Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just a quick post this morning before i hit the ground running.

yesterday the boys and Hazel and i went hiking on one of the Steiner trails. it was beautiful! water was flowing in the creeks and the colors were so vibrant, as they are after a rain and on an overcast day. afterwards i took them to P. Terry's in Lakeway for milkshakes, and then on to Bee Caves to join their library. the library in Bee Caves is located in the Galleria, a beautiful outdoors mall. its a snazzy library, even if it isn't that big. we've kinda been spoiled with the downtown Austin library that has every book ever written. just about. so we each got cards and found some books. we had to make quick work of it because Hazel was signing at the top of her lungs and William and John were fighting over a Calvin and Hobbes.

i'm still getting adjusted to living on the west side. we were so immersed in our life on the eastisde, and it's such a culture shock to relocate over here. for those unfamiliar with Austin, the eastside has traditionally been the "bad" side of town, full of drugs and gangs and crime. it's been predominantly Black, and then Hispanic. but times are a changing. Gentrification is driving out a lot of long time residents and people with more money are moving in to the old houses and fixing them up. close-in eastside is now an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, lawyers, doctors, social workers, UT students, as well as professors and employees, people working in the film industry, day laborers, Mexicans "just passing through", and retirees. The sidewalks are full of people waiting for the buses, there are taco trucks, homeless, hippies, hipsters, people on bikes, people on scooters, people in electric cars. the stores are full of people. all types. Over here on the west side you see mostly white folks with a sprinkling of Asians and Indians. the cars are all new, Acura, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Infinity...I feel rather low class driving a new Suburban. Even stores like Target and HEB are swankier. Everyone is moving at a slower pace, women in their workout attire carrying Starbucks and their stylish reusable shopping bags. everyone is smiling, happy to be the 1% maybe?

anyways, as i said, it's been a bit of a culture shock for these two simple folk who aren't of the upwardly mobile stock. but we're making friends and learning where we fit in. learning to mind our manners and not appear too much like hicks.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

gonna try to get back into blogging now that we have a new home computer. trying to create blog posts on the ipad or on our lazy laptops just wasn't cutting it.

summer is almost here for Margaret and Samuel. they've been such troopers this last month, getting up early to ride in to town with Brian, hanging around until he gets off work, getting home late. they are really going to enjoy the downtime.

the holiday weekend was a full one. i made three large cakes: a wedding cake, a grooms cake, and a birthday cake. mama came and stayed thursday through saturday to help me out. we had fun running errands, decorating the house, talking while i baked, and going for walks. after church on sunday we had a birthday party for William and John. it was our first party since we moved and it was so very nice to have all the extra room! the cousins stayed the night. its so sweet to watch how they all interact. there is such a special bond amongst them. they are each other's closest friends.

after the cousins went home, we loaded up some floats and the canoe and went over to Lake Travis, really just a five minute drive from Steiner Ranch. we went to Mansfield Dam Park, a park Brian helped design. its always cool to see projects that he has worked on and get an idea of what he does all day.

I've got a full day ahead of me. my childhood best friend's mom is retiring from teaching after 30+ years and the younger set and i are going to the party this afternoon. I've also promised the boys a trip to the pool, then there's laundry to do, house to clean, exercise to get, and grocery shopping to get done. so blessed to have so many people to love that give me so many tasks to do!

Friday, May 17, 2013

We're here in Steiner Ranch now. We still have that feeling as if we're on vacation and soon we'll have to pack up and head home. The neighborhood is lovely, as are the handful of neighbors we've met. There are more than enough opportunities for physical activity: dozens and dozens of the prettiest hiking trails, three swimming pools, bike lanes and side walks, lots of playgrounds. And the lakes.
I have just about everything unpacked and it looks like home. It's amazing how our stuff looks just right here even though our other house was a lot smaller and of a completely different style.

Last night we had our first dinner guests - Brian's parents. It was for a belated Mother's Day celebration. We grilled burgers and I made a four layer fudge cake covered in cream cheese frosting and fondant. We ate out in the backyard and it felt like camping.

It's been a bit of a shock to the system to move from east Austin to an upscale neighborhood as Steiner. Every body drives new, fancy cars and all the women are perfect and wear workout clothes all day. The kids wear clean clothes and have manicured toes. I'm sure we'll have the reputation of being The Hippie Family before too long. My kids go barefoot everywhere, get dirty a don't care, play dress up in the front yard, and ride their bikes without helmets.

I'm loving the super nice grocery stores where they're always handing out sushi, wine, and chef prepared foods. I've always loved grocery shopping, but now I do even more.

Margaret and Samuel have been real troopers. Every afternoon when they get out of school, they either walk to the Y downtown or to a library, and do their homework until Brian gets off work.mThey sometimes stop in at a grocery store along their route and buy each other snacks. I think they'll have some good memories to look back on of this time. They've become the best of friends! They've also grown up a lot this year, starting a new school together mid-year, riding the bus across town and back, and now walking around downtown together.

I'll post pics of the house as soon as I have a chance. Right now I'm off to get the kiddies ready for school.