Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Greatest Time

I love living in a cul-de-sac.  There's such a sense of community among our 11 houses.  Tonight while I was taking Trigger and Dooley on a walk I stopped to chat with our next door neighbor in her front lawn.  She's in her seventies and her husband is older and in a wheelchair since he had a stroke.  For some reason we started talking about children.  She was talking about her wonderful two adult children, and she said they bring her so much joy and happiness especially during their elderly health scares.  She asked if we planned to have kids?

I updated her on our surrogacy plan: hope to be pregnant by July and baby(ies) in Q1 2016.  She was delighted by the news.  She looked at me with misty eyes and said, "you know I wish I could start all over and do it again.  Having children and raising them in your home is the greatest time.  Those were the best years."

I went on with our walk - Dooley and Trigger were pulling me away - and I thought about her words, her wisdom the entire walk.  It's always good to be reminded to enjoy the moment.  Enjoy the now.  Be present in all things, because this could be the best years of your life!

And it's interesting to know that my husband and I still have "the greatest time" ahead of us!

Andrew Salgado

"The large scale, gestural paintings of Andrew Salgado works explore concepts relating to the destruction and reconstruction of identity – a process that he views as re-considering the conventions of figurative painting through a pursuit toward abstraction. To create paintings that engage beyond what is immediately visible, he often consciously questions the nature of identity (and painting) itself as something deconstructed, created, and tangible."

- from Beers Contemporary

I just discovered the works of Andrew Salgado online.  I am a fan.  I'm a really big fan. The art he creates is exactly the kind of art that speaks to me.  Lucky for me he's two years younger than me, which means I will be able to admire his art for many more years.  He's just getting started!

To my readers with a significant art budgets: go pick up one of his pieces and invite me over to see it!  His work might be the price of a car, but unlike a car they won't go out of style!  These pictures don't capture the scale of his work, but you can appreciate the masterpieces...


They were sold out of the table cloths, I checked all three Targets in my area, but I did find 8 placemats in this happy Easter print.  The picture doesn't capture that these placemats are full of bright colors and are anchored with turquoise.  It's such a happy placemat, and I look forward to having them on my Easter table.

It reminds me of the flowers from California we saw this weekend.  In life it's important to stop and appreciate the flowers...that's one of the things my mother always taught me!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

La Jolla Weekend Wedding

It was a wedding weekend in La Jolla, California for us.  Our two friends Adam and Eddie have worked a completely different timeline than us.  They had babies (2013), they they got legally married (2015), and then this weekend they had a spectacular wedding (2015).  We did the opposite series of events: wedding (2006), legally married (2013), and hopefully babies (2016).

California beaches seem to have an endless supply of attractive people.  Everyone is fit, tan, and enjoying life!  The setting made the whole weekend so much fun.  And it also made me wonder - why don't we live in California?!

Our hotel had beach views with a balcony.  The nights were cool and breezy; it's a dream to sleep with the door open and ocean breeze cooling you all night.  We made the most of our time and on Saturday we toured Balboa Park and Coronado Island.

Adam and Eddie were extremely generous and they hired drivers for their guest to be shuttled from the hotel, to the beach for the wedding, and then to the reception location down the beach.

Our driver was confidently clueless ("there's only one way to get there") and his wrong route made us late to the wedding.  All the cars that left the hotel after us beat us to the event.  We eventually jumped out of our car and hustled along the beach towards the wedding bowl.  We made it in time to see the exchanging of vows at least!  Nothing like a little drama.

Congratulations Adam and Eddie.  We love you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sleeping Boy 1961

Izabella Godlewska de Aranda's 1961 painting titled Sleeping Boy is brilliant.  As an art lover without an art budget I'm so grateful to be living in 2015!  Technology exists where it doesn't cost very much to have a painting printed on canvas - it makes art affordable and accessible to all.  Plus, I hope it gives the artists a little more income?

I was inspired by this photo, on Design Sponge from a Brisbane home:

I couldn't stop thinking about the painting, which I thought was an original.  I researched the artist and pow pow - just like that (magic?) I discovered I could bring home a print all my own.  Hooray for living in 2015.

This weekend my husband was sweet enough to hang the print for me.  It's high in the upstairs common room. 

I am a lucky man.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Babies and Puppies

If we surround our children with beautiful things, then they will act in a beautiful way?

We're slowly transitioning a bedroom into a nursery for future baby(ies).  Technically, we're not buying nursery furnishings until we're pregnant, which if all goes well will be July 2015.  However, I was able to get my husband to green light this purchase; it's a large scale print on canvas of Slim Aarons' so very, very celebrated Poolside Gossip.  I want to live in this photograph of 1970 Palm Springs!

I was inspired years ago by this nursery, which was in Fort Worth, Texas.

I've been planning our nursery for years, yes.  I've also been planning to act on my husband's decade long rule: "no more dogs than people" in our household.  When we add more people I will be able to add more dogs!

This weekend we discovered Dooley's half brother Kliff...

 ...fathered this bunch of puppies:

And one little boy is (as of this moment) available for adoption.  Oh, wouldn't it be lovely to scoop him up in a few weeks and have him trained by the time our baby(ies) arrive in one year?  Clearly this is a logical approach?  It's called planning.

Although, my husband and I are still discussing the pros and cons of the situation.  It's not every day you get the chance to bring home one of Dooley's nephews, right?  Honestly, my husband has enforced the "no more dogs than people" rule in our marriage for almost a decade in hopes that once children arrived I'd forget about more puppies.  That's ridiculous.  My husband knows me; I am not practical.  My husband is extremely practical.

Now that my husband understands my position; we're in a bit of a puppy negotiation.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Does this look like the face of a monster? She is a beast.  Last night Dooley woke up at 2:00 AM and started barking and running around the bedroom.  She wanted to play?  She wanted to get in bed with me?  She wanted the bed Trigger was sleeping in?  I don't know what she wanted.

I was tired.  I was sleeping.  Her barking and running (on the wood floors) was so loud.  I sat up in bed and took the pillows from my husband's side of the bed (he's away on business) and started throwing them at Dooley.

Dooley: Bark

Me: No. (Throw a pillow towards a running dog)

Dooley: Bark, bark, bark!

Me: No! (Throw a pillow towards a running monster.) Go to sleep!

When I spoke to my husband this morning he informed me that when our future children wake up in the middle of the night I cannot throw pillows at them.

Wait, babies don't sleep through the night?  I'm confused.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


"You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way."

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Harry Potter

My husband, who's watched all the Harry Potter movies, is for the first time (!) reading all the Harry Potter books.  I'm having a hard time holding his attention, because he's constantly reading on his iPad mini.  He's appreciating how the books are so much better than the movies, because they can hold so much more detail.

For me, it's interesting to see him have the ability to immediately jump from book to book to book in the series.  I started reading (listening) to the books when the second book was published, which means I had to wait a year(ish) in between books after the first two.

Maybe I need to read them again!  Won't it be fun when we have kids and we can all read Harry Potter as a family?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snowy Dallas the Encore

The 'sac got hit with three to four inches of snow last night.  It was cold, silent and magical this morning.  The 'sac also smelled like mountain air this morning, which made me wish we lived closer to Colorado- ski trip!

As such, it was another crazy morning in Dallas.  Trigger stayed in bed all morning.  He was cold.

I worked from home.  I went to yoga during a lunch break.  And I put out Easter decor when I didn't want to work any more.

My brother sent us a photo of all three of our nieces:

I'm glad they enjoyed the snow because it was mostly gone from the roads by the evening.

Hooray for snow in Dallas!  I love winter.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Begin Again

How did I not know about this movie?  We stumbled onto Begin Again, which has a really high score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it was delightful.

I really like it because in the end the female character is not defined by her relationship with a man.

It's a good lesson, because perhaps we're not always as strong as we'd hope, but in the end we can overcome the bumps in our journey.  Be strong.  Be independent.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wally Workman host Fatima Ronquillo

I'm significantly more passionate about the artist Fatima Ronquillo than my husband.  I think her work is extraordinary.  Her paintings offer little narratives of interest, which allow your mind to wander and explore.  Her art encourages more creative thought.  She's remarkable.

But as you know, art is extremely subjective and personal.  In a thick Southern accent we like to quote our friends Amy and Ann E.'s inside family joke: It's art, what does it mean to you??  

I've had my eye on Fatina's work for a few years, and recently she's exploded in popularity (rightfully so) and now her art is priced outside my current reach.

But as you also know, you don't have to own art to appreciate it, right?  Here's our chance to see her art!  She has an upcoming show in Austin, Texas at the Wally Workman gallery March 7-28, 2015.

If you're close to Austin, go see her work with your own eyes.  If you like it, then please contact my husband and inform him his opinion is incorrect!  If you don't like it, then please contact an optometrist and go get your eyesight examined!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Three Cakes and a Pie

We like to celebrate my husband's birth...among friends and with cake and pie.  Last weekend my husband celebrated his 35th (one week early) and my grandfather's 85th (one week late), and at the dinner celebration my parents gave my husband a Nothing Bundt Cake cake.  Yum.

Friday night, on the eve of my husband's birthday I picked up a white chocolate and almond honey cake from Whole Foods.  (The Dallas ice storm closed Sprinkles early, and the cupcake ATM machine was out of order) (#firstworldproblems)

And last night, on my husband's actual birthday, his parents hosted a lovely steak dinner celebrating three birthdays!  My husband's aunt Kathy and uncle John drove up from Houston especially for the event; we toasted my husband's birthday, my husband's father's birthday, and one of my husband's mother's BFF's birthday.

My husband's mother baked a family birthday tradition of "Granny's chocolate cake" (it's a chocolate sheet cake with crazy amounts of icing and tons of Mexican vanilla), and she also baked a butterscotch pie with homemade crust!

The takeaway is that we're fat and happy and yoga is going to be tough today with all that sweetness running through our veins.  That's okay, it was worth it.  And I can assume the guys in yoga with 6 packs don't have parents and husbands that love them enough to celebrate births with three cakes and a pie.