home buying and selling is such a rollercoaster. i'm in it for the ride and trying not to white-knuckle my way through this and instead throw up my hands and see what happens :)

in the meantime, if you know anyone buying in south austin, i really can't say enough amazing things about our neighbors and the awesome park and our cozy home :)


we had 12 showings this weekend, one contract that fell through and i'm starting monday hopeful but realistic :) if we don't have a buyer in the next few days we will likely have to pull it from the market until after our haiti trip (which was our plan in the first place before we fell for a house we'd love to buy now... but its not in our hands at this point!)


good gracious. just when i was getting over the fact that the neighborhood i live in is possibly killing my favorite place in the world (barton springs), a friend sends me THIS link.

i'll save you the trouble and copy and paste the description of a show taped by ABC in 2005 that never aired (thank goodness).

"Welcome to the Neighborhood"

Welcome to the Neighborhood is an American reality television series produced in 2005 by ABC that was notable for the amount of controversy it garnered before it was aired. It subsequently became one of the few American TV series to be cancelled before airing a single episode.

The show was a contest to win a lush dream home in an exclusive cul-de-sac in Circle C Ranch in Austin, Texas. The catch is that the local families decide who will win, and while they are all conservative, white, upper-class Christians, all the contestants are not.

.... yikes. perhaps we should widen our home search :)


needles and i have a checkered past. and not in the 'illegal drug use' kind of way. i haven't had a shot of any kind since i was 13. it sticks out in my mind clear as day.

in 7th grade a classmate showed up at school with measles, which meant everyone (yes all of us) had to get an MMR booster. well they set up all the nurses on the school auditorium stage and all of the classes sat in the theater seats until it was our turn and we walked across the stage like cattle waiting for our shot. at first i tried getting at the back of the line a few times. when it became clear i was still going to eventually make it to the front, i threw my permission slip in the trash.

my mom saw right through my 'lost' permission slip shenanigans and had to bring me back up after school to get my shot. i sat on her lap and cried like a baby while it was administered. i remember her exasperation with me very clearly and all i could think was 'see THIS is what i didn't want my classmates to see!'

so you see, i've never had a flu shot. i am not immune to chicken pox and instead of getting that vaccine i keep getting pregnant (because if you're pregnant you can't get the shot). and i even have all 4 wisdom teeth still.

cue yesterdays' appointment at the travel clinic for our trip to haiti. maybe the sweetest nurse in town works at the travel clinic- she was equal parts kind and encouraging and having kevin with me was nice as well. the 4 shots truly didn't even hurt on their way in. my arm afterwards is another story...

the nurse told us to be active- movement will help lessen the soreness. she even mentioned lifting weights. well i took that to mean kickboxing was fair game. i may have overshot. i showed up today and after just 30 minutes of looking like perhaps i didn't have full control over the use of my left arm, i gave up and packed it in.

hopefully tomorrow my arm will be back in business. and i will continue to block out the fact that i still have to go back for a 2nd hepatitis and chicken pox shot in a few months.
sorry if things have seemed heavy around here lately. i probably should have inserted a story or two with poopy diapers as the protagonist to even things out but honestly my life has seemed heavy lately. lots of things are heavy on my heart.

it is right that my heart should be broken for the the broken things of this world. myself included. but today i took a big deep breath and realized it isn't my problem to solve. i can certainly choose to be part of the solution but it is not MY problem. i see that being a part of the blessing of reconciliation is a gift and i can choose to participate and be doubly blessed in the process.

God's blessings are abundant and i am called to share, give, serve, love and pray. believe.

whew. it may seem so simple to you, but to me it is a weight off my shoulders.
i certainly don't agree with everything he says, but the overall sentiment is moving...

if grace is water, the church should be an ocean.



instead of listening to me today, i recommend you read the first post from one of my fellow 7 council members.

elizabeth, mayor of elizabethtown

or perhaps the author's own blog post about the book.

jen, an experimental mutiny


okay, it has to come up sooner or later and really i'd love another place to complain... i mean talk about it :) i posted a link to the book i just read, 7 by jen hatmaker. jen and her husband brandon lead our church here in austin (ANC, love it) and i have read a few of jen's other books. i have been anxiously awaiting this one for over a year- ever since i read my friend susanna's blog that inspired the book.

let's talk about me being crazy for a minute. i'm not what you might call a traditional learner. i can read a fabulous book about parenting with amazing insight in the morning and by mid-day i'm yelling at my kids ripping my hair out. i just learn better by action.

so the general idea is, we live in the land of plenty right? well maybe plenty as i experience it is just too darn much. i'm cutting back in the spirit of a fast. i'll be eating 7 foods for 30 days. i'm two days in and gosh i really don't know that i will make it. i like food. i love food. i like cooking. i love filling my house with the aroma of dinner. i like filling my belly with chocolate.

it is an experiment. the book is jen's telling of her own experience- not an instruction manual, but an account of reducing 7 areas of her life for 7 months. i just so happened to want to try out this first month, reducing food. reducing the variety, quantity, obsession, costs, and time it takes in my life. what will take its place? so far prayer. and you never know where that's gonna lead... :)


those of you reading the blog for a long time may remember my old tradition of jumping in barton springs every new year's day. well i missed last year (silly me being lazy with a 3 week old baby) and this year i decided to add an accomplice.

lily shrieked when i came into her room during naps to ask if she wanted to go swimming. she was on board immediately and donned her pink ruffled tutu suit within a minute flat. we drove to the springs and she was just plain giddy the whole way there.

we stood at the edge of the water for a minute or two and she threatened to jump in without me if i didn't get my act together and just JUMP ALREADY!

i let out a yelp and jumped in with both feet, came up howling a little and she jumped right in on top of me. when the cold water hit her, lily's initial reaction was to attempt to crawl on top of my head to get out of the water completely. needless to say, there were many people watching us and laughing behind their sunglasses.

after i got lily to relax she realized the water was about the same temperature as the air had been and she started having a blast. i told her she was now an elite member of the polar bear club and she called out 'this is AWESOME!'. a random bearded guy (keep austin weird, right?) yelled to her 'happy new year little pinkey!' she yelled back something that sounded like 'shing ying hao!' (i have no idea what this means or where she learned it.)

that is us, post dip. all in all, we got in about four times. lily would have swam all day if i had been up for it. but man it was COLD! she tried to guilt me into getting back in by saying my sister (auntie e) would have been in the water with her longer.

of course i shouldn't have expected any less from the girl who swam in the springs at 18 months old in january with her e and had this expression plastered on her face the whole time:

it was a gorgeous day today but a bit windy. after i coaxed her out of the water we sat in the sun getting warm again wrapped in towels. she crawled into my lap and i said 'happy new year lil' and she said 'happy new year mom. this was ten and one miles of fun!'
i'm pretty sure i'm not funny anymore. lately all my posts seem pretty serious and people stop commenting and interacting when you're not making them laugh.

well i can promise you we laugh a lot around here. heck if we weren't laughing we'd be crying, right? kevin commented in bed last night as we watched the ball drop (in new york. we were both well on our way to dreamland before it was midnight in our time zone) that 2011 was the hardest year he has ever experienced. with a newborn and the struggles of a newly born business, we both just did our best to keep afloat. it wasn't always easy.

in 2011 i yelled more than i wanted to, i wasted too much time, i squandered far too many precious moments worrying about something else. my youngest baby is a toddler now, her first year is behind her.

i'm not much of a resolutions girl. in fact i regularly lament from january to march about resolution gym-goers and how they take my spot in class just to disappear in a few weeks. bah-humbug much?! this year my resolutions are short but a tall order.

be intentional.

that's it. do things for a reason. let other things fall away. find joy where i am.

happy 2012 to you and yours. may this be the best year any of us could imagine.