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.
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.
Here we are, on the very cusp of July, and I've neglected to share about our garden. Nicholas and I had a plot at a community garden when we were engaged back in 2013, but we haven't had a vegetable garden since—until this year, that is. I wanted to share a bit about our garden this year: what we're growing, how we're growing it, and how it's going so far.
If you missed my last post, I shared about the passing of my beautiful mother-in-law. I don't want to continue on in a "business as usual" style, nor do I want to neglect to share about joyful things in our life. Again and again, I'm learning that grief and joy coexist in this life. And what a grace that is! Grief can highlight the joy, make it more precious in my eyes. And so, I wanted to share about a little day trip I took with my SIL, Katelyn, Cooper, and Finn back in mid-May, since it was a good thing, a sweet day spent with some of my very favorite people.