Sunshine & macaroons
Nicholas' family came to Austin to visit this past week. Initially, it was just going to be a "girl's weekend," but then it turned into a week, and then his dad surprised us by leaving at three in the morning and driving the 17 hours with their two sweet dogs in order to spend the week with us. We didn't know he was coming until we heard a knock on the door. It was such a sweet surprise! These were some of my favorite parts of the visit:
Walking around downtown and tasting macaroons:
Visiting Inks Lake State Park: with blooming cacti, hiking, carrying around out littlest explorers (the dogs, of course), picnicking, reapplying sunscreen like it was my job, scrambling over rocks, cliff jumping(!), and Sonic milkshakes on the way home.
Supper out, and a walk around the restaurant's neighborhood, watching for fireflies at dusk.
We lounged at home, and Teddy/Ted/Tedbear (the lighter-colored pup) slept in our bed every night.
The rest of the week, we ate tacos and barbecue and ice cream, relaxed by the pool, played dominoes and rummikub, picked out sunglasses in the Warby Parker bus, and drank quite a lot of coffee.
On the last day, Nicholas' parents left early in the morning to drive back to Indiana, and Nicholas worked, so I spent the whole day with my sister-in-law, Katelyn. We went thrifting, and visited Gourdough's and Seventh Flag coffee, but also saw some new-to-me Austin sights, like Hope Outdoor Gallery. And that evening the three of us went out for our favorite pizza, and then coffee on the lake.
All told, it was such a wonderful week. Whenever we see either of our families, it is really hard to say goodbye and transition back to loving from afar. This week left us with anticipation for the next time we visit, or the next time we host. But most of all, this week left us with happy hearts.
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
More green than the sky: A July beach day
A few weeks ago, our little family of four made plans with my father- and sister-in-law for an early Saturday morning at the Lake. When we arrived in the eight o'clock hour, it was breezy, in the low seventies. At this particular beach and time of day, we had our pick of spots; only a few families were there before us. I chose a spot pretty close to the water and Coop dumped out his new beach toys out of his mesh bag and got busy building and digging. Soon enough, Nicholas, who had been parking the truck, and my SIL and FIL joined us.