Friday, June 17, 2016


I know, I know. I just posted about how happy I am right now. I'm trying really hard to be happy in my life right now, and most days I am. But some days, I just feel restless.

Maybe it's because things are changing at work. You might recall, I joined a program where I'm taking 5 years away from my career for full-time parenting. My team is growing, in numbers and in experience, and I'm not there to see it. I'm not growing with it. You can't have your cake and eat it too, I know this. I knew this when I joined the program. I'm still confident in my decision to stay home with Maddie... it's just a hard pill to swallow that life goes on without me.

Maybe it's because this coming Thursday would have been baby #2's due date. It still stings that I won't have my June baby. I look at Maddie and think, she would be such a good big sister right now. Or maybe it's because I've finally overcome my pain and fear, and I'd like to try again for another baby... but we have to plan our lives around tax season. March isn't a great time to bring a newborn home.

Maybe it's because I've been watching entirely too much Friday Night Lights and it's left me thinking about how nice it would be to move back to my hometown. It was such a nice, quiet place to grow up, and it would be amazing to live closer to my parents (aka the babysitters). Our current neighborhood is changing - more crime, more construction - and I'm frustrated with our home's floor plan.

Maybe it's because I feel like I've lost myself to motherhood. Some days I feel like I'm looking at a not-quite-right doppelganger of myself in the mirror. As I adjust the "mom clothes" that cover my "mom bod" I wonder, what happened? Physically, I'm not the same. Emotionally, I'm not the same. In many ways I've changed for the better. But sometimes I just miss the person I was before I spent my days folding laundry, cooking dinner, singing Old McDonald, and saying over and over and over "I'm going to count to 5! 1...2...3..." I miss my friends, my hobbies, my freedom.

This restlessness... it's probably because all of these things are out of my control and none of them are going to change any time soon. I tend to be a "right here, right now" type of girl, so practicing patience is a struggle. I've gone from 80mph to 30mph on the highway of life, and some days I just want my little red mustang back. The one I got in high school, with the hail dents and the stench of soccer cleats. I'd like to cruise in the sports car rather than the soccer mom car, the one with the goldfish crumbs and the stench of spilled milk.

BUT... tomorrow. Tomorrow, we're going to load up that mom car and take it to the beach. We're going to soak in the salty air, the sun rays, and the good times. We'll play in the sand, eat like we're not on Whole30, and we'll stay up past bedtime. Maybe a little adventure will be the cure for my restless feelings.... or at least a bandaid for now, while I come to terms with this slow season of life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

In the Season of "No News Here"

Friend: So what's new with you guys?
Me: Ohhh... no news here, really.
Friend: How's Maddie?
Me: Great! Getting big.
Friend: How's Bailey?
Me: She's good too!
Friend: Tom still enjoying his new job?
Me: Yep!

Anyone else bored with that conversation? Every time I catch up with a friend these days, that's basically how the exchange goes. I really have no news to share, and every time it leaves me feeling a little disappointed. I mean sure, there are little things, but the fact that "I switched grocery stores" and "Maddie can count to 4" really pales in comparison to "we bought a house" and "we're pregnant!"

But the truth is, I actually love the fact that we have no news here. Our life right now is simple, and we are all so happy. I haven't felt this happy in a long long time. I mean sure, I'd love to share that we won an all-inclusive tropical vacation or that Tom is now the first ever 29 year old partner in his office, but I would more-so hate that share that one of us is ill or our house is in foreclosure or our car was totaled in an accident. Sometimes no news really is the best news.

Someday we'll have news to share again... a bigger house or another baby, promotions and honor roll highlights. But for now, I'm just going to find joy in the mundane. I'll excitedly listen to all of the amazing things my friends are up to, and simply tell them "no news here."

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tourists in Our Own Town: South Congress

Tom and I recently celebrated our 4th anniversary with a kid-free "staycation" in Austin. My parents took Maddie for the weekend, and we packed our bags for a fun getaway. We rented a cute little Airbnb bungalow just a few blocks off of South Congress, a popular area for both tourists and locals, just south of downtown.

We spent Saturday afternoon wandering through shops and trying not to get washed away in the rain. Uncommon Objects was a fun little store, but pricey. They had all sorts of neat junk and "old things" that I love, but I've seen similar items for less at other antique shops. Nonetheless, a fun place to poke around in. Just a couple shops down, Tesoros Trading Company also had some really cool "stuff". They import products from all around the world, and many items are labeled with a story about where they came from and who produced the products. We wanted to grab a drink somewhere, but were bummed to find several bars that weren't open around 4pm. We ended up in the Toms shoe store, where they also have a coffee shop. Who knew Toms made coffee too? They have a cute little back patio area which we would have loved to sit in, if it weren't bucketing down rain.


After bumming around for a few hours, we headed back to our bungalow to wash up for dinner. My hair was a hot mess from the rainy weather. My go-to plain 'ole ponytail just wasn't going to cut it for our fancy dinner, so I found a few Pinterest up-do examples to try out. But I wasted 10 minutes trying to find some sort of small ponytail holder in my bags and suddenly it was time to leave for our dinner reservation. I whipped up this 'do in the car using two giant hair ties and 4 bobby pins!!! And I am shamelessly tooting my own horn about it. It was purely luck and I could never in my life get it to work again. I even made Tom take a picture when we got back from dinner ;)


We had dinner reservations at a quaint little restaurant called Wink. It's quite fancy (and way out of our usual price range - thank goodness for a gift certificate I received from wonderful friends!), so even though we were using GPS, we drove right past the restaurant. It's tucked into this unassuming shopping center off of N Lamar right next to a dry cleaner and a liquor store. We were skeptical going in, but the food was delicious and the ambiance was top notch. We were technically right in middle of Whole30, but we gave ourselves a 24 hour free pass for our celebration. We didn't want to be limited in our food choices at an amazing restaurant, and hey, you only live once. Per usual, we both wanted to order the same thing, but we compromised and shared two entrees. And by compromise, I mean that Tom is the one who ordered something else. Bless his heart. We also tried the dessert sampler, and everything was so delicious. The portion sizes were all just right too. We didn't leave there feeling like our stomachs would explode. The personalized menu was a nice touch too :)


Right behind the restaurant is a graffiti park called the Hope Outdoor Gallery. We'd both seen pictures of the place, but never actually knew where it was. Despite my high heels and the puddles of mud, we wandered around and snapped a few photos. When in Rome, you know.


One of Tom's co-workers had given us a few bar recommendations for the evening, so we hopped around to check them out after dinner. First up, we sat at the bar in Little Barrel and Brown. It's a cozy little bar/restaurant with fun signature drinks. I'd really like to go back here for brunch or dinner sometime. Next up, we popped into the garden courtyard at Hotel San Jose. It's right next to the pool with candle-lit tables and a fun music playlist, but the drink prices were outrageous. Maybe it's because of the hotel name, or maybe it was because of the atmosphere, but it actually felt like we were in California! Our last stop was the bar at South Congress Hotel. It was a groovy place with trendy music and people from all walks of life. It wasn't too crowded when we got there so we were able to sit at the bar, but by the time we left (around midnight) it was really hopping (is that still a word people use? hoppin'?). The people watching there was so fun and it was a great way to end the night.

The next morning, we took our time getting ready and headed out to grab some brunch before making the trek home. We waited 45 minutes to be seated at South Congress Cafe, but the food was so worth the wait! We started with the salsa sampler and good gracious, the salsas were spicy. But we took them home with us and they were great on eggs and in a boring crockpot soup I had made that needed some spicing up :) I would definitely recommend this place for brunch!!

We had so much fun exploring the South Congress area. We were only 30 minutes from home, but it really felt like we were on vacation. Of course we dearly love our little Maddie, but having a night for just the two of us was so so so nice. Back when I was working, I really struggled to balance my free time between Tom and Maddie. I only saw her for a couple hours a day on weekdays, so I felt a pull to spend any available weekend time with her. The tides have changed now, and I'm happy to pass her off to her grandparents for a night!!! Ha. Our weekend away was much needed and such a nice relationship refresher. We spend so much of our time talking about, thinking about, worrying about Maddie, that I also worried a little that we wouldn't have anything else to talk about on date night. But fortunately, it turns out, we still enjoy each others' company even when we're not focusing on the kiddo.

I count my blessings every day that I married such an incredible guy. I don't tell him often enough, but I am so appreciative of the ways he takes care of our family. From making big weekend breakfasts to mowing the grass, managing our finances and giving Maddie her baths, to checking all of the door locks before bed and holding his arm out in front of me when he slams on the brakes... he really is the best. So if you're reading this, Thomas, happy four years and cheers to many many more. I love you!