Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sayonara 2009: July through December


In July we discovered Mayfield Park in Austin. It's an old homestead that was donated to the city, and peacocks are allowed to freely roam the grounds. 

Henry and I celebrated our second anniversary on July 7th by going to lunch at Fogo de Chao. We still love being married!

We also went on another popular Austin adventure:  a bat cruise! During the summer months a colony of 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats take up residence under the Congress Bridge. It's the largest urban bat colony in North America. At dusk you can see them fly out to look for food. When Henry and I were dating we canoed down the river to see the bats. That was one of my favorite dates. This was a similar thing except we were on a bigger riverboat with a bunch of tourists and we had a tour guide.

I turned 24 in July too.


We moved out of our first newlywed apartment at the first of August. It was bittersweet. We really liked living there, but our new place is much closer to my new job, and the rent is $125 cheaper!

In August we also said farewell to some grad school friends who moved out of state for work.

My best friend Alifia came to visit from Kuwait.
I started my first grown-up job! This is me at the end of the first day of school, August 24th.


When you have a grown-up job you get real paid!

Sumi came to Austin for a Geology reunion. We got to do some shopping together, got our makeup done at Sephora, and ate at Madam Mam's. Yay for girl time!

Henry and I visited Amanda and Joseph in San Antonio. We had some of the worst Mexican food ever on The Riverwalk. Hopefully we'll choose more wisely next time. =)


My parents, nephew, and great-nephew came to visit us in October. We went to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. I recall it being a pretty chilly day for fall in Texas, but we did see some pretty flowers.

Over the summer I was diagnosed with psoriasis. It wasn't a big deal then (just dry patches on my forehead), but in October it spread to my eyelids and elbows. I spared you the pictures of my actual skin since Henry said it looked gross. Instead I am sharing a photo of the creams I acquired with my most recent visit to the dermatologist.

Henry and I won our ward Halloween costume contest by dressing as Mary Poppins and Bert. Putting the costumes together was one of the most fun projects for me this year. I'm amazed that we were able to find 90% of our costumes at Goodwill.


My brother-in-law David moved to China in December for a post-doc position. Yes, you read that correctly, China. I think Henry is still in shock that he actually moved there. We had a farewell dinner for him in Austin. Hopefully we'll be able to visit him sometime in the next three years.

I went to the Regina Spektor concert with my old friend Larissa and my new friend Meghan. I loved it. I think it was the best concert I've ever been to.

 For the second year in a row we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our apartment. Unlike last year, however, my parents and sister Randy came (in addition to Henry's parents, Lara, William, April and Helen and her boyfriend Tripp). I really enjoyed cooking with my mom and Henry.


As is tradition, we visited the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park and spun under the big light tree. Guaranteed to make you dizzy!

This year we went with three other young married couples from our ward. We've been very blessed to meet so many cool people this year, and many of them have been in our new ward.

I tried my hand at paintball and got shot in the left arm three times! It doesn't feel good, I'll tell you that, but I did have fun.

We celebrated Christmas at my parents' house in Houston. I was very excited to get a dSLR!

 Henry and I are very thankful to have had such a great year. We look forward to seeing what 2010 brings!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sayonara 2009: January through June


Henry and I began the year with a little getaway to Fredericksberg, Texas. We enjoyed walking around the town, and our B&B cottage was perfectly cozy. It was a good way to celebrate the first year and a half of our marriage.

Our niece April was born a week later on January 12th, and we've been smitten by her ever since. It's hard to believe she's almost a year old!

In January we also started babysitting our cousin Ethan on Thursday evenings while his mom was at school. We learned to play many games Ethan-style (Battleship, Uno, Connect Four, and various others), and I think we got him hooked on eating mini-pizzas. His endless questions and cute country accent made us laugh.


One of the field trips we took Ethan on was a trip to the Texas Capitol. I think he enjoyed dragging me through the halls.

Henry and I celebrated our fourth Valentine's Day together.

Kristen Duke graciously offered to take our first family photos. That was probably one of the best things we did this year.


With March comes Spring Break. Unfortunately, Henry and I had different Spring Break weeks, so we didn't go anywhere together, but I was able to make a trip to Houston to visit my parents. Mom and I went to Time Out for Women, a religious, inspirational weekend retreat, which was awesome.

Henry and I did get to go somewhere together; we went one weekend to the sunken Japanese gardens in San Antonio.

We also took advantage of a free South by Southwest concert for the first time:  Explosions in the Sky.


We went on our biggest roadtrip of the year in April. Henry's brother Ralph married Whitney in the Oklahoma City Temple, so we traveled to Tulsa and OKC for their Easter weekend wedding.

I was excited to get another sister-in-law in this family of mostly boys!

My best friend in high school, Courtney, also got married in April. My mom and I were able to go to the wedding in Houston.


May was a huge month for us because we both graduated!!! There were definitely moments when I wondered if it would happen for me, and it certainly wouldn't have if I had not finished my Master's report. This next picture is of me just moments before turning it in to the Graduate School. I was too tired to jump up and down or anything, but it was a big relief to close that chapter of my graduate career. I felt a lot of personal satisfaction. I'm glad Henry was able to be there for the big moment.

Here is Henry looking handsome in his graduation regalia. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering. I'm so proud of him.

My best friend Cristy also graduated from medical school in May! I'm glad I got to visit with her in Dallas/Fort Worth before she moved to West Virginia.

And here's a picture from my graduation! I earned an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology, and I am SO GLAD TO BE DONE WITH SCHOOL! FOREVER!!! In case you couldn't tell, I don't miss school at all, but I do miss my grad school family. I love these people.

We celebrated our graduations at the Austin Children's Museum, which is the perfect place to have a fun party. The giant indoor slide was a hit.


In June we went back to Houston for a few more weddings.

My cousin Stephanie got married to a Mormon boy from Idaho! She had a picture perfect wedding complete with a horse and buggy rivaling Disney (she is kind of obsessed with all things Disney).

My good friend Amanda got married in July.

I got to read the passage in 1st Corinthians on charity during the ceremony. Thanks for asking me, Amanda!

Amanda's wedding was a good excuse to hang out with high school friends since her husband Joseph also went to high school with us.

Check back Thursday for the second installment!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Free Date Night

I made this "one free date night" coupon for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for Christmas. It was fun to make, and hopefully it will be fun for them to use!

P.S. I got a new camera, my first dSLR, can you tell??? I am SOOOO excited about it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Two posts in two days? What?! I wouldn't get used to it. =)

My friend Stephanie posted this on facebook, and I thought it was funny.

Twilight Years from Tom on Vimeo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

God Bless Texas

"You might give some serious thought to thanking your lucky stars you're in Texas."

So I entered the Smartypants-Texas contest on Pioneer Woman. To be a contestant you had to answer twelve questions about Texas. I got all excited on Saturday morning because I actually thought I had a shot at being the first or second person to correctly respond. Um, no. I was commenter number 201 even though I commented within twenty minutes of the first respondent.

Oh well. It was fun to do, and it made me remember how much I love the great state of Texas.

It just so happens, we visited the Texas State History Museum this weekend too.

Here are a few things I love about Texas:
-It's bigger than France.
-Diversity: We've got a little something for everyone.
-The weather (most of the time).
-The football
-Bluebell ice cream
-Bluebonnets in spring
-Texas pride
-The slogan "Don't Mess with Texas"
-It's home.