So, you may know that this past weekend was my wonderful wife Heather’s birthday. Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about this woman whom I love. I will gladly risk sounding too mushy to tell you that she is without a doubt a person whom is worthy of praise and well wishes. She is beautiful, kind, adventurous, loving, funny, loyal, a good daughter, an amazing friend and a wonderful wife. She is my partner in life and most every good thing in our life is from something she dreams up. So, it was fitting that myself and our families would step it up this year and give her a birthday that expressed our love. From a lot of Japanese food, to Totoro cakes, many sweet treats, to Hello Kitty, to shopping and shoes, to handbags and yes, an Electric Bicycle from her parents – this week we did our best to show our love to this woman we all love. Here is to the next year, may it be even better than the last.
Oh, little Emory…you don’t read these blog posts (nor does he “really” care about his 3rd birthday) BUT, boy oh boy do we care! We spent the weekend with my family and most of it in our pajamas, but we of course had to celebrate his birthday on August 3rd! I mean, we just had to. He is 3 years old after all. He got a snazzy party hat, a bright new ball and lots and lots of family love. We are resigned to the reality that we are those cray doggie people, and honestly that’s OK with us. We love him, we love Clio. They make wherever we are home. So, we are blessed that our puppies make us so happy and hopefully better, more patient people. They are really and truly little heartbeats at our feet. Happy Birthday, little rapscallion Emory!
Boy oh boy, what can I say about this husband of mine. He is such a man of worth and love, with the ultimate giver’s heart. Of all the people in all the world, I get to be a part of your life, kid. I am forever grateful for this. What a privilege to go through all the adventures we are blessed to be able to go on. He is a totally legit puppy papa, the top of the tops. I can only pray and wait with excitement to have children with this man. What a daily blessing you are. Your wit and hilarity has gotten us through many a challenge. You are crazy, and wonderful and the BEST rib smoker I have ever met! I mean what else could you ask for!
Happy 34th Birthday!
P.S. I wouldn’t have Vietnamese food and boba tea with anyone else!
March 9th is the day of my mother’s birth. And in our family, we do our best celebrate you up good. And above and beyond anyone I know, my mother deserves to be celebrated to the fullest. She’s pretty fantastic and she deserves everything good in life. She is devoted to and lives for her family, and we are the better for it. We love her for who she is: her kindness, her patience, her wit and humor and above all, the authentic way she lives her life every day.
The Happiest Birthday to her!
Special events warrant vacations, and being Heather’s 28th, we grabbed our family and hit the road. This is our second road trip to Orlando inside of a year, but being that this trip was to Walt Disney World, it couldn’t have come soon enough! After a winding drive along the coast, we arrived to Orlando where Mr. Emory was soon whisked off to meet new doggie friends at the nicely appointed (and fairly new) Best Friends Pet Resort on the Disney grounds, where he got his own little suite to hang out for the day. And then our own Disney adventure began.
We headed to Epcot, where all the memories of my childhood trip came flooding back and of course every trip Heather’s family has made to Disney…just entering the Disney gates is always magical. I felt like a kid again. So, it was a whirlwind of acquiring many Mickey/Minnie ears (4 to be exact) for Heather, running around meeting so many classic characters, from Mickey and Minnie to Pluto and Goofy and of course Heather met Marie from Aristocats! Many good moments, from Soarin’ to the Little Nemo & Friends and exploring the countries of the World Showcase. You could spend a few days in Epcot, and a day alone in the world showcase shopping and eating and generally taking a million pictures. And pictures this trip again are following our love of 35mm film, where we came armed with cameras and the risk of every shot being unknown. It was an amazing start to an amazing trip, topped off by a surprise birthday cake waiting for Heather at the Omni Resort! Disney was only teasing us as to the surprised this trip would give us!
It’s here, my 28th year is finally here. And what better way to be in your late 20s better than hot pants, standing on a rock and while we’re at it, Austin BBQ!
28 years. 28 years of learning about life, making so many mistakes, growing into maturity, failing, and succeeding. My life has been full to the brim so far, and while the challenges are present every day, I don’t think I would change most things.
Looking back at all I’ve lived, what would I tell myself at 18? I’m worlds away from the girl I was at 18. I would tell myself to have patience. To be brave and bold with every choice and action. Also, to slow down and breathe in the good in the world.
So, being from Texas and it being my birthday, why not make a special trip to Austin via a stop at West, TX for kolaches. Can we say enough about Czech Stop of West TX? Simply the BEST kolaches and we may have purchased too many? Never past West without stopping. Ever.
Austin was busy and very hot as always. But hot or not there was BBQ to try. We decided on Stiles Switch BBQ in north Austin, and it proved central Texas BBQ is always amazing. (Best ribs of my life) The capital at dusk was very nice, but soon enough it was time to get back to a certain Pomeranian waiting patiently at home.
All in all, a full day as my 28th year ramps up, for Disney World among other things!
Here’s to you, twenty-eight.
Yes, we had a “party” for our dog, as we are evidently those people. It may be completely dorky, and totally uncool. We are completely OK with that. Being that a lot of dog and cat people spoil their pets, we knew he would be no different.
We just happened to be at Michael’s arts & craft store picking up a few things for the Etsy shop, and we found all those decorations in the dollar bargain bins! All of it just happen to match and I couldn’t not get it. So, we made some cookies for him to eat, gave him his present from the Disney store: a Peg stuffed animal from Lady and the Tramp (since we are going to Walt Disney World for my birthday) and a new bouncy ball.
He’s a scoundrel, he’s a rounder, he’s a cad
he’s a tramp but we love him, and wish that we could travel his way.
It’s August 3rd, which means it is a certain little guy’s 2nd birthday.
Like so many dog/animal lovers, we obsess and love our dog. But like we have always said from the day we brought him home, Emory isn’t really a dog/dog. He is a little boy mostly, and even some days he assumes the persona of a hybrid dog/cat. He is family, and the bond we have is more than owner/pet. He is our heart. When we met him, he hung back from the litter and just when the time was right…he stole our hearts with one tilt of the head. He makes us laugh constantly, like his obsession with tossing toys into any filling bathtub. He plays ball at 100 miles an hour, and might just have the soccer skills of a second grader. He makes silly faces, travels long distances better than any kid, and is emotionally in tune with us every day. We love him more than a single blog post can express.
We had a little birthday “party” today, which to most might seem extremely silly, but we love to honor him. Though, I think we are stopping at the 2nd birthday….as these things could get crazy year after year. And yes, there are pictures. We might just bore you with them later.
My parents were back from their Vegas trip and coming through town, so it was a real treat for him. He adores my parents, he knows when their car turns the corner to our house. We had been telling him they were coming, and he was an excited, nervous wreck of anticipation all day. And needless to say, many spins and face licks happened.
So, it’s been a full two years. And while it may be a little tough for us as a couple to accept that he is not a puppy anymore, every day is a gift and joy. But Emory never knew about that, he just always loves us unconditionally every day.
There is nothing like discovering a new city, with a unique rhythm and history all its own. So, when planning for Bo’s birthday we decided to fulfill one of our entries on a list of places we’d like to experience: New Orleans. Needless to say, the Crescent City did not disappoint. With Heather’s mom and dad along side us, our caravan of cars carrying 4 people and a certain puppy headed east to the Big Easy. Prior to leaving, we were able to find lodging through the website AirBnB, which pairs travelers to privately owned accommodations. The shotgun cottage we were able to book was very cute online (and highly, highly recommend this house!), but SO much more adorable and decorated in person. Our host Lillian was really nice and met our every need. And while it was a mere 600 sq ft, it never felt like it with high ceilings, great art on the walls and was perfectly located adjacent to Magazine Street. The city really took our breath away, with its charm and ever flowing energy. That is something that you can only get from a city that was formed in 1718. And away we went.
We got Emory settled in the wonderful Camp Bow Bow day camp (more on this later) and off we went to meet up with with the parents to eat at the wonderful Salú, off of Magazine Street near our accommodations. The true key to discovering a city is to go where the locals go. Magazine Street is just that kind of area in the city. It’s filled with shops, restaurants, bars and coffee shops; all of these things are walkable and easily accessible by bicycle or public transport. Salu’ was amazing small plates and tapas, and we explored the neighborhood and its character. The highlight might have been the wonderful sweet shop Sucré with the absolute best french macaroons you will ever see or eat. A must stop for anyone who likes sweet treats.
Soon enough it as time for Emory to join us and we headed off to the French Quarter, fighting traffic and making it to the famed district as the sun was fading and the night air was humid and warm with music. The Quarter is a phenomenon, a throwback to another time, which either of us would say is perfectly alright with us. We walked the narrow brick streets, found and admired art and music. We soaked in the energy and avoided the barkers and the riff raff to explore and soak in the old New Orleans. It was simply great. Nothing like the energy in a big old city, and New Orleans stole a big piece of our heart in these moments.
And when you’ve walked a lot and drunk men have tried to sit on you and you are hungry in the Quarter? Grab a hamburger, grilled cheese or BLT at The Camellia Grill (open since 1946. There we sat and ate and reflected on the perfect first day of one of the best times we have ever had on an adventure in any city. It was the perfect welcome to the city originally known to the French as Nouvelle-Orléans.
Birthdays are a tricky thing as an adult. One likes the feeling of people’s recognition and love, but one doesn’t want to come off like a spoiled six year old when it comes to birthday plans. Turning 33 is an odd thing, and I honestly didn’t know what to think about it. What I do know is that my wife is excellent at making people feel special on days like these. So, 33 began with midnight cupcakes, sweet and kind words and drifted into a wonderful parade of phone calls throughout the day. It culminated in the arrangement of a dinner with family at what is now my favorite new restaurant in DFW: The Milk & Honey Co. in Keller TX. It was nice to see everyone of course, but to be honest I was JAZZED about the food. And it was amazing (full review soon). Flat breads with tomato butter, fried chicken and mac-n-cheese with chili oil, steak with truffle butter and crispy potato salad with garlic aioli. And the sweetness of homemade gifts and family generosity was quite nice.
And that’s what 33 means for me. It’s about spreading the lesson of this last year to others: family is important…no, it is THE important thing, because life is what we make it and it’s not worth making without loving people. It’s about personal memories captured and preserved, and treating each other with real love and compassion. And tonight, my wife’s efforts brought it all home for me: 33 is going to be good, we just have to let it be.
Thanks to everyone near & far – of course in the words of Alice of a certain wonderland: “and a very merry unbirthday to YOU!”
New Orleans here we come!