Keepin’ the memories alive

Life is so hectic these days what with school and work and volunteer stuff…But I am determined to keep up with my blog for the sake of my own sanity. This thing haunts me in the best possible way. I’m so overwhelmed with everything lately, but it really is nice to put some thoughts on paper (er…electronic screen) and decompress.

Though the weekend was pretty jam packed, I was so lucky to be able to spend some great time catching up yesterday with one of the amazing women God put in my life here in Austin. People like her make me think I could never leave this place. Saturday was super fun because I got not ONE but TWO surprises in the mail! I just love forgetting I ordered something and then having it show up at my doorstep.

The first gift to myself was a photobook. It is actually just the latest edition to my collection of photobooks I’ve been making over the past few years. I got the idea from a friend who makes a huge “yearbook” each year with all of her pictures. Since I have an irrational fear of losing everything off of my hard drive, I figured I should probably go ahead and make one every few months instead. I subscribe to Groupon, Living Social, and Moolala, and between the 3 of them, a great deal on photobooks comes alone every couple weeks. So far I have paid for every one of mine with a “daily deal” coupon. The one that arrived this weekend is definitely my favorite I’ve made so far. I used a chalkboard themed look for the book with a lot of little embellishments. I can’t say that I had an easy time dealing with the company I made it through. That is the hardest part of the process…Be prepared to lose your work many times before it actually saves it in time to print!

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I’m so happy I decided to start making these. They usually end up costing around 30 bucks a pop, which is well worth the peace of mind I’ve gotten knowing my pictures will never be lost forever if my computer crashes. I also love the idea of my future kids looking through these one day in the (far far off) future.

My second surprise that showed up Saturday were these fun canvasses that I had ordered a couple weeks ago and forgot about. I’ve always wanted to get a canvas printed of Josh and I for our bedroom, but almost every picture of the two of us was taken on a cellphone. After getting a professional to take some in Georgia at Christmas, I figured now was the time to splurge. Actually I found a groupon for these too, so it wasn’t much of a splurge 🙂 $75 for both from Canvas Lifestyle. They were much bigger than I had anticipated, and I loved how they turned out.

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I have to say though, it’s a little weird seeing myself staring at me from the wall in my bedroom. These things are ginormous compared to the tiny rooms and low ceilings in this apartment. Hopefully one day we will have a nicer place that will do them justice.

What ways do you guys have to preserve precious memories? Don’t forget to protect your pictures and back up those hard drives so you’re not devastated one day!

I’m also so excited to say publicly (for the sake of accountability) that I’m running the Capitol 10K here in Austin in April. It was a goal of mine for 2013 to run in a 10k, and this one is the biggest Texas has to offer. Am I confident I’ll be able to run it by then? Not really. But so far my training has been going so great and my running enthusiast husband has been a great support. Cheers to keeping new years resolutions! 

Happy Monday!

Caroline

Autumn-ish

This has been my day:

Celine Dion blaring through the speakers.

Pumpkin candle burning in all its glory.

Winter clothes airing out on the guest bed.

Vacuum running, washer/dryer running…

Basically, it has been a nightmare day for my energy bill, but a pretty awesome one for me.  The best part is it doesn’t involve ANY SCHOOL!

Don’t get me wrong, I love school. In fact I really really love school. But sometimes it’s nice to take a few days off after a big test, ya know? Pretty much all I can think about lately is Occupational Therapy and how much I want to get into the OTA program in April. I’m so afraid I won’t get in, especially since my motivation and grades are at an all-time high. But the anxiety can wait a few more months, I suppose.

The past month has been a whirlwind of fun adventures. We were blessed with lots of visitors, including my friend Julianne, and then our great friends Tommy and Hannah. I love any excuse to show Austin off and all the great food and fun it has to offer. Here we go with a LOT of pictures…

Enjoying the view at the 360 overlook with the Webbs

Me and my love at Mount Bonnell

Henry. Posing like a doofus.

Tommy and Hannah being all cute and stuff

Enjoying the Georgia and Auburn games at Red’s Porch

Juju and I taking a pitstop in San Antonio to eat on the River Walk

Ice cream at LICK. A must try for Austin visitors/residents

Lobster Rolls from Dock and Roll. Amazing.

Some of Josh’s FAVORITE tacos in town at Mellizoz Tacos

Can’t come to austin without swimming in Barton Springs

So glad this girl came to visit me!

Ya’ll hungry yet? If you want to drool even more, check at the websites for some of the current Cody favorite restaurant/spots around this wonderful city. (In no particular order)

1. Gourdough’s Doughnuts. 

2. Dock and Roll

3. Contigo

4. Red’s Porch    **mainly for the view and beer selection

5. Collie’s Burgers

6. Tacodeli

7. The 360 overlook

8. Barton Springs

9. Mount Bonnell

10. The Violet Crown Cinema  (Probably my personal favorite)

This list changes every month it seems like, but if you’re looking for places to go in Austin, you can’t fail with any of those 10!

Happy Autumn everyone. Go bake some pumpkin bread!

Jester king and queen

What a fun weekend in the heart of Texas.

Josh and I drove out to Jester King Brewery on Saturday for their weekly beer tasting and brewery tour. I didn’t know what to expect because I knew so little about the company, but Jester King and the owners who gave the tour completely exceeded my expectations. They are the COOLEST company! If you’re ever in need of a fun way to spend a few hours on a Saturday in Austin, grab some friends and head out to Jester King. It was only $10 per person to get in, which got you a cool beer glass and SIX…(yes i said six) glasses of whatever masterfully crafted farmhouse ale they had on draft that weekend. It was so fascinating and inspiring to hear the story of a couple of brothers who are so passionate about their skill and the lengths they go to to make their drinks such a unique experience to taste.

Here’s what they had available for “tasting” (much more than a taste if you ask me) yesterday.

…And Josh who was kind of in heaven. With his hammer?

Feeling a little ridiculous…

Bottoms up!

Touring the super cool barrel room where they age the beer

I love living in a city with endless things to do, and truly passionate people who care SO much about whatever they devote their lives to.

Kinda makes you wanna pop open a cold one, huh? Happy 4th of july week everyone!

Barbie Cue

We had the pleasure last weekend of sharing the day with 2 wonderful friends exploring some of the BBQ goodness that central Texas has to offer. I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day than gorging myself on smoked meat. MmmmMMMM.

Caution: You are about to either get really hungry, or, if you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably going to be grossed out.

The first stop we made was to Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas. Lockhart is the “BBQ capital of Texas” and they say you can’t go wrong with any of the choices you’ll find there.

Choices, choices…

GLORY!

Room of smoky goodness

Kreug’s was amazing. Best beef brisket I’ve ever had by far! They don’t believe in barbeque sauce and don’t even carry it in their restaurant. Not that their food needs it. So much flavor!!

Next stop was Smitty’s in downtown Lockhart across from the beautiful city hall.

Little peek at some of the goods in the smoker

Big Red=Texas bottled water

Lockhart city hall

Last stop was in Luling, Texas. According to their sign, Luling is somehow associated with watermelons. There was absolutely no lack of melons in this town. Or delicious BBQ at City Market. They had my very favorite meat of the day. Fall off the bone BBQ pork ribs. Be still my beating heart.

I'll eat bbq with this guy any day

The Browns-Our tour guides for the day.

Last brisket of the day

Watermelon central

When in Rome…

What a fun weekend. If anyone ever wants to go back and eat absurd amounts of pork and beef with us, we would not protest. Hope you enjoyed the photo tour of Texas’ pride and joy.

2300 miles later

Much to everyone’s surprise (especially my own) Josh and I survived 5 long days in the car with Henry. 

Here are the highlights, because who has time to explain the emotional roller coaster that is moving from a city you love to a state you’ve been to once in your life?

Henry was AWESOME. Seriously. He slept the majority of the time while we drove, and was such a good boy on all of our stops. I actually think I prefer traveling with a dog now, because of all the walking around it required us to do. We went to a few different dog parks along the way and let him swim in a couple rivers. He liked hanging out at the KOA cabins with us too. I’m gonna miss the calm dog that we took on the road 😦

On our Denver stop we got to visit with Josh’s old friend Kara who he met in Kenya a few years ago. I also got to meet up with one of my best friends’ fiancee who lives outside of Boulder Colorado. Always fun catching up with people you don’t see often.

I just love being on the road with Josh. He’s so laid back and fun to hang out with. I’m lucky to have such a great chauffeur to drive me across the country. 

We got to Austin last evening around 6 and sort of had the feeling of “now what?” We have no where to live (our apartment building is not letting us move in until later this week), no stuff (our POD with all of our belongings arrives on Thursday), and no plans whatsoever. Josh doesn’t start work until Monday, so the opportunities seemed endless until we called every cheap hotel/campsite in the austin area and NONE of them let dogs stay there. We were literally sitting at a restaurant wondering what we were going to do and where we were going to stay, when I heard my name called from a few yards away. There are 2 people I know in this entire city, and one of them happened to be eating at the same restaurant with her husband and some friends. They offered us a free (and pet friendly) place to stay, and we gladly obliged. God provides in really cool, unexpected ways sometimes.

So far, I’m really liking what I see. Austin has a really unique feel to it, and it actually reminds me a lot of Georgia with the trees and parks. The sun has been out since we got here, and we have been spending every second outside that we can. Glorious. I’m so thankful to be here, even though strong feelings of fear come over me about once every few hours. Austin will hopefully feel like home in no time. Now, if we can just make some friends…

Henry boy hanging out at one of the KOA cabins we rented

Me and my adventure buddy

Wide open spaces

Insanely beautiful waterfalls in Idaho

Celebrating our arrival to our new home with a Margarita at Red's Porch