Category Archives: Austin

Day 2: Enduring Friendships

As I’ve mentioned before, we made some great friends while living in Austin. These friends are truly more like family than “just friends.” They are always there to listen when you need to talk… they know your sorted past, your current sins, your greatest joys; they know your fears. We now all geographically dispersed… several still in Austin, 1 in Amarillo, 1 in Fort Worth, 1 near Chicago, and 1 in Athens, OH (me!) ~ but it simply doesn’t matter.

I think one of the best parts of having these kinds of friends is that you can always pick up exactly where you left off. Perhaps it’s been months since you last talked. It doesn’t matter with these folks. I know I can always call one of these wonderful ladies, and we’ll pick up exactly where we left off.

The trip to NM was evidence of this. It had been a year since we’d all been together in one place, and yet, it felt like no time had passed. We sat, talked, and laughed for hours on end about the silly and the serious.ย  We offered advice, counsel, and laughs. We pointed each other back to our husbands and most importantly, to Jesus.

Though miles separate us, the depth of our relationships continue to stand the test of time. I love these women and can’t imagine my life without them.

Photo from Amy’s shower… life before kiddos entered the picture for any of us.

Now we have 12 kiddos and one on the way between all of us! Crazy how a handful of years can make all the difference ๐Ÿ™‚


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Filed under Austin, Thankfulness

Last weekend we…

Ate our way through Austin.

Yep, that’s right. We were back in ATX & we took full advantage of it!

Pregnancy + Eating out in ATX = bad combo!!… okay, well, not bad, just dangerous for the scale ๐Ÿ™‚


We arrived on Thurs afternoon (about 3 hrs later than planned) to a gorgeous sunny day. We headed RIGHT to Chuy’s. Steve enjoyed a margarita and we had Chuy’s famous jalepeno ranch dip. YUM.

We had dinner with friends at Moonshine…if you live in ATX & have never been, it’s a MUST EAT place ๐Ÿ™‚ SO fantastic. We ended up splitting a fish dish with corn bread stuffing. It’s my favorite by far… well, that and the mac & cheese ๐Ÿ™‚


In the AM we just had the complimentary breakfast at Holiday Inn Express… and headed to Mozarts for a yummy cup o’ Joe (well, decaf Joe in my case) ๐Ÿ™‚

We met my Aunt & Uncle (who drove in from Houston) for lunch at Mandolas! Gotta love that italian deli. Steve & I both had panini’s. I convinced myself the meat had been heated warm enough to kill all bacteria.

For dinner, Steve & I enjoyed a nice meal by ourselves at Z Tejas~ Roasted Pablano pepper is to die for! My next goal is to try to replicate that receipe…


We ate a new place, 620 Cafe in Round Rock. The portions were HUGE and the food was excellent. Very ‘down home’.

Then on to my shower~ where my friends had whipped up some super yummy goodies!!

We had a wonderful dinner with friends (and our annual White Elephant exchange). Deep fried turkey, cheesey potatoes, green bean cassarole~ just like thanksgiving all over again!


We had lunch at another one of our ‘old stomping grounds…’ Whole Foods ๐Ÿ™‚ I realize this sounds silly, but boy do we miss whole foods!! There is one in Columbus, but that’s too far to drive for a quick bite. We indulged in the salad, soup ~ and of course~ the sorbet!! Maple Pecan Sorbet to be exact. UN REAL. If you haven’t had it, go buy it. So amazing.

Our last night in Austin we thought it would be fitting to have some good ole Texas BBQ so we headed out to county line. I just can’t get enough of their bread (and sausage). Dangerous combination!!


d-day~ the skies were dreary as we drove back to the airport and ended our trip with a breakfast taco from Rudy’s.

All & All, an amazing ~ food filled~ trip! It was wonderful to see our friends & our church. Such a blessing to be able to be with everyone just before the holidays…More on the actual foodless activities later ๐Ÿ™‚



Filed under Austin, Musings

Pumped for our trip!

Steve & I are coming to ATX in Dec!! So pumped I can hardly stand it.
We miss our ‘family’, friends, church…. the weather?… and FOOD so much!!
Looking forward to 4 days of fun & fellowship… and definitely some Tex Mex ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wisconsin meet Texas

This past week has been a whirlwind! My folks flew in to watch me graduate ๐Ÿ™‚ I cannot believe I’m actually DONE! It’s a great feeling. We spent some time showing my parents around Austin during their trip. My aunt and uncle also made the drive over from houston to celebrate with us.

This first set of pictures is from day 2 of the trip. We started the day at Mozarts and then hiked up Mt. Bonnell. Then we spent a bit of time at the Capital and had dinner @ our favorite BBQ place, The Salt Lick!!! Our awesome friends Brad & Rach joined in for the fun!

Taken at the top of Mt. Bonnell~such an amazing view of the city!

Inside the capital building

Me& Mom at the Salt Lick

Dad & Steve. This is just the cutest picture!!

I just love this man ๐Ÿ™‚

The whole crew that drove/flew down/over for graduation. Thanks everyone for coming! I love y’all so much.

Brad & Rach~ such great friends to drive the hour south to eat with us. We will miss you dearly. Tear.

Just goofing around now ๐Ÿ™‚

All & all a perfect weekend! Pics from graduation & our trip down to San Antonio to come!

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Embracing or Running from Change

Change is imminent. It will always catch you… and in my opinion~ you can either embrace it or run from it. I am more of an “embrace it” kind of girl. Steve is a bit more resistant ๐Ÿ™‚ You could say I’m the gas & he’s the breaks. It’s awesome that we balance each other out in that way.

I remember when we moved to Austin. I was so gun ho about getting here~ but Steve was the realist. Time passed, we embraced our new lives, and we grew to absolutely love Austin and our life here. Now change is chasing us again…

We feel like God is calling us to Athens, OH and our time in ATX is drawing to a close.ย  This knowledge, however, doesn’t get rid of the anxiety that comes along with change. Between now & June there are so many decisions we need to make. Big, life changing decisions (e.g., we’re going to be homeowners!) It’s such a process of trying to figure it all out.

Steve & I generally like to make all sorts of life changes at one time. For example … from April-Nov 2006 we:

  • Decided we were moving to TX
  • Got engaged
  • Quit our jobs
  • Moved to TX
  • Got married
  • Went on honeymoon
  • I started the phd program
  • Steve started a new job

WHEW! So I guess… we’re used to change right? Atleast that’s what I have to keep telling myself so that my crazy control brain will not spin out of control while it attempts to process all of the ambiguity!

Time to get back to working on the one thing that is very CLEAR in life right now…. the impending deadline of the dissertation!


Filed under Austin, Musings

Still Proud of My Longhorns

It was a sad beginning~ and ending ~ to the game tonight. We didn’t win. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ BUT, I think something more important happened… all of the people watching the game tonight heard Colt proclaim his faith in Christ. We’re talking many millions of people hearing someone boldly proclaim that God is in Control (Last year 28.6 million people watched the BCS Championship game).

Colt truly lived this verse…

Philippians 1:27
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel

“God is in control of my life and I won’t question it. I’m standing on the Rock.”- Colt McCoy

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Bat in the stairwell…

Bats don’t generally freak me out too much. I grew up going up to my cottage every weekend when I was little and there were always bats overhead at night. We’d be walking home from the beach/lake area back to the “directors cabin” and the little guys were always swarming around overhead. My mom swears they used to dive bomb her all the time b/c of her hair spray… She’s not a big fan of bats. But to be honest, they never really scared me that much.

Well, that all changed today. I was walking up the stairwell to UA9 … for those who don’t know… UA9 is the building that my office is in on UT’s campus. It’s a pretty scary sight normally. Bird poop everywhere, random poster boards lying around, Old chalkboards out in the open… REALLY pretty scary/gross. In fact, I will NOT come here at night by myself. It’s just too darn creepy. This used to be an old apartment complex and the building is always creaking in strange ways… you never know….

Anyway! Back to the story. I was walking up the stairs and came up on this fuzzy little thing stuck to the wall just outside the third floor doorway. I lean in a bit for a closer look and UGH!!! It was a BAT! A bitty bat just clinging to the brick wall, sleeping, chilling, right in the middle of the stairwell! I quickly proceeded to keep walking up the stairs (and along the way really freaked out some journalism student). When I arrived at my office, I emailed one of the amazing ladies in the CMS office, Jennifer, and she proceeded to save the day!

This is the email I got back from Jennifer. It was too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

“I have contacted safety and they should be sending someone overโ€ฆ..she said โ€œtell her not to disturb or touch itโ€โ€ฆI am thinkingโ€ฆ.are you insaneโ€ฆyou think she is going to say โ€œwake up little bat, come bite meโ€!”

Needless to say, the bat has now been removed. That was enough excitement for anyone in one day! I guess that’s what I get for living in Austin, bat capital of the world.

Note. we called our cabin the “director’s cottage” b/c the entire peninsula used to be an old YMCA camp and we just kept calling the buildings by their original names when my grandparents bought the place 29 years ago!

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Filed under Austin, School