Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm pro-cras-ti-nat-ing, dee-dee-dee...

(note... read the title of the post to the tune of 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...)

Hey yall. I've been meaning to update for awhile, because I have some crazy news that is totally blog-worthy. But, what say ye? Have I no time to post?

Why yes, it's true. If you've been keeping up with me on facebook or twitter, you know that I'm officially doing NaNoWriMo... or National Novel Writing Month. I've had an idea for a novel for awhile now, and lo, has it been written? NO! So, I'm dedicating November to writing my novel. At least getting me disciplined to write my novel.

Problem: It's really hard. Really really hard. I suppose it's just part of the process of getting in the habit again, but somehow I remembered writing in college being a lot easier. Maybe it was the adderall. Maybe.

Anyway, with any luck I'll make some more posts that you know, are informative. In the meantime though, the silence on my end, is really just the sound of the keyboard clicking away in Microsoft Word.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big Changes

As I said in our last post, we felt the need to squeeze in the last bit of summer before.....

Arthur started his new job!

Earlier in the summer our good friend Paul introduced Arthur to his team at AT&T and the slow process of hiring began! After about a month, we can safely say that Arthur really enjoys his new employee, his team and the type of work he does.

One thing that we had to do was revamp his work wardrobe-- he was specifically asked to wear shirt and tie everyday-- and neither of us mind. Arthur really enjoys dressing up for work and I don't mind in the slightest-- he looks good!

On his first day of the new job! And his new job has facilitated other new changes to be announced soon...

South Padre Trip

In the middle of Dad being in the hospital, we went to the beach. It wasn't an all of the sudden pick up and go thing-- we had planned this little vaycay for at least a month. Arthur is a beach person and has to go during the summer. So we went with our friends Justin and Michele and met up with Dorothy and Aaron and their friends Dave and Carlo-- who graciously hosted us.

And you know what? It was the perfect thing. There was nothing I could do for my dad or my family because we were 8 hours away at the beach. It made me realize that there is so much out of my control and that I need to chill. And take time for me.

Michele being a goof on the ride down.

We stayed at Carlo's house. Now, when friends invite you to a beach house, in my mind, a sandy shack appears, and I expect to rough it for the weekend. Not this time. I was floored by the beauty and decor of Carlo's beach house-- which has now set the standard for all beach houses in my mind. A few of my favorites:

Really cool mirror in the master bath.

Kitchen that I would take in any house.

Great mix of traditional, modern and beachy things-- it felt like we were staying in a great house that happened to be at the beach.

It was SO relaxing. I only really hit the beach for one day and even though I shade bathed (there is such a thing, and yes there is photographic evidence) for a good chunk of that time, I still got burned. So I also did a lot of reading, sleeping and general vegetation...

The burnt and fried crowd takes refuge.

We had a great time out at dinner one night...

And goofing around on the pier afterwards. The second night we cooked in, after a trip to walmart. And hey:

Wal-mart does get trashier when it's pink.

Overall it was a great trip and a great way to finish out the summer. Thanks Dorothy, Aaron and Carlo!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Tuesday that wasn't the best ever...

Some of you may or may not be friends with my dad on Facebook. For those of you who aren't, all you're missing out on is post after post of training updates. That's what my Dad does: he trains for triathlons. Which means he does a lot of running, swimming and biking.

Tuesday about two weeks ago I was standing in Target debating what chocolate to buy for my visiting teacher. My phone rings, and from the ringtone, I can tell it is a family member. (all immediate family members get Robert Earl keen's "Merry Christmas from the family" as their distinctive ringtone. It's very effective in rushing to the phone or screening a call.) I pick up the phone expecting to hear my father's voice.

But it's not my dad. It's a woman's voice.

"Hi Jessica, you don't know me but I am with your father and he has been in a bike accident."

Our family friend Kazuyoshi got my dad a road ID for christmas. Its this little wristband with my dad's name, and three contacts of people he knows. We never thought we would ever need to use it. We were wrong.

In the less than a minute phone call, the woman tells me where my dad's accident is, and that they have called 911, EMS is on the way and that I should go straight to the hospital downtown that specializes in Trauma. All I can say is ok. One of the last things she tells me, is that, "He is still with us."

I power walk through target and when my feet hit the parking lot, I break into a run.

While driving faster than I have ever driven in Austin, I also manage to dial and speak with no less than 3 family members and a home teacher. After I get off the phone and have at least 20 minutes left to the hospital (which I made it to in 10 FYI), I pray like crazy. I do not want my Dad to die.

You see, for having a world-famous cycling athlete call Austin home, and for having some really great roads on which both professionals and amateur enthusiast cyclists can train, Austin's culture and road works are actually not that biker friendly. People in cars drive like they own every inch of asphalt. New and renovated roads are built without shoulders. I've witnessed people clip bikers and keep driving like they did nothing. Sadly, many bikers die every year in Austin from traffic accidents-- and to help bring awareness to how many people lose their lives on Austin's streets-- the ghost bike campaign was set up. White bicycles are set up at sites where people lost their lives while cycling in Austin. My stomach churns every time I see a ghost bike around town. As I'm driving, all I can think about is if Austin will have to add another ghost bike.

Once I get to the hospital though, correct information is dispersed and I can breathe easier: Dad was injured, but not fatally. He doesn't have a head or spine injury. Just maybe some broken bones.

Make that 9 broken ribs, a punctured lung and some serious road rash: (WARNING: really graphic photos below)

Dad thinks he hit something, or something hit him: either way it sent him flying superman style, into the air. He had enough time to roll and brace himself and he landed flush on his right side and slid a few feet. Although there was literally no one to witness and call in the accident (the woman who called me, found my dad on the side of the road 10-15 minutes later), after driving by the site several times, I have no doubt he was hit by a car. It makes me angry enough to start a campaign in Austin with red bikes for every serious injury caused by a bike and car interaction.

A week, some serious meds, and some amazing drug-induced quotes later my Dad was able to come home. I'm so happy that he's doing so well, and that he's here with us.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Are you on Instagram? I have to say, it's one of my favorite apps. Find me and we'll be friends.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the decision: gluten free and me

So earlier this year, Arthur and I went on this diet called the paleo diet or the paleo solution. Or in other words, the caveman diet. Eat like a caveman-- basically vegetables and meat. We ate a lot of guacamole and rotisserie chicken. And it lasted about three weeks.

The first time we cheated on this diet, we both had rushed home to feed the missionaries and ordered a pizza. I had a piece. And about an hour later-- I sat on the couch, clutching my stomach thinking, "I am going to die."

That experience put the idea in my head: maybe, just maybe I was allergic to something I had eaten. The contents of pizza aren't that rare or unique-- I started paying attention as I ate things: what made me feel good? What made me feel bad? Even though I had an idea as to what I was allergic to most of this summer, I just didn't want to face facts-- it would require a major life change.

But then towards the end of July, I had to go to the doctor. I've been facing some major hormonal issues lately and even though we don't have health insurance, I've been so frustrated that I felt I needed to go to the doctor. (if you're really curious as to what's going on, shoot me a message, I'll tell you.) and it was at the doctor that I was told for the first time ever, you have to lose weight and get in shape.

So I figured, what better time to test my food allergy? At the beginning of August, I stopped eating anything with wheat in it.

Why wheat? Well, if we go back to the pizza incident-- I hardly ever ate pepperoni. Cheese and other dairy never bothered me. I liked the taste of tomatoes and other fruit. What was left was the crust.

And for the rest of the summer, I took mental notes every time I ate something with wheat in it. And the result? Cranky, tired, sluggish, bloated, angry Jessica. Every. Single. Time.

So, after the doc laid down the law, I figured, why not try it out? And so I started to eat gluten free.

Changed my life!

I can't tell you what a difference I feel-- I haven't had this much energy in years. Literally the words, "I'm tired," have been coming out of my mouth 3 to 4 times a day since I was eighteen, no matter how much rest I had gotten or how much diet coke I had pumped into my system.

And you know what? It's not that hard to do, that is eat gluten free. Once you have a slip up and eat something with gluten in it once, and then an hour later, double over in pain, you avoid gluten like the plague. I don't ever feel tempted to eat cookies, or cake or ice cream. (yes, lots of different types of ice cream have wheat products in them) Who wants a fruit bar? This girl.

It's the start of something really good for me (I can feel it) and I just wanted to share. and to prepare y'all: Any recipe I'm sharing in the future will be gluten free.

Oh and Wendy, p.s.-- I gave up diet coke. In June! Holla!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trip to Utah

At the beginning of July I took a weekend and headed up to Utah. It was a last minute decision made possible by my sister in law's father who was able to get me a buddy pass on the airline he works for. So grateful!

But why did I take a weekend? One reason: Friends.

(I look so goofy in this pic!)

My closest friends from college were getting together and I just didn't want to miss out. As much as I like my friends that I've made here in Austin since living and getting married here, the bond that you share with girls who you were single with is unlike any other. If someday in the eternities, if it's possible to be next door neighbors, they're the ones I'm picking.

We didn't get enough time together. I wanted to spend way more time catching up, and really getting to know their kids but alas, when your kids are little, there's only so much time you can get. I'd show you some photos, But they aren't my kids. Oh well, the pics will end up in my end of year book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Four weddings, a funeral and a happier me.

Do you have a go to pick me up film? I think I'm one of the few people who does this, but I tend to pick a movie and then for at least a year (sometimes longer) it becomes the film of choice to pick me up when im feeling blue, tired, upset or just bored.

Maybe it's the magic of the movie, drowning out the humdrum of everyday into an alternate reality where naturally, people find their lost loves, end up with the right person, get back on their feet, and win the day so to speak.

In college, my pick me up film was Under the Tuscan Sun. Then it became The new Pride and Prejudice. And then... I didn't have a go to movie for awhile... I don't know why. It just stopped.

Lately, it's been Four Weddings and a Funeral. I love this movie.

I love how it's so 90s. You can have a chance encounter with someone at a wedding, and not see them again-- you don't Facebook them, google them, or text them. You might call them, at home, on your phone. If your supposed to meet up with someone, you can't call to say you'll be late-- you're just late!
Call me crazy, but something about that is so refreshing-- it's the world of the unknown! I sometimes love the thrill of leaving my phone accidentally at home while running errands, and liberatingly, I'm without it for a few hours. It's so freeing! Don't get me wrong, I'm the most connected person out there, (Facebook, twitter, blog, pinterest, & more...) but sometimes its nice to just be alone for awhile.

And it when it comes to romance, again, call me crazy, but I think the less you're connected online, the better it is. It just brings back some of the lost mystique that dating has, you know? I'm super grateful that when my husband and I were dating, we were much more into talking on the phone and seeing each other than we were texting or face booking. (seriously-- I think it's part of the reason I married him.)

But back to the movie: I love it because it's British, and their cuss words just don't seem as bad, and that weddings no matter where you are bring out this side of people that is just interesting. And (SPOILER ALERT) even though the end isn't an ending I approve of in the slightest-- its very 90s to just leave a relationship, an important one at that, extremely open ended and very undefined, I love that "type" of relationship-- is starting to go out of vogue. More and more people I know, Mormon and not Mormon, but my age are settling down, and committing to relationships-- and that's something to smile about.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy 2 years!

This past week we celebrated our two year anniversary. Yea us! It was a lovely year in addition to our first and perhaps flew by at twice the speed!

We celebrated by spending the night at a wellness resort on the north side of Lake Travis. Fear not, we haven't become bizarre hippies who work on our marriage by spending hours sweating it out in yoga. (although we could have if we wanted to at this place) A few months ago, Arthur retweeted a contest giveaway by a local radio station and won a nights stay at Travaasa Austin, a wellness all organic retreat, for persons who proverbially enjoy the smell of their own farts.

Listen, we're not opposed to clean water, lots of trees, or recycling. But when you go to a luxury hotel, and your bathrobe looks like this:

You gotta wonder-- is anyone thinking through anything these days??

I have to say though, we slept like royalty on our all organic bed with all organic bed linens (which were wrinkled on the bed because ironing takes up too much energy...seriously) with AMAZING blackout shades, and the AC turned down low!

The hotel has a variety of rooms and ours was a trail view room--

It felt like we were a million miles from civilization. Tranquil indeed.

On Monday morning after our locally sourced, all organic breakfast (smell your own farts, remember?) we checked out, and treated ourselves to the early bird showing of Super 8. We loved the movie, and loved that we were practically the only people in the theater!

After that we headed down to our favorite nearby small town, Wimberley (we will live there someday....) to swim at the blue hole-- a local spring-fed swimming hole. It was refreshingly cold, and really the perfect way to finish our day.

And to top it all off, my dear sweet husband got me, his silly wife a beautiful anniversary gift-- one that I had spotted on pinterest and whined about frivolously wanting for no good reason other than it's beautiful. Behold:

Measuring cups. So pretty, I don't know what to do with myself.

He really does love me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Arthur!

While this post comes a little late, our celebrations did not. Arthur's birthday rolled around, and since it's the last sacred year before the big 3-0, we kept our celebrations decidedly small, albeit still lovely.

Channeling my inner Martha, for unknown and ludicrous reasons, I decided to wrap Arthur's presents in matching kraft paper, and stamp a pretty, yet still masculine design on the wrapping, and the bag. A paisley will always be masculine will it not? I think so-- paisleys scream smoking jackets, the color burgundy, and everyone's father's ties. I added some pretty but still masculine hunter green raffia to tie everything together. As a side note, remember when hunter green was THE color of the 90s? I was thrilled to visit my local craft shop and find it still stocked.

I suppose I thought that if my little Martha venture was easy enough, I could replicate it at Christmas, and become one of those psychos who have beautiful and entirely matching presents under the tree. Well it was ridiculously hard, and so while I'd like not to, I have an entire roll of kraft paper, which tells me I probably will be stamping and creating my own nauseatingly pretty Christmas wrap. Sorry.

But onto the important parts-- the presents!

Opening with anticipation
A casual, yet classy addition to Arthur's ever-growing wardrobe.
Upon organizing his ties earlier this month, we discovered he had no really good blue tie. Thus, a tie.
Struggling with the wrapping.
A great stupor of thought. Actually, he's just reading the label.  A little known fact about my husband is that he enjoys a good bath. So, I thought, why not stock up on gender neutral bath bubbles so he can stop stealing (and wasting) my body wash? Not self-serving in the slightest.
Showing off his latest wares.
His last gift came a few days later, because it was bought via the intertubes, on A nifty little cord that goes from your iphone to your car's computer. With a couple of free apps, Arthur can now drive around town and get his exact mpg, oxygen intake, and other important car facts, as well as decipher what those annoying codes mean. Nifty huh? He was thrilled.

Happy Birthday my love. You mean the world to me.