Whenever we have family time, we cherish it. So this past week, when Nicholas' parents and his sister (and their two pups!) came to visit, we were thrilled. We stayed in and around Austin for the most part, visiting local restaurants and parks and devoting time to puppy snuggling.
We ate, we drank coffee, & we did a bit of shopping. More specifically:
- Breakfasts: scrambled eggs and toast, bagels, or cereal and fruit, most days
- Lunches: Rudy's BBQ (a classic), Torchy's Tacos (a favorite), Flower Child (another favorite), and lunch at home between hikes, and packed sandwiches, eaten at a trailhead.
- Suppers: neapolitan pizza from The Backspace for Mother's Day dinner, Flower Child (we ate their food twice), and Picnik
- Ice cream: Lick Honest Ice Creams, a little side walk shop for twist cones
- Donuts: Round Rock Donuts
- Iced mochas and coffee: Thunderbird and Caffe Medici
- Shopping: trips to the outlet mall, LUSH, and REI
We visited parks and hiked, specifically:
- Day hikes, within 30 minutes of home: St. Edward's Park, Walnut Creek, and another park close to home that has a great dog park
- another Day hike, requiring (a beautiful!) drive through Hill Country, and well worth it for the vistas: Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Some other of my favorite, less-categorizable bits of the week:
- face masks + foot baths + hand scrubs for an at-home spa night
- laughing until I cry with my sister-in-law, Katelyn
- guessing mid- and late-2000's bands from the first few seconds of a song
- wearing our chacos + sunglasses + sunscreen every day
- chaco tan lines
- making crispy orange shrimp & roasted brussel sprouts with Katelyn for a family dinner
- a big breakfast at home
- hiking directly in the creek bed to cool our feet off
- potato chips on sandwiches
- watching The Office
- ice cream with sprinkles
- snacking on KIND granola
- playing Ticket to Ride
- Katelyn sleeping on our couch, which made every night like a sleepover
- and about a million moments of puppies sitting on our laps (can you tell that one pup in particular likes to be on a lap as much as possible? ;) Teddy and Nicholas are the best of buddies.
It was a really, really wonderful, restful week. We love you guys and can't wait for the next time we get to do a bit of life together!
Fall feels like a number of transitions, one right after the other. We are now bridging into late fall, with lots of frost in the mornings, first sightings of bare trees, and darker, cozier evenings at home. Of course, there is talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon too, along with early preparations for those. I do tend to be swept by the momentum of this season, if I'm not careful. I'll admit that Christmas music accompanies us throughout the day sometimes, and I've already done most of our shopping, but I do want to be intentional to savor the almost-but-not-yet. To not wish away November and it's baring of trees in favor of the glow of Thanksgiving and Christmastime. There is great beauty and contentment in this month, as well. I don't want to miss it.
We've taken to a regular "cozy hike," as we've termed it. A nearly wooded path, my favorite spot for fall color, a wagon, an eager toddler, a cozy blanket, and snacks. I look for the bright red leaves, since those are a favorite for both of us. And we also look for acorns and pinecones, treasures on the ground.
I'm typically in a rush to wish away the hot days of summer, to exchange them for cozy days, sweater season, cool mornings. I'm an optimist, and that optimism frequently couples itself with being future minded. Constantly looking forward with hope, but also sometimes looking forward with misplaced longing that can inhibit me from being present. But this past weekend, the events of both days were lovely, and being present felt easy and good.