September 21, 2016

on birthday paddles

Birthday and Christmas are two of my most very favorite things. 

I almost started this post with the simple sentence, I love gifts. But it's not that I only love receiving gifts because I also love, love, love giving gifts/planning secrets/watching surprised gift openers' faces. 

Full disclosure: I have been known to have my Christmas list started right after my July birthday, and my birthday list started right after Christmas, but let's focus on the part where I'm not a spoiled brat. Kthanks. 


When Freddie and I started dating, he not only introduced me to the beauty of avocados/sweet potatoes/mushrooms/Brussels sprouts/cauliflower/etc., but he introduced me to the idea of a doing something gift instead of a getting something gift. I remember early on in our relationship he asked me if I would rather get a doing something gift or a getting something gift, and I had no idea what he was talking about. But but but...if we do something then what is going to be wrapped for me to open?! <<<me not being spoiled. 

Along with my newfound love of avocados/sweet potatoes/mushrooms/Brussels sprouts/cauliflower/etc., I've grown to love the whole idea of doing something gifts. We've been glass blowing, took cooking classes, gone hiking, rented bikes, made sushi, and even traveled on small trips. Weird that Freddie could be right about something this one time... (insert smirk emoji) (we throw out all prejudices in this house because not only is Freddie the one who is always right, but he also does all the cooking so...take that, sexism!).

Freddie's birthday was Sunday, so around Monday (of three months ago...) I started planning. He is all about being outdoors, and I am not. He is all about getting dirty, and I am not. He is all about anything that involves beer, and I prefer the whine/wine combo I've got going on. 

In case you didn't know, Houston is also known as the Bayou City. It has somewhere around 2500 miles of waterways throughout the city, and Freddie has often joked about going kayaking in the bayou. I say joked because I don't think he thought I would actually ever do it because of my child strength arms, my inability to love being outdoors for extended periods of time, and the fact that the bayou is home of mutant alien catfish.
Well, I showed him! Take that, birthday boy. Kind of. Bayou kayak rentals close much too early in the day, so I did one even better and took us north of the city to Lake Conroe for some birthday kayaking fun. 

Houston is such a weird place because the city feels like it never ends. Coming from Georgia where trees are in abundance, it's been a strange feeling to drive sixty plus miles in any direction and only see developed land and no trees. Well apparently the secret is to drive seventy plus miles away because once we hit Conroe, Texas, there were trees!!! And no strips of stores!!! And no Pappasito's!! And a lake where we spent two hours in the feels-like-102 outdoors kayaking away. 
Thanks to Freddie for being born because he's a pretty cool addition to the human race. A pretty attractive one, as well. I'm also thankful he was born so we could celebrate him with fun activities like kayaking (and drinking copious amounts of...water). I'm also thankful he was born so he could show me the fun in the whole art of a doing something gift. 

Happy three days after your Birthday, Rick!

Are you a do something or a get something kind of person?

September 16, 2016

click goes the camera

Life has been so dang busy recently lately.

^^ I've almost started the last few blog posts with that sentence, but when I try to write a second sentence I can't think of what in our lives is actually making us that busy. Is it the dog who needs ten walks and twenty-six snuggles a day? Is it the BBQ sauce that Freddie keeps spilling on his clothes and testing my housewife laundry skills? Is it the six pounds of ground turkey from Costco that we keep needing to cook?

Slow. Down. Time. I know by saying this, time is only going to fly by faster, so let's go ahead and agree that I should never have kids because time is going to really fly with them. Like I'm already sad about my future bajillion kids being grown, and these kids aren't even being thought about right now, if ya know what I'm saying... (TMI? Sorry, Mom and Dad).

Freddie and I are re-watching The Office for the third or ninth time, and we just watched Jim and Pam's wedding episode. The whole episode Pam takes mental pictures by clicking an imaginary camera up by her eye. That is absolutely brilliant. It's also in the movie Elizabethtown, if you're a fact checker/movie buff. I am the worst about taking things for granted. The worst! I don't kiss Ricky as hard as I should when we leaves for work in the morning. I don't talk to my family every single day. I don't send my friends snail mail with big X's and O'x as often as I should. I do always tell the Lu-ster I love him before I leave. I don't want to wait for something sad or complicated to make me appreciate the little itty bitty wonderful things in my life. On that note, here are five mental pictures I took this week.

-Ricky sitting across from me at the coffee shop with his new, super hawt haircut. Ricky has a disease that the brother of Benjamin Button, Fenjamin Futton, had. Instead of aging in reverse, he just gets ridiculously more good looking the older he gets. Is that a male thing? Oh excuse me, Rick just informed me it's called Benjamin Cute as a Button disease. Anyways, ignore me on the other side of the coffee shop table, with my recently acquired hormonal zits and under eye bags.

-The smile one of my clients had the first time she successfully did a Roll-Up on her own. If you've ever attempted a Pilates Roll-Up in which you do not get to throw yourself up to a seated position like you do in a sit-up then I'm sure you understand the awesome sauce-ness of that smile and the awesome sauce-ness of that move.

-Lupe curled up as snug as a bug in a rug...except he's a dog curled up in my lap. And yes, I do take mental pictures and real pictures of this one. Sue me.

-The giant BE SOMEONE graffiti that's written on an underpass as you take I-45 into downtown Houston. So go already! Be someone!

-The solemn and grateful faces of every single fan at the Astros game on September 11 as the National Anthem was sung. What a sight. I got chills taking it all in.

And because wordy blogs are boring, here's a real picture!
A very, merry Houston sunrise. 

What are some of your mental pictures from the week?


September 14, 2016

the power of three

text from Freddie on Thursday, September 7 2016: um I just bought tickets to the astros next wednesday. they were $8 a piece. 


^^^ this my friends is the beginning of the story of how we ended up going to three Astros games in less than a week. I know, doesn't this sound like the most fun story to read on a Wednesday morning? 

Hot diggity dog! An Astros game! If you remember from here my love of baseball runs real deep. That's right, folks. Sporting events  = Dippin' Dots = me loving all sporting events = me loving baseball on a deep level. So paying $8 for a ticket to a place where I could pay $8+ for a tiny scoop of Dippin' Dots?! That sounds totally fair. Sign me up. 

The next morning, Friday September 8, I received this text: the astros play sunday night too. and arrieta is pitching... oooh $9 tickets. DONE. we're going!!!!!!

I was all those exclamation points worth excited too for two games. Double the D. Dots for $17 in tickets? Like I said, sign this sugar coma girl the heck up. I will always overpay for Dippin' Dots if I can underpay for a baseball ticket.

Fast forward about eight hours on Friday and I received this text while teaching: we may be going to the astros tonight. i got free tickets on reddit!!!!!!!

Okay, let's be real with one another for a second. At this point I was like the dips are good and all, buuut I was really looking forward to a Friday night consisting of a strong drink that didn't cost $10 and AC. You see, Freddie has turned into some crazed baseball fan in part because of his fantasy team. When we're at home MLB TV is on at all times. When we're not at home it might still be on for Lupe... When we're not at home Freddie's baseball app is open and off to the side at all times. Whenever I suggest watching something different Rick nicely reminds me that Jake Arrieta does Pilates. And that I need to get a Pilates job for a baseball team one day. And just like Dippin' Dots makes me love baseball, anything Pilates related should make me love it, as well. 

So off we went to the game Friday. Free seats, three rows back, and the best view of Jason Hayward's behind. As any intelligent human beings would do, the amount of money saved on tickets went straight towards beer for Ricky. Think how much we saved! <<<things I say after spending $$ at Target, but saving by using my Cartwheel app and RedCard. 
And then off we went to the game on Sunday night! Three hundred rows back, and a squinty-eyed view of Jake Arrieta's Pilates pitching bod.
And then off we will go in approximately ten hours for $1 hot dog night. Don't worry, it'll still be $10 beer night so don't get too excited. We'll be about two hundred rows back this time, with a good view of hundreds of people stuffing dollar hot dogs in their mouths. 

Oh I'm sorry, did you notice something was missing from the past three paragraphs? Two simple words. A million little bitty cold ice cream nibs. That's right, APPARENTLY DIPPIN DOTS AREN'T SOLD AT THE GAMES ANYMORE. Blue Bell just had to go and fix their listeria problem, and people of Texas just have to go ape bleep over Blue Bell ice creams, and b squared just had to kick out d squared from the stadium. 

Don't worry about me though, guys. Really, there are three really positive perks about these three baseball games that almost make up for my lack of Dippins. 

one
Because Texas is Texas and thinks it is the one and only giant slice of heaven on Earth, you get to sing Deep In The Heart Of Texas during the seventh inning stretch. Literally this is my most favorite part of the entire game. Also singing this song might be one of my most favorite reasons to live in Texas... 

two
People watching. The woman in front of us on Friday night had a perm straight outta 1983. I almost spent more time staring at her hair than staring at the game. It was so...fried. And curly. And I'm not trying to describe Arby's curly fries here. 

three
Since Freddie and I were the poor fans on Sunday we had to travel up and down all the floors of the stadium to get to our seats. As we walked down an escalator we were stopped by an employee who not-so-kindly told us that we were not allowed to walk down the escalator. My reaction was to cringe in fear because I just got in trouble, and slowly ride down the next two escalators. Freddie's reaction? To continue walking down the next two escalators saying: Babe, did you just hear what that man said?! I think that just might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Yep. It is. Just decided. I can't walk down stairs?! These are stairs!

At that point he was too far ahead of rules-following-me for me to be able to hear him anymore. 

On that note, I'm off to start getting ready to ride not walk down escalators, not eat Dippin Dots, and cheer for the 'Stros! Like they say, Never let the fear of striking out of Dippin Dots keep you from playing or going to the game. 

Or something. Over and out. 

September 9, 2016

best of fall

I love this time of year. And not because of the Pumpkin Spice Lattes or the pumpkin scarves or the pumpkin tall boots or the pumpkin vests or the...oh sorry, am I adding the word pumpkin to too many things? No, I love this time of year because it reminds me of so many big moments in my life.

This time of year reminds me of the fall of my first year of college. It reminds me of listening to the Dan In Real Life soundtrack one million and fifty too many times while driving up and down the crunchy leaf crusted roads of Decatur, Georgia. Just living life for the first time as a "grown-up" with the best of friends. Read I wasn't grown-up at all, but at eighteen I felt like such a bada** gown-up (who didn't have to pay bills...so the best kind of grown-up). 

This time of year reminds me of falling head over heels in lurve with Ricky. The kind of head over heels where you literally feel like your head is going to smash on the sidewalk by your feet. Such romance. It reminds me of moving up to Atlanta and finally living in the same city as he did which meant froyo dates and Antico pizza non-stop. It reminds me of when I knew he was going to tell me he loved me, but decided to play dumb. And then not say it back...but that's a story for another time. My life soundtrack of choice at the time was The Avett Brothers I and Love and You on repeat. 

This time of year and my Timehop app remind me of our first few months as newlyweds, living and exploring our first new city of Charleston together. The Saturday mornings spent downtown eating bagels and taking pictures of Broad St. buildings and Ravenel Bridge sunsets. The Tuesday nights spent sitting on the beach and singing musical theater songs that were stuck in my head from teaching (it was that or the Biebs. So hard to remember which one was more important at the time...)

The crips cool mornings remind me of visiting home and crafting on the patio with my sister. 

The grocery store aisles remind me that it's time to stock up on ten pound bags of Halloween candy off of which we can live for the next ten to twelve months. 

The calendar reminds me that I should pick out a Halloween costume that I'll never actually follow through and wear. It's the thought that counts. #onedayillgoasmugatu

The Instagram posts remind me that I should start wearing scarves and pretending that I'm not sweating profusely underneath them. We can will fall weather to come by wearing scarves, right? Insert eye roll.

The bright blue skies remind me that even though Houston is still hot as mother fluffing hellfire that one day soon the whole day will be cool, not just the mornings. That one day soon we'll be complaining that it's cold drinking hot chocolate. That one day soon we'll be seeing family and celebrating holidays. That one day soon I won't feel weird painting my nails deep reds and dark greys. That one day soon my hair will have endless static in it. 

I love cooler days.
I love bright, blue skies.
I love family time.
I love Christmas (seriously though, let's fast forward there).
I love my OPI Manicurist of Seville color. 
I love pretending like I'm not gaining a pound a day from bite size peanut butter Snickers. 
I love this time of year, and all the hope it brings of what's to come. 

What do you love about the now?! Other than PSLs and stuff. Give me the real, good stuff you love. 
Happy Friday!
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September 7, 2016

tidying up

Okay, let's take care of some housekeeping.
Housekeeping One | We went bike riding on Monday. I didn't die of heat exhaustion, and I only complained 10% of the bike riding complaining I usually do. Also, also, also...my crotch survived so we're just winning on all levels.

Housekeeping Two | Freddie's doing another giant puzzle so our dining room table is out of commission for the time being...

good thing we eat on the couch anyways. 

Housekeeping Three | I spent about 1.5 hours rearranging the liquor bottles and wine glasses we have out, and I have literally never felt more productive. Get at me, Pinterest. Get at me! 

Housekeeping Four | We've had a ready-to-take-to-Goodwill pile sitting in the living room for about...three months. It's still there, and some days I really care and other days I don't. I guess if I really cared I would have taken it to Goodwill by now. 

Housekeeping Five | On a similar note, sometimes when Freddie leaves things out I decide not to play my usual role of nagging wife and instead I play a game of How Long Will It Take Freddie To Notice Said Item Is Out And In The Way Without Me Saying Anything. It's such a fun game. One time a suitcase lived in the middle of our bathroom floor for fourteen days. Guys, you can't buy entertaining games like this. Priceless!

Housekeeping Six | Costco is still the the knees on multiple bees, just in case you were wondering. 

Housekeeping Seven | Do you like podcasts? Then you need to listen to My Favorite Murder. Do you like true crime? Then you need to listen to My Favorite Murder. Do you like things in this world that are good? Then you need to listen to My Favorite Murder. Do you want to keep reading my questions or do you want to just go ahead and listen to My Favorite Murder?

Housekeeping Eight | I never had acne growing up. I mean, I had the occasional zit that looked like Mt. Vesuvius and that I decided was a token of my world ending, but somehow the world didn't end, I was able to keep living and riding bikes (eye roll), and my body decided to wait until I was 27 to give me the real world's ending acne. Here's hoping I can find a skincare regimen that makes my face look sparkly and thirteen to eighteen-ish again.

Well, that's about all we've got folks as far as cleaning and organizing. I'm off to go actually clean our apartment, and maybe spend another hour or four moving around useless knick knacks. Happy Hump Day indeed!
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