Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mac and Me

So....I did it!  I joined the Mac family tonight.  I've been hemming and hawing about getting a Mac for a while now, and finally bit the bullet.  I originally walked into the Apple store thinking that I was going to get a MacBook Pro, but ended up with a shiny new 24" iMac - woohoo!!

I wasn't upsold, since I wanted everything that he told me about....but I ended up getting the best of the best, so this thing should last me a good 12 months.....kidding!!  It better last me a LOT longer than that.....but I'm a very proud, and happy, owner. 

I already had my own private personal Apple mentor (Brett) show me the ropes, get me all setup with the best tools and gadgets, teach me the keyboard shortcuts, and I'm ready to have a bonfire in honor of my old Vostro.  Hee hee!!

I think that Brett was more proud to get this moment captured on film than I was....but I gladly smiled for the photo opportunity.

So....if anyone wants to get me anything for Christmas, I have a few software titles to add to my new collection if you're curious.  :)  I'll start my list tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Few Local Hotspots

Brett is back in Austin visiting for the upcoming, today, we met Laura, Ava, and Aunt Beth for lunch at a local favorite, Top Notch. The owner recently passed away, and the restaurant closed for a short time because it was feared that the secret recipe went with him....but a short time afterwards, it was announced that Top Notch would reopen. Thank goodness for all...I hadn't ever been there either!

It was so packed that we had to wait for cars that were trying to exit the parking lot, and go around the ones that were desperately trying to find spots in the grass. It was worth the wait, in line inside too.....yummy stuff!

I took Brett to another local favorite spot for dinner....and a movie. We met Toni and Scott at Alamo Drafthouse to see 007 Quantum of Solace tonight. The opening scene almost had too much action to pay attention to, but we made it through, and all gave it thumbs up!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Flying Again

I love to fly! Not on planes, although I don't much mind that either....I'm talking about flying through the air with the greatest of ease....TRAPEZE!!

I went twice in the Spring. About a week ago, I learned from Danielle, that the trapeze folks were back at The Crossings in Austin!!! She and I made plans, almost immediately, to go once more while they were still here. One of her buddies, Mike, joined us too.

This time we had a full class....9 people were excited to fly!! 4 of the folks in our class were in town visiting Grandma....4 kids all under 14, and they were awesome. The littlest one was soooo stinking cute....and talk about flying?!?! When you only weigh about 60 pounds...yeah, you REALLY fly! They were all great, and made it such a different, and fun, experience this time. Also joining for their first flights were Jim and Phil.

Danielle and I each got about 6 flies.....yippee!! I tried another new "trick" this time. I didn't much enjoy the split last time, so this go round I opted for a Straddle Wick. This was MUCH easier, and not so bad on my back.

After 4 practice rounds, we got to try the catches - woohoo!! That is really the most fun - heehee! Every single person in our class nailed the catch....twice!!

It's such an awesome experience, and just makes your whole body smile. I'm sure it'll make our bodies all a little sore tomorrow....but it's all worth it!

Check out the video....hit play below. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ava's Birthday Story

"Ba-by an-i-mals" and "Doo-dle-bug" have been Ava's responses to the question, "Ava, who is coming to your party?", all week. It's even cuter when said in her adorable little 2 year old voice.

Laura, along with help from friends and family, threw an amazing party to celebrate Ava's 2nd birthday. The backyard was full of excitement, lots of running kids, a few animals, a clown with face paints and balloons, lots of laughter, and so much more.

Happy birthday Miss Ava!!! :)

Check out all the action in the slideshow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Give me a T! Give me an A! Give me a Y! .......

My youngest sister, Taylor, is almost half way through her 5th year of teaching 6th, 7th AND 8th grade Math at Fort Settlement Middle School in Sugar Land, TX. For the last 3 years, she's been nominated by her peers for Teacher of the Year (wow!).

She's a fantastic teacher and loves what she does...although, she's also a very humble person who just loves doing her job for what it is, and isn't very comfortable "tooting her own horn". Each year there is an interview process for determining who will receive the title, and that part has always kind of freaked her out (understandably so....who ever likes interviews??).

Well, from what I've gathered, this year, they did something a little different, and also added an essay portion to the process. Well, evidently, Taylor's love for her job, her students, and what she does each and every day, hit home with the people making the decision.

Please join me in congratulating Taylor for being named "Teacher of the Year"!!! We're all so proud of her!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Will Sing at La Zona Rosa

I just got back from the most amazing night at La Zona Rosa. Lake Hills had a night of worship, We Will Sing, and I can't even put together words to explain how great it was. God definitely showed up tonight, and man, he is powerful and awesome. Man, I seriously wish I was a writer....well, not really, but I just wish that I had better words than awesome, great, and amazing to use to share with you all this evening.

I am so thankful that I am where I am, and for the events that in my life that got me here.

That's all. Anything else I might even try to say wouldn't even come close to how I'm feeling right now.

I'll invite my Austin friends to join me on Sunday at 11am for a new series from Mac. Holiday Homecoming.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Michaud Family Story

I spent some quality time on Sunday afternoon with the Tricia, Dan and Hudson. We hit up a couple spots with the whole family, and then we had let Dan excuse himself so we could get a little messy with Hudson. Mom wanted to get some pics for his upcoming 1st birthday, so we had some good times with his "smash cake". Trust us, Dad, it's a good thing you weren't there. I'm not going to lie, it got a little ugly with the icing. :)

Thank you Tricia! You and your family are wonderful, and I hope you love your story.

Be sure to check out the slideshow also!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Castro Family Story

I was so excited to finally get to meet Tatum on Saturday afternoon (I can't believe she is 9 months old already), and see all of the Castro family again. These little guys were so great! Dylan with his hat, belt buckle, and boots....kills me - he's the cutest cowboy I've seen!! We had a great time exploring his ranch...Avery Ranch, that is. :)

Don't forget to check out the slideshow!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keeping Austin Awesome

Lora and Nita were in Austin for the afternoon and evening, showing Siobhan (all the way from Ireland) the pretty part of Texas. Ok, Houston folk, don't get all up in arms....those were Lora's words!! Anyways...she'll be staying in Houston for a week with Lora, so she'll get to more than experience it too during her stay. She can make her own decision on which is prettier. :)

I met the girls for a little yummy din din at South Congress Cafe after my two (awesome) photoshoots for the day. Yes, I know, it seems that is where I always end up eating downtown....hush, it's one of my favorites. While I looked over the menu for a good 10 minutes, I ended up ordering the same exact thing that I do every time. Well, we all ate it actually. We split crab cakes, 2 salads, and 2 servings of my favorite entree....the perfect way to dine with friends! Get to try a little bit of everything and not get too stuffed!

After dinner, I wanted to take the girls to the famous Austin postcard. We managed to get a parking spot in the perfect spot to balance the camera for a timer shot. :) When you can get a photo framed like that on your own, who needs a passerby to help?

We hit up a few spots on West 6th afterwards. The fine folks in Austin were definitely "keeping it weird" during many parts of the evening......but that provided much entertainment for some great laughs with the girls!

The Miller Family Story

The first thing that popped into my head when the Miller family got out of their car this morning was "Wow, this family has style!". I loved their black and red outfit coordination. Today was our first snap of chilly weather in Austin, and they were dressed the part!

The kids, twins, Heather and Dylan, were not only scrumptiously adorable....they were such a blast and up for anything!! I think that they definitely did some smile practicing before coming to meet me this morning - they were pros. Dylan said that Heather got her smile from her grandma, but I think that they both must have gotten it from Dad. He was grinning the whole time too.

Thank you, Virginia, for the fantastic time this morning with your family. I hope you enjoy your story.

Be sure to check out the slideshow too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mighty Fine Wednesday Night

Tonight I got my grub on at Mighty Fine with Laura and Ava. We had hamburgers, fries and vanilla shakes - yummm!!!

Afterwards, I did my best trying to find a replacement for my favorite pair of shoes. I realized this afternoon that they might be on their way to retirement. I couldn't find my size in them anywhere online today, so thought that we'd give DSW a try. I even have 2 $10 coupons! How disappointing that I couldn't find anything....and even couldn't find anything else that caught my eye. Guess I'll just save my $$ for the 16-35mm lens instead. :)

Anyone want to trade me $15 for my $20 to DSW?? Hey - you gotta try, right?

I'm now sitting here in my computer chair, Molly purring so loud in my is a mighty fine night indeed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Special Moment for Jeff and Renae

I was honored to be invited to witness Jeff and Renae's Baptism on Sunday along with family, friends, and many members of Lake Hills Church.

I put together a slideshow too.