Too tired, too late

I wrote this post at 12:15pm on Saturday afternoon, not just before midnight as the post will be marked. It is because this is the Friday post, written on Saturday. We had a long week, so long in fact my wife pointed out to me that I couldn’t stay awake after dinner at least two nights this week. But Friday night was good for us because we were looking forward to having a good friend over for dinner.

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Pork loin, stuffed with apples, wrapped in prosciutto, rolled into a puff pastry. Yeah, it’s good.

We invited our friend Jared over for dinner and a few drinks, and we were looking forward to it. We love to host people in our home, but we have not been able to do so often. In fact, I took the opportunity to make something that I have not had any excuse to make, Alton Brown’s Pork Wellington. I love trying new things, but that is not a regular weeknight dinner for two.

The dinner was great. we served out favorite brussel sprouts dish and garlic cheese mashed potatoes. Then we had Lindsey’s killer Guinness brownies. It was an amazing dinner, and we had an even better time talking to and catching up with Jared.

When the evening was over Lindsey and I got into bed, I pulled out the laptop to blog. She was asleep in 30 seconds, and I was only about a minute behind.

We’re still learning how to balance the early mornings, jobs, and time together in the evening. Honestly, I’ve been getting less sleep because I am trying to do too much in a day. Lindsey has to get her sleep and she has been forgoing some things she needs to get done because she needs the sleep. It’s been a great and crazy year, but just so full.

We’re getting better at it. This school year is better than last, and next year will be even better. I think it just takes time.

Go teams!

That’s pretty much how I feel about the Super Bowl. I probably would not have known it was happening this weekend except that the church service we usually attend in the evening was cancelled today, so we had to go in the morning.

But, I do love a good theme and snack food– so, it didn’t take much convincing to get me to a watch party.

After the heart attack I created last weekend, I wanted to make a less deadly sweet. I settled on whole grain cookies with walnuts, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate. Not necessarily a “health” food, but this one didn’t involve 12 sticks of butter, either 😉

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Brian, on the other hand, went back to Garden & Gun, the infamous magazine that inspired the epic cake. He settled on bacon crackers– bacon wrapped around Club crackers, cooked on low heat for a long time. It’s buttery, bacon goodness– what’s not to love?

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We took our treats to a party with our old missional community group. It was wonderful to see everyone and get a chance to catch up. I miss them.

There were also three different snacks wrapped in bacon. Three. Bless the Lord.

Invasion

I’ve mentioned my Missional Community through the Women’s Development Program before. They are dedicated, intelligent, beautiful, loving, and crazy. And they have invaded my life in the best way possible.

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We group text a lot. We’ve had some group texts that I’ve had to edit on my phone because other eyes should never see them. We share our trial and triumphs, our needs and nuttiness.

Yesterday, we had another epic group text fest. I was home taking my temperature every half hour, so I got to participate at a level that I am not able to while teaching. What I loved most about it was that we went from the girls praying about my health, to dessert recipes, to hair stylists, to Super Bowl parties. It was wonderful and random and perfect– a lot like our group 🙂

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These pictures are from our Winter Retreat in December. The second one speaks for itself.

These women invaded my life, but most importantly, they invaded my heart.

Began the year with a win

IMG_3254[1]Brian and I began 2013 at The Heart of Texas Bowl in the old Cotton Bowl Stadium. My husband is a proud graduate of Oklahoma State University and a huge fan of his Cowboys. And though I wore a different shade of orange in college, I make a decent Cowboys fan myself 🙂

We went to the game with some of Brian’s closest friends, Justin and Monica. Justin was the best man at our wedding and he and Brian have a unique relationship. I love these friends and spending the day with them was cold, but great.

The Cowboys creamed Purdue, so we began the year with a win. Then, we drove home to Austin. Well, Brian drove. I napped.

And that’s how 2013 began. Happy New Year and Go Pokes!!!

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Look at my handsome husband and his sexy beard! Woohoo– I’m a blessed woman!

Retreat

This weekend was a good one, mainly for what I learned. I was away at our church’s Men’s Retreat, and I walked away with some great perspectives.

First and foremost, I realized that in 8 months Lindsey and I have truly become one in a way that is hard to understand. I had a great time hanging out with guys I respect and love to be around, but I could not get her out of my head. In the past this is exactly the type of weekend I would have forgot everything and lost myself in the experience and friendship. But now I have a distinct sense of oneness with this woman that won’t let me. And that is a wonderful thing.

Second, I was reminded how blessed I really am to be in the Men’s Development Program with the group I have. I am growing to respect and love these men. I am learning how to be honest, confess my junk, and ask for help. Even better, these guys point me in the right direction every time. It’s a such a good thing, I can’t even describe it fully.

There is more, of course. I was reminded of how great it is to hear Edgar Allan Poe at night in the woods. I realized that I forgot how nice a walk down a county road at night can be. There’s more, but I doubt you would find it as meaningful as I did, so I will leave it there.

The thing that I will walk away with is this, and I would advise any married man of this fact too: we need to love our wives first and best– but one of the best ways to do so is to have strong, committed friends beside you. Their help, insight, commiseration and wisdom is invaluable, and should be treated as such. You need those guys at your side, because a foxhole can be a very lonely place.

A full day

Today was a typically full Saturday for us, but it was a good one too.

The first part of the day was not great though. I woke up several times during the night to deal with the allergic reaction Lola had to one of her meds. To put it politely, let’s say that her digestive system was just 100% broken, and leave it at that. To deal with this, I spent almost two hours at the vet’s office getting her taken care of. An effective anti-nausea injection and a new prescription and we were out the door. She immediately felt better, and was even able to hold down dinner tonight. Very pleased about that outcome.

Lindsey spent sometime getting house stuff done and I ran to the grocery store to get the stuff for Lindsey’s great queso recipe. We made the queso, Lindsey’s sister came over and then we all went to a watch party for the OSU vs. TCU game at our friends Carlton and Lesley’s home. We had a great time watching OSU win after a slow start, and got to see some of our dearest friends.

After that I made fajitas while Lindsey and Mallory watched a movie. We had a good dinner and some sibling time. Mallory left and Lindsey went almost straight to sleep, and I’m not too far behind her.

All in all, great Saturday.

Old friends

Yep, this entry is late. We got home from the party I write about below around 11:30, plenty of time for me to post before midnight. But, when we got home we found a very sick dog. It was a side effect of her meds, but it took a while to clean her up and get everything settled. So, the post is late. Oh well, life happens.

Tonight Lindsey and I were able to celebrate an engagement with some great friends. After a long week it was a welcome rest.

My friend Meaghan is one of my dearest friends. I’m not exactly sure, but I think we have known each other for about seven years or so. Tonight we went to an engagement party, celebrating her upcoming marriage to Steve, a great guy I have known for almost as long.

I have a great group of friends that Meaghan and Steve are a part of. For many years I spent a lot of time with them, drank a fair amount of beer, and had a couple of great early Thanksgiving dinners with them. Erin, Mike, Melissa, Rich, Blaire, and Meaghan have been a huge influence on me, and I am very grateful. But life, as it often does, took us all in different directions. Most of those folks have moved from Austin, and those of us still here just don’t see each other that much. It’s sad, but it is also a sign of growing older and changing.

However, there is still deep affection between us all, and it was very evident in just the few hours some of that group spent together tonight. They were all at our wedding, but I didn’t get to spend much time hanging out with them, so tonight was a great chance. We told old stories, new stories, and caught up. Driving away I told Lindsey how much I missed them, and how grateful I really am for having all of these folks in my life. The wedding in a few months will be a blast, and I am really excited for Meaghan and Steve.

Congratulations Meaghan! We’re so happy for you!

A reminder

Tonight Lindsey and I went to the wedding of a good friends of mine from work. I have known my friend Mike and his brother Charlie for almost 10 years, having worked with them all the way back to my days supporting Dell.com. Being there to see Mike get married was really a blessing, and a good reminder that a bunch of people who started out as colleagues have become important friends over the years.

Tonight was also a reminder for Lindsey and I of our wedding, and our vows. It’s really interesting to go to a wedding as a married couple. I used to go to weddings, and honestly, not understand them. I mean, I understood the importance, the meaning, and the certainly the purpose, but I don’t think I really got it. I think now I do, and I think in 10, 20, or 30 years I will get it even more.

There is something great about looking back at our wedding. Comparing where we are to where we were is humbling, as we now understand what we were signing up for. It’s also romantic, as we are reminded of what that day was like.

In this way, I was reminded about the effects of a wedding on a community. The chance to gather, celebrate, and bless a couple is an important communal activity. But, it also serves an important purpose for the guests. For the married couples, it serves as a reminder of their vows, and an encouragement to continue growing in their own relationship. For the unmarried it can serve as a reminder of what’s ahead, a pointer to their own marriage one day. Sure, these two things are not always in the minds of guests, but I think it’s pretty that marriage serves this function in our society and history.

So, tonight Lindsey and I hung out with friends, celebrated a new marriage, and reflected on our own. It’s not a bad way to spend a Saturday night, especially with the hot blonde I had on my arm.

Looking towards the weekend…

We had a good week. Lindsey had a busy week again, but there were some victories that made it worth it. I had a major deliverable due, as a draft, and I am quite happy with where it is at. A bit of work over the next few days and I’ll be in great shape. So, with that behind us we are looking forward to a good weekend.

It started off today after work with a birthday happy hour with some folks from church, and then a great dinner at an old favorite, Hyde Park Grill. It was really good to spend time with friends and relax. Tomorrow we have the farmer’s market in the morning, Lindsey will get some sisterly-bonding in while I work, and then a six months married celebratory dinner at Uchiko. It will be a sorely needed day of things we love, well, except for my work.

Sunday will be church, and some good alone time. We need this kind of weekend, we really do.