Lately

Happy Friday!

I’m in the mood to ramble today. Cool?

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? Despite our crossed fingers, Aaron’s flight was cancelled both Thursday and Friday, so Amanda was our only guest last weekend. Aaron is Stephen’s oldest younger brother, and Amanda is his girlfriend. She is currently working towards a PhD in psychology at Berkeley, so she and Aaron endure quite the long distance relationship. I’m sure Amanda was disappointed to be solo on Valentine’s Day, but we actually really enjoyed getting to spend some one-on-one time with her. Amanda was our THIRTY-SIXTH house guest. Can you believe that? Yes, we’re nerds and counted.

The primary reason for her visit to Austin was a big psychology conference, so most of her hours were spent in seminars at the convention center. We managed to steal her away for plenty of fun, though. Highlights included dinner at a new-to-us vegetarian restaurant, some bouldering at our rock gym, lunch at Whole Foods HQ (she’s a vegetarian- she LOVED it), a long walk in Zilker Park, and a Master Pancake show. They roasted The Notebook. It was fantastic.

SO many turtles in Barton Creek

SO many turtles in Barton Creek

Turtles cuddling on Valentine's Day

Turtles cuddling on Valentine’s Day

We stumbled on a Valentine's proposal in the making during our walk at Zilker Park on Friday.

We stumbled on a Valentine’s proposal in the making during our walk at Zilker Park on Friday.

Of course I had to be a creeper and snapped a shot of the proposer (he is the one sitting on the bench). He had three friends helping him string up lanterns and photos.

Of course I had to be a creeper and snapped a shot of the proposer (he is the one sitting on the bench). He had three friends helping him string up lanterns and photos.

On Valentine’s Day, I cooked dinner for the three of us and our friends Dipti and Andy. Dipti and Andy are newly engaged, so Champagne with dinner was a must.

I prepared massaged kale salad and a Mexican version of this recipe.

I found that recipe maybe two weeks ago, and I’ve already made it three times. I only followed the recipe the first time. It’s really more like a formula, and it’s so easy to change it up. The second time I substituted chili-seasoned ground turkey for the Italian sausage, salsa for the pizza sauce, and black beans for the onions. The third time I made it, I used diced ham, kale and some leftover lemon dressing. We liked all three!

Let’s see… what else do I have to say?

Book club has been a lot of fun recently. January’s book was The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy. Group consensus was that we enjoyed his travel writing, but we couldn’t really relate to his “big” emotional conflict.

This month, we’re reading Tiny Beautiful Things. Cheryl Strayed is the author. She’s best known for her book Wild about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. So far so good! I’m hosting our meeting in March, so that will be fun.

Last thing to share… tomorrow is Austin’s Free Day of Dance! We’re going to take a few classes with friends throughout the day. I’m really looking forward to it! We need to practice our dance skillz for the wedding 🙂

Okay, ramble need has been satisfied. Miss you all!

Oh! I took a few random videos of Stephen and me at the rock gym the other week. He’s tackling a V5 and I’m on a V2 or V1. As you can see, he’s a much better climber than me!

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3 thoughts on “Lately

  1. abbyzaniel says:

    I love the idea of a book club and have discussed it many times with some of my girlfriends up here, we are all enthusiastic but never seem to get it off the ground. Maybe it is time for another attempt!

  2. Ours is very low-pressure. If you don’t read the book, no big deal. I’d say every month, only 75% of us read it all the way through. We meet at 7:30 and each bring wine, a dessert or an app. After mingling for an hour or so, we sit down to discuss. At the end of the meeting, we put up new books for vote. You vote as many times as you want, and the book with the most votes wins. I’ve been to many other book clubs, and some of them run things differently (i.e. more strictly). This is the only one I get excited for every month.

  3. […] top to bottom in preparation for book club tonight and guests later in the week. Remember when a snowstorm kept Aaron from visiting Austin a few weeks ago? He’s trying again this week, and we’re excited to have his girlfriend […]

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