July 29, 2011

An "I'm a terrible mother" moment...

Luckily, I haven't had one of these moments in a while. A point where something happens and I think "Am I a terrible mother?". Well, yesterday, unfortunately, I had one of those moments...

It's been an absolute hell of a week with work. I've been beyond buried with deadlines. Deadlines that I wasn't sure and I'm still not sure I'll get done. Yesterday was a big day to really make some headway so I could leave today to tie up some of the final edits to get a report out to a client. Then it happened! My phone rang and Nursery popped up. I knew it was about Gaines as he had been running a slight fever earlier that morning (I blamed the fever on a new tooth, pumped some Motrin into the baby boy and sent him off to school). As I was cranking along finally making some good progress on my report, the first thought that went through my head was "Maybe I just don't answer it". Then I quickly realized this is absolutely not the right thing to do. So I answered. And, yes, Gainesy was running a high fever and they asked me to come pick him up.

Oh hell! I went into complete panic mode. The first thought that popped in my head was "If I leave now, there is no way I'll have enough hours to get this report done". What do I do??? I have so much work to do and this is setting me back. What do I do??? I couldn't call Clay because he too had a huge deadline and took one for the team Wednesday night to let me work. What do I do??? Seriously, what do I do??? I thought maybe I'll just work for another 45 minutes and then go grab him. Then it hit me...."OMG...Am I a terrible mother or what?!?!?!?!?". Here I am choosing work over my sick child. This is horrible. Why would I ever consider doing this and then I had this thought...

I stopped what I was doing immediately! I sent an instant message to a work colleague and did something I've never done before...ever....I asked for help! As I was asking for help, I was apologizing profusely and telling her how much I appreciate her helping me under the circumstances. Her comment to me was...

Amy: Thanks so much for your help. I really can't thank you enough.
Work friend: No problem. And by the way, baby first, job second. I'm here to help. I don't have any babies except Homer and he's a dog so it doesn't count
Amy: I know...it's so bad that automatically I feel the need to deal with the job. He's in really good hands up there though.
Work friend: I know. I also understand. Our job can eat us up sometimes.

So, with the help of a work friend, I put my baby boy first (which I should instinctively do right?!?!?) and went to pick him up. When I got home, I put Gaines in the baby swing (which he's way too big for BTW) in hopes that he would be content and let me work for a bit. I couldn't believe I was still doing it...choosing work...but I had so much to get done. Then, once again, I had another "I'm a terrible mother" moment. I immediately stopped what I was doing and gave my full attention to Gaines for the rest of the afternoon.

Later that day, after having all these "I'm a terrible mother" moments, I loved that I received this email from my sweet aunt.

I luv ur blog. U need to be a "writer".... I so wish I could take a "bite" out of G & L cheeks... They are adorable... I do mean this... u r great parents.. U and Clay are definite "soul mates"; u both are so talented and keep the challenges going... Luv u both, Your aunt in Plano.

Perfect timing Linda. Thanks for the message! I needed it yesterday more than any other day.

Ok. Off to get this big deadline done (Will I get it done???). Hope yall all have a fab weekend!!! Toodaloo!

July 28, 2011

Photographer in the making????

If your toddler is anything like mine, they probably love to play with cameras not realizing that a camera is actually not a "play thing". Lola has had her time with our Canon Elf snapping pictures (See photos below). Of course, I always fear she's going to break something on the camera or change some setting which I'll never be able to reset again (Like she's done with my blackberry every time she gets her little hands on it...one time it was so bad AT&T couldn't even figure out what she did and I had to order a new one...) or delete photos, etc. We have several trips coming up so I thought it was a perfect time to get Lola a camera of her own. After researching, I think this Holga Camera is absolutely perfect for her.
Why this camera?!?!?! 1) Because it's plastic and I think a toddler camera should only be plastic for obvious reasons. 2) Because it's only $29.99 for black or $48.00 for colored - I ordered Lo's in turquoise and it's absolutely adorable! and 3) Because it takes film. I know in our digital world this sounds weird but I think it will be fun for Lo to snap her pictures and then we can take a special trip to CVS to get the film developed. She'll love seeing the pictures printed out. Yes, you can do this with a digital camera too but I think it will be a better experience using the old school film method.

Here are some of Lo's photography moments:

I would say she has a pretty good eye...wouldn't you?!?!?! This should be interesting to say the least but we'll have a ton of fun in the process!

July 27, 2011

The playhouse of all playhouses...

How fabulous is this playhouse designed by the Slovenian firm Ravnikar Potokar.

Our neighbors grand-kids will frolic in their big beautiful back yard and they'll run over to their playhouse that backs up to our yard and will play for hours. Although it's just kids playing, it seems so magical. Who knows what goes on in the playhouse or what's going through the kids minds. I'm sure their imaginations are taking them to some fantastic place whether it's a tea party with imaginary friends or a superhero tucked away in his home. I've put Clay on a mission to design/build a playhouse for our little guys so one day they too can let their imaginations run wild in their own fabulous playhouse!

July 26, 2011

Summer time fun!

Here are some pics from yesterday of summer time fun out in the sandbox! The kids love being outside....even with this heat. Gainesy also LOVES his sister and wants to do everything she's doing which can result in lots of screams if Lo doesn't want him in her business.

Scenario: Gaines swoops in to play with Lo's sand creation. Lola screams "No Gaines!" and Gaines screams right back because he wants to play too. It's non-stop. I'm glad he loves his big sister so much!

Gaines is always right by Lo's side.

Now he's reaching for something...she's not going to be so happy about this!

I think Lo shooed him away so it' time for him to find something else to play with on his own. What will he find????

Awe. Perfect. A leaf. Gaines loves showing you his finds and handing things to you. He's also big into pointing right now. This leaf will likely be in his mouth shortly.

See! What did I tell ya?!?!?! Leaf in the mouth! Is it good Gaines???

Not so much!

Wish I had more but this is it for today. Big work week ahead of me again...NEED. A. BREAK. ASAP!

July 25, 2011


As you know, one of my 2011 New Year's Resolutions was to read more and boy have I been reading more. I'm not quite sure where I'm finding the time but I'm managing to squeeze it in and I'm loving every minute of it. I've actually been blowing through books weekly so I thought I would send you some of my reads over the past few weeks.

Absolutely LOVED this book and can't wait to start the next one. However, needed to give my brain a break as this series is very intense.

Since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was so intense, I needed to give my brain a rest and went with a fun chick book. I just so happened to pick this one up when I felt I was going through my existential crisis and it made for a fun read.

Clay bought me this one for my birthday. It was an enjoyable read. Not sure it lived up to all the hype but I still recommend it.

And again, I needed a chick book to ease my brain. I pretty much alternate between chick books and serious books. This is why I chose the book below from Lauren Weisberger (author of The Devil Wears Prada). Another great quick read that makes you giggle.

I'm now reading The Help (Yes. I know. I'm the last person on earth who hasn't already read this book. Better late than never) and then I'll move on to Bossypants. Then I'm hoping my brain will be ready for The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Will fill you in on my reviews once I get done! Have a good week!

July 21, 2011

Music festivals that are a MUST!!!

This has been a big year for music festivals and we have really been taking advantage of them. I would say attending music festivals is one of our favorite things to do. Although we've already had a great year of music, I hardly can believe some of the best is still to come. Here are some upcoming festivals we'll be attending. If you too love music festivals, well then these festivals are a MUST!!!

We struggle with ACL. Last year we decided to go with a 1-day pass and we couldn't decide what to do this year. We finally decided to take a risk and we went ahead and bought 3-day passes. Thank goodness our risk paid off because the line-up this year is phenomenal. Some of the featured artists are: Arcade Fire (Already saw once this year and it was fabulous!), My Morning Jacket (love the new album), Bright Eyes (Already saw once this year and can't wait to see them again), Iron & Wine (One of my faves...one of the best shows we went to last year), Cold Play (Say what you will but I like them and excited about this one and hope to catch a glance at Gwenny), Stevie Wonder (random I know but hear great show), Social Distortion, Broken Social Scene (Love...always wanted to see) , Ryan Bingham & the Dead horses, TV on the Radio (Already saw this year but excited to see again), Ray LaMontagne (Already saw this year but will be great to see him in this atmosphere), Kanye West (Yes, I will be at this stage), Old Crow Medicine Show (Already saw this year at the RRT but will go again), Delta Spirit (Already saw this year with their collaborative group...super pumped about this one actually), Allison Krauss & Union Station , Court Yard Hounds...ok...I'll stop...but you get the point...it's going to be a great year for ACL and we're super pumped!

Next up....

The weekend after ACL, we'll be heading back to Marfa for the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love. We'll be camping out at El Cosmico again. The line-up hasn't been announced yet but we hear Patty Griffin is one of the performers and I'm sure Amy Cook will be there too. More to come on this one!


The Utopia Fest is in the West Texas Hill Country. Some of the featured artist at this festival are Blitzen Trapper (one of my faves that I've been dying to see) and Dawes (Will be the 3rd time to see them this year but may as well do it again in a festival atmosphere right!). This is another festival where we'll be camping. This will be our first year to attend this one but it should be fun.

And finally...

The Fun Fun Fun Fest is in Austin the weekend November 5-6. Some like this one better than ACL but I'm not sure about all that. The line-up hasn't been announced yet but will let you know when it is.

So there they are....my recommendation for the must attend music festivals remaining in 2011. Hope to see you there!!!

July 19, 2011

Embrace your inner hipster...

I love my hubby for so many reasons...he's uber talented designer and artist, he's driven, he's super intelligent (like no other trust me), he's a phenomenal father, he's such a fun person, he's passionate about those things he cares about most, he's supportive on all levels...this list could go on and on! But, one of my favorite qualities Clay has is the fact that he is completely "in the know" about all things fashion....especially women's fashion. I'm not sure if it's his past experience with designers like Luca Luca and Gucci or some of the many fashion boutiques he's designed such as Standard Style in Kansas City or the sheik V.O.D boutique in Dallas...regardless...he's definitely "in the know".

This can really be handy for me. I love fashion and Clay always pushes me to take my fashion to the next level. When there is something I'm not so sure about, he'll make sure and push me to take it there. I love this! It's like having my own personal stylist in the house.

This also holds true with my hair-do which technically is an accessory right?!?!? Anyway, around the time Gaines hit 9 months big 35 was looming in my future and I hit yet another major existential crisis. I hadn't lost all my baby weight, I hated my hair and my face looked horrible/old. It was super traumatic for me.

When I hit this point, I didn't linger and allow myself to get all in a funk...I made a decision to do something about it ASAP. First, I was going to run my heart out. And I've been doing this consistently and it's paid off as I'm now officially back to pre-baby weight this week. YEA!!! I would like to lose another 15 lbs to get to my goal weight (which I have not seen since I was 18 years old). I seem to be losing about 1.5 lbs a week so should be there soon. Woohoo!!!

Next, my face! I had to do something about it. Luckily, right when I hit the crisis mode my mom just so happened to have bought me an entire Estee Lauder aging kit (hint,hint,hint...) filled with the face wash, lotions, etc. Let me tell you...it's made a HUGE difference. It's actually amazing the difference it's made! Of course, I went from never washing my face to a routine with a great product so it was pretty easy to show an improvement I guess.

Then, there was the hair-do. The same day I hit my crisis mode, I called my stylist at the totally hip Birds Barbershop and made an emergency appointment. She was able to get me in thank goodness! As I was sitting waiting for her to finish up her client, I sent Clay a text and a series of text messages began...

Amy: Do you think I should cut bangs?
Clay: Cat Power.
Amy: So, that's a "Yes"?
Clay: Cat Power.
Amy: Are you sure?
Clay: Yes. Embrace your inner hipster....

For those of you who don't know Cat Power, she's a fabulous musician that I have a sneaking suspicion Clay has a secret crush on (or maybe it isn't so secret).... Here she is in all her glory.

I loved this! I trusted Clay ....I did it and I have absolutely LOVED "embracing my inner hipster"....

Although not quite Cat Power, the new look has brought out a whole new me!

Of course, with the heat, it's not always feasible to have these bangs in my face which has helped contribute to my obsession with headbands. I have many I love, love, love and anytime I see one that's fun and unique, I'm always open to add it to my collection. Here are some of my faves which I wear daily.

Preview please!

I've also always had this thing with clips and probably always will. I was wearing them when they were cool....I was also wearing them when they weren't so cool....now I think they may be cool again but it doesn't matter because I'll continue wearing them when they are no longer cool. I guess you could say clips are "my thing"! Many times I just throw on a simple old school bobby-pin which is actually my fave but ever so often I'll spice it up. Easy accessory to funk up any outfit.

Please disregard the crows feet which I don't even need to use an arrow to point out as it's so blatantly obvious. The Estee Lauder face wash/lotions can only do so much. I'm thinking they can only be cured with botox. Although I've always said I would never go there, after seeing these pics I may reconsider. EEEK!!!!

I urge you too to embrace your inner hipster. It's an awesome feeling I assure you!

July 18, 2011

It's Camera Time!!!

I finally have Clay on board with buying a better camera. We still have some ongoing debates but I plan to have them solved this week (OCD much!) as we're about to start a travel whirl-wind between now and October and I want to have radical pictures come out of these trips.

The battle: After several discussions with some camera connoisseurs (which even included a professional photographer) the ongoing battle is now between one of the Leica point & shoots or the Canon EOS. We already have a Cannon point & shoot so I'm pulling for the EOS. Since Clay won the last battle (Ummm....Volvo), maybe I'll win this one. You think?!?!?!

It would also be fun to invest in some of these groovy cameras from Urban (Seriously LOVE this store for so many reasons...more to come on this). Unfortunately, although I would love to have a plethora of cameras to play with (or for Clay to play with), it's not in our budget. ARGH...always the budget!!!

How fabulous are these!?!?!?

Clay and Lola came home with this book the other day and have been glancing through getting ready to make there own pinhole camera.

Pretty cool I must say! Off to Kansas City today. Toodaloo!!!

July 15, 2011

Wedding Bliss - Part I

We've been in the middle of wedding bliss. It's fun seeing all the new love birds tie the knot with hopes of having only pure joy together for the rest of their lives (What is it they say????..."until death do us part"...aahhh). After 10 years of marriage, we know marriage is not all joy but at least if it's joyful 95% of the time and you're able to work through the problems then that's a success in my opinion.

We've been to two weddings over the past 6 weeks and have another one still to come. I must debut all the wedding photos including my dream wedding which I found on a fabulous blog that literally makes me want to renew our vowels so we have an excuse to have this exact wedding (Just. Wait. It's AMAZING!). More to come on all this along with a fabulous engagement party for my cousin that was absolutely perfect from every angle. With all the wedding fun surrounding us these days, there will be a few phases to the Wedding Bliss blog postings.

For the Wedding Bliss - Part I post, I thought I would post some pictures of our neighbors, Mark & Ari's, wedding. The wedding was in South Austin at a groovy place called Mercury Hall. A perfect fit for our very laid back totally hip neighbor friends. I loved that the ceremony was far from traditional. It took place outside under huge oak trees and was perfect. The bride & groom had each of their parents present a poem which was all very touching. After the ceremony, we hear the reception was a blast....drinking, dancing, pinatas...an all night party. Unfortunately, we weren't able to stay long as it was close to Lola and Gaines' bedtime and they were getting fussilicious. Considering we were the only ones there with young kiddos, we figured we wouldn't spoil every one's fun with a couple of crying kids and made the decision to head out early.

Here we all are before the wedding. THANK GOODNESS for my anthro dress I bought for the Miami bound wedding because it's been well worth the money so far.

Look at the Twinkies! Clay asked if I planned this. I would like to say I did but I actually didn't. However, I absolutely love how their outfits turned out. Too cute! We'll have to make sure to coordinate these outfits together again.

My adorable little Gainesy. OH....he is the love of my life (other than my fab hubby and beautiful daughter). I would love to give him a big kiss right now!
This is the new face he loves to make. Always makes me laugh when he scrunches his little button nose up like this.
I'll take this smile any day! Lola absolutely LOVED the wedding. When we were heading there she asked if Ari would be wearing a crown. She was completely enthralled when Ari came walking down the aisle in her wedding dress and veil. She was a beautiful bride!
After the ceremony, sweet Ari gave Lola her bridal bouquet which was very special for Lola. She carried them around proudly for the rest of the evening!

That's it for today but hope to be back soon with more wedding fun. Weddings really do make me happy. I'm off to Kansas City on Monday but will be back soon with more updates!

Happy Weekend (Can't believe we finally made it here...too bad I have lots of work to get done this weekend not to mention a house to get in order....ARGH ARGH ARGH)!

July 14, 2011

Stella Sale!

Gotta love Stella! I know I do. I keep waiting for her to design another line for Gap. It was so adorable and I still try to cram Lola in some of those outfits even though they are size 18 - 24 months!!! Anyway, since there likely won't be another line at Gap for a while (or at least not this season), I'm pretty pumped that she's having a 50% off sale on her original line. Check it out!!!

Back tomorrow with pics/updates of the kiddos. Sorry I've been bad with this lately...you know...camera/upload issues. ARGH!!!