bigger in texas

So this is how I happened to lose and entire day of my life...

It's a terribly long story that starts with the time our Ford Explorer died in front of the house less than two years ago and we were rushed to get a new car. You should know that Alex and I are not car people. I didn't drive for six years--other than on business trips in strange cities, ironically--when I lived in Manhattan. I don't know the difference between a Volkswagen and a Volvo. And despite the time I've spent at Autonation Chevrolet the past 15 months, I still couldn't tell you what a powertrain is. But back to the story...

When the Explorer's engine blew, we ended up purchasing the old mom Enclave. It turns out that our bad luck didn't stop when our family's only car, which had less than 100K miles on it at the time, decided to croak. Squeezing in a visit to Autonation on the one day Alex was home before a seventeen-day stint out of town (way back in October of 2013) turned into a spot of bad luck itself. It was there that we purchased the aforementioned Buick Enclave, which happened to be a lemon. The car was in and out of the service center every month for the past 15 months. Every time I heard a ding and saw the "Service Stabilitrak" (what the hell is that, anyway?) warning flash across my Driver's Information Center, or DIC--how long do you think it took me to figure out what the DIC was?--I would cringe. And then I would call our guy in the service center. And then he would call Alex back because he was scared of my wild womanly ways. And then the car would go in for service...and it would start all over again approximately 2-3 weeks later.

I know it's too late to make this long story short, but when I was faced with taking the car in again earlier this week, I decided perhaps our energy would be better spent trading in the lemon. Was it too much to ask that our only car be a working car? The decision to trade resulted in Alex and I losing our sanity and a day of our lives as we spent seven hours at the dealership yesterday. Our requests were simple--a functioning SUV with a third row. For some reason it took an entire day to seal the deal. We had our vehicle picked out at 11:00am (we got there at 9:30), and at 3:30pm we were finally ushered into the finance guy's office.

On an empty stomach and six cups of coffee, I signed on [too many to count] dotted lines and became the proud ex-owner of a 2010 Buick Enclave and tentative owner of a 2009 GMC Yukon. The girls wanted the Lamborghini stationed outside of the used car sales office with the hefty price tag of $179,000, but it didn't even have a second row. After nixing the race car we settled on the Yukon because it seemed like more of a family car. It's definitely a beast and not as smooth a ride as I was used to in my former "luxury vehicle," but I drove a Chevy Silverado for four weeks in December (as a loaner), and I think it got into my blood. Besides, we're in Texas--you gotta go big to keep up with these folks.


because it was 80 degrees today...

At four o'clock this afternoon I was living in the lala-land of our third 80+ degree afternoon in a row, and was dying for a margarita. I figured if I was going to have a margarita then the least I could do was spoil the kids, too, and take them on a trip to our local convenience store for ice cream treats. I didn't care that it was 4:00 and the ice cream would probably spoil their dinners. I didn't care that the sugar rush would make them crazy at that hour of the day so close to our "witching hour" (I justified my decision by figuring they would burn off their energy during our trek). I didn't even care when they all selected the king size strawberry shortcake on a stick. This is why we live in Texas, right?


LAX season

Say hello to my little gladiator. See that smile on his face? This is the same guy who fought me for five months about not wanting to play lacrosse. That, however, was before he realized you get to wear pads and a helmet! *Note: the helmet he's wearing in this picture is actually adult-sized if it seems a bit big. We had to order one for his slightly-smaller-than-adult-sized-noggin, but I wanted to get the full effect for this picture.

Practice starts in just two weeks, so this afternoon when I found myself with a little unexpected time away from the girls--my dear friend with twins took both of the girls off of my hands for a mass play date--Catcher and I went on a date of our own to Lacrosse Unlimited to get him suited up for the season.


panda day

According to Scout's preschool teacher--and I totally trust her on this one because she has a lot of random knowledge to share with her students--today was some sort of panda awareness day. I don't recall the exact nomenclature, but the children were asked to wear black and white or black or white to school. Scout came out of her room dressed in this arrangement this morning (she took the "assignment" very seriously). You may not be able to tell from the pictures, but both her jacket and her vest are faux fur. If there had been a prize for dressing like a panda, I think she would have won.


life after vacation

Things haven't been too exciting over here since I ran out of vacation pictures to post. On Monday--Martin Luther King, Jr. Day--the kids and I participated in the MLK march through Austin with some friends. We rode the city bus, which is arguably more exciting than hanging out on a beach in Mexico, and had lunch a cute little spot on the east side--Yellow Jacket Social Club. Since then it's been back to grind of school, ballet, play dates and homework. The cold came back today accompanied by a steady, freezing rain, so I'm missing those 75-degree afternoons (the ones from Austin).


back in the pit

The sun returned to Austin on Saturday! Actually, it may have peeked out on Friday, but Saturday was the first really lovely day we had here in a while. My three pals and I decided it would be the perfect day to visit one of our old favorites--the Nature and Science Center. Apparently we weren't the only ones with this brilliant idea because the place was more crowded than I've ever seen it...ever! I actually didn't mind the crowd (maybe Disney World taught me to be a little more tolerant), and the three amigos kept themselves busy digging in the sand for an hour while I took in some Vitamin D.


surf camp, part 2

When Alex and I stumbled across surf camp #1 we actually thought we were headed in the direction of Playa Cerritos, a well-know surfing spot just a few kilometers south of where we stayed in Pescadero. When I realized we had jogged north and Playa Cerritos was south, we took an afternoon detour and ended up at the right spot. On this funky beach we saw not only surfers but a few horses and two random massage tables under a tent. There were also guys walking up and down the beach trying to sell shiny trinkets, but we saved our pesos for overpriced pina coladas while watching the action.

P.S. If you're tired of pictures of tiny people in the ocean, skip the rest of this post; however, I do recommend that you check out all the photos. The last surfing action shot that I got was pretty cool.


surf camp

This is my penultimate vacation post. Soon enough you'll be free from the reigns of my Mexico photos and back to looking at pictures of my children every day. Below are surf photos, part one. I wasn't joking when I said I took 200 pictures. I've edited, but it's still too overwhelming for just one post.

This is a surf camp that Alex and I discovered when we took off on a grueling run down the beach. I was feeling very ambitious and suggested we go for a five-mile run along the sandy dunes. Just one mile from our home base at Rancho Pescadero, however, I was huffing it--must have been the margaritas from the night before--and sweating buckets as we descended upon a little surfer's hideaway. Our discovery turned into a great excuse to abandon our run and stroll back to the resort to fetch my camera. I mean, we were on vacation--who ever heard of a five-mile run on vacation (professional athletes not withstanding)?