Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge got around to our house. I will admit, I was hoping to get through this trend unscathed. I’ve heard a lot of opinions and thoughts on this challenge. But no matter your conclusion, it is still trying to raise money for a worthy cause. So, here you go!
Luck is a funny thing. Most of the time, you don’t even realize how much luck you possess until after the fact. For instance, we planned a big group trip to Napa with several of our friends. We rented a house to share, we planned a wine tour complete with limo, and we were all really looking forward to escaping Texas for a nice long weekend in California. But less than a month after our planned trip, as many of you have probably heard in the news, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit our vacation spot.
I can’t even imagine the losses and damage that the residents of the California wine region must have suffered in the last week. I sincerely hope that the businesses, homes, and families recover from such a tragedy. For Napa is a beautiful place and we’re so lucky to have enjoyed it before the catastrophe. And I hope we will be able to visit it and enjoy all that Napa has to offer again in the future! Well, how about some photos of pre-earthquake Napa in all her splendor?
But our trip to Napa wasn’t just about our cool house, we had plenty of activities planned too! First up, a trip to Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa for some beer tastings!
The next morning, our limo driver picked us up for our Napa wine tour. And before you think that we got too fancy, there are a ton of companies that specialize in wine tours for every price range. Besides, drinking and driving should always be avoided, that’s just common sense! And since we were in America’s wine country, of course everybody wanted to sample the famous vineyards of Napa, nobody wanted to be designated driver!
We used Beau Wine Tours for our excursion around Napa. They provided a driver with a lot of Napa knowledge, helped us select the wineries, coordinated the tasting room reservations, set up a lunch spot complete with a picnic table cloth and plates/silverware/water bottles, and really made our afternoon special.
First winery on the list? Clos Pegase
After a nice nap and some much needed lounging time, we headed to a nice dinner at Kitchen Door in Napa. It was a delicious and unique restaurant, but Napa seems to have more than its fair share of fabulous dining options! If you do go to Kitchen Door, make sure to save room for the bread pudding. It was definitely worth the stomach space!
It was an extremely memorable trip and I’m so glad we got to share it with our friends! But there’s still so much more to explore! I hope the damage from the earthquake is quickly repaired and that Napa gets back on its feet soon! We will most definitely be back for more wine, food, and good times! Check out more Napa pictures by clicking here. Next blog post? Our 24 hours in San Francisco after leaving Napa.
After two long years of hard work, sleepless nights, cramming for finals, project meetings after 40 hour work weeks, missed outings with friends, and late night study sessions, Mr. Andy finally graduated with his MBA back in July!! This deserves some serious celebrating!!
We were in Austin for Andy’s last class weekend, so we met up with his family for a nice graduation brunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe.
Then once Andy caught up on some sleep and let the realization sink in that he was truly done, we threw a properly huge graduation party the next weekend at the Glass Boot Biergarten.
And as per usual, as it got later, we got weirder. That’s just the natural way of things.
I wish I had taken more photos. I missed a bunch of people by accident! But I suppose I always wish I could remember to take more photos. And that’s saying something in this case, because there’s quite a few pictures that I’ve just shared! What it boils down to is that we had so many awesome people come celebrate with us that I couldn’t even get proper photos of everybody! (also the fact that I love to talk kind of gets in the way of focusing on being camera person) Thank you to all those that encouraged, supported, and celebrated with Andy along his MBA journey. And hallelujah, we’re so happy it’s finally done! (click here to see the full gallery from Andy’s graduation celebration)
We had a busy but splendid Fourth of July holiday this year. As with most of our lives, we spent a good deal of it running from place to place. But we wouldn’t have missed any part of the weekend for anything.
We kicked off the long weekend by cheering on the Fort Worth Cats, our local minor league baseball team. And honestly in my opinion, the only reason to go to a baseball game is to eat hot dogs and watch fireworks, preferably with awesome friends. I was definitely not disappointed!
Hot dogs? Check!
Awesome friends? Check check!
The fireworks were too difficult to take a picture of, and near impossible to capture with a stupid cell phone camera. But I promise you they were fantastic! (though I probably could’ve done without the superbly twangy country anthems)
On the actual Fourth of July holiday, we started off at Bob and Nancy’s pool party/BBQ. A nice dip in the pool, a fun toss of the beach volleyball, delicious burgers with Nancy’s garlic broccoli dish committed to memory, a perfect afternoon!
After leaving Bob and Nancy’s, we headed to Joy and Martin’s house for another fireworks show! Again, fireworks don’t show up well on cell phone cameras. And unfortunately, I didn’t bother taking any other photos either. But we had a splendid time at Joy and Martin’s too! SO much food, so much Street Fighter!
As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, the day after the holiday, we headed up to Mount Pleasant for a day with Lauren, Griffin, and Baby Hudson. First on the list, Andy and I heard about an amazing berry farm that we simply had to visit. Who doesn’t love fresh ripe blackberries?
On the way back to Griffin and Lauren’s house, we stopped at this fun little market. They had beautiful (and tasty) produce, interesting products, and the best homemade soft serve peach ice cream I’ve ever had. (Andy got strawberry, but I think peach is still my favorite)
After our exciting outing, we went back to Griffin and Lauren’s to relax and enjoy a leisurely dinner.
There you have it, Fourth of July 2014. We sure did manage to stay busy, but we also consider ourselves so very blessed to have that many amazing people that want us around! Happy.
I got so preoccupied with getting the family weekend pictures posted, that I forgot about the photos we took at our nephew’s first birthday party! So, here’s a belated post to wish our sweet nephew Hudson a very happy birthday!
Since we were multitasking the family reunion at Lake LBJ with handing out Team Sherry t-shirts, I figured why not also throw in a baby shower on the same weekend for good measure? We do, after all, have Griffin and Lauren’s new baby girl to celebrate! So, Saturday night was all about Baby Dayton. Well, Baby Dayton and bees. I’ve always wanted to throw a bee themed baby shower, and this seemed like a great time to give it a try!
Now the food! Which of course, I had to stick to the bee theme when coming up with ideas! I LOVE a good theme. I will not let you leave a party without making sure that theme is beat into every aspect of your consciousness. After all, the fun is often in the details.
Honey Vinaigrette Orzo Salad from Everyday Italian with Giada. (I don’t love mint in my food, so I substituted with more basil)
So, we took a bunch of photos of Griffin and Lauren opening Dayton’s gifts. However, it really takes a very special photographer to get good present opening pictures. Andy and I are not said special photographers. I always find it hard because people are usually looking down, talking amongst themselves, and awkwardly gesturing. So, I thought it would be best if I didn’t post those pictures. How about a cute one of Hudson as his parents open his new sister’s gifts instead?
And because that one was a little dark and grainy, how about this one?
We are so excited for Griffin, Lauren, and Hudson. They will soon have one more darling member to add to their family. And we are even more excited to meet our baby niece!!
And there you have it, one action packed family weekend at Lake LBJ. You can check out some more of the pictures we took by clicking here.
Cancer is a big scary unhappy topic. Though it may sound macabre, it is also what keeps me employed. Being in the research department, it means I scan through a lot of patients everyday looking for matches to the clinical trials that we currently have available. Often from the background, I get the chance to mourn with the sad stories, rejoice with the survivors, and cheer on the fighters that are still in the midst of their battles.
My view on cancer took a sudden twist last January when we learned that Andy’s mom has been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. The last few months have been rough and the next several months may be tougher yet as they pursue more treatments and options.
I truly believe that a good attitude can make a difference in so many things, even when it comes to fighting a frightening beast like cancer. So, Andy and I wanted to help his mom remember how many people are out there cheering for her, wishing her luck, and hoping for the best for her.
With that said, Cathy and I started brainstorming ideas for a “Team Sherry” t-shirt. We decided to focus on something to do with roses, since Sherry’s maiden name was Rose and the entire family has had an affinity for roses for…well, close to forever. Eventually, we came across the phrase, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the musical, Gypsy, by Stephen Sondheim. The idea was distributed amongst family and friends, t-shirts were printed, and photos were sent back to me of everybody in their t-shirts.
The first big chance we got to show off our shirts was at the family reunion lake trip (as you may have seen from previous pictures). But the idea was to collect as many photos as possible and place them in a picture frame for Sherry to see whenever she’s feeling discouraged or weak. Since the picture frame was successfully delivered to Sherry last weekend, I thought I’d post the pictures here for everybody else to see too.
There you have it. Love, support, and happy thoughts from all around the country. I’m not sure how to end a post like this, so I’ll leave you with a few lyrics from Everything’s Coming Up Roses and a performance from the great Angela Lansbury.
You’ll be swell! You’ll be great!
Gonna have the whole world on the plate!
Starting here, starting now,
Honey, everything’s coming up roses!