house hunters

I'm not admitting yet that we're actively looking for a house to buy (because we're not), but I will say that we're investigating the market. It appears that homes in our neighborhood stay active for less than a week on average before someone swoops in and makes an offer (or 14). This evening we went to check out a place that will surely be under contract this time next week, and coming home I was reminded of how exhausting it can be searching for a house. The expression on Catcher's face (above) pretty much sums up how I feel about the prospect of this endeavor: meh (not hot, not not, just meh as defined by The New York Times Magazine).

Because we went through such an ordeal attempting to sell our house in Charlotte--remember that two years?--I second guess everything and wonder if this [imaginary] house will be the house for the rest of our lives. Are we going to throw Catcher's graduation party there? Will Tillie's future in-laws come over for lunch? I realize I might sound a bit cuckoo, but these are the things that I think. In the meantime; however, it is fun to let the kids run circles around someone else's house for a change.


porch party

Quick: can you spot the creepy plastic doll head in this photo?

I've been slacking on the blogging lately because my newfound passion of making vegan "treats" has been consuming my afternoons. These healthy snacks, if you will, that I've been making sometimes turn out tasty and sometimes blah. A lot of them taste the same, actually. I guess that's what you get when you use Medjool dates in everything. This evening after a batch of salted caramel cookies turned out to be a dud, I declared that I'm hanging up my vegan apron. Alex gave me a little pep talk; however, so maybe I'll get back into it. At least he and Scout will eat anything. Catcher gives me an honest review of my work, and Tillie just spits out what she doesn't like (which is anything that doesn't have chocolate).

None of that has anything to do with these pictures, I'm just setting the stage to let you know that I dug these out of the archives from a few weeks ago when Alex was re-arranging our back porch. The girls were hosting a tea party there, complete with stuffed animals and freaky dolls, when Catcher got home from school and got his lounge on. The good news is that the new arrangement on the porch is much more inviting and pleasing to the eye (and we found the perfect spot to hang the cow skull that Catcher found on his spring break trip to the farm). The bad news is that one chair was sacrificed during the re-arranging process when one of its wooden dowels snapped. The chair is still there for looks, but Alex and I aren't able to enjoy a romantic evening lounging under the string of Target lights...gazing into each other's eyes.


look of the week

Despite the look Scout was having fun moments before this picture was taken, but her expression was so "Scout" that I couldn't resist. This is the look I'll be seeing for the next infinite number of years. The look she'll give me when she's tired on the playground or she's just received her first A minus or she's so annoyed with some ridiculous thing that I have done. It will also be the look she gives her roommates in college when she's pulled an all-nighter and needs a cup of coffee. It's the look she will give her significant other when she's tired of arguing and her future children when she can't come up with an answer to the last "why?" Pure Scout.


the party before the party

This time last week I was stiletto-heel deep in gravel after dubbing myself "official rehearsal dinner photographer" for Alex's sister and her husband-to-be. I love weddings in the spring time, and it was the perfect weekend to celebrate in Austin. Our two-day party (as I like to think of it) started Friday at the Hill's Cafe where Texans and Aussies came together under the setting sun for an unforgettable party before the party. If you're dying to see more, check it out here.


tillie in the flowers

At the end of April, between the hours of 11:00am (after the morning clouds have burned off) and 2:00pm (before the hot sets in), it feels like a proper spring here in Austin. Today I was feeling quite springy when I passed this patch of wildflowers planted outside of the TownLake YMCA. So I plopped Tillie down and told her to give me her best "I love spring!" look. With temperatures racing to the 90s this week, this could be our last look at spring.


look of the week

There was no Beyonce-inspired wind tunnel used during the production of this photo. The sunglasses were all Scout. I told the girls to hold hands, and then a gust of wind sailed through just as I turned my iPhone to get the shot. Looking cool is effortless for some.


let them eat candy

Yesterday [Easter] Alex and I tried a new parenting tactic, which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself slightly hungover (from too much fun at a wedding the night before) on Easter morning when the kids shake you awake at 5:45am: let them eat all of their Easter candy. All of it. In one day. This is how I arrived at my candy overloading strategy:

1. I drank some wine at a wedding, didn't eat enough food and stayed out too late.
2. I fell asleep when I got home and forgot to put out the Easter baskets.
3. I woke up at 5:00am in a panic about forgetting to put out the Easter baskets.
4. I put out the Easter baskets (and hid eggs around the living and dining rooms).
5. I went back to bed but couldn't fall asleep.
6. I finally fell asleep; 5 minutes later kid #1 was crawling in beside me...followed by two and three.
7. By 6:30am all the eggs were found and the contents of three baskets were strewn about the house.
8. By 7:00am Frozen (an Easter present) was in the DVD player.
9. By 7:36am Tillie was in a jellybean coma staring at the TV.

It was at this point in the day--before church, before releasing butterflies at the Capitol, before brunch--that I told the children they could eat all their Easter candy. I was tired and tired of the thought of doling out candy in tiny increments for the next two weeks. So that was it. Catcher showed a surprising amount a self-restraint early in the afternoon while the girls were napping and he quietly ate his Nerds one at a time. When Scout woke up after three hours of recharging, she relegated herself to the front porch and ate everything in her basket, stopping only to peek her head inside the door and ask me for water and some wipes. When Tillie woke up and joined her, after five minutes of candy binging, I overheard her saying "No. I don't want any more." I investigated the scene and found chocolate bunnies with their heads eaten off and foil wrappers scattered about.

Next on the agenda was a backyard Easter egg hunt. And then another one. And then another one. And then a reverse Easter egg hunt where the kids hid the eggs (and subsequently hunted the eggs). It was at this point that Alex and I observed three children at three different stages of sugar high. Tillie was in the PCP phase of invincibility and running wild through the yard in her "monster" voice. Scout was coming down off of her high and began sobbing uncontrollably...she needed another hit. Catcher finally decided to attack his Peep stick, which led to the marijuana giggles. It might sound crazy, but my strategy worked. The kids pretty much ate themselves sick, skipped dinner, bathed and went to bed on time without any backlash. And now I have an answer when they ask me if there's any more candy.