until they are old and their immune system is stronger? Just some things to think about....

Looking For Information on How To Vaccinate More Safely?

Mid week up-date

This week seems to be going by very slowly. I am only taking one class this month and so far it's not too bad. It is a psychology class that I have to take as an elective (I like how they call it an elective, yet it is required). So far it just seems like a basic psychology class and is stuff I have learned before. The only thing that sucks is that the building is right in the middle of campus and there is no parking near it. Yesterday I was late to class because I could not find any parking! Then when class got out and I was hiking back to my car, it started pouring! I had an umbrella but it didn't do me any good because it was basically raining sideways. :( Needless to say by the time I reached my car I was soaked. Luckily I had some work out clothes in the back so I could change before going to my afternoon session.

Jon has been busy planting the trees this week. He got one planted on Monday and he is hoping to get the second one done today or tomorrow. He is working really hard. I can't believe he has done it all by himself. I was hoping he would get some help for the second one (it is bigger). He is out there digging right now...ahh and it is so HOT. I will post some pictures once we get both planted and our yard moed.

Okay, well I am off to class.

4th of July weekend

Jon and I went up to Plano for the 4th of July weekend. We had a really nice time. My parents have been getting together with two other families for over 25 years! Every 4th of July since before I was born they have gotten together with these families. I have a lifetime of wonderful memories hanging out and enjoying the holiday with these wonderful people. Here is our yearly picture from this year (minus the one taking the picture). It's hard to imagine that it started with just six people, now there is even a grandchild :) The three ladies in the front (the one is the red is my mom) all meet in grad school years ago. I missed the last two years since it was during the week and I was here in Austin. It was great to be able to go this year!On Saturday Jon and I went with my parents to a meet-and-greet at a local Petco. They are looking to adopt a lab from a lab rescue in Dallas. We saw a bunch of really cute dogs. My parents are looking at getting a girl named Ruby. Her picture is not up of there website yet, but I will post pictures as soon as they do. I'm excited for my parents. It has been a year since they had to put Credence down and I think they are ready for a new dog. I know Hiro will be excited to have a dog to play with when we visit.

After the meet and greet, my sister and I finally did something we had been taking about for years. We got matching tattoos! It is an Ichthus from a James Avery ring. This is not a great picture, I will have to get Jon to take a better one for me. It is on the outside of my right foot. My sister went first and I could tell it hurt. I was super nervous. It was pretty painful, but it didn't take very long so it wasn't too bad. We got them done in a medium brown color (it looks dark now because it has not fully healed yet). I can't believe I have a tattoo!! I like it a lot. I will post some better pictures after it heals in a week or two.

Today Jon and I got up and drove back. It was nice to get home. We did some grocer shopping and Jon got the stuff he needed to plant the HUGE trees (one of which is still in our driveway). Once we got home, Jon dug for about 2 hours. The hole is a lot bigger (I will post a picture tomorrow) , but it is still not big enough. We were talking with our neighbor and apparently the land that our neighborhood is built on used to be a hay field. When they decided to build the houses they had to level out and raise the land in order to prevent rain water from pooling. Jon has found out (the hard way) that they leveled the land with a mixture of large rocks and clay. The ground is so packed it is hard to start digging and then every few inches the shovel hits a huge rock. I am trying to get Jon to seek out some help with this whole backyard remodel.

The backyard remodel begins



Jon bought two HUGE magnolia trees for our backyard and they got delivered today...I know, yesterday the refrigerator and today two trees, what next you may ask. Well actually we have one more delivery scheduled for today. Its a shade sail. It looks something like this except the one we got will be a tan color. The plan is to lay flagstone to extend the back porch and then use this to create some cool shade. So back to the trees, they are another step in taking back our back yard from Hiro and his dog friends. Right now our backyard is a place where dog toys go to die. The dead grass (thanks to the summer heat) and the stuffed animal stuffing everywhere don't make for such a relaxing place to read or visit with friends. So that is what sparked our backyard makeover.

The trees were delivered today and unfortunately the guy could only drop them on our driveway. The trees are huge!! I was worried about getting them from the driveway to the backyard. Jon and I pushed the tree to the front of our house before I needed a break (it was only about 10 feet). We finally got the first tree into the backyard (thanks to Jon; I'm not sure I was much help). We were both too tired to move the second tree so it is still sitting in our driveway. It may stay there until Sunday, when we get back from Plano. I am really excited about getting some trees in our backyard. There is a two-story house directly behind us, so it will be nice to have some screening for privacy and some much needed shade. I will update with more pictures once we get the trees in the ground. Jon has his work cut out for him next week. He has to dig huge holes to put these guys in.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

The joys of owning a home

I know...two post in one day...crazyness. :)

Our new refrigerator arrived today! I'm not sure I would have thought I would be so excited to get a new refrigerator but it is very cool. The one we had before came with the house when we bought it a couple of years ago. It was nice, just small (apartment size) and we love to shop at Costco so we are definitely going to love having more space.
Here is the new one in our kitchen
Here is it full of food...it looks pretty empty, but the same amount of food was overfilling our old refrigerator.
And last but not least here is our old refrigerator in its new home...the garage. It is now full of the drinks we buy in bulk at Costco.

Who doesn't enjoy summer reading?

Nothing like a week off to kick off some great summer reading.

Sunday and Monday I had a bit of a cold (which always seems to happen to me, as soon as I have some time off I get sick). Oh well, I was able to read an entire book in two days. I read a Wedding in December by Anita Shreve. It was a pretty good book (not sure if it would make it on my must read list, but definitely not a waste of time). I was also able to watch some great lifetime movies! I watched the Piolet's Wife (it is also a book by Anita Shreve) and The Tenth Circle (a book by my favorite author Jodi Picoult). Lifetime is great, I am addicted to Army Wives, but that will have to be another post).

Here are some of my favorites by Jodi Picoult:
My Sister's Keeper
Plain Truth
Nineteen Minutes
Perfect Match
I think I have read most of her books, and there hasn't been one that I haven't loved reading. Most of the books are about unique circumstances that really make you think about what you would do or should do if put in the very same situation. There is always a fine line between the right choice logically and the right choice emotionally. It looks like she has a new book out called Change of Heart. I will read it soon and post a review. :)

For lighter reading I love Emily Giffen. She wrote Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof. All are wonderful summer reads. It looks like she has a new book out; Love the One Your With. I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday excited about getting the new book and when I asked about it, they told me it doesn't come out until late July (although her website says May 13).

Since I can't seem to leave Barnes and Noble without a book I started searching for a new author to latch onto. I found Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand. It's a national best seller so I couldn't pass it up. I just started it yesterday, but so far so good. I think it will be the perfect book to take with me on our weekend trip to Dallas. She also has a new book out; A Summer Affair. If I like the first one I may check it out along with some of her others.

Anyone else have some good authors on their summer book lists?