Living Small In A Big State

I can’t believe that I am once again a homeowner.

New Home

Once we decided to start looking, things happened very fast.  And one of the reasons we landed on this little house was that it was “move-in ready.”  Well.  We can’t do anything without putting our own stamp on it; and now we’ve found ourselves knee deep into a remodel.  We’ve got about another 3-4 weeks of construction because the hubs is of course doing all the work himself, after hours and on the weekends.  He’s pretty much Superman.

I can’t say that I was excited for this next little adventure, but I’m coming around.  I really just felt like we didn’t have many good options (she says snarky-like from her cushy, middle-class life).  And clearly I have some baggage from the last housing crisis.  I was (and still am) nervous about owning again…especially since Houston is on quite the housing high.  And I’m VERY SAD about leaving our current abode.  We LOVE living in this little flat so much: the neighborhood, our amazing landlords, the actual space.

But life must move forward.  And the next chapter is here.  And with each wall that comes down(!), I get more and more excited about this becoming our home.

Here’s a little photo tour:

(more…)

I Resolve To…

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In the past I’ve been up for resolutions/goals at the start of a new year, but these days, it’s a good day if I can get pants on by noon.  I’ve had the privilege of working from home since August; this worked out well since I found out I was pregnant the first of September.  Strange sleeping hours, constant peeing, and being so exhausted that the thought of expending energy on brushing my hair was paralyzing has all been great to experience from my own home.  I’m one of the lucky ones for sure and I do NOT take it for granted.

Although I’m not up to making resolutions since I have so much on my plate right now I’m lazy, I do want the hubs to make a few!  *insert giggling emoticon*  Really, just one: standing up at work.  No, not metaphorically, but literally.  I know we’ve been inundated with “sitting is the new smoking”, but I’m surprised at how few workplace environments are doing something about it.

I read this great article about one woman’s experience and decision to stand at her desk at work.  I like that she was honest and said it was HARD at first, but eventually she’s become a convert and now she’ll never go back.  Read the whole account here.  I get really worried about the hubs sitting at his computer hunched over all day just clicking away — really that’s all architects do by the way: click, click, click.  But he assures me he takes regular breaks and he does usually walk somewhere in the neighborhood for lunch, but still… I guess for now I should probably focus on being able to get myself to go around the block at least once a day, much less stand for 8 hours!

If and when I am ready to make some habit changes, I will have to remember what I learned yesterday in this interesting article.  The premise of which is that if we want to make change/break a habit then it is not enough to just change our attitude about something, but that we need to disrupt our environment.

…our environments come to unconsciously direct our behavior. Even behaviors that we don’t want…

We think of ourselves as controlling our behavior, willing our actions into being, but it’s not that simple.

It’s as if over time, we leave parts of ourselves all around us, which in turn, come to shape who we are.

I guess it’s not just mind over matter after all.

So Many Things 2014….

I didn’t think things could get bigger than 2008 or really 2013… but 2014 proved to be a doozy.  Hence, my absence from my longest running hobby.  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for SEVEN years.  I hope to pick up this practice again as there is more to document and a creative muscle that has atrophied a bit.  Maybe I’ll talk about all the changes that 2014 brought, and maybe I won’t.  Regardless, tomorrow begins the clean slate I love so much: day 1 of a brand new year.  And (clearly) 2015 is sure to be quite memorable…

New-Years-2014

Soon to follow: a new house (and subsequent remodel), a recap of a trip to Spain, and thoughts on being pregnant…

Getting Around On Two Wheels

Motorcycles

I became a new woman last summer — I learned to drive a motorcycle!  The hubs and I have been a one-car family for four years now, and although we weren’t ready to purchase a second vehicle, we were considering a motorized two-wheel option: mostly, a scooter.  But in order to legally drive one on the streets of Houston, we needed to acquire our motorcycle endorsement.  And really, learning to drive one has been on my life-skills list for a long time.  Rather than just take the test at the DMV, I wanted a class that would give me a little experience.  We signed up with a GREAT organization just north of the city.  And I cannot believe that I went from not being able to sleep the night before because I was so nervous, to confidently riding on two wheels by the end of the second day.

It was a HOT weekend and over half of the class is spent out on the open “range” (a dance-club parking lot!).  But I loved that I was able to think of nothing else except the task at hand.  I had no “to-do” lists, grocery lists, future projects, or life worries running through my head – just slow, look, press, & roll!  It was also quite the bonding exercise for B and I.  It made us think that we might like to take other classes together.  And really, it just secured our confidence that we’re even more prepared for the zombie apocalypse!  (Basically what I’m saying is that Daryl and I are now BFFs.)

Speaking of confidence, I would recommend this class to ALL women.  Ladies, I cannot think of anything more empowering that I’ve done.  So really, for your next corporate retreat/team-building activity, you should suggest taking a motorcycle course!

Scootertime

My dreams of being a BadAss motorcycle babe might be on hold for a while, as I’m not sure my little scooter screams: Watch Out!  But while I dream of owning a Bonneville or fixing up an old Honda, my Stella will have to suffice.  And more than suffice it does!  It’s the best way to get around the city… basically we should have done this a long time ago!  Here we are cruising around town, down one of our favorite streets!

Weekend Scene

Ok Fall Allergies, you win!  We made the absolute most of the insanely beautiful weather this weekend, but now I’m paying the price.  I’m surrounded by a cloud of used tissues and my nose looks like Rudolph’s.  I love fall, but fall in Texas makes me really work for it.  Clearly that didn’t stop us from eating the most amazing food and taking a nice ride through the city.

And now onto the week.  Hey October, I’m glad you’re here.

Oct Weekend 2014

Reinterpreted Design

I love how designs can be reinterpreted, even 50+ years apart and from two different parts of the world.  I would have never seen these two items together if it weren’t for the way I use Pinterest.  I tend to “like” something first, then when I have time I’ll go through my likes and categorize, click through, or decide if I really want it on one of my boards.  Well, these two gems ended up right next to each other in my likes, and well, I liked what I saw!  I’d wear them both!

Reinterpret Fashion

The smock is via a tumblr I’m slightly obsessed with and the rain cape via this cute company.

Weekend Scene

Beach Weekend Sept 2014

With the weather finally cooperating the hubs and I headed south to the Gulf Coast.  Clearly this family likes the beach — even an old, stinky, puddle-brown one.  The salt air is good for my soul.  Mornings were spent drinking tea and reading from this book (a delightful gift from the hubs some years ago); I went for an unexpected long run by myself (who knew the sand was easier on my knees?!); and there was plenty of time for other things: eating like we had never tasted food, drawing out potential new tattoos, playing cards, swatting mosquitoes, and celebrating life with friends old and new.

With each visit to my childhood stomping grounds, B and I have an ever more serious conversation about having our own cabin.  He is just ITCHING to design a beautiful, modern beach house.  And this was the first cabin we’ve stayed it (and we’ve staying in a least 5 in the last 3 years!) that has been more up my alley interior-wise.  It was a super-cute, clean and modern ikea-hacked cabin.  (See the full cabin here.)  This only added to our growing desire to put a permanent stamp on another property.  But I think the best way to curb our real-estate appetite is to convince my mom and dad that they really want one and we’ll just come visit all the time!

(You can see where my love of this beach started here and another beach weekend here.)

Finally

Let’s all take a minute to deeply exhale… we made it through another summer! Fall is officially here today as the high was only 85.  I love the metaphor my friend used — “the fever broke”.

It was an interesting and full summer and I’m glad I took a break from this space.  But also, I missed it.  And my sabbatical allowed me to miss it.  While I was away I worked (and worked and worked) and spent a lot of time thinking (it’s kind of what I do) about everything that is life.  I read books, watched movies, went on (not enough) walks, took a few photos, visited family and flexed other creative parts of my brain.

But I’m ready to be back…. so let’s do this internet!

Fall 2014