Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer Staycation

The kids' school was closed the second week in August, so we all enjoyed a much-needed staycation. I spent the first half of the week with the kids in Austin, and then my sweet parents watched Ava and Rylan for the second half so Josh and I could enjoy a few kid-free days in Dallas. It was the perfect mix of family time, fun, and relaxation. Bottom line: fabulous.


I drove down with the kids on Sunday and only had to work one day from the Austin office before taking off the rest of the week. While at work on Monday, my Mom sent me this fabulous video of Rylan rocking out to "Cheeseburger in Paradise" while enjoying some P. Terry's. 

Will dance for french fries.

On Tuesday, Rylan had his first haircut. It was just a tiny bang trim because I am not ready to cut off those blonde curls just yet, but Luella has now officially cut FIVE generations of my family's hair.

Ry was so good and stayed very still. 

Luella has cut my Dad's hair since he was a boy, so this was a very special moment.

That afternoon, we headed over to the Arnold's new house. Rylan loved playing with William, but I don't think I've ever said "gentle" more in my life.

William wasn't so sure about his new BFF.

Selfie with Aunt Lolly.

Meanwhile, Ava and Henry enjoyed some ice cream sundaes after dinner.

I'm so glad Ava has a tall friend to take her to prom someday…she even has the picture pose down :).

On Wednesday, we made a trip to The Thinkery with Bunny. Last year, Rylan spent the entire time sleeping and nursing while Ava explored the museum. But during this visit, Ry was ready to utilize his new-found walking skills to follow his big sister around all the exhibits.

The light room was definitely their favorite.

Ava was so brave and climbed up to the top of this play structure several times.


I drove back to Dallas on Wednesday night, and the kids stayed in Austin until I met my Mom in Waco on Sunday morning. So that meant that I had a little more than three days of a staycation.

Josh and I considered actually taking a vacation, but after a crazy/sleepless year with two small children, I just wanted to relax (and not need a vacation from my vacation). Josh had to work, but was able to leave "early" on Thursday and Friday.

I wanted to tackle some projects on Thursday and decided on: 1) finally starting on Ava's baby book using Blurb's blog book option, and 2) fixing/adding to the gallery wall along our staircase.

We had printed and hung some wedding pictures years ago, but I had taken some down a while back to use the frames for a work project. I rehung the old pictures and added some new ones to the mix. The collection is still pretty wedding-heavy, but I am very happy with the result for now.

By a happy coincidence, our staycation fell on DFW Restaurant Week, and we enjoyed two dinners. For the first, we joined some friends for a lovely meal at Nonna on Thursday night. 

The wine pairing option was way overpriced, but the food was really good. I ordered the brioche crostini with shrimp, butter, rosemary, and pancetta and a radish salad for my first course...

And the lobster ravioli for my main course...

{Not pictured: the chocolate cake I devoured before realizing I forgot to take a pic.}

While Josh was at work on Friday, I enjoyed a relaxing day at home in my PJs while catching up on some lovely reality TV, drinking coffee before it could get cold, and continuing to work on Ava's baby book (the formatting/editing process takes forever!). 

That evening, after switching to wine, we had dinner delivered and finally started House of Cards. Such a great show.

Once you have children, you can get a babysitter to enjoy a dinner date, but you no longer have the luxury of parking yourself on the couch all day whilst enjoying a Netflix marathon. Needless to say, it was blissful.

We slept in Saturday (although I can't sleep in like I used to) before enjoying brunch and shopping at the mall. Then we met up with friends at The Capital Grille, one of my favorite restaurant week spots.

The food was amazing as always.
And of course we participated in their Generous Pour event. 

This year it featured eight wines by all female winemakers, including one by Drew Barrymore. The Mt. Brave cab was my favorite.

And they never joke about the "generous" part. 

Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:
Such a fun night. It was the perfect end to our staycation.

And don't worry...the kids had just as much fun in Austin.

They spent time at the pool...

Got to meet Hannah and Jordan's new puppy...

Received many a snack...

Completed a plethora of art projects and puzzles...

And participated in some naked piano playing (as one does)...

1,000 thanks to my parents (and sisters) for all their help. The kids had a blast at "Camp Grandparents," and my batteries are officially recharged.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

TBT | Arboretum Pumpkins 2014

This first "cold" front of the season has me so excited about the fall! In honor of our short dip out of crazy-hot weather, this throwback-Thursday post includes the pictures from our two visits to the pumpkin village at the Arboretum last fall that never made it on the blog.

The pumpkin displays at the Arboretum are incredible, and it is one of my favorite fall activities in Dallas.

The Leos family joined us for our first visit, and the kids loved climbing around on the pumpkins and exploring the village.

Ava and Ollie also did some bug hunting. The dads were all about it as well :).

Rylan pretty much slept the entire time, so we didn't get any good photos of him in the pumpkins.

But he did have fun strolling around for a while.

I can't believe how teeny, tiny he was.

A couple weeks later, we went back with Grammie...although I didn't manage to take a single picture of her with the kids. Whoops.

Ava finally got to sit in Cinderella's carriage (the line was way too long on our prior visit). She was in heaven!

And while I finally managed to get a picture with Rylan in the pumpkins...

This was our best attempt at a group shot. Classic.

I can't wait to see them run around in the pumpkins this year. Fall here we come!

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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