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In the rough

April 3, 2005

This weekend we went camping for the first time in forever. We slept in a tent, snuggled in sleeping bags, toasted marshmallows, cooked over an open fire, went hiking, swam at the springs, and had a great time. I’ll post more about it later, but for tonight, I’m exhausted, and I have an early morning tomorrow on a brand new adventure (more about that later, too).

Justin and I are sitting below are camping pals in this photo: (from left to right) Andy, Chad, Lindsay, Jerry, and Stacy.

Hope your weekend was wonderful, too!

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Cafe Roux

March 31, 2005

During our recent spring-cleaning, I found some old frames that we were ready to get rid of. I decided to use one of them to personalize Roux’s dining area so he would feel more at home while eating his three little scoops of Science Diet a day.

I used sticker letters, a photo of us that I printed out on regular paper, and cat-themed stickers to fill the frame. I think it goes well with our yellow walls and green cabinets, and adds that extra bit of comfort to Roux’s meager rations. He’s on a strict diet of 3/4 cup dry food a day, due to his…er…hefty build. He actually lost some weight the last time he was at the vet’s office, down to 16.5 pounds from 17.1 pounds. He’s a big cat, and he never misses a meal. At least now his meals will be a little more interesting. (He hasn’t noticed the frame yet, but I know at dinner he will be swept away by the ambience.)

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March 31, 2005

Last night I was treated to a wonderful birthday dinner with my husband and a few of my close friends. After a scrumptious dinner at East Side Cafe (I gorged on the brie and chutney appetizer), we went to Chad and Lindsay’s home for a homemade, chocolatey yummy birthday cake prepared by (who else?) Leti. We decided not to put the full twenty-seven candles on the cake (for fire hazard reasons), which was good because I had a hard time blowing out the ones I had! They were sparkler candles, and were fun to watch, but it took the whole group’s effort to extinguish them. So I guess everyone helped in making my wish come true.

One of my birthday gifts from Justin was a lifetime supply of chocolate. Actually, it was a gift certificate to Dr. Chocolate, one of my favorite shops in Austin. I can already taste the dark chocolate with caramel, the chocolate covered strawberries, the chocolatey chocolicious chocolate…I think I’ll be making weekly visits to the shop from now on.

The other gift he gave me was my very own website for my blog…! I will notify you once it’s all set up so you can update your links. I can’t wait until it’s mine, all mine!

So thanks to everyone for your thoughtful cards and emails and notes and phone calls and gifts. It was a wonderful birthday, and today is just as wonderful since I get to eat leftover chocolate cake for lunch and dinner and snacks. Mmmmmm….chocolate…..

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Happy birthday to me…

March 30, 2005

Just me, wishing myself a happy birthday. Today I’m 27. Much closer to 30 than 20. Getting a little scraggly around the edges, maybe some wrinkles? Last night I dreamt that I found a white hair on my head and said, “My first white hair! And on my birthday even!” I was not happy about it.

But now it’s daylight and I’m here in our little apartment thinking about getting older and still feeling young. I still feel like a kid most of the time. I mean, seriously, would a grown-up spend 30 minutes taking 50 photos of themselves just to post it on a blog?

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Que chulita!

March 28, 2005

My family came to visit us this weekend. My mom, my dad, my sister, and her two children all piled into my dad’s new truck and drove seven hours just to hang out with us for a while. We shopped and ate and talked and hugged and had an all-around good time.

It was a little sad for me, though, to see how grown-up my niece, Kourtney (the gorgeous girl shown above) has become. My nephew, Gary, is growing taller by the minute. It seems that nothing can make you feel as old as when you see kids around you growing up. I remember when Kourtney was so tiny that she could sit in a shoebox, and I would push her around the living room, making “vroom vroom” noises and laughing as her wild morning hair flipped about. She used to follow me around the house, her tiny footsteps behind me, saying, “Tia! Tia!” to get my attention. She loved Selena, and would give us dramatic performances of the latest Selena song, complete with emotional flailing of the arms and the occasional fainting-to-the-floor act.

She seems to remember me as the aunt who tried to kill her several times. She remembers being in the car with me when I backed into a pole at a Payless store. She remembers the time we thought we might drown in a swimming pool in Corpus Christi (who knew I wasn’t strong enough to carry her through the deep end?) She remembers getting caught in an elevator alone, with me screaming on the other side of the door, and the hotel janitor jamming his fingers into the crevice to pry open the doors and reveal tiny little Kourtney, crying and screaming, “Tia! Tia!” She is so small in my memories, never more than four or five years old, and I was just a pre-teen, trying to be the “cool” aunt that I had always wanted.

She’ll be celebrating her fifteenth birthday this summer, at a quinceanera planned just for her. She’ll be in a gorgeous dress, the center of attention, with her teenage friends surrounding her, and I’ll be on the sidelines, teary-eyed and wishing I could turn the clock back to a day when she fit in a shoebox. Her “little” brother will be all decked out and looking like a fine young man, and that night, after the party’s over, I’ll have a familiar dream in which I’m holding them both in my arms, their tiny little voices calling out, “Tia! Tia!”

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