Friday, September 26, 2014

Summer Trip to Austin | Part Two | The Thinkery

During our week in Austin, my Mom, Charlotte, the kids, and I spent a morning at the Thinkery - Austin's (relatively) new children's museum. My friend Madeline and her kids, Lucy and Jack, met up with us as well. 

The Thinkery is amazing and it offers activities for kids of all ages. Ava loved exploring all the exhibits, and was sad that we couldn't stay all day. 

She loved playing with the magnets…


And painting on the giant Plexiglas wall with Lucy...

We also checked out the farmers' market. 

Only in Austin would the fake market sell all 100% natural and organic produce. 

And have a chicken coop.

We spent some time in the "Currents" exhibit as well, which is basically like a giant water play table. Note that because it is essentially one huge splash zone, your kids should come prepared to get wet (despite the aprons provided by the museum). 

It was all so fun, but Ava's favorite room by far was the Light Lab. She was enthralled by the giant Lite-Brite-style installment. 

She seriously could have played with it for hours. And I don't blame her...that thing was freaking awesome.

The shadow-creation station was also super cool. It was hard to get a good picture due to the lighting, but basically, you stand in front of a screen while a big flash goes off, and then you can move and see the shadow created by the light. Ava and Lucy loved it. 

Rylan was so good and slept in the Moby wrap nearly the entire time. 

Speaking of Rylan, the Thinkery has a nursing room, which is so wonderful (and so Austin). However, since it was occupied, I fed him at one of the tables in the snack area while Ava burned off the last of her energy on the playscape outside. 

We had such a fun morning. If we lived in Austin, I would totally get an annual pass. There is also a free park across the street that looks like a lot of fun...something to try out on our next visit. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Summer Trip to Austin | Part One

Ava's daycare was closed the second week in August, so it was the perfect time to head down to Austin for a visit (the longest time I've spent in my hometown in quite some time). 

Since Josh had to work, my Mom flew up to Dallas before driving down with me and the kids. 

Rylan loved hanging out with all his Austin family, and he got to meet his Nana, Nello, and Aunt Charlotte for the first time. 

I love these pictures that Rhonda and Dad took...

Rylan also got in some snuggle time with Lauren. He thought she was beautiful. 

Lauren and I also got to enjoy a wonderful night out at The Grove complete with wine flights and lots of appetizers. My favorite kind of meal. 
Ava had a blast the whole week as well and spent countless hours in the pool…at Bunny and Nelo's house, the country club, and Grampsie and Nana's house. 

Charlotte recently moved back to Austin along with her boyfriend, Bru. He refers to Ava as "Ava-cado" and "Ava-lanche," and she absolutely adores him :). 

Ava made sure that Grampsie used plenty of sunscreen. 

In addition to the pool, we spent a lot of time on my Mom's new screened-in porch. I nursed Rylan out here every morning while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. It was amazing, and now I am plotting how to get one built at our house. 

Another highlight of the week was Ava's first Sno Beach experience. An Austin summer isn't complete without one of their snow cones.
Mama got one as well :). 

It was such a wonderful week and, despite the fact that I was chasing around a toddler and waking up at night with a newborn, it brought back such wonderful memories of summers growing up in Austin. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back to School/Work

The past couple weeks have been quite an adjustment for the Shepherd family. First, Ava started a new year of preschool.

Since Ava is in full-time daycare, there is not really a typical school year, but they do move into new classrooms each year. This year, her teachers are Ms. Magda and Ms. Yelis, and she loves them! She also has most of the same kids in her class as were in the summer session. 

The bigger adjustment has been my return to work and Rylan starting daycare.

I thought it would be easier to return to work this time around, but as my maternity leave came to an end, I felt all the same emotions as I did with Ava. Perhaps even more so because Rylan is so small and still seems like such a newborn. Also, since he is most likely our last baby, the thought that I will never again get to be a SAHM and spend that much time with them really hit home. 

It was rough. And the tears were definitely flowing after I dropped him off (not to mention the whole week before). 

I know it will get easier at some point, but until them I will just keep swimming. And pumping...lots and lots of pumping (a topic that deserves its own post). 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lauren's Shower

In honor of Lauren's upcoming wedding (this weekend!!), I joined other bridal party members in throwing her a shower in Fort Worth a few weeks ago. 

We held it at Times Ten Cellars, which was a fantastic venue! While I love hosting showers at my house, it is nice not to have to worry about decorating or cleaning. And other than the Sprinkles cupcakes and flowers we brought, Times Ten provided everything at a very reasonable price. 

They had a private room that was perfect for our group, and we had such a wonderful time showering the lovely bride-to-be with love and fun gifts. 

The hostesses and the bride...

I can't wait for all the wedding festivities to start on Friday!

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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