Sunday, October 23, 2016

Group Photos

I was pretty sure last weekend was the most exhausting ever, but this weekend proved to be just as busy and tiring. Let's start with a picture from last weekend. This group photo was taken at the LIVESTRONG Staff Alumni party. It was so good to spend time with these people.

Last weekend started with a fundraising dinner and included a 20-mile bike ride. This weekend started with a Parent's Night Out and included a mud run obstacle course with my workout crew from Travis County. I'm not sure which was harder, but I think I prefer riding my bike... 

The kids have had a busy week as well. Friday was Valley View's annual sock hop and Aurora really wanted me to go so I tagged along for the fun. This week was also the book fair and parent conferences, so Chuck & I both spent a little more time at school than usual. 

Clark's class had a field trip to a pumpkin patch and while we couldn't go, one of the parents sent a few pics. This was his first time in a big school bus! Can you see our sweet tiny boy? Hint: he's near the middle, wearing a baseball cap.

Naturally, we had to take a family trip to the pumpkin patch as well! This afternoon the kids and I headed out to a new pumpkin patch at Proof & Cooper (a local restaurant).

They got their faces painted and made caramel apples, we carved our pumpkins (Bones Jones and Silly Billy) and toasted the seeds with cinnamon and sugar. I'm loving all these group photos and I enjoy blogging and reflecting on everything we did this weekend, but that wasn't even all of it and I am seriously worn out! Ready or not, another busy week is ahead. See you next weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pink & Yellow

This week was all about supporting cancer fighters. On Thursday night we attended the wine walk at the Hill Country Galleria and it was a fundraiser for Komen. I have a friend going through breast cancer treatment right now and a past intern of mine volunteers for Komen, so I was happy to throw a little support their way during breast cancer awareness month.

We had such a nice evening walking, sipping, and eating ice cream with my parents. They'll be heading back to Florida next week and I knew we wouldn't get to spend much time together over the weekend as I would be busy celebrating cancer survivors and longtime supporters in yellow! It was our biggest weekend of the year with a fundraising appreciation dinner on Friday, packet pickup and a huge merchandise sale Saturday, a family-friendly staff alumni party Saturday night, and the LIVESTRONG Challenge bike ride on Sunday.

This was our 20th Annual LIVESTRONG Challenge and I've been participating for a decade - working, walking, running, and volunteering. This was my first year riding!

I decided that for my 10th Anniversary with the Foundation I'd buy a bike and register for the 20-mile ride. I love my adorable single-speed beach cruiser and had no problem getting through the hilly course, but it was a hard workout and I am feeling it!!! A huge shout out to everybody who supported my fundraising efforts, which help keep our programs going strong, year after year.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Today was an unstructured day off, thanks to Columbus. We had several errands to run and as I was listing them, Clark said he also wanted to go to the pet store and get a dog. I suppose he's not much older than Aurora was when she started asking for a baby so I should be glad he's just asking for a pet, but honestly, two kids is enough! We did get to see some dogs this weekend. Mom and dad came over with Finley and the kids made him a fort! I think he liked it. And today I took Clark to dog storytime at the library.

Chula is a golden retriever who comes to the library to read with kids every week. The kids give her treats and pet her after every book. At one point, she reached over and started biting herself and Clark yelled "AAAAGH! SHE'S BITING HER BOOTY!!!" He was sitting pretty close to the action. I grew up with pets and my parents have had a lot of sweet dogs over the years. I was going to save this picture for later (Aurora and I are going to a production of Annie over Thanksgiving weekend!) but perhaps now would be a good time to post this pic my folks found of me with Honey Boo, back in the early 80's when I liked to dress up as Annie:

While we're flashing back, here's another cute one of me (about a decade later) with Hillary! I'm pretty sure she was named for Hillary Clinton, but we'd better leave politics out of it... regardless, Clark's class has a fish tank and a hermit crab at school and he really wants a pet at home, but for now I think he'll have to settle for a big sister.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Have no fear, that post about home improvements was just a little something extra. We still had as full a weekend as ever, jam packed with all the usual fun. Saturday started out with a trip to Home Depot, which did include some shopping, but it also featured a kid's workshop where the littles got to build and paint wooden fire trucks, then meet some firefighters and learn how to escape a burning building. I hear Chuck had to go in and rescue Clark...

That afternoon we went to a superhero birthday party and in the interest of time, I took my little heroes to HEB afterwards. I must say, we got some interesting looks in the grocery store!

Sunday was the first race of the Distance Challenge; an 80s themed 8k. The weather could not have been nicer and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to dress up! I realize that 80s attire isn't exactly the stuff of superheroes, but the runners doing the Distance Challenge are all my heroes. This was the first of 5 races in a series which includes 3 half marathons. 

I was asked to write up a race report for the Austin Runners Club blog from the perspective of an average newbie. Sounds like a super boring topic to me, but I had fun writing it!

Saturday, October 1, 2016


I'm interrupting your regularly scheduled weekend blog about the kiddos to post an update about the home improvements we've been doing for the past several months. Aurora doesn't like change so she was anxious going into these projects, but we are all happy with the results, which - while perhaps not dramatic in the photos - have been dramatic for our lives. First, we replaced three doors. My dad replaced the studio entry door (which was letting water in), Home Depot replaced our garage door, and I hired contractors to replace Chuck's studio balcony doors. It was a BIG job but they were water-logged, leaking, and infested with carpenter ants (yuck).

After replacing all the doors, we painted the whole house and studio. The colors are very similar but I think you can tell it's a little less orange & cream and a bit more brown & tan. The garage door was super old and rickety. The replacement is so quiet and has a keypad & phone app, so we have some convenient new options for opening and closing it. The lighting might not be as nice in the after picture, but trust me - this garage door is much nicer.

And now for the main front entrance. Again, not a dramatic difference but the update turned out great. Here's the before and after, which includes new light sconces (thanks dad!):

We had to strip layers of paint from the door and it is a new shade of red, but painting the side panels made all the difference. Of course, a house is not a home without family - so I'll post one cute pic of the fam wearing our new matching aprons!!! We still have a bit of work to do (mostly interior now) but it's so nice to have a majority of our projects done.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


After several weeks of little celebrations here and there, my birthday has come and gone and I am officially middle aged. I remember growing up seeing 40 year olds getting "Over the Hill" gifts and cards and not being completely sure what that meant. I get it now! I don't actually feel so old, so it's all good - and this week I got flowers, cards and gifts at work and home.

I got an amazing bouquet of roses from my sweet friend Laura Masch and an Amazon Echo from Chuck. We've all had fun getting to know Alexa and having her play music and give us the news of the day, weather reports, etc. I'm pretty sure that was a gift that Chuck has wanted for a long time, if you know what I mean ;) He also got me a hydration pack which I took on a 6+ mile run this morning. Now that's pretty awesome! I told the family I'd rather workout than eat cake, but don't worry, we had cake too!

The whole fam went out to the Cheesecake Factory where they sang a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday and gave me a sweet little ice cream sundae (which was mostly devoured by the kids). Today we picked up a big piece of cake to split between our little family and used the awesome candles Katie sent! I think I've had enough sweets for awhile, and PLENTY of celebrations for this milestone birthday. THANK YOU for all the kind words, cards, gifts and wishes! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016


What a weekend! I know, I say that every weekend. But this one was filled with all kinds of excitement. Yesterday we went to the gym, the library, and a birthday party at a painting studio. I love how focused Clark was on his work, though he spent most of the party saying potty words with his friend Elsie. Aurora was not amused.

What's this, a new play structure at the library? Aurora was trying to tell us about it ahead of time as she'd seen it before with Grandma and Grandpa. Pretty cool, but not easy to describe! 

Today we ran our 4th Annual Marathon Relay. Nicolette typically goes first, but she had to bow out due to a knee injury so I grabbed the #1 spot and while it made for an early (and very long) day, it was awesome. I ran this year's leg 3 minutes faster than last year, which was already 4 minutes faster than the previous two years. It was a great kick off to the fall running season, as always, and this year I've registered for more events than ever!

I had a great team and we ran in the final part of the last lap together with the girls. I love this event, but it was a HOT one today. Coming home to A/C and a shower felt GREAT, but no rest for the weary at this house. I gave the boys haircuts, did the food shopping, then decided to make Aurora's dream come true by doing a $10 Challenge with her. Her dream wasn't to do a $10 Challenge, it was to be a Youtuber. She watches videos like this all the time and really wanted to make her own. She has already planned many more so this may become a regular installment to the blog. Enjoy!


Sunday, September 11, 2016


This week was a little hectic balancing work with a bunch of home repairs, so Friday we kicked off my birthday month festivities with a group lunch at El Azteca and date night with Chuck at Odd Duck. Odd Duck was awesome - I wish I'd taken more pictures. It was also our first Parents Night Out at MyGym and the kids loved it.

Saturday we spent the day on a boat with Chuck's colleagues. Technically I'd say it was a Booze Cruise but most people brought their kids so there was plenty of family fun.

This weekend I also kicked my half marathon training into high gear with some of the best runs I've had in awhile and a yoga class at work. My legs are feeling it! 

This will continue to be a very busy month and it's going to be a little tricky balancing work with HR classes, lots of running and cycling, finishing our home renovations, and hopefully a little more birthday fun! But every weekend is fun around here...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day

Last week I got to head to school for parent orientation. Third grade honestly sounds like the best year yet! The topics are interesting and challenging but still super fun. Science, history, reading, writing, math, GT, and we signed Aurora up for CHOIR after school 3 days/week. She left a few fun things at her desk for me.

This weekend we did a little shopping. We're preparing for some exterior home repairs and maintenance and dad's helping us replace a door, doorknobs and lighting, then we're having the septic tank pumped, balcony doors and garage door replaced, and once it's all done we'll be painting. There will be a lot of laboring happening at our house in the coming weeks. Thank goodness my parents are still here to help in exchange for a few meals and use of our washer/dryer!

My main goal for the weekend was to get in some good workouts. I did yard work, went to a cycling class and went running twice. It's hard to get back into the swing of things after a long, hot, somewhat lazy summer. After all that, I tried to spend my remaining time like this; reading, relaxing, and watching movies while Clark was on the iPad. The best way to spend Labor Day...