Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday in Austin

Saturday started with (sleeping in and then) breakfast at Juan in a Million (get it!?).  They have a breakfast burrito they will pay YOU to eat ... and it's a LOT of burrito.  Our server immediately brought out a basket of chips with salsa.  I never in a million years would have eaten chips and salsa with breakfast before living in Texas!  This place is totally in the barrio of Austin and was so authentic and DELICIOUS!!

After breakfast, we headed to the Hunger Games movie (for which I had bought tickets a week early just to be sure we had seats).  The movie was great, but I'm so glad that I had already read the book.  Olivia says she wants to read the book, but there's just so much violence that I'm not sure she's ready for it.  We'll see if she pushes the issue; I think she's just curious because of all the movie hype.

Wendy and Jim came from Houston to spend Saturday night with us.  We found the Old School Bar & Grill and headed upstairs to their outside patio.  It was great to catch up and hear everybody's latest news. 

The Guys at Olive and June

The Girls at Olive & June (someone figured out the flash!)

Our dinner at Olive and June may be one of the best meals I've ever eaten.  We ate on the outside deck, under a giant oak tree filled with little white lights; the weather was perfect; our waitress knew the menu and had great suggestions, but she wasn't all up in our business; and the food was TO DIE FOR.  I had the Escarole salad with pancetta and a fresh farm egg, the Suppli (a small bite of saffron risotto mozzarella), and Mezzalune (butternut squash,mostarda,sage).
Like their menu says:

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one hasn't eaten well.
(Virginia Wolf)

And we ate well that night!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Keeping It Weird" in Austin

Okay, so we didn't exactly 'Keep It Weird' (Austin's city motto), but we did have a great visit with dear friends from Houston.  Gay & Don picked us up from the airport and, after checking in at the hotel, we walked to dinner at La Condesa.  

Our waiter really seemed to know the menu and even convinced us to try sweetbreads.  Gay won for best meal of the night.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel via 6th Street, which wasn't exactly hopping quite yet.  I'm afraid we were on the way older/tamer side of things in Austin.  But, we did stop for a beer on the rooftop bar at the Iron Cactus.

R&R at the Lake

I bought McIver a tub of worms so he could go fishing.  Olivia shocked me by saying she wanted to fish, too.  (The caveat was that Will was studying and I was doing stuff inside so they had to handle the whole process by themselves.)

Okay, so I stopped what I was doing long enough to take some pictures.

Olivia caught the first (two) fish!

McIver took it off the hook for her.

Then, the crazy fools decided to get out the kayaks.  The weather was warm, but I thought they had lost their minds ... that water was still freeeeezing!

They weren't the least bit concerned.



Cruising at sunset.  I do wonder what they were talking about.

Will is studying for his oral GynOnc boards ... if you've got to study, you might as well study at the lake.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Work Day at the Lake

Once the grands cleared out, we got to work on tearing down the wall surrounding the air conditioning unit at the lake.  We've got a plan for some landscaping and felt like putting shrubbery around the unit would hide it better than the wall.


McIver was WAY into slinging the sledgehammer and pushing the wall down.

My girl can tear down a wall.  She was so excited to help on these projects.

A ton of bricks.

Still doesn't look good, but it will!

The basement ended up being a project for Olivia and me.  She worked so hard scrubbing and rinsing the floor down there.  It was covered in red clay from the water softener overflow.  We managed to get it all cleaned up and were so proud of our effort.  Now that we have a new water softener, the floor should remain clean.
Bummer ... I forgot to take an 'after' picture.

First Weekend at the Lake

Both children had byes this week for soccer AND Will's not on call AND the weather is gorgeous so we decided to head to the lake for the weekend.  GranGran, GranDaddy and Mamoo came up for lunch on Saturday.  

Mamoo, Mac & O enjoying lunch on the deck.

Will and Mamoo

A few quick pictures before we say good-bye to everyone.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Grandparents' Day

GranGran and GranDaddy made the trek to Columbia for Granparents' Day at school on Friday.  I was subbing in the Lower School library last week so I was able to crash the party.  A few years ago there were so many grands that the school asked parents (kindly) to stay home (unless, of course, a grand needs help getting around, etc.).

I spotted the bag piper on my way to the gym for the festivities.  We had the dedication of our new Dining Commons just prior to the Grandparents Day program and he lead the procession from the Dining Commons to the new gym.  I'm always reminded of Sewanee when I hear bagpipes!

Because of the Dining Commons dedication, the theme for most of the songs for Grandparents' Day were food-related.  Olivia's grade sang "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast.  (If Olivia had looked my way, she would have seen me miming for her to stand up straight!)
Can you see McIver's blond mop top on the next-to-top row?  His grade sang "I'll Never Grow Up" from the 2nd grade play, Peter Pan.  They didn't really have time to learn a new song for Grandparents' Day since they had spent the last two months working on the play.  He cracked me up during the 5th-6ht grade jazz band performance.  He was snapping his fingers and grooving to the beat in his seat.  

We met the grands for lunch at Thirsty Fellow (my new FAVE!) after the Grandparents' Day fun.

My loves!

McIver's turn behind the camera.

Open your eyes, GranDaddy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Last night McIver came bounding out of the bathroom, hair all wet and dripping, and announced to me:

I'm just in such a good mood.  I don't really know why, but I'm just so happy!

If that doesn't make a mama's heart happy, I don't know what will.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pinewood Derby Car

McIver has been looking forward to the Pinewood Derby since he heard his friends talking about it last year.  He and Will had a good time talking about the car and working on it together. 

Step 1:  Design

Steps 2 & 3:  For a few of their Sunday afternoon meetings, the den met at someone's home to take advantage of a workshop full of tools for cutting and sanding.  McIver was able to do some sanding at home, too.

Steps 4 & 5:  Painting and finishing touches

The Pinewood Derby!  McIver's car, Big Dragon, is 2nd from the left.

They had results projected onto the wall in the church gym; it's hard to see, but that's McIver's name at the top for one of the (many!) heats.

Standing over the Pack Leader and waiting on results; he was actually just as concerned with helping to choose the music in between heats.

Olivia and Maggie found a comfy spot to watch the races. (They really could not have been less interested!)

1st place for one of the heats!

Showing off his winning car

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Caroliniana Ball

Some friends and I were laughing that going to the Caroliniana Ball is like going to a prom for grown-ups.  It's fun to have an excuse to get all gussied up!  This year's ball was at the Grand Dunes Resort in Myrtle Beach so we took the children with us and stayed with Will's parents.  

All dressed and ready to go!  Olivia took our picture and was glad to be on the other side of the camera for a change.

Ginny and Jimmy

In the ball room

Will and the ladies from our table... good times!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

He's just a funny kid!

Going through McIver's school work last week... Instructions were to "Tell how you estimated the difference."  (Reminds me of the writing intensive math classes at Sewanee - ugh!)

His answer:
"I wrote it up and down. Then I estimated.  The anser was ((drumroll!)) 39!!! ((cher!))"

He cracks himself up, too!

Boy Scout Blue & Gold Banquet

McIver's Cub Scout Pack was part of the Blue & Gold Banquet last week at Shandon Methodist Church.  More than 200 people came to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the Scouts and their leaders.

After a Southern buffet dinner, we were treated to a skit from each participating pack.  That's McIver on the far left.

Will was able to say a few words before they introduced the pack, awarded belt loops and badges and painted faces.

Here's Mac having his face painted by Mr. Draffin.

All of the boys were so proud of their hard work (and their new 'war paint').