On a Pontoon, Lake Austin!

Sean and I had a fun weekend in Austin (2 weekends ago).  Shelby had planned to rent a pontoon boat with some of her old friends from college and she invited us to join.  We stayed at a Westin Friday night where I became obsessed with the robe in the room. Seriously, I think SP thought I was going to leave for the lake in it!

Mine should be arriving in a day or two :)  He insisted that I order one
when we got back home :)

Sean and I went to dinner Friday night at a place called Moonshine in downtown Austin.  It was really good, southern comfort type food.  We thought we were going to go out downtown afterwards but we were so full, all we could think about was going back to our hotel room and relaxing.  We were back by 8 and I was cozy in my robe by 8:05 :)  I brushed my teeth, took my makeup off, and we were done for the night.  Or so we thought!  Shelby called around 10 saying she had made it to Austin from Colorado and she and her friend (who put the Pontoon trip together) were eating at Gloria's at the Domain.  Little did Shelby know, we were staying at the Westin at the Domain!  Sean and I got redressed and went and met our friend for a night cap.  I am pretty sure I limited my makeup this trip out to just mascara.

Saturday morning, we slept in and Sean even got a chance to knock out an hours worth of work before checking out at noon.  I laid around all morning in my robe and chatted on the phone with my mom while SP worked downstairs.  Pretty soon, it was time to check-out and get ready for the lake!

SP and I made a grocery store run to HEB to load up on necessities for the boat! Lots of beer.  Lots of water.  And a few snacks :)

The plan was to meet everyone at Hula Hut on Lake Austin around 1 because the boat was picking us up there at 2.  We got there much earlier than everyone else and enjoyed our time together on the patio, watching all the UT fans roll in.

Bloody Mary's, Chips & Salsa, and SP's Zantac :)
Shelby, Me, SP, Danielle, Roger

Our friends finally got there around 1.  None of us had brought any of our lake stuff into the restaurant. We had coolers, bags, floats, etc.  We closed out our tab and ventured back into the mayhem of a parking lot to get our stuff.  We were greeted by a what we like to call a "Not So Magic Carpet Ride" driver.  Parking at the Hula Hut is pretty bad.  We had to park across the street, up a giant hill, and around a few turns.  So to be offered a ride?  SURE! ...and just like that, we all hopped on. First mistake: we all got on the same side of the trailer thingy with benches (see visual below)...

Across the street, up the hill, into the parking, around a turn and next thing we know, we are all scattered across the hot pavement, in total shock, and me, gushing blood.  The trailer tumped over due to all the weight on one side and the driver taking the turn way too fast.  All the cars around stopped and jumped out to make sure we were all ok.  Everyone was ok (thankfully), but mentally we were all very shaken up.  I was the most hurt, with a pretty cut up foot.  I slammed down on both my hips and then I guess slid on my left side b/c my left bum is scraped and the inner part of my right heel and arm have seen better days.  Here is my arm.  I'll spare you a picture of my nasty foot.

Sean and I got to our car and he blasted AC on me. I was so freaked out I thought I was going to faint because people kept saying how bad my foot was and how much I was bleeding.  Awesome.  I sat and he cleaned my foot with water.  The driver said he was going to come back for us (ok, proof we were still shaken...we got back on that damn thing!) and take me to get some medical attention.  They got my foot cleaned up and bandaged, but the next issue was the lake.  Who wants to get in lake water with an open wound?  NOT this girl!  The thought of staph was lurking in my hypochondriac brain : // So at first I told SP to go on without me and I'd go get a hotel and chill for the afternoon because there was no way I was going to sit on a hot boat for 5 hours without getting in the water!

After a little more consideration, I realized that was not going to be fun either. We were in Austin to hang out with friends and ride on a boat.  So with that, I limped over to the dock and hopped on the pontoon boat.  As we pulled out of the no wake zone, it dawned on me.  I can't drink!  If I drink, I'll have to pee!  And where would I pee if I can't get in the water.  Oh my gosh.  That 5 hours just turned into what felt like 10.  I was stuck!  Luckily, I think I was so shaken up from the accident, I didn't want to drink and also didn't have to go while on the boat.  Phew!  I did take a jello shot or two though :) The hours actually flew by, and most of the people on the boat were going in and out of the water, so thankfully I had people to talk to the whole time, and for the most part, shade.

The whole crew...Liz is hiding behind me
Shelby, Roger photobombing us, Liz, Me
Liz, Shelby, and SP floating in the water
Mike & Liz, Shelby
Me enjoying the end of the day, with the boat in motion.  The breeze felt so good after sitting still all afternoon!
Sun beginning to set over Lake Austin
It was beautiful!  And the houses along the lake...$$$ !!!!!

We docked at 7:30 after a nice cruise around the lake.  We all unloaded, and I made a mad dash for the toilet, ha!  Us girls waited on the curb while the guys went to pull the cars around.  While waiting...this happened...

That's right.  As if I needed more things to happen to me that day.  I shattered my iPhone!  I have dropped my phone so many times, but on this day, it shattered.  Go figure!

Shelby, SP and I stayed with Mike and Liz that night.  I was so happy when we got there.  I just felt like I was doomed and nothing bad could happen once we were settled in for the night!  I was finally able to relax and enjoy myself.  We had the best time at their house!  There is just something that comes with hanging out with Mike and Liz, and that's tequila.  Lots of tequila!  They were determined to get some tequila in me after the day I (all of us) had!  Round of shots, then out to the pool we went!

Can you tell who was in the shade all day?  And who is finally happy and enjoying herself?!  ME! :) :)

After lots of swimming, we got out and ate a late snack that Liz made.  I am still drooling over this.  Liz can cook some mexican food like no other!  We had these chicken salad tostadas with a yummy tomatilla salsa that Mike made.  I think I ate 3.  I seriously can't stop thinking about them, SO GOOD! While eating, we all got in a pretty heavy conversation.  Liz lost her dad a year ago, Sept. 18.  So we had a lot we could all relate and talk about.  So after a sap fest, we lightened it up with some karaoke! It was so much fun, and hilarious at that!  Liz passed out. Sean passed out.  Shelby, Mike and I?  Kept on going!  We were like energizer bunnies!  We were wired and having a blast!  I think the funniest part was that SP was asleep on the couch in the same room us and we were not quiet!  We would sing a few, then go jump in the pool for a while, then go back to singing!  With maybe some tequila in between.

I think Shelby forgot how to tie her sarong!  Haha!
Sean woke up around 3 and enjoyed the show! (yes, we were still singing!)

I think it was 5am by the time we decided it was really time to go to bed.  We were tired of swimming, practically hoarse from singing so loud, and shockingly tired. No really, we were :)

It was a great time down in Austin.  The best part for me was hanging out at the Washlesky's after being on the lake all day.  They have a great house, great food, and great tequila there :)  Thanks Shelby for the invite!  Always a good time when you're around!

INJURY UPDATE: By Tuesday I was not sore anymore.  But, I am still hobbling on my foot.  It is healing really well, but b/c of where it is on my heel, it makes it really hard to put pressure on it while walking.  Le sigh :(


Don't Miss It

September 18th marked 3 months for my dad being away from this visible planet.  On that day, my mom spotted this beauty from the sky near their home we call The Escarpment.  Way to lift our spirits, Dad :)

The next morning, Sean was up and out of the house before I woke up (very unusual!).  I reached over to grab my phone laying on my bedside.  He had sent me this beautiful picture of the sky that morning. Thanks again, Dad :)

The very next day I woke up and saw this out my window...

Ok yea right.  But, Giada did, and she shared it with her Instagram followers.  I had to steal this image because it was perfection in my eyes.

To quote one of my favorites...

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. 
- Ferris Bueller.


Peyton Manning, You're My Hero!!

On Friday night, we got to hang out with another couple that we don't see very often.  Sad because they live less than 15 minutes down the road from us!  Sean's best friend from childhood, Ryan and his wife Marj.  Ryan was a groomsman in our wedding.  They have 3 kids so they were excited to have a night out.

Sean made us a "getting ready" drink :)

Sean and I went a little early to eat dinner.  We split a burger and then enjoyed people watching while we waited for the Ochs to arrive.

Marj and I had lots to talk about and catch up on!
The boys were not too smart, thinking a tequila shot was a good idea ;)

We had a good time visiting, then Marj and I eventually made our way to the dance floor :)

On Saturday we ended up in Flower Mound.  I went to see my cousin Jennifer and SP had a house to show up that way.  It was pretty late in the afternoon but we enjoyed some pool time!  The LSU game was at 6 so we just decided to stay up there and watch the game.  Greg and Andrew were out of town, so it was just us and the 2 younger dudes, Zach and Lucas.  Jennifer and I headed out around 5 to grab dinner for everyone while Sean snoozed on their couch and the boys played xbox.

We got the boys Taco Bell and we grabbed real good mexican food.  And a margarita while we waited :)

Even though my mom wasn't with us this weekend, she was still geared up and ready to GEAUX!

Always a Corona Light for LSU games!
Jennifer had this GREAT idea that every time LSU scored, we all had to jump in the pool!  We were all on board and thought it sounded like fun.  Within minutes of kickoff, TOUCHDOWN LSU!  We all ran outside, and she didn't have her suit on.  So she did a pretend jump in by jumping on the step.  I was not ok with her rule she made and not giving us 100%...so, I decided to push her in with her clothes on :) Let's just say it didn't take her long to go put her suit back on after that!

After 3 rounds of this fun game, we realized we should just stay in the pool.  We were playing UAB, so there was a lot of jumping going on.  We were out by halftime and watched the rest of the game inside.  We won, 56-17.  GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!

Sunday was NFL allllllll day!  The Bears played at noon.  We went to Dublin Square with our usual Bears watching crew.

Me, Sean, and Jack!

After this game, we came home and napped through whatever the next game on TV was, whoops!  We had to rest because the Cowboys had the Sunday night game!  They won.  The Bears, the Saints, AND the Cowboys won!  YAY for all my teams!

Last but not least....

Thank you Peyton Manning for giving me such a high score this week!   I beat everyone in my fantasy league.  BIG TIME!  I hope next week is just as good!

Bishop Arts Wine Walk

Last Thursday, SP and I drove to Dallas to celebrate Kristen's 31st birthday!

We met she and Jeff at Oddfellows in the Bishop Arts District.  It's a really fun, artsy, hipster type of area in Oak Cliff.  The food was seriously so good.  It was southern comfort food with a fancy twist :)

Fried Deviled Eggs
Ginny cocktail.  Gin and Apricot and Ginger flavors = yum!
Sean got fancy Buffalo Mac ' n' Cheese
Kristen and I both got Chicken and Waffles, only they were out of waffles (ugh!) so we ate
our chicken with a big ole pancake instead :)
Kristen loves Hostess Ding-Dongs.  They waitress told us they had these special ding dong cakes that night!
We had to get her one!  She devoured it!  WAY better than the original plastic tasting one!
Little did she know I had homemade Nutella cake balls waiting for her in the car!

After dinner, we ventured through the streets for Bishop Arts First Thursday Wine Walk. We paid $10 and got a souvenir wine glass.  All the shops stayed open until 9 and you could go in, get your glass filled (ok, we all know they didn't really FILL it up!) drink wine, and shop :)  Kristen cracked me up because she literally bought something in every store we went in.  The only thing I wanted was a $60 candle. Precisely why I bought nothing.

I didn't buy this, but it did make me LOL!  Maybe it was the wine, I don't know.  But it is just so funny to me!
Don't worry, I would never slap my friends :)

The boys did a real good job waiting outside for us as we went into each shop. They were tiny little stores and very crowded!

We really enjoyed spending time with Jeff and Kristen.  We all get along really well.  It's too bad we don't get together more often.  We were headed home by 9, which made it the perfect Thursday night activity :)


Tigers in Texas!

Last Thursday, my mom drove down from her mountain in Arkansas to spend Labor Day weekend with her Texas family!  The TIGERS were playing on Saturday night at Jerry World against TCU! First game of the season, get excited people!!!  My mom and I even painted our nails purple for the occasion!

So you've heard the story before about how SP and I have named our house, Chateau Parks....well this past weekend was no different.  My mom's room was ready for her arrival on Thursday evening :)

We fixed her a silver platter complete with her favorite candy, raw sugar, coffee, tea, a writing pen that plays the LSU Fight Song, and last but not least...a custom made, Chateau Parks coffee mug!  She has always hated the coffee mugs we have at the chateau, so I made it my mission to fix this problem so we could guarantee her another stay ;)  Also on the list of new things were monogrammed hand towels...

After she got all settled in, we sent SP out to pick up Pei Wei and then his parents came over for dinner. We called it an early night since we had a busy weekend ahead!

Adam made the drive over from Shreveport on Friday. We all had a great weekend together, but somehow Adam managed to dodge most of the pictures I took.  Sorry, brother!  Wish you were in more of them!  Anyway, Friday was spent prepping for the big game on Saturday!  Adam arrived around 4 and then we visited with him while I baked yummy cookies in the kitchen :)  He did present me with a very awesome something right when he walked in...

From his fiance, Christy!  I can't wait till their wedding!!

We cooked Penne alla Vodka for dinner with salad and garlic bread, mmm.  I forgot to get a picture of the meal, but I did manage to snap one of the sauce right after SP put the vodka in!

Saturday morning we woke up and hit the ground running...oh wait, no.  I woke up with a terrible sore throat and an achy feeling all over.  NO!  This can't be happening...IT'S GAME DAY!  Good thing I shook it off for the most part.  Back to ground running.  Did I mention we decided to do a Fantasy Football draft this year? That's right...The Pope's, SP, Me, Boyd, Adam, Christy, and LBT!  My mom and I had a lot of work to do!  We were pretty clueless on how this whole fantasy thing was going to work.  We did some homework Friday night and Saturday morning.  Then we got busy in the kitchen getting things prepped to head to Flower Mound where we were drafting at 4, phew!  I'm exhausted just thinking about getting everything ready in time!  We made potato salad, big hoagie sandwiches, got the ribs prepped, and....I think that's all...but it was a lot!  We made it over to Boyd and Carol's just in time to get setup for the draft!

Ready to draft!
Adam staked his spot on the floor...there's a shocker ;) ;) (hence why he's not in the picture!)
Greg and Zach drafting their teams

Let me backup for a minute.  This weekend was obviously a tough one for my family. The man who has been the largest presence of us all, is no longer physically present.  All during dinner on Friday, we each shared stories of my dad still making his presence known in each of our lives and how cool it is to each of us that we can still feel him all around us.  My mom shared her story of seeing a rainbow in a spot in her house that she has never seen one before, just as she was getting sad packing up for this trip to watch the tigers play and him not being there.  There was this rainbow on the light-switch at the bottom of the stairs, telling her not to be sad!  Then, Adam shared a story of a sign he saw when he was deciding on making a career move.  I shared a story of my dad giving me a huge hug in my dream a few nights back.  And SP shared a story about when he prays, he tells God, "Say Hello to Fred."   

So on Saturday, Adam and SP left a few minutes before my mom and I did for my cousin's house.  My mom and I finally got packed up and in the car.  I turned on the car, jumped out to grab something and when I turned around my mom was frantically waving me back in the car.  When I got in the car, I was overwhelmed with emotion because listen to what was on the radio...

This song was the first song on the radio when we got in the car.  This song was the last song played at my dad's memorial service.  We had the lyrics on the bulletin for everyone to sing along.  My dad is still around.  That man does NOT want us to be sad.  He wants us to LIVE, because that is exactly what he'd be doing, and is doing.  He is still alive in us.  

The draft didn't go as planned, but according to SP, I got a pretty good team!  And so did my mom!  I have to give her more props than me, because I got frustrated and started auto-drafting after round 3, ha!

The rest of the day was spent cooking, eating, visiting, swimming, and staying scared to death, while we all anxiously awaited the late kick-off at 8:30, yuck!

Just before kick-off we had a little pump us up moment!

Greatest song ever!  Too bad I cut the video off before the good part started, o'well!  The TIGERS WON!  37-27!  GEAUX TIGERS!  It was a loooooooong day and a laaaaaaaaate night.  The game didn't end until 12:30, ugh!  But it was all worth it :)  SP stayed at Greg and Jennifer's that night because he was getting up early the next morning to go dove hunting!

On Monday, Adam left after lunch at Mi Cocina.  My mom and I went shopping a little, then quickly realized how tired we were and ended up coming home, plopping on the couch and watching Project Runway and Catch Me If You Can (love that movie!).

SP was up and in the dove field by 5am!  They went twice that day, and didn't have much luck either time :(

Their final count was 3 doves!  Boo!  BUT, my dad would be proud that they didn't give any bird a "free ride"! :)  SP said the best part about the day was being up that early, in the field watching the sunrise.  I bet it was a pretty magical moment.  Next time though...shoot some more of those pretty little birds b/c they sure are good wrapped up in some bacon and thrown on the grill.  Mmmm!!!