Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Food Fail

I ate a salad for lunch yesterday because I'm trying to shed a few pounds so I don't have to buy new pants.  I was hungry when I left the office last night.  So I stopped at Whole Foods and went a little crazy in the food aisle.  Note to self, do not go to Whole Foods when I'm hungry.


I wish it were more socially acceptable to be a fatty.  I love food.

Super Thick

At Uncommon Objects on South Congress Ave. in Austin we discovered this vintage set of green super thick dominoes that will be perfect for beating my parents at games of 42 again.  I like thick dominoes because they are more stable on the table; I line up my dominoes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


"Marriage predates Christianity.  It's not yours to define"

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wedding Weekend

On Saturday in January 2015, our friends Adam and Jessica were married at the same wedding venue where we wed on a Saturday in May 2006: The Barr Mansion.

It was thrilling to walk the grounds, dance in the ballroom, and be present at the place where we first publicly voiced among family and close friends our love and devotion to each other.  In some ways 2006 isn't that long ago - but in other ways it seems like a long time ago.  My grandmother, my almost grandmother Glenda, Great Aunt Patricia and Great Uncle Bob were alive at that time - they were part of that moment.  Our nieces, Presley and Paxten, and nephews, Henry and Owen, were yet to be born at that time - they weren't part of that moment.

It's funny how life happens.  Slowly at times, but mostly it happens in a hurried rush.  We're born.  We live.  We die.  Our family and friends carry our memories for a generation or two, and then poof! No one is alive on earth that ever knew us.   I find that to be a fascinating concept.

Life is very short if you think about it.  You have to make the most of the time you are given.  We tried to make the most of our time while we're alive and well and happy- at a reunion wedding of sorts.

This weekend we stayed in the same hotel we stayed at when we got married.  It's been renamed and remodeled, but it was the same place our family camped out in for our wedding weekend in 2006.

We woke up early on Saturday for Juan And A Million's Don Juan breakfast tacos (with three extra tortillas).  We power walked around Lady Bird Lake (my belly was too full to run).  We toured South Congress Ave.  We drove by the rent house where we first met at a house party.  We ate Amy's ice cream (Mexican vanilla with strawberries for me, and Mexican vanilla and cookie dough for him).  And then we went to Adam and Jessica's wedding- we enjoyed the new wedding and thought about the old wedding.

It was a very lovely Saturday.  Rarely do my husband and I get to spend a focused-on-each-other 24 hours together.  I loved it.  We should do this more often.

I hope you're making the most of your time while you're alive and well and happy.  If you're not making the most of your time, then you can change that, right?  Go.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

From our Agency Profile

Dear Surrogate Mother,

Hello, we are Kevin and Patrick, and if you’re reading this it means you are considering participating in one of the seminal journeys of our life. Thank you for considering such a remarkable gift. We’ve always wanted to have children of our own and without your help that is not possible. We look forward to meeting you, but until then hopefully this brief introduction will give you some insight into who we are.

Our story is a traditional American love story. Patrick claims it was love at first sight. He still remembers the way the blood zoomed through his heart after meeting Kevin at a house party over 11 years ago. The following day Patrick enlisted the help of his roommate (who was Kevin’s friend) to organize a group dinner, which turned into our first date. Within the first week of meeting, Kevin told Patrick (for the first of an infinite number of times!) that he loved him. Patrick replied with “thank you” – a moment that Kevin still brings up. (Do you remember the time I told you ‘I love you’ and you said “thank you”?) Although at that moment Patrick didn’t speak the words aloud he still felt them in his heart. That moment was the beginning of us. Our first date was over eleven years ago, our wedding was over 8 years ago, and we have been legally married for over a year.

Over the past decade we’ve focused on the foundation of our life together; we’ve focused on our careers, Kevin’s MBA, our home, and experiencing life through travel. Embedded within our life has always been the ultimate goal of having children of our own. We’ve established our life, our relationship and now we’re ready to add children.

Who are we? Patrick is a financial advisory consultant. He manages large teams of consultants to ensure his clients successfully get through a financial event. Patrick is cranky in the morning – until he has enjoyed his morning coffee (he only drinks it black). Patrick is passionate about cooking and baking. He can never stop decorating our home. He enjoys visiting art galleries and art museums; portrait paintings are his favorite. He dreams about owning a barnyard full of animals as pets, but until that dream is realized he enjoys our two dogs and any other animal he meets along the way.

Kevin is a management consultant. He advises executives on strategic events. Kevin is never cranky – he is always cheerful. Kevin is at home sailing on the lake, skiing on the slopes, and grilling meats on his grill. Kevin is extremely handy around the house, he has an engineer’s brain, and he is also a computer guru (he built his first computer when he was in high school). Although to our parents Kevin’s computer skills are required when they need to hook up a printer. (Ha!)

We have always known we would have children. We would love to be parents and be given the opportunity to love and nurture a child together from the beginning of his/her life. We’re ready. We own a two-story house that is ideal for raising our family. Kevin’s parents and Patrick’s brother (and his wife and two daughters) live close by. Patrick’s parents and Kevin’s sister (and her husband and two sons) don’t live close today but they are also an important part of our lives. We get together as a family several times a year. We have a large network of aunts and uncles and cousins, who like to ask us “when are we going to have kids?”

We offer all the love we have, a secure family unit, a huge loving and welcoming extended family, and love and respect for our Surrogate mother and her family. Again, without your help we will not have a family. You are giving us a sacred gift.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

-Kevin & Patrick

Monday, January 19, 2015


"Supreme Court to Decide Marriage Rights for Gay Couples Nationwide"

Sunday, January 18, 2015

American Sniper

You must go watch American Sniper.  You must.  This movie captures two wars.  One is the war Chris Kyle the U.S. Navy SEAL sniper faces against the enemy in a foreign country and the struggle of right vs. wrong vs. high ideals of war vs. gritty reality of war.  The other one is the war Chris Kyle the warrior husband/father faces on the homefront where he must reconcile his family life vs. being a legend of war in civilian life vs. duty to his men still on the battlefield vs. his ability to leave the war behind.

This movie is compelling because of Bradley Cooper's oh-so-freakin-real performance. He reminded me of people I know/I have known.  He gets the "Texan" right on film.  There is so much conflict within his performance - I felt his conflict while watching the film.

The Joys of Owning a Doggie Door

For two weeks, while Trigger heals at my husband's parents' house, Dooley has been a singleton.  It is the first time in her life she's been an only child.  It threw her off a bit.  She's having to entertain herself - on Friday my husband came home to mess of feathers and a bird carcass in the house.  In. the. house.

Dooley is a killer?  A scavenger?

 It's the joys of owning a doggie

At least it's not as bad as my friend Jennifer's infamous doggie door story.  Jennifer lived in the country with a doggie door, and one time she walked into her kitchen with a raccoon eating dog food from her dog's bowl. In. the. house.  She screamed and the raccoon fled out of the doggie door - she had no idea she'd been feeding a raccoon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tiffany's and Babies

Recently Tiffany's ran this advertisement featuring a gay couple.  This makes me happy to see ads with gay couples out in the real world and not just in the gay side of the world.  I think my husband should support Tiffany's and buy me some (read: lots) of diamonds from Tiffany's!

Not so recently, I asked my husband if I would ever get my big diamond ring.  See this post from 2012. And he informed me that the moment he bought me a diamond ring I would want something else.  He claims I always have something expensive I "need".  He also questioned if expensive gifts would make me happier.  (Such a logical question.)

Right now the very expensive thing I (we) need is(are) baby(ies) and so that's where our cash is going.  I'm certain raising children of our own will make us happier.

Last night, I was talking on the phone with my father, and I realized if we have babies today and they get married at age 30, then my parents will be in there nineties.  Yikes!  I encouraged my father and mother to go work out more.   We need to hurry up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Creamy Herbed Potatoes

The Pioneer Woman knows how to cook.  I don't know why her family is full of skinny people.  We went to a pot luck and I took the Pioneer Woman's Creamy Herbed Potatoes; our dish was a big hit at the event.  Yes, this recipe has butter, cream cheese, and cheese.  But what makes this recipe so interesting is the combination of finely chopped herbs.

I like to follow my taste buds in this type of dish.  Lots and lots of herbs, lots of salt and pepper, and a little bit more cheese.  Note, it took us 90 minutes to bake the dish, which is significantly different than the 45 minutes required baking time in the recipe.

If you want to fatten up your family, then make these potatoes.  They are so good.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Glee's Finale Season

It's hard to keep a high school show going when the original cast graduates.  (Remember Save by the Bell: The College Years?  Neither do I.)  Season six of Glee will be the last; I think the big ratings are gone.  I still have the show automatically picked up on my DVR.  I haven't kept up with the show the last few years, but I've decided I wanted to  watch this last season.

I really appreciate the complicated gay characters Glee creates on its shows.   It seems more real. And I think this season is going to be great because they are bringing it back to high school - the original dynamic that made the show so interesting.  So if you were a Gleek at any point, then make sure you're watching the final 13 episodes.

It's been a great run.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Post Op

Trigger is recovering nicely at Yaya and Papa's house (my husband's parents' house), he got his teeth cleaned and his growths removed.  The vet sent the growth to Texas A&M to analyze.  But all's well for the moment.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pre Op and Post Op

Today Trigger is having surgery to remove some growths and skin tags.  And when Trigger needs surgery we take him to my husband's parents' house for pre-op and post-op care.  His Papa and Yaya take such good care of him.

Dooley is still in Dallas with me, and the first 24 hours without Trigger she didn't eat her supper and she lapped the house looking for her brother.  I thought it was sweet.  They are a pack!

I wouldn't have a belly if I didn't eat supper and lapped the house looking for my husband when he's out of town, since he's out of town each week.  I have a new diet plan.

Send happy thoughts to Trigger Monkey.

Monday, January 5, 2015

We're All In This Together

I don't know how I can help, but I know for sure it's bad for humanity everywhere when individuals are persecuted for their sexual orientation.  What if I had been born in Egypt?  It's terrifying.

Via CNN:


Cairo (CNN)Two men exchange rings and hug in celebration aboard a Nile boat, as ululations fill the air and a traditional engagement song plays in the background.

But within days, their celebration has turned to shock and sadness: after a video of the "gay wedding" spread across Egyptian social media, the men were arrestedand eventually sentenced to three years in prison for distributing pornographic material.

Homosexuality is not mentioned in the Egyptian penal code, and technically it is not illegal, but members of the LGBT community are often arrested and charged with pornography, prostitution or debauchery.

At least 20 homosexual and transgender persons were convicted of debauchery and other charges in 2014, which human rights activists say has been the worst year for the community in recent memory.

Fear of arrest and social stigma force the majority of the LGBT community to conceal their identity and sexual orientation.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

You Always Remember Your First

We bought our first house in the fall of 2005.  It was a 1,652 square foot two bedroom, two bathroom bungalow built in 1926.
We fell in love with the large rooms rooms and high (10 foot) ceilings; it was the most spectacular house, and in the 31 months we owned the house we painted most rooms, remodeled one bathroom, did extensive landscape work, and since the largest room in the house was the center dining room we added a large chandelier with a black shade.   We also got married in the spring of 2006 and friends sent us two light fixtures from Restoration Hardware as a wedding gift, which we installed in the kitchen.

This week I noticed our  first house is up for rent!  Oh no.  I hope this doesn't fast track the (inevitable) tear down to rebuild a larger home future for our old house.  However, as a point of pride I did notice in the MLS rental info the agent explicitly calls out the "exquisite light fixtures."


So our style lives on in the new rental!  Here's photos from when we last owned the home in June 2008.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Follow Me

I've revived my Instagram account because it's a great way for me to stay connected to friends, family, and Taylor Swift.  If you're on Instagram too, then why not follow me?

Ove Thoughts

We finally finished reading Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove.  I have to disclose that with less than one third of the book remaining unread I grew tired of the meandering story, but I stuck with it and the last part of the book makes the entire story relevant.  I cried all the way through the epilogue of the book; it was beautiful.  If you start this book, then make sure you stick with it...this book (like Ove's himself) is best understood as a whole.

This book is about moving forward after great loss.  It's about not giving up on life.  It's about understanding the complexities of people and of situations, and this book is about finding the best (because it does in fact exist) in every individual.

This is one of my favorite quotes of the book.  It's an important mantra: never, ever give up!


"Now, you listen to me," says Ove calmly while he carefully closes the door.  "You've given birth to two children and quite soon you'll be squeezing out a third.  You've come here from a land far away and most likely you fled war and persecution and all sorts of other nonsense.  You'v learned a new language and got yourself an education and you're holding together a family of obvious incompetents.  And I'll be damned if I've seen you afraid of a single bloody thing in this world before now."

Ove rivets his eyes into her.  Parvaneh is still agape. Ove points imperiously at the pedals under her feet.

"I'm not asking for brain surgery.  I'm asking you to drive a car.  It's got an accelerator, a brake, and a clutch.  Some of the greatest twits in world history have sorted out how it works.  And you will as well."

And the he utters seven words, which Parvaneh will always remember as the loveliest compliment he'll ever give her.

"Because you are not a complete twit."