Monday, January 26, 2015


Hey!  Hope everyone had a good weekend!
Ours was good, but too short.  On Friday, after work, we went to see our friends Mary and Chad.  They're expecting a baby this week, so we went to hang out with them and wish them good luck as they forge ahead to scout out the new parent territory.  We'll be joining them in a few months, so we're counting on them to warn us of pitfalls as we charge into the whole thing.  It was good to see them.  We also had fun scouting out the pre-baby house changes that they had made (always fun to see how everyone brings their own personalities to this stuff as they go through it).  We're excited to meet their kiddo!
On Saturday we took care of errands and did some shopping (after breakfast tacos).  The weather was great this weekend, which was perfect since we wanted to keep the windows open to rid the house of the last remnants of the paint smell.  Saturday night we went over for dinner at Shelly and Kit's house.  They cooked a kind of Thai chicken dish for us.  It was really good!  Spicy, but not too spicy.  We checked out the electrical work that Kit is doing in their cool, new Tuff Shed (someday maybe we'll put on in our back yard for storage), and we played Mario Party on the GameCube.  I'm proud to say that Amy and I were victorious, despite the trickery of our opponents.  We had a really fun evening.  Very cool of them to have us over.
On Sunday we went and checked out strollers at Buy Buy Baby.  Since I'm tall, we had to buy one that had an adjustable handle.  For better baby maneuverability.
We slowly hung some stuff back onto out walls on Sunday and did a few other chores.
I went over to Reed's house on Sunday night to play some music with him.  It was good to see Reed and his familia, and it felt good to be playing music.  Amy made stuffed peppers on Sunday.  I had requested them, and, as usual, they were delicioso!  You can see the goodness all coming together in the picture below.  Garlic, onions, peppers, cheese...  You can't see the sausage because I think Amy was cooking it in a pan when I snapped this photo.

Peppers in Progress!
So that was our weekend, basically.  We got a little exercise, and walked Cassidy a bit.  Nice weather!
It all went by so quickly...
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
I like my job, but I good do with a little more weekend time these days!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


So how has everyone been?  Fighting back against the midwinter, post-holiday funk?  These dark days can get you if you let them (and I mean they're literally dark- as a light lover, I hate how quickly the sun goes down this time of year).
We've been busy!  We stayed with Mom and Dad last week out in Steiner Ranch while we got the inside of our house painted.  We used a company called Renaissance Painting, and we're happy with the results.  We picked mostly pretty neutral colors, with the exception of the accent walls (one of which is in the picture below).
Anyway, thanks to Mom and Dad for everything.  Thanks for letting us stay at your house and being such great hosts and for your help with everything from moving furniture to doing electrical work!

So, our week was a bit tiring in terms of driving, meeting with painters, going to work, trying to get a bit of exercise, and whatnot, but in the end, we're pretty happy with our results.  Our house feels brighter and cheerier for our efforts.

New Paint!

We also got some landscaping work done last week.  It was mostly to fix some drainage problems in our yard, but it looks pretty cool as well.  The picture below shows the work in progress.  There's a little stone wall, and crushed granite closer to the house to allow for better drainage (although I don't think the granite had been filled in yet at the time the picture was taken).
New Landscaping!
And this picture shows Amy's yard work from Monday.  Amy bagged up leaves from our former dog run (we had it removed to expand the back yard) while Dad and I were working on repairing a ceiling fan.  I had no idea she filled up all of these bags.  Taken in the aggregate, it was a lot of work.  Dad and I were pretty proud of our work on the ceiling fan, and then I walked outside, expecting to find Amy reading a book, to find 10 or more large bags of leave and brush bundled up.  Not bad for a woman who's on her 7th month of pregnancy...

Amy v. Old Leaves
Anyway, we got a lot done over the last week and a half or so.  Commuting back and forth from Steiner Ranch, we also got to experience Austin traffic in a way that we're not really used to.  I think it gave us a new found appreciation for the location of our house.
So the baby prep and the house repair continue.
Things are good with us.  After two weekends of moving furniture and belongings in order to accommodate the painting crews, we're looking forward to trying to see some friends and having a little relaxation time.
Not much other news.  We've started watching The Honorourable Woman, a British miniseries about spies, international politics, and corporate intrigue.  It stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Stephen Rea.  We're liking it.  Mostly.  I can't decide whether the show is really clever or whether the show just thinks that it's really clever.  At any rate, we're still watching with some interest, and I want to see how things turn out, so I guess that's an endorsement.  Stephen Rea, as usual, puts in a good performance.
And that's about it.  Happy birthday to Reed Shaw, who had another one on the 20th!  Hope it was a good one. 
It's been a while since I got a chance to make music with Mono or anyone else.  It's overdue.  Hopefully this weekend.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Hey!  Not too much to post about right now.  We're sort of in a transitional period at the moment over at our house.  We're having some interior painting done, so much of the weekend revolved around moving furniture and taking pictures off the walls and stuff like that. 
On Saturday night we managed to make it out to see The Imitation Game.  It was a good movie.  Alan Turing's story is pretty amazing.  It's just sort of fascinating the way that his knowledge of math, cryptography, and machines came into play at exactly the right moment in time to help turn the course of the war and save countless lives.  Of course, other aspects of his life were occurring at exactly the wrong point in history.  He ended up as somewheone who should had been venerated as a national hero on a societal level (although, because his work was classified, the magnitude of his achievements were never widely known during his lifetime) while suffering a lot of pain and grief on a personal one.  Anyway, the movie has a few moments that are a little heavy-handed, but it's still a really good film.  Go see it!
Mom and Dad came to the house yesterday to help us move some stuff and to get the house ready for painting.  I really appreciate all their help.  We're staying with them this week in order to escape the fumes and mess at our place.

And that's about it for now.
Just wanted to check in and say hello.
Hope you're doing well!

Monday, January 05, 2015

A New Year!

Happy 2015, everybody!  I hope it's a good one for everyone.  We've got some pretty big changes on the horizon in our family this year, so we're pretty excited!  (and maybe just a teensy bit nervous)

Our New Year's celebration was a good one, if low key.
New Year's Eve was cold and a little damp in Austin.  Afraid of drunk drivers and bad weather, we ended up staying home.  Buuut Ryan and Jamie came over to hang out with us!  We ordered pizza, Jamie made a salad, and we bought some dessert bars at Central Market.  Throw in a little wine, and it was a nice evening!  We played a board game (Dixit) and watched the ball drop in New York.   Very nice, easy way to ring in 2015.
Thanks for coming over, Ryan and Jamie!

On New Year's Day we mostly hung out at the Hop a Long Lounge.  The weather outside was dreary, drizzly, and cold.  We went across the street to Mandy's house in the afternoon to see her and her family.  We ate some black eyed peas and cabbage (I can't afford to pass up good luck!), and we watched Mandy's nieces and nephew set off fireworks with their Aunt Candace.  I'm here to report that kids today are not daunted nearly enough by sparks, smoke, and explosions.  Sigmund stopped by with Miles, so we got to hang out with them and catch up for a while.  It was really fun to see everyone.

On Saturday Dad came over and we put together a rocker/glider chair and a dresser for the new nursery.  We also made a Goodwill run with some old stuff.
While Dad and I worked on that stuff, Amy made a really good lasagna.  We took the lasagna over to Mom and Dad's house for dinner that night.  Mom provided salad, bread, and dessert.  We had a good time hanging out with Mum and Da!  I couldn't believe it when I looked at the clock and it was already 10:30.

And that was pretty much how we brought in the new year.  There were other errands and shoppings and chores and whatnot, but, for once, I'm gonna keep that stuff to minimum.
Because it's 2015.
And there's always room for improvement.