Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What I'm Listening to Wednesday

New (good) music has been hard to find lately, but there are a few songs that I've heard recently that I thought were good enough to share. What are you listening to lately? Please share any good finds- I'm always in the market for new music.

First up is sure to be a popular "summer" song, and probably isn't that new to anyone. But it's catchy, and has certainly grown on me.

"Rude" by MAGIC!

The second song has made its way on to my running playlist, and I have yet to grow tired of it.

"Giants" by Bear Hands

I can't do a music post without including a band that has ties to Austin. They have just released their album, and will be touring the rest of the year. Expect to hear lots of buzz around these guys.

"Out on the Street" by Spanish Gold

Last but not least is a slow tune by a female artist who is totally new to me. I have loved listening to this as I wind down on my way home from work.

"Youth" by Daughter

Friday, May 23, 2014

Baby Talk, Take 2

I first posted my feelings on babies (and the pressure around having them), shortly after Hank and I were married. Some things have changed, and some things haven't. I still have days where I think-why in the world would we want to change our perfect little life together?! We get to do what we want, when we want- and it's really a nice way to live.

Then there are the days that we get together with family, and I see Hank playing with my niece and nephew, and know that it would just be wrong for us to not give parenthood a shot. Sure, there will be some bumps in the road, and things that we give up. But I have no doubt that the two of us would make an awesome parental team. So we've been trying. And trying. And trying some more. And it just hasn't worked yet.

Talking about making babies doesn't seem to be much of the norm. Neither does talk of miscarriages, and other things that go wrong. But I know I'm not the only one who gets sad each month when I'm so rudely reminded by Mother Nature that it hasn't worked again. It still blows my mind every time I read how someone gets knocked up totally by accident. If only it were that easy for everyone.

I turned 38 this past December, and that certainly doesn't help the situation. So I recently went to visit my doctor to see what's going on with my lady parts. After a few unpleasant tests, I got back some positive results. My eggs aren't all gone (yet), and all the plumbing appears to be working correctly. Barring any issues on Hank's side, there doesn't appear to be any serious reason why it shouldn't be working. SO WHY ISN'T IT ALREADY?!

The world of taking temperature, checking ovulation, and having to plan out something that should be much more fun and spontaneous, isn't exactly what I had in mind for my first year of marriage. But it's a necessary evil if anything is ever going to happen, so we'll just keep taking it all in stride.

I know that stressing out about it doesn't really help much. We have pretty much decided though that if it doesn't happen by the time I'm 40, that we won't continue trying. I know plenty of women who have babies after 40, but the higher level of risks and overall aging process makes me feel like we need to determine our threshold for this process. So when people nudge me and say "when is it your turn?", not having any idea how much we would like for it to be, I can't help but get a little angry, and a little more sad.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One Year Anniversary!

Two weekends ago we celebrated our one year anniversary (yea, yea....I'm a little behind on posting). It's hard to believe that it has been one year already- it literally flew by! We were blessed with the same beautiful weather that we had on our wedding weekend, and celebrated with a fancy dinner out.

On Saturday I had a hair appointment, and then decided to treat myself to some new make-up too. So I got home feeling all fresh and fancy, and changed into the new dress I bought just for our anniversary dinner (got to love a 50% Loft sale). Hank looked all handsome in a blazer and jeans, and we headed out for dinner at Jeffrey's. We had received a very generous gift card as a wedding gift, and had been holding on to it just for this occasion. We love a nice dinner here and there, but this restaurant is a little more than what we would ever spend for a dinner out. Since we weren't taking a trip or anything, we decided it was totally worth the splurge.

The Holland House: One Year Anniversary
I failed to get an actual anniversary picture, so this was from Mother's Day (with me wearing the same dress).

Thankfully, the dinner and experience did not disappoint. The service was impeccable, and the food absolutely divine. We started off with a cocktail and appetizer (Jeffrey's is knows for their fried oysters). Then we ordered a wonderful bottle of French red wine, and moved on to the salad course. Wedge for Hank, and a grilled kale caesar for me. Both were terrific, but the kale caesar with rye bread crumbs was the definite winner.

If you know anything about me, it's that I don't eat a ton of meat. I do love the occasional steak, and it's kind-of hard to pass up an opportunity for a quality tenderloin. So I ordered that for my entree and Hank ordered salmon. We also ordered sides of gnocchi and cheese and green beans almondine. I'll be honest...when you're stuffing your face with meat and cheesy pasta, it's really not worth taking up precious space with vegetables. I could have skipped the beans altogether!

The steak was heaven. I got the garlic/rosemary butter on top, and it took the already amazing meat to a whole new level. I was nice enough to share with Hank, as I knew he was kicking himself for not ordering the same thing. I savored every bite, knowing how long it will likely be before I eat something like that. But that was part of what made the meal so enjoyable. We took our time and really enjoyed each course.

Early that day I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a small Chantilly Cake- it's one of the cakes we had for our wedding and was so, so yummy! I also had a bottle of Veuve Clicquot chilling in the fridge, so we didn't have plans to order dessert at the restaurant. Some very sweet friends of ours had other plans though. They had called the restaurant and had two glasses of port and a chocolate soufflé delivered to the table. It was the perfect way to cap off a truly memorable meal!

We had exchanged gifts earlier that day, only because Hank was about to start a project that I knew he would want his brand new chainsaw for (so romantic). But he surprised me with 2 canvas prints of our wedding pictures, and I can't wait to get them hung up in our bedroom. The yellow shoe picture has been one of my favorites, and I know we'll love seeing it daily.

The Holland House: Yellow Shoes

Looking forward to all the wonderful years ahead, and so thankful that I have this awesome man to share my life with. He is the greatest gift there is.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Boy and His New Toy

Greetings all!  So Amy and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary this past weekend.  She will give you all the details in her upcoming blog post.  Since I have not been very good, read: actually quite horrible, about fulfilling my end of the blogging duties, I wanted to take a moment today to feature our latest, spur of the moment home improvement project.  It all started with a gift from my wife for our anniversary.

She gets me, I mean she really, really gets me.  Anyway, from the day I purchased our house the boxwoods in front of our kitchen window had been annoying me.  Excellent screening but I hate the maintenance which was apparent by the over growth.  Unfortunately, I was not able (read: forgot) to get a before photo so you will just have to take my word for it.  We had 6 boxwoods under the window.  While Amy was off running errands, I make quick use of the chainsaw and removed 4 of them.  I decided to hold on to 2 of them but pruned them high to create some height in my master plan.  Here is a picture shortly after I removed all the boxwoods.

Now I was making some serious progress.  My vision for the space was to extend the bed and create a border with river rock to create a more natural barrier.  Then plant some drought tolerant plants to reduce our water consumption since we are in a sever drought.  I made a quick trip to the Home Depot, aka my second home, and picked up river rock, gravel and 2 Firebush plants.  The ultimate plan is to add a few additional plants such as Knockout Roses that will add pops of color and be easy on the watering.  However, I was quickly running out of time and energy to complete the project this weekend.  Here is the picture with the Firebush and half the gravel installed.

My hope and plan is to finish it up this weekend with the additional gravel.  We are also on the prowl for some adirondack chairs that we can paint the same color as the front door.  Since our backyard is a disaster at this moment, I can definitely see Amy and I enjoying this nice feature in lieu of the backyard.  

Cheers till next time!

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