Category Archives: family

Sushi and Bats

Ryan and I did a couple of new things that we hadn’t done before on Thursday.  We went to a place called Sushi Caliente in Cedar Park to try out the Japanese-Mexican fusion (yes, you read that right) menu.  It was kind of a long drive out there, and it wasn’t very busy when we went in.  It’s an interesting idea… there is everything from traditional sushi and sashimi, to teriyaki, to fish tacos, to enchiladas… and then there is the stuff in between.

Like this:

That’s what was left of our Mariachi Roll when we decided to take a picture.  It contains crab, avocado, onions, a little Monterrey jack cheese melted on top, serrano pepper inside and out, and topped with what they call “Caliente sauce.”  It was an interesting roll… a little spicy, but not too much.

We also tried someting called the Leander Roll (left) and the Latin Lover Roll (right):

The Leander roll contains eel, masago (flying fish roe) and cucumber with avocado on the outside (I would rather have had a plain unagi roll with avocado and the sweet sauce).  The Latin Lover roll was a little sweet and had crab, masago, and “flamingo sauce” – a little sweet – on the inside.

There was a nice touch in that they served miso soup and a little cup of edamame with roll orders, but I don’t know if we’ll be back here.  The sushi was just okay, and it’s not really worth driving that far to get it.

After dinner, we decided to drive downtown and check out the bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge.  I had never been to see the bats, so it was fun to do the little touristy thing.

We parked in the Statesman “bat parking” area and hung out under the bridge for a while, where I got this cool picture of all the bat watchers on the bridge (click to expand):

We stayed down near the bottom of the bridge until the bats started coming out, even through seeing Leslie in a cheerleading outfit with black pompoms, even through the little kids wailing for paletas from the vendor that was down there, even through the sprinkler systems coming on and sending people scurrying in all directions!

After a while, Ryan thought we should go above and check out the view from the top of the bridge, and it was really cool… we got a great view of them feeding in the tops of the trees.  Head over to my tumblr blog to check out a short video!

We headed back to the car after watching for a few minutes and drove back home.  We had a great night of trying new things!

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Summertime fun

I’m excited about the weekend… Ryan, Rachael and I are heading to Janette’s for a laid-back couple of days so we can see Sex and the City: The Movie on Saturday night.  It’s been kind of a crazy week; Ryan is on the road right now, nearly to Austin, so that he can interview with the news director at my station tomorrow morning.  (Prayers!!!)  Then tomorrow afternoon, Rachael will meet us in Austin, and the three of us will caravan in two cars up to Dallas to meet Janette so that we can start the fun!

In a week, I’ll be heading up to Dallas again to meet Janette and Ryan, and we’ll be getting on a plane a week from tomorrow to fly to Portland.  In Portland, we’ll meet up with my cousin Sean to road-trip to Montana for the family reunion.  We’ve made a “local beer only” pact for the week that we’re there, which is perfect because there’s a microbrewery in Polson, the town where my grandparents live, and at least a couple more down in Missoula, about an hour away.  There’s already talk about growlers and pony-kegs!  Oh my!

It’s been a hectic few weeks of traveling, but I’m mostly excited about it all because I have been keeping a handle on my health.  I’ve been eating well, and drinking my water like I should.  I’ve made plans to attend a Weight Watchers meeting with my aunt while we’re in Montana, and I’ll be getting in a lot of walking that week, I’m sure.  I’m actually excited to get on the plane next week, because I know that it’s going to be so much easier to buckle that seat belt than it was last time I was on a plane (which was what… I guess when we went to New York back in April).  I even traded in my 10% keychain that broke for a new one at my Weight Watchers meeting this week, no questions asked!

It’s nice to have these things to look forward to when our living situation is in such turmoil.  I’m looking forward to having a whole week to spend with Ryan – and on vacation, no less.  It’ll be a nice break from reality.

Stuck somewhere in between

I started my new job in Austin yesterday, and I really like it a lot.  The station is cool, I really like everyone in my department, and the work is challenging, but not so hard that I feel like I am going to flounder.  I have been trying to keep close contact up with Ryan, since he’s still back in Sherman remotely looking for a job and occupying the house while we’re trying to sell it.

I’m staying with my old friend from way-back-in-high-school, Sara.  She’s got a cool condo about 10 minutes away from the station, and has generously let me stay in her guest room while I learn the ropes at work and try to find an apartment that will do for Ryan and I for a while.  I haven’t seen a lot of her this week since I came in on Monday, because I’m working nightside this week and she’s usually in bed or almost in bed by the time I get here.

It’s kind of hard to immerse myself in life here in Austin right now, though.  I’m eager to explore the city but I don’t want to do too much until Ryan comes down here for good, so that we can make it our home together.  I feel a little like really enjoying my job is sort of betraying my life back in Sherman, although this is my job now, and the reality is that I do enjoy it a lot.  I am a little more invested in it every day, and I know that I’m going to love it at my new station.

But I have left a big piece of my life behind – as long as Ryan is still back home, the transition won’t be complete.  I’ve only gone to work, HEB, and a Weight Watchers meeting since I’ve been here.  But there honestly isn’t a lot that I want to do without Ryan around.  I want to be able to enjoy and explore new things with him here… I want to save the good stuff for doing with him!

So, for now, I just remember why I’m down here at all… to go to work at my new job.  Which I do like a whole lot.  I just feel like everything’s in limbo right now.

Austin bound

After a whirlwind courtship, I have been offered – and have accepted – a job at KVUE in Austin.  I’m excited to get back under the Belo umbrella, and also to work as part of a larger department in a more focused role.  I think that the job opportunity is incredible, and I’m also excited that Ryan and I will get to return to Central Texas and live closer to some of our dear friends.

Of course, I am sad to leave Sherman and my folks, but it’s still closer than Seguin, Joplin, or San Antonio.  I will miss getting together with them at Cellarman’s and seeing them at church.  But I think, after living back here for nearly a year and a half, that I am past the Sherman time in my life.  It was nice to reconnect with my hometown and have Ryan get to know my family better.

Now, we are getting into the time in our lives when we’re thinking about our long-term future.  We’re thinking about starting a family (not immediately, but not too far into the future), and about where we want to be for the foreseeable future.  Austin is a great place for us, geographically, because it’s right in the middle of all of the people we love.  It’s close to TLU, so maybe instead of opening those alumni emails with a little twinge of sadness, we can actually participate in a few of the events that happen on campus.

Living in Austin will also be a totally new experience for me.  I’ve never lived there, and I have only visited (as opposed to driven through) a few times.  I am not impressed with I-35, but I know that there’s more to the city than that.  The people I know who live there or who have lived there really love it, and I know that we will love it there, too.

My first day at work will be May 27th, which is coming up really, really quick.  I basically had just enough time after accepting the job Friday morning to give my current employer two weeks’ notice.  It’s been a fast decision, but even with all of the listmaking and overthinking, it came down to going with our guts and just trusting that this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for both of us.  Keep us both in your prayers as we try to find a place to live and sell our current house, and as Ryan continues to search for a new job!

Clipped, trimmed and swept

The yard is all neat and tidy, thanks to Ryan’s hard work!  He was really busy today, mowing the lawn, getting the weedeater fixed, running the weedeater, trimming branches that threatened to take out my head in the front yard (and I’m short), etc.  I helped a little… I swept the sidewalks and the patio and pointed at branches that needed to be trimmed.  After all of the yard work, we ate dinner, watched “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother,” and then went in the back yard to have some wine.

We had a nice chat on the swing, sitting by the chiminea and talking about the future.  We talked about plans for the house, and how much we love our house, and about how the studio/shed/garage in the back yard would be the coolest slumber party site ever.  It was just a nice way to wind down the day and relax together.

Now I’m chilling out in the den, watching Craig Ferguson and thinking about how I need to take the garbage out and hit the hay, and how I need not get sucked into the rest of the show… but it’s so darned hard, because CF is my favorite talk show host!  I even watched CSPAN to see his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night.  I’m a big nerd.

My family got some good news this week!  As some of you may know, my brother has been in prison for several months for a probation violation.  He’s getting out today… well, later today.  I’m excited for him to start the next phase of his life and to get back to his wife.  But he’d better not have kids before Ryan and I do.  🙂

The Tempest

It’s storming tonight, and Barker is laying on the couch here in the den, trying to ignore the thunder and lightning.  I closed the back door, drew the curtain in the den, and tried to block things out a little bit.  He’s kind of dozing off right now, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

This week has brought an interesting turn of events.  I’ve had my eyes opened to a new opportunity that would really change life for Ryan and me.  It’s too early to tell if things will be changing, and I don’t really want to open up discussion about it here on the blog.  But if praying is your thing, please pray that we will have the path made known to us, and that we’ll follow where God leads us.

I don’t have a lot more to say tonight, other than the backyard continues to bloom… rosebushes are exploding, all of the irises are filling out, and the peonies are like big puffy pink clouds.  It’s really pretty back there, and I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment from walking around the backyard before and after work, just to see what new things are happening.

A few more pictures, and some grown-up thinking

Well, I think today I finally had the last day of playing catch-up after going to Oklahoma City on Thursday and Friday.  I had a productive day… I got several spots finished and wrote a lot of scripts.  I’m hoping there won’t be a last-minute flurry of people wanting sweeps promos, but there always is anyway.  At least I’ve got a handle on what’s been sent to me so far.

I was looking through some pictures tonight… we got the photos back from the disposable camera we had in New York.  One of my favorites was from The Back Room, a LES bar that was part of our “Secret Bar Tour.”  We’re all glowing because the flash was so bright in that dark bar, and people probably all knew we were tourists but it doesn’t matter.  We had a great time, and we all look so happy and ready to take on the big, bad city.

Of course, this first picture belies how the evening would end up, after we all walked many, many blocks through the aforementioned big bad city, in the rain, and ended up back at our lonely subway stop very, very late at night.  If you click on the picture you can see how late it was when we got ON the subway, let alone when we went to bed.  I do recall fondly that we all slept very, very well when we made it back to Todd and Rachel’s apartment.

This would be one of my other favorite photos… Saturday afternoon in Central Park, not too terribly long after we awoke from our delightful slumber.  I just love the expressions on Ryan and Todd’s faces… we really did have a great time out on The Lake, and it’s something that I won’t ever forget.

I didn’t intend to write an entry with more New York photos, but hey… some things are worth sharing and remembering over and over again.  And it really makes a nice segue into the news that Todd and Rachel will be moving back to San Antonio next month, bringing our group of friends one step closer to all being in the same general geographical locale once again.  There’s even a rumor wafting on the breeze that we might be reunited for another New Year’s celebration at the ranch this winter!

I’m excited about the prospect of making it into my 30s and moving into parenthood at some point with our family of friends closer to us.  It’s a little astonishing to think that we’ve now known our college friends longer as college graduates than as college students.  In about three weeks, Ryan and I will have been out of college for SIX YEARS.  I kind of can’t believe that, but at the same time… so much has happened since then, part of me can’t believe that it’s only been six years.  Time really does fly when you’re having fun.