Saturday, June 29, 2013

Houston, we have a problem

My parents got in at 1 AM Thursday night (thanks LAX flight delays) and we stayed up super late eating krispy kreme doughnuts and laughing our heads off because everything, and I mean everything, is funnier at three in the morning when you're wearing a krispy kreme hat.
I haven't seen my mom and dad since we were home for Christmas... 6 months ago! That is the longest I have been away from home and I resolve right this minute that that will never happen again. So there. But these are our last days in Texas and you know we are going to soak up every bit of fun there is. Our favorite places to go when we have visitors are Austin and Houston. Sorry San Antonio, you were a great place to live but the Doobie Brothers had it right in China Grove when they said something about a "sleepy little town down around San Antone." You're kind of a snore-fest. Since we all went to Austin last time my parents were here, this time we decided to spend the day in Houston. For the record, yes I realize I am a dum dum for planning an 8 hour round trip day drive 2 days before our 30 hour drive to California. But I still had things to cross off my Texas bucket list and I'm nothing if not insane task oriented so off we went.

NASA was amazing! We had so much fun. But we have to wake up in 4 hours to start packing the moving truck. All good things must come to an end.
We are SO HAPPY my mom and dad are here!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Farewell Texas

In our last few weeks as Texans I have been trying to savor every good thing that we will miss about living here. The list is actually longer than I thought it would be. You see, when we moved here 3 years ago right after our 3rd wedding anniversary, which means that half of our marriage was spent here. Wow, that makes me feel old! I did not know what to expect. Save for the year and a half that I lived in Virginia and Connecticut as a baby (my dad was in the navy) I have lived in California with my family my entire life. Andrew was born and raised in California so he didn't know what moving across the country would be like either. It is safe to say that Texas surprised us for the better and will always hold a dear place in our hearts. It was a fun adventure living here and we met some of the best people and ate some of the best food in the whole world. As a result, none of my clothes fit, but it was worth it.

Here are some of the things that I will miss about life in Texas:

Our friends. But most of them are California transplants so we'll still get to see them often :)

The BBQ.  Specifically The Salt Lick and Franklin's in Austin.

The cheap cost of living. Texas definitely has California beat on $ per square foot.

HEB. Oh Herbert E Butt, the one and only grocery store. If it weren't for your complimentary booze and sushi samples I might miss Vons and Albertsons a little more.
I will miss giggling at the prospect of buying "butt" water and "butt" ice cream... we preface everything we buy there with butt because of the name. Yeah, we're mature like that.

Tex Mex, queso, and breakfast tacos. Yes, most of what I will miss about Texas is the food. That should not come as a surprise.

Beautiful sunshine. (And equally beautiful air conditioning.)
Texas is flat, even out here in hill country, but it makes for some beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Shiner ruby redbird. 
It's a citrus infused beer that tastes like Summer and is almost as refreshing as a quart of Bluebell ice cream, which I will also miss. I think I can get both of these in California, but they're hard to come by and will always remind me of Texas.

Lazy days at the pool.
Sure there are pools in California, but none are so refreshing as the pools in Texas when it is 100 degrees out. In Texas I didn't care about getting my hair wet or ruining my make up by canon-balling into the pool. It's so humid your hair and make up always looks like you just got out of the pool. *I will not miss the humidity!

I will miss Austin, Houston, and Dallas. Equally. I don't want to offend anyone, but it turns out San Antonio is the weakest of the main cities in Texas. I can say that with certainty because I lived here. Yeah the Alamo and River walk are nice, but you can knock those out in an hour and be done. Austin has all the best concerts, 6th street and all the weirdos (Their mantra is "keep Austin weird"), Ladybird Lake, and the closest Ikea. If we ever move back to Texas I would want to live in Austin, or Round Rock a little north of it because of traffic. And because it's where the Ikea is.  I also really love Houston. Not just because of the Galleria, though that definitely tips the scales in its favor. And Dallas is just fabulous. Do they have a Real Housewives of Dallas yet? They need to get on that stat.

I will say that we are leaving at just the right time. The Texas chapter of our lives has come to a close and it feels like it's time to go. I will also say that Summer's here are completely miserable (so, so hot!) and I won't miss them even for a minute. Oh and the {abysmal} drivers. Wow. Just wow. Prayers for a safe drive home are much appreciated!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy 30th Birthday Hoagie Bear!

Today was Andrew's 30th birthday. He didn't make a 30 before 30 list, so it probably wasn't quite as fulfilling as it could have been. But it was still fun and full of all his favorite things. Mostly food.

I baked him cupcakes. They were butter pecan with cream cheese frosting. There was also A LOT of ice cream (java chocolate chunk, his fav!)

Lunch at Wok Inn for Mongolian Beef Monday and endless hot and sour soup. Then Best Buy and Game Stop followed by cotton candy icees and some candy for the movies.
We saw Man of Steel, not to be confused with Iron Man which I almost walked into on accident. They really need to be more original with the titles... like "Robert Downey Jr. Action Movie" or "This Movie Has Superman In It" or "Brad Pitt and Zombies." If there's a job for coming up with movie titles, I'm all over it!

Next we went downtown for dinner at Charthouse (the tower of the Americas upper right and way to the right of the Alamo lower left) and one last stroll along the River walk. Fun fact, no building downtown is allowed to cast a shadow on the Alamo at any time. Another fun fact, Ozzy Osbourne is banned from performing in San Antonio because he peed on the outside walls of the Alamo grounds. That could have been a great 30 before 30. Oh well.

We ate Lobster truffle mac n cheese, chimichurri shrimp, and clam chowder, lobster bisque, and gazpacho soups all while rotating around the city from 1,000 feet in the air.

I originally bought Andrew all new pots and pans for his birthday, but that was a few months ago. Is it bad that I'm the kind of wife who buys him things "for his birthday" all year long? This was his card to go with the kitchenware...

Then a bunch of our friends decided it would be really fun for us to all go to Coachella next Spring. We've gone once before (Andrew won tickets right before we moved to Texas in 2010) and it was awesome. Coachella is the biggest, best music festival and it's in Palm Springs, it's also $350 a ticket. Cray Cray! What are the odds we'd win again? Slim to none, so I got us tickets to go in April and that's his real present. Delayed gratification as it's super far away, but in the meantime he can cook me delicious meals with his new kitchen toys. Win win!

Happy Birthday, Hoagie Bear! I love you like nerds love Star Wars!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Looking forward to...

I can appreciate the statement on the left, but let's be honest, I live in the statement on the right.
Bring on the cookies!

Trying to live in the moment and enjoy every minute of every day is exhausting. Mostly because these days are spent stressing about where we're going to live in San Diego, when to schedule a final home inspection, what kind of torture it's going to be to drive a Uhaul across the desert in July, how to fit just one more thing in this moving box, and a random bout of the flu. Who gets sick in June? Apparently we do. So when it feels like I'm not winning at life or loving every moment, I remind myself of the fun things that are just around the corner.

Here are a few things I'm looking forward to...

Andrew's 30th birthday on Monday. Cannot wrap my brain around this!

Here we are at his 18th birthday.

I knew then that we would grow old together, I just didn't expect it to happen so fast. Not that 30 is old, but it is a kick in the pants for sure. We still have so many things to do and places to go! His actual birthday is going to be pretty low key, just the two of us and a fancy dinner. Probably a trip to Best Buy and Game Stop and a movie date. We'll do something bigger when we're with our friends and family back home.

My parents flying in next week to help with the move. Next weekend is going to be jam-packed, but we've got a couple fun adventures planned including a trip to NASA in Houston and of course the San Marcos Outlets for one final shopping spree. Tear.

Fourth of July at the beach.

Pismo Beach is notoriously foggy on the Fourth, making it darn near impossible to see the fireworks, but it will still be nice to be home and have the option to walk to the beach, fireworks or not.

Wedding dress shopping with my little sister. 

Oh yeah, my sister, Kristie, is getting married in September! So happy I'll be home for her bridal shower at the end of July.

Speaking of weddings, Our 6 year anniversary is in a couple weeks. Plans are in the works... maybe a day trip to Yosemite for a hike or a drive up through Carmel to Los Gatos (Santa Cruz mountains). Another day of driving might be unbearable at that point though, so we'll see.

August will be the month that we actually move down to San Diego and start school/work. Also Kristie and Tyler's "bachelor(ette) parties" which will consist of a fun weekend in San Francisco with family watching Giants games and running around the city.

And this just in, I'm going to Honolulu with my mom in September for 5 days of fun in the sun on the beaches of Hawaii followed by 5 intense days of running the hospitality suite (party central) for a National Guard conference. I am all about turning (other people's) work trips into vacations and this one was too good to pass up! It's a ways off, but I am definitely looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This is Summer

We are halfway through June and really getting into Summer vacation mode. Well, relatively speaking... we are still crossing items off the moving to-do list, but it's like 90% vacation and 10% telling Andrew where to put all the boxes packing.

Item #1: Garage Sale. Check!
 Poor guys, they were looking for a PS3 and video games. I showed them my boot selection and shabby chic decor. No dice. Odd thing, everyone (and I mean like 8 different people) was asking about tennis shoes. Wha? I guess I've been out of the yard sale loop, but I would not want someone's old sneakers. Gross.

OK, so the yard sale was the only item we crossed off our moving list this weekend. No biggie, look at all the other way more important stuff we did:

All the time at the pool was turning my hair lighter. Now it's back to dark! I just wish I could get it to grow. I was shamed into buying fancy hair products by the haircut lady because my hair is so dry, dead, split, fried, etc. Alas nothing works, and I am this-close to shaving my head and starting from scratch. I think I have the right shaped head for bald and it would be such a time saver. Andrew is all for it, he says I should get an orange robe and a tambourine and join the Hare Krishna, whatever that is.

So I always wonder what Maddie does all day when we're at school/work. Now I know. 
She fills her time perched on the armchair, barking at birds out the window, and shopping on Amazon (for new puppy outfits I'm sure.)

Maddie has not been the only one shopping, but I've been doing just a little, because I know that everything I buy I am going to have to pack and that is a real deterrent. 
Well, it really just means that I'm buying smaller things like jewelry and hair accessories. 
Related to shopping as of late, they just opened a Sam Moon store right by North Star Mall and it is the best thing to happen to San Antonio maybe EVER! I'm not saying it's more important than the Alamo, but I will probably remember it better. I need to get back there ASAP, so much fun costume jewelry calling my name.

One thing that has not been calling my name is the scale. Ironically it was one of the first things I packed away and I will not be sad if it gets lost in the move. I know last time I checked in with it I was up by 10, and can only imagine that stat has at least doubled in the past week. It's kind of a bummer that none of my clothes fit and the cellulite has spread to my toes. I didn't even know you could have foot flab, now I am fully aware. I mean I always had fat feet, but I feel like they actually jiggle when I walk now, along with everything else. Ugh. Needless to say, it takes a lot to keep up this figure...

Not pictured: 32 oz icees almost everyday (the cotton candy flavor is my favorite, then pink lemonade, then strawberry kiwi.) You can tell I've been doing a lot of important research. Honestly, I think I so badly wish that I was pregnant that I am having a phantom pregnancy complete with cravings. Turns out we're going to need a friggin fork lift if I ever do get pregnant! Oh well, Summer calories don't count, right?!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Texas, it's not me, it's you

Hey! Just checking in to let y'all know we're still alive. Full on packing mode has commenced. Our living room looks like Armageddon. And now I have that stupid Aerosmith song stuck in my head. Oy. In addition to all the packing craziness, we have people coming over constantly. I'm convinced our property manager knows precisely what time(s) of day is the absolute most inconvenient for strangers (potential renters, but serious... stranger danger!) to come tour our house. It's like "Aw, crap now I have to put pants on" and while scrambling to look presentable, which apparently just means clothed in these parts, we are hustling to hide all our moving boxes and keep Maddie entertained and quiet. Before you get your panties in a bunch, I feel you should know that it's Summer and it is hot. I have packed most of my wardrobe so I have limited options. I'm also a midget, so a long t-shirt could double as a dress-ish. On a related note, there will be no "What I Wore Wednesday" posts for a while! You're welcome.

It isn't all chaos and "Dude, where's my pants" over here. After we got back from Houston Will stayed with us for a few days and there was much eating of Tex Mex and BBQ. There was also some Super Mario Bros action. Big surprise, Andrew is dragging his feet packing up the video game arsenal.

Last night we said goodbye to most of our San Antonio friends and watched the Spurs game. Confession: I don't know anything about basketball except that Andrew is a Laker's fan. And I only know who Tony Parker is because he was briefly married to Eva Longoria. They got married the same day as us (07-07-07) Turns out it was a luckier day for us. I learned that I like football more than basketball because at least football has a half time show. I guess basketball has one too, but it's not televised.

No biggie, the kids entertained us plenty with puppet shows and an impromptu "How many of us can fit on Andrew's back" contest.

We're gearing up for another yard sale tomorrow. Fingers crossed it won't be raining. The forecast has said 10% chance of rain everyday and it has rained everyday this week. It's almost like Texas is crying because we're leaving. Sorry Texas, it's not you, it's me. No wait, it's you!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hello Houston

Andrew and I drove to Houston on Saturday to spend the weekend with our friends Brenden and Carissa and Will, who is also in the process of moving back to San Diego this month. He stopped in Texas on his way to California just to see us. The 5 of us all met when we were in college in San Diego. Now B&C are completing an MBA and PhD respectively at Rice University in Houston. Needless to say, in the presence of all these academics I felt very uneducated and lazy :) 

Luckily our first stop was boozing it up at a local brewery. And it's true what they say; alcohol is a great equalizer... at least I thought I sounded intelligent after 4 beers! {Correction I only drank 2. The rest was root beer which I much prefer to actual alcohol.}
 We toured Rice University. Such a beautiful campus! 

We love Houston and are so glad we got to see our friends!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Break and Pool Hopping

Today was the last day of school, the official start of Summer, and we celebrated by driving across town to our former apartment complex, and first home in Texas, for a dip in the pool. Not entirely ethical to use the pool while we don't exactly still live there, but in our defense, they stiffed us on our security deposit so we'll call it even. Also they never changed the gate code, so that's practically an open invitation.

If I've learned anything about surviving the Summer in San Antonio, it's that rules don't apply to me.

Case in point, in the last 24 hours I have committed these crimes {and I don't care}:

1. Slurpee for breakfast. It was strawberry-kiwi and delicious.
2. Wearing a bikini (for me should be illegal), but it's too bleeping hot for modesty!
3. Ran the sprinklers despite water restrictions, and ran through them despite being almost 30. That's a double crime!

We're here for 3 more weeks and I just personally challenged myself to do all 3 of those things at the same time. Oh that reminds me, I need to make a Summer to-do List. It's probably going to involve a lot of pool hopping, since our last attempt at having a pool at our house was a colossal failure.

We saw these sillies while hanging out at the pool. My guess is their summer to do list involved surfing, but the pool temperature was cooler than the ocean temperature in Corpus (the closest beach to here that is also 3 hours away) so they decided to surf in the pool.
No judgement here, like I said, rules don't apply when it's 100*. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

4 weeks y'all

With less than a month until we move, I think a final home tour is in order. Also, I'm majorly slacking on packing so hopefully this will help document my progress in the coming weeks and give me the kick in the pants I need to get a move on. Literally.

The first thing you need to know about this house is that it is on Dublin Field. The problem is all the streets around us are called Dublin Ledge, Dublin Green, Dublin place, and Dublin Court. Selling furniture on Craigslist has been a real joy this week... "Um, I'm super lost, did you say Dublin Landing?"  "No. In fact, that is the only Dublin something that doesn't exist. Kudos to you!" I should just give our stuff away for free as a prize for finding our house!
 It should also be noted that the streets that don't begin with Dublin begin with Geneva... Geneva Sound, Geneva Moon, Geneva Ford, and Geneva Vale. {Random, right?} I guess someone in the street naming committee was really pulling for Switzerland, but Ireland won. Meanwhile if you happen to actually be from Dublin or Geneva, you would be none too impressed with our little corner of San Antonio. It's like they want to rub in the fact that we don't live in paradise. It's June 1st and 95* with no beach in sight. We're aware.

Moving on with the tour... This is what you see when you walk in.
Pics on the left were from when we first moved in. Before I went on a paint-everything-white kick. Also when patio furniture was our indoor seating option. A simpler time.

Just past the entry is the living room to the left, a stairway to the immediate right, and the dining room/kitchen/ half bath/laundry room/garage further to the right. 
On second thought, here's a floor plan to give you an idea of layout.
The thick lines are half-wall room dividers. 

  The kitchen picture is from when we first moved in. Just imagine every surface covered with dishes, pots, pans, and filth and that's what it actually looks like right now. Can you blame me for not wanting to document that?!
At the top of the stairs is this awful eye-sore of an air conditioning unit. The first thing I did when we moved in was hang a curtain and mirror to block it out. (Don't worry, when we run the a/c I pull the curtain away).

Once you're upstairs, the master bedroom is on the right and the upstairs landing/wasted space is on the left. I am going to miss having all the extra space! Our entire apartment in San Diego will likely not be much bigger than this bedroom :(
No more shoe room :( 
No more yard for Maddie Bear :(
But we finally get to go home 
and see our families whenever we want without driving for 2 days. 
Moving is so bittersweet. 

Hard to believe it was a little over 2 years ago that we moved into this house. Here are some pictures from our first "home tour".  Looking back, Texas was mostly a fun adventure and we knew all along that it would be temporary so we made the most of it. Turns out I also made the most of living next to a TJ Maxx Home Goods and we are going to need A LOT more moving boxes!