Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dinner Time

After telling Payton this morning I wouldn't have it in me to make dinner tonight, he called mid-day to suggest dinner at Maggiano's. We've been once before and sat in the bar with Eli. The booths in the bar are great because he can have his own play area in the seat, we don't have to mess with a high hair (he eats standing in the booth), and it's so loud with people that his squeals are barely heard.

We sat in the main dining area tonight (the bar was full). It was pretty pleasant, aside from Eli's occasional squeals and telling the waitress who his "mama" and "daddy" are each time she stopped by. We also got some great video of him entertaining us. Enjoy...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh the games we play

I am always looking for ways to entertain Eli, there is only so much coloring and playing with his toys on the coffee table that we can do before he tunes out and I find myself playing with my phone.

When I was young, I had an aunt and uncle that I adored.  We lived in the same town and they didn't have children until I was 7 so I would stay the night with them often on the weekends.  They would take me to Chuck E Cheeses (where a kid can be a kid) and I specifically remember one game that we would play for hours.  They would drag me down the hall on a blanket as fast as they could go. 

A few weeks ago, Payton called me into the living room to see the new game that him and Eli were playing, not knowing my history of "blanket dragging" games.  Eli loves this new game and will pull the blankets out of the basket and lay on them, ready to go.

Here's a video from when I got in on the action, and please ignore the high-pitched comments and shrills from me, I was actually really entertained.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I'm actually pretty proud of myself (as I pat myself on the back) for being so on top of our Christmas cards this year.  Last year I was totally down to the wire and didn't love the cards half as much as I do this year.

I ordered the cards from Tiny Prints.  I narrowed their huge selection down to about 15, then 5, then my favorite.  I was totally impressed with how easy it was to find my template, load my pictures, size them, customize our names, and finish the order.  It took less than 5 minutes to get it all done, start to finish, once I found the design.  One week later (with standard shipping), and ahead of schedule, they were on my doorstep.

We had our pictures taken by a long-time friend of mine who I haven't seen since college.  She met us on a cold and windy day in McKinney over the Thanksgiving holiday, bless her heart.  I loved all of the pictures she took and wanted to include as many on the card as possible without being totally obnoxious. 

Here is the final product:

I was inspired by some hand written addresses on Pinterest
and decided to buy a calligraphy pen and try my hand at
something a little different.  It took a while to get the hang
of it (and even longer to address them ALL), but I really
like how it came together in the end.

And just a quick snapshot of how freaking cold it is here in Austin, a picture Payton sent me of our water hose this morning, ugh!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


So, I'm starting a fun new project with a great friend of mine that I'm really incredibly excited about.  It's a new blog, hence the total lack of posting here.  I don't think anyone really reads this anyways, but I'm feeling really guilty about neglecting my "baby" (a blog all about my baby and my first blog).

We have had a great couple of months, filled with visiting lots of family, and it's only going to continue the next month through the holidays.  We've visited Fredericksburg to see Payton's dad and the rest of the family.  We visited my parents for Thanksgiving and got to see my whole side of the family.  And we're traveling to Carmine this weekend to see Payton's mom, stepfather, sister and her entire family.

We love visiting family and lately Eli is really connecting with people, so it's fun to see him around the kids and his grandparents.

Here are just a few pictures of our past few weeks

At the Driftwood Winery with my mom.

Austin Children's Museum for Eli's buddy's birthday party.

Goats in Fredericksburg.

Attempting to do Thanksgiving crafts with Eli, he wasn't interested.

Helping mom with the Christmas decorations.

He's about to get into something!

I hid the sidewalk chalk and he crawled in the flowerbed after it.

My Bug!

My little David Beckham.

Hanging out with dad.

Happy Turkey Day!

Stealing cherry pie from Papa.

Ready to head out for family pictures.

Making Christmas cookies with Nonna.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloweeny!

We celebrated Eli's first "real" Halloween last night.  I say first "real" Halloween because last year he was way too young to understand what was going on.  This year, he was able to walk around, have a piece of candy, and watch all the big kids run around the streets.

The night was overall pretty low-key.  We went to a few houses in our cul-de-sac and collected candy.  He picked out a sucker at one of our first stops and sucked on that thing for about 20 minutes.  By the end, he had drooled so much over it that the entire front of his costume was wet and sticky, as was his arm the entire length from his hand to his elbow. 

We ended the night around 7:30 with homemade posole (yummy!) and some Shiner Light Blonde after Eli went to bed. 

Overall, I think Halloween (candy) will be a hit in our house for years to come.

Oh, and on Sunday, we attended the Goblins in the Gardens party at the Lade Bird Johnson Wildlife Center.  While there were TONS of people, the parking was terrible, there was no food, and Eli was so ready for a nap, we had fun seeing all of the cute costumes.  Eli wore his lion costume to the event and to dinner afterwards.  He fell asleep as soon as we put him in his stroller to leave, but here is a picture of him and Payton watching the puppet show.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Obession breeds obsession.

My last obsession that I haven't fully dealt with was Pinterest.  Any down time I get, I'm on Pinterest:  on my phone, on the ipad, on the computer.  And contrary to what some might think, I have actually done a few projects that I've pinned.  I've even claimed to be wearing a "pinterest"outfit.  Yes, I've actually said those words out loud, to a stranger, who commented that she liked my style. 

Well, some jerk posted my new obsession on Pinterest today and now I really am screwed.  This blog:  Organizing Made Fun.  Ask anyone who has known me for more than a week and they'll tell you that I'm a little compulsive about being organized.  I'm always looking for ways to organize any little space that I find myself in.  And my desk typically looks like this even when I really am drowning in a crazy work file out, one file put up.

So, naturally, I would be totally obsessed with this Organizing Made Fun jazz. 

And as a working mom, I was totally drawn to the post about keeping your house clean in just 15 minutes a day.  I prettied up and personalized the version she posts on her site.  I printed it out at work this afternoon and will be posting it on our fridge tonight when I get home:

So my plan tonight is to clean a bathroom after dinner and spend the weekend purging all of the wedding gifts that we don't use (rice cooker, seriously, we only do instant rice in my house these days).

Up for discussion:  should guests help clean when they're staying at our house, pay their way?  Just kidding mom, I won't ask you to do Monday's chores while you're here this week!

I love shopping...

I've always loved shopping!  I remember shopping with my mom when I was younger,  and even when I was in college and would visit over Thanksgiving.  The guys would go hunting, and my mom and I would go to the Galleria in the morning and spend the entire day shopping.  "Do you need a gift receipt?", "Um no, we're shopping for ourselves today, thank you". 

When I was pregnant, shopping for myself slowed down because the last thing I wanted to do was spend any money on myself at a size I didn't plan on staying at after Eli was born.  I remember thinking how much fun it would be to shop for him once he arrived and as the seasons changed.

I love little girl clothes and really worried after he was born that I wouldn't have much fun shopping for a boy, but over the past few months, as he has completely grown out of little boy clothes, onesies, non-cute clothing, and grown into a little man, litterally, A LITTLE MAN, I have had so much fun picking out new outfits for him.

I love me a sale, so today during lunch, I hit up a store near my office and grabbed him a load of goodies, all at 40% off, then an additional 20% off with a random coupon I recieved in the mail.

And then while actually working at work this afternoon, I caught an ad on a website for 40% off at  I've realized that I am the sucker who always falls for the totally-target advertising that some people feel randomly comes up when their online.  "Oh my gosh, I was just looking at that rug on the Pottery Barn website, and now it's on the side bar of my do they know?!?!?" 

This stuff will be perfect for our Christmas trip to Santa Fe!

Oh, and I finally found a pair of Toms that fit Eli's flinstone feet and couldn't resist.  Payton says he looks like a ninja, I think they're perfect, and Eli, he could care less.

This just goes to show that if I ever have a girl, I'm screwed, I'll be poor forever!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Love the baby, Eli

A few weeks ago I found the baby doll that we bought to "introduce" the idea of a baby to our dogs.

Stupid idea, by the way, the dogs could not have cared less about the plastic doll we strategically placed in random places around the house to introduce the idea of having a little one in the home.  And they still couldn't care less about Eli, unless he has food, or a stinky diaper, then he's much more exciting.

Anyways, we found the doll in a closet and I gave it to Eli to see what he thought about the baby and the following ensued.

I'm not sure how I feel about the random dropping of the baby, or the "here, you want your skateboard" followed by the thud of the baby's head hitting the hardwood floors.  But who cares, it's just a fake baby, right?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Anniversary Celebration

Payton and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary last night.  We made last minute reservations at the restaurant at the Four Seasons (where we held our wedding reception) and they really went above and beyond in helping us feel extra special. 

Dinner was amazing, the service was amazing, the company was amazing, it was all perfect, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  Our anniversary gift to each iPad.  Can't wait to start playing around with it.  I've already loaded Finding Nemo on it for Eli.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

We visited Granny and Mel in Corpus Christi this past weekend for Labor Day weekend.  We don't get to see them near enough as we should, but we do our best.

I have so many pictures from the weekend, we went to the Texas State Aquarium and the Port Aransas beach for the day.  I'll eventually get around to loading those pictures, but here is a hilarious video of Eli and his "ba". 

I eventually had to get up and get his ball from under the man's chair, but it was very entertaining to watch how we wouldn't go past a certain point, even for his "ba".

My husband

I'm not big on public displays of affection, even when it comes to writing them on a blog or Facebook.  But I'm going to commit one of my biggest pet-peeves and give a huge shout-out to my husband.

We're celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary today, and he deserves all of the praise and love that I have in my heart. 

Payton and I met almost 8 years ago exactly, in a fine establishment in downtown Austin called the Aquarium.  3 weeks later (and a few funny stories in between) we went on our first date to P.F. Chang's.  I was still in college, and had never been on a "real" date.  I was so impressed by this man who had graduated from college and had a "real" job at an advertising agency, and he valet parked. 

4 years after we met, we were married. 

And now 4 years, 2 dogs, a house, and a baby later, we're celebrating another anniversary and I want to send a special thank you to my husband:

Thank you Payton,
...for being my partner.  My partner in crime, my partner in life, my partner in everything, always right by my side.

...for being my friend.  For making me laugh so hard I choke on my wine, listening to me complain about my day or how I feel about the way I look, watching all the silly shows I love, getting up to turn the fan on when we've already gotten in bed.

...for being my luver.  Telling me that you love me every day, telling me how pretty you think I am, telling me you like my outfit, telling me you like my dress (even though it's really a skirt).  And always leaning over every night right before we fall asleep to give me a kiss and tell me goodnight.

...for being my team mate.  We often talk about what a great team we are around the house getting projects done and I can't count how many times we have actually high-fived at the end of one of our over-the-top possibly "in too deep" projects.  And Eli has taken this teamwork to an entirely new level:  you do the bottle while I do the bath, I'll do his breakfast while you get him dressed, if you get the dogs ready for a walk, I'll put him in his stroller, if you'll take him to the car, I'll get his diaper bag ready.  Every day, we're together, and we're a team.

...for being my baby-daddy.  I love watching you with our son.  Our Son.  I'll never forget the first time you told me how you and Eli dance in the mirrors at restaurants when you go to wash off his little hands after he eats.  That little secret made my heart flutter.  You are such a dedicated daddy who loves his little boy more than anything else in the world.  When you get home, his face lights up.  I say "where's daddy" when you pull in the driveway and he starts pointing and saying "Da". 

You do so much for us, and especially right now, during a transition in our lives, you are literally working three jobs, up at 6:30 in the morning and not back in bed until midnight, going from one thing to the next.  You keep going, as hard as it gets, and as drained as you are.  You have so much drive and ambition and a huge desire to be successful and provide for your family. 

You are an amazing man, an amazing man who is a wonderful friend, father, and partner.  Thank you for choosing me to spend your life with years ago.  We have built an amazing life together, and I am looking forward to many many more years together.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mom thoughts

I can not stop thinking about a conversation, a completely unsolicited conversation, that Payton and I had with a woman on Saturday morning.  We were sitting on a couch at a local coffee shop with our coffees and Eli sat in the middle with his little ice water.  He was flicking water everywhere as he pulled the straw in and out of the plastic lid.  Payton and I were talking about thoughtless things when a woman sat down in a chair across from us. 

[I will say, before going any further, that we DO live in Austin, and there ARE lots of, um, hippies and I think this woman fell into that category - Payton immediately noticed that she didn't shave her armpits, so I'm pretty positive you would call her "free-spirited", and um, a hippy.  Oh, and she wasn't wearing a bra.  I feel I can say this because I'm pretty sure that none of my friends are hippies and they all shave their armpits.]

She commented on how cute Eli is (thanks) and how well behaved he was (thanks again).  Then she said that she goes back and forth all the time about having another child - she has a 3 year old who was in yoga class next door.

She continued with "But this one child has completed changed my life and really put a kink in my plans.  This child keeps me from being able to do what I want to do.  Have you guys gone through the same thing?"  And I'm thinking, maybe this child is the reason you don't have time to shave your armpits?  Or put a bra on?

And this really got me thinking, not about going bra-less or throwing away my razors, but it got me thinking about how our lives HAVE absolutely changed since we had Eli a year ago.

Our nights out now cost at least $50 more for a babysitter,
require more planning than ever,
and I still feel like I'm on "mom duty" because I won't let my phone out of my sight in case something happens and the babysitter needs us.

We spend our mornings rushing to get Eli dressed,
getting his lunch ready,
getting breakfast in his belly,
and then I'll think about doing something with myself,
feeding Payton and I, and the dogs,
and more times than not, I get halfway to work and realize I forgot something,
and more than once, it has been my work laptop.

We spend our evenings feeding Eli,
playing with Eli,
getting him bathed and in bed,
and once he's down for bed, when you would think the day would just magically wrap itself up with a book in bed or watching a movie,
we spend our time picking up after Eli,
planning his lunch for the next day,
feeding ourselves (sometimes after 9pm),
I'll sweep up all of the dog hair, so Eli doesn't go to Missy's looking like a black lab,
Payton will mop up the water from the dog's water bowl that Eli splashed everywhere,
And we'll eventually get in bed.

And we spend our days working, to make money,
to raise our child and provide for him like we've always dreamed. 
I spend my lunches running errands, like going to the grocery store,
and storing the food in the office fridge,
buying diapers, wipes, teething rings, and diaper rash cream.
Getting all of my weekend errands done in an hour during lunch,
so I'll have time at night and on the weekends to spend with him.

"Quitting" after a bad day/week/month/year at work isn't an option anymore. 
"Figuring things out" as we go really isn't an option either, though we believe that things will always work out in the end. 
Having a child is a responsibility that we've never had before,
and quite a special one, at that.

We have a child now, so yeah, things have changed. 

But Dear God, I wouldn't change any of it back to how it was before.  During those long mornings, days, and nights, just one look at our angel's face, and any worries or fears that we have about anything are absolutely erased.  We go in his room often while he's sleeping at night to just stare at him. 

Eli is absolutely what keeps us going with a smile on our faces.

All in one look, one little giggle, one big glob of bananas from breakfast that Payton says he often finds on his shirt once he gets to the office, all of those moments erase any sort of selfishness that we could ever feel about our lives as parents compared to our lives two years ago.

A blog I read refers to this as "balance" and that is exactly what it is.  While we have been able to raise our child exactly how we've wanted, we've also given up a few things.

Sure, Eli impacted my decision to not serve on the board of a local professional women's organization that I've been involved with for more than 6 years.

Sure, because of Eli we say "no" to social invites a lot more because we'd rather be at home, cuddled up with him, than out.  And sure, we've probably lost friends along the way because of this, but the ones that remain and understand this are the true friends, the ones you really want around, anyway.

That lovely balance we're all searching for.  Have we found it?  probably not.  Will we ever find it?  maybe, maybe not.  Will we continue to look for it?  yeah, just so we can have something to do, I guess.

So what I've decided is that in those moments when I'm on the fence about something, I'll ask myself:

In the grand scheme of things does it really matter?
In 5 years, when I look back on how I raised my child, will this make me smile?

And so to answer the hippies questions:
Have our lives changed since last year?  Yes.
Did he put a kink in our plans? No, he IS our plan.
Does he keep us from doing what we want to do?  Absolutely not, he has introduced us to a whole new world of things that we never knew we would ever want to do, including watching ridiculous children's shows, crawling on the floor acting like an idiot, dancing in mirrors at public places, waking up at 6:30 in the morning, every morning, just to see his smile, and building forts in the living room when it is 110 degrees outside:

Austin Fashion Week

The 3rd annual Austin Fashion Week was this past week and for the first time, Payton and I had the opportunity to attend a few events.  It was so much fun and great to see all of the creative "fashion industry" people, and to say the people watching was very entertaining is an understatement. 

The week wrapped up with the Austin Fashion Awards ceremony on Saturday at the ACL Moody Theatre at the W.  We've attended a few events at the new studio in the first year of it being open (compared to never visiting the original studio on the UT campus) and this was definitely one of the coolest set-ups we've seen so far. 

The red carpet outside of the theatre...

Photographers at the end of the runway...

Rory Beca runway show...

One of our favorite couple friends, Spencer and Julie were there.  Julie is pretty much one of the coolest people I've met, and such a sweetheart, and just happens to be the Marketing Director for the 2nd Street District.  She's all sorts of amazing and was asked to present one of the awards.  She did great and looked fabulous! 


Speaking of awards, the women who did my wedding day makeup, Rochelle Rae, won the award for Best Makeup Artist, yay Rochelle!

The awards ceremony was very loooooong, and went an hour over.  There were runway shows, dancers, lots of awards, and then this happened, and it made the whole show and skipping dinner absolutely worth it.  I have NEVER seen anything like this and I think I had chills the entire time.

More pictures from the after party, and our crazy evil eyes from the phone flash...

Okay, and now I feel like I must go shopping and get ready for the fun fall looks that we saw, and loose 50 pounds after seeing the stick thin models (absolutely kidding about that one, but seriously, some of them looked like they were going to break in half, geez!).

Oh, and one more thing...Payton's 2nd Street District logo on the big screen at the show:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So I have a son, duh, and I'm definitely starting to see that "boy" really come out in him.  I'm sure that little girls get into mischevious situations, but I'm just amazed at how often I'm catching Eli doing things, very daring things, that he knows he shouldn't be doing.  Over the past month, I've had my phone on hand to capture a few of these moments. 

Picture 1:  The day after his birthday party, I was cooking dinner and happened to peek around the corner to find that he had crawled on top of the party tent and was trying to get his new Mader bubble toy.  This is how I found him...

Picture 2:  I was in the kitchen cooking dinner while Eli ate and I turned around to find this...foot up on the table, just eating away.  He has continued this habit, most recently at Eddie V's during dinner with some family.  I'm blaming this on Payton - don't worry, Payton doesn't eat with his feet up on the table, but these sort of manners definitely aren't from his momma!

Picture 3:  I wish I could say I just turned around and saw this, but I'll sheepishly admit that Payton and I both watched him crawl up on the ottoman to reach the remote control. 

He LOVES the remote control (and will obviously not let any piece of furniture get in his way), and not the old one that doesn't go to anything that we have designated as "Eli's remote", but the one that manages to complete ruin the TV settings if he gets a hold of it with the batteries still in (which I take out on a daily basis). This is also the remote that sounds like a marraca because he dropped it in the dogs water bowl and I put it in a bag of rice (like you do with your phone if you get it wet, right). Just a note if you ever have to "dry out" your remote, put the battery cover back on before you put it in the rice or it will always be full of rice and create a fine musical instrument for your child.

I am sure that we will have many more of these busted pictures in the future with raising this little boy.  These pictures absolutely proves the saying that "you can't take your eyes off of them for a second!".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Man's work

Even though Payton's work has really picked up in the past few weeks, he always makes sure to get in plenty of Eli time when he is home.  He's such a great daddy and a great "buddy" for Eli.  So blessed to have both these boys!

Some of their weekend projects...

Eli helped fix Mader.

They built towers with Eli's blocks...
...this is Eli after he knocked it down, his favorite part.

He helped Daddy draw pictures on his paddleboard.

Showing off their designs.