Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Scooters

Palmer and I visited my cousin Kalee and her kiddos in San Antonio a few weeks ago.
While visiting, Palmer decided he wanted to be just like the big kids and ride their scooters.

Even if the scooters were way too big.
Nevertheless, he gave it the old college try over and over again.
Back at home, I decided it was time to get Palmer a scooter better suited for his height.  I had read great reviews about the mini kick Scooter and set out to the toy store.

(I was shocked when Palmer picked out the yellow one.  He always picks blue.  I must've asked him 5 times, "are you SURE you want the yellow one??" I didn't want buyers remorse when we got a block away from the store.)

Take a look at this video and you decide if the new scooter has been a success.
A few spills later, we've instituted a mandatory helmet dress code when riding the scooter.

Rick and I can't believe how fast Palmer is and (as always) cringe at his fearlessness.
Thanks, Hailey and Carter, for hosting Palmer and teaching him your scooter street skills.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Brother Is Engaged!

When my brother started dating Holly several years ago, my sister and I were terrified he was going to do something to screw it up.  Not that he usually does, but we really love Holly and think she is so perfect for Luke.  We were so worried it was too good to be true.

Luckily, Holly is a very patient lady and I couldn't be more thrilled to soon call her family.

My brother went over the top with his proposal to Holly and we loved being a part of the big surprise.

Luke spent weeks in his backyard stringing together an elaborate message made from pool noodles.
Luke and Holly spent the morning of the engagement at a few Texas hill country vineyards before Luke said to Holly, "My colleague mentioned a cool vineyard called 'Air Vineyard'.  Do you want to try it?"

So, they packed up and went to "Air Vineyard" only to see that it was actually an airport.  Luke told Holly he picked up a Groupon for a helicopter ride.  He even went to the trouble of making a fake Groupon coupon.

Meanwhile, 50 of Luke and Holly's closest friends and family were back at Holly's family lake house preparing for a dramatic flyover.
Early afternoon, all of us gathered friends and family heard the tell-tale whir of a helicopter arriving overhead.

 What did Holly see from high up above?
 Yes, it was "the most dramatic Bachelor proposal yet."

The happy couple joined everyone back at the lake house for an evening of BBQ and fun.
 My sister came in town for the big weekend!
 Our family and a new plus one!

Congrats to the future Mr. and Mrs. Thomas (they freak out every time we say that!).


Friday, July 12, 2013

4th of July

For a change, the weather was somewhat pleasant (when I say pleasant, I mean low 90s and not 100s) for this year's 4th of July.  The milder temps allowed us to enjoy our annual outdoor activities without dripping in sweat.

Last year's parade goers versus this year's parade goers:
Us moms wised up this year with candy bribes.  What were we thinking last year??

I love our neighborhood parade.  It's the perfect combo of tricycle-riding participants, local floats, and high school hipsters rocking out in the back of their dad's pickup truck (we saw two such spectacles).
Precious Charlie and William packed into the wagon for a photo op.
 The parade gang:
Did I mention Palmer had a little candy?
 Yes, he had a little candy.
Our evening was filled with swimming, bounce houses, a great American BBQ buffet, and fireworks at the club with the Burrus family.

Glo stick fun before the fireworks:
 It's getting darker...
And FIREWORK time!
Palmer thought the fireworks were hilarious and kept laughing at each explosion.  It was so fun to share the magic of 4th of July fireworks with him this year.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Perini Ranch

I love to read food blogs and had read in the past about a food and wine festival that happens annually at the Perini Ranch Steakhouse in the sleepy west Texas town of Buffalo Gap.  The likes of chefs Tim Love and Stephan Pyles are regular attendees.

When planning our summer, I aimed for a bunch of weekend trips because it's hard for Rick to get away much during the week.  I wanted Rick to feel like he was having a special summer even if he wasn't taking many weekdays off.

When we are cooped up in the city, there's sometimes nothing better than getting out in the open air.
I thought a quick overnight trip to Perini Ranch might be a fun event, even though we didn't visit during the food festival.
Perini Ranch has a couple of guest houses for overnight visitors.

The guest house was adorably furnished with great antique furniture (which I love!!) and a wrap-around porch perfect for sitting and enjoying the great outdoors.

We also enjoyed lounging on the hammock.
Dinner at the steakhouse was delicious.
However, our highlight might have been after the steak dinner when we saw several deer and wild turkeys walking around outside our ranch house.
 What a scenic and restorative overnight adventure!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


My dear friend Adrienne lives far away.  Way too far away in Doha, Qatar.

Luckily, she spent some time in Houston last week for a little work conference and Palmer and I had the pleasure of bugging her during her evenings, mornings, and lunch breaks.
Palmer and I made the most of our little Houston stay-cation (hmm, is it a stay-cation if we went somewhere. Is Houston somewhere? Anyway...)  The resort had a pool with a splash pad, so that killed time while Adrienne was busy working for the man.
And when Adrienne wasn't working, I made sure to fill her belly with the Texas staples: Blue Bell ice cream, Mexican food, and Scardello cheese.
Since we were already in town, we also capitalized on our journey down I-45 and visited another great friend, Persis, and her family for a few days.

Persis' daughter, Olivia, is about 6 months younger and was quite the hostess during our stay.
And thank goodness for times when you have two iPads loaded with a lot of the same apps.  That means there aren't any fights! (Translation: ridiculous.)
We hit up Gymboree before we left town and had so much fun (even if the teacher strictly told me that Palmer was too old for Olivia's class!).
A little cookie snack on the way home.
We had such fun with friends, but were glad to get back to Rick after the week away.