So I took an unintended break from blogging and the world wept (full disclosure: it just took me four attempts to type the word “wept,” my fingers are apparently not ready to be blogging again but I’m going to power through… for the people).
So here’s what I/we’ve been up to since you last saw us… work, vacation and more work, plus a date night. Funsies.
Here we are ready for date night, above looking lovely and below looking less lovely, but comical. I’m not too proud to share that photo with the world.
For date night we went to dinner and then saw Joel McHale perform at Laugh Fest. Hilarious. I’ve never seen a stand-up comedian live and I really enjoyed it – with a few moments of squirminess when he would make inappropriate jokes that would definitely not be safe for his normal television gigs, but overall, hilarious.
Jack’s daycare has a guy come and do art projects with the kids, below is Jack’s latest creation, an owl. I rather love it.
I got new shoes… shoes I’d been coveting from Lisa Leonard’s What I Wore Wednesday posts for nearly two years and Target still had them online so I just bought them for myself because liking (and not getting) $30 shoes for two years is a wee bit silly.
I treated myself to an iced Americano, but since it was after noon, I had to go half-caff. My college self just shakes her head and sighs at me.
Aren’t avocados so pretty? I’m mad that I spent so much of my life not liking them because now I LOVE them… and I make an awesome guacamole. Come on over, I’ll make some for you.
Oh my goodness… I have found a recipe that is just too good: Red Velvet Brownie Oreo Truffle Bars (from Pizzazzerie) … totally worth the time on the treadmill to burn them off.
My sweet (youngest) boy hanging out the window in the school pick up line waiting for my other sweet (oldest) boy. Happy moments like these help alleviate the stabbiness I feel most of the time in the pick up line… line cutters, I’m looking at you.
And now we come to the vacation recap part of this post… we went to Texas, I think I mentioned these plans before. I know is taboo to discuss vacation plans online because it is basically a big neon sign broadcasting that our house will be unattended for a specific period of time, but well, I’m not an alarmist or thinking that our local criminals are checking my blog. We’ve got just as good of a chance of someone breaking in when we are home as we do when we are away – now, I’m perfectly willing to eat my words if something bad ever does happen because I told the Internet that we weren’t home.
[sidebar] Here’s the dumbest thing I’ve done lately, marginally related for its crime potential. The other night Simon came home early and I was looking out the kitchen window when he arrived home, happy to see him, and he was yelling something up at me, standing next to our open minivan door. Turns out, when we got home from school, that I had left Liam’s sliding door open and must have never hit the lock button on the keyfob or the van would have beeped at me to alert me of an open door. Leaving a door open in your driveway isn’t great, but to make matters worse it had been raining almost the entire four hours between when we got home and when Simon got home, storming for a small portion of that time. Whoops (I diffused Simon’s frustration with the situation by pointing out that at least I didn’t crash the car – which, if we’re keeping score, he has done). So things were wet – it’s just water – but no harm done. And it’s not like I’ve ever done this before, but unfortunately this one time it was raining, or perhaps fortunately because people looking to get into trouble and steal things from minivans with their DVD players prominently displayed don’t tend to go out in a thunderstorm to get into trouble. [end of story - aren't you glad I shared?]
So, back to the vacation – we were lucky enough to have two weeks off because Liam’s school had the Thursday and Friday before Spring Break off so we decided he could miss just three days of school and take off for the whole time. So we got up bright and early Saturday morning (and by bright and early, I mean dark and early – it was 4:32 when we drove out of our neighborhood) and got out of Dodge, thinking the kids would take nice naps in the car at some point (spoiler: the only person that slept in our car for the 22 hours we were riding in it was Simon). But, despite the lack of sleep, it was a good trip and the boys stayed mostly happy, aside from the last 30 minutes before we got to my brother’s house in Houston when there was a lot of yelling from all parties.
You know you have a problem when you use apps on your phone to find and chart a course for the closest Starbuck’s. You also know you have a problem when a venti iced Americano does not do the trick because you waited too long to get coffee and you have a headache (Did you know that sometimes travel first aid kits come stocked with Tylenol, aspirin and ibuprofen? Now you know).
After a brief stop in Houston with Marty and Lynn (brother and SIL) for a delicious welcome-to-Texas dinner of fajitas and quesadillas (fresh tortillas, I love you), we hit the road to Corpus Christi (or Padre Island, to be more specific) to go to my parent’s winter-Texans home-away-from-home. Jack stayed awake the entire 3.5 hours while Liam finally slept, almost the entire ride, because of course. The sun was setting much of the second half of our trip and I was determined to get a pretty shot of it… and I did thanks to a random cattle water supply pond.
Sunset the next night on the Gulf of Mexico, equally as breathtaking. Though less peaceful since I made the decision that we would pull over and wait for it to set and my kids were complaining in the backseat because I was postponing their Wii time and Jack was HUNGRY, even though we’d just left the best BBQ place in Corpus (voted as such for many years running) where he ate potato chips (because they didn’t have fries or Vegemite). But my dad was wrong because he said we’d have to wait at least 30 minutes to see the sunset and we totally did not… I win!
Day two, Simon opted to take Liam to the USS Lexington and the rest of us opted to not go with that plan, but instead decided to take a picnic to Port Aransas (not the wisest choice since it was incredibly windy there and we ended up eating standing up and gripping onto our food since paper plates would have been pointless). But we still had fun and got to see huge boats go through the channel and dolphins cresting out of the water. Liam loved the Lex and says that was the favorite part of the whole trip so it was a good choice for them that day and Jack was thrilled to have the undivided attention of three adults. We also played with a 2.5 year old who was just about the same size as Jack, everything’s bigger in Texas.
My parent’s condo is a parking lot away from the seawall so a few times a day we trekked across the road to walk the seawall, search for seashells and just watch the waves come crashing in. Here’s a lovely portrait of our shadow family.
And my three boys.
That’s all I have from Corpus, as that Friday we headed back to Houston so we could see my nephew, Mitch, who was home on his Spring Break from Mizzou, and spend Easter with them (my parents joined us Monday for a couple days which gave Simon and I the chance to escape the children for a day in Galveston).
Saturday we checked out Hermann Park and the boys toured around on their scooters (it only took them 30 minutes to start whining that they were hungry and tired – stamina is not their strong suit). Saturday night we tricked Mitch into bonding with the boys by babysitting them and the grown up went out for drinks and dinner (funny story: when we were leaving Hermann Park and had to cross a road which required the boys to hold a grown-ups hand, Jack asked me how come Mitch didn’t have to hold anyone’s hand because he was Uncle Marty and Aunt Lynn’s kid).
Monday we went to Houston Zoo… Jack’s sole desire was to see elephants, which we saw close to the beginning of our visit so he mostly complained, asked for snacks and had to be carried the rest of the way – but still had fun despite himself, he’s just not quiet about what he’d rather be doing instead of what you are hoping he’ll be doing. It’s a great zoo, tons of animals and great kid’s area with a playground and petting zoo – be sure to visit if ever you get to Houston.
Marty and Lynn have an awesome dog (Sable) who likes to sleep in the most uncomfortable positions with her front legs up against a vertical surface (any wall or furniture will do) and with her hind legs spread out for the world to see (those were thoughtfully cropped from this photo). It was entertaining to see where she would end up. Jack cried when we left because he was going to miss Sable so much.
Our last day in Houston, Simon took Liam to Johnson Space Center. Once again, I opted to hang out with Jack because I could think of nothing I wanted to do less than spend the day trying to keep Jack entertained in a place that should do the work itself and again, we made a good call because Liam had a blast with Simon, who he doesn’t get to hang out with as much now that he’s in school every day and Simon’s still working nights. Jack and I played, took goofy photos, went to the park and took Sable for a walk (we’ll not mention my walking into a tree branch on that walk).
And then, just like that, we were back on the road with this gorgeous sunrise to send us on our way through Houston.
The end of day one found us very close to Sikeston, MS close enough to decide to stop there for the night. What’s in Sikeston, you ask? Lambert’s Cafe… home of the throwed rolls (a.k.a., delicious, homecooked food like fried okra, meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, and, of course, rolls that are delivered to your table via a good toss from the roll guy). Go there and bring your appetite.
This picture is deceiving as it depicts the single 15-minute stretch that someone other than just Simon was sleeping in our car. That 15-minute stretch occurred while we were technically still in Houston city proper, at the very start of our trip.
There is more to tell but this post is getting a bit long – three cheers if you made it to the end – I applaud you and will give you a gold star. More, perhaps tomorrow… I’m sure you’ll be on the edge of your seat until then