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For the past few days, my life has felt slightly off kilter. As most of y’all know, I’m not one for sitting around and waiting on things to change. So, tonight, I am reminding myself of all the wonderful things (and people) that I have to be thankful for.

1 – RAIN!!!
It rained all weekend. For Texas, this is a blessing. We’re in the middle of a tremendous drought. And forget Texas, the rain soothes my Virginia soul, too! It is restorative and calming – two things I was in dire need of this weekend.

2 – Books.
My Lord, I love books. Libraries and bookstores are two of my favorite places to visit, and today I took a trip to my favorite Austin bookstore, Half Price Books. I found an antique copy of Art History for Children that I will be returning for, but I didn’t buy anything. However, I was inspired to write a blog post about each book I read. (For leisure, that is. I don’t expect y’all to love art and museum literature as much as I do.) So be on the lookout for another post this week!

3 – The Texas Sky.
It is more expanse than the night sky of a remote North Carolina beach. It is unlike any other sky I’ve ever seen. When the sun is shining and the clouds are at bay, I feel like I could fall right into it. Nothing has ever made me feel so little.

4 – Old friends.
Talking to you keeps me sane. Skype sessions or late night phone calls, no matter how many years or miles are between us, I think of y’all every day. I’m lucky (and infinitely thankful) to have you. I cannot wait to see you in December. And speaking of December …

5 – Eight weeks
until I return to the East Coast!!!!!! I have no words for how excited I am. (This is the true measure of my emotions – having no words. I pretty much always have something to say.)

6 – My family.
Seeing your faces on my computer brightens my day. Reading your cards and letters makes me smile. Hearing your voices reminds me that I have the best foundation anyone could ask for. I sometimes can’t believe I decided to move so far away from you. I am eagerly awaiting the day I can curl up in the den with a glass of wine and the six of you. Thank you for always being so good to me.

 

Ohhh yes. This reminder was all I needed. With a sleepy smile, I am headed to bed. Goodnight, my loves!

Last weekend was Austin City Limits Music Festival – a massive outdoor music festival held each fall in Zilker Park. ACL lasts three full days with over 100 artists on eight different stages, and hosts over 70,000 visitors each day. I was lucky enough to fall into an opportunity to attend ACL by volunteering in “Austin Kiddie Limits” with Abrakadoodle, a really awesome organization that delivers kid’s art programs.

The day was wonderful. A couple of friends from school and I volunteered all morning, but were turned free in the late afternoon to catch some shows. We made it to Ray LaMontagne (just as handsome and talented on stage as he is in recordings), Nas & Damian Marley (thank you, Em, for appeasing my desire to hear them), Cold War Kids, and Gary Clark, Jr.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the morning:

the beginning of the paint storm.

so. much. paint.

Emily - splattered with paint and still smiling

hard at work

another little artist

please look at this kid's hands. despite the appearance, no one was injured in the making of this mural.

And once we finally escaped the kiddie zone:

there were people everywhere!

one of the stages against the backdrop of downtown Austin. looking at this picture, I must admit, it feels a bit like home.

there were 50+ rickshaws waiting right outside the festival gates - it was startling how many there were. i love this shot of one of the bikers.

highs & lows

I have been thinking about this post for the past few days. There is a lot to share, and I couldn’t decide how to tie everything together in a single blog post. Then I remembered how the lovely Lauryn does a “highs and lows” for the week, which I love.

Lows (I’ll get these outta the way first, I’d rather end on a good note):

– I found a dead rat in my house this week. Not a little mouse, a big ole rat. Thank the Lord for our friend Nick who came over and extracted it while my roommates and I cringed from the other room.

– The temperatures are back into the 100s. When does fall arrive in Texas?

– School is getting into full swing. I actually like it a lot, it just leaves less time for playing – and I really do love playing.

Highs:

– Both of my football teams won last weekend!

– I have a short new hairdo! I got five inches cut off. I always forget how much better I like my hair short! Kudos to Amanda at L7 Salon.

– Biking has surpassed driving as my primary means of transportation. Although I am the nerdiest biker in this city, I really love it. This is the song that plays in my head while I bike: the bike song.

– Austin City Limits is this weekend! That means lots of music, lots of people, and lots of fun for yours truly. I promise to post about it (with pictures!) early next week!

So much love to you all. xo.

Howdy from Texas!

Hello again! First, I am sorry it has been three weeks since I posted. There are a million reasons that I took so long, but mostly, I am a procrastinator. There you have it. I apologize.

Many things have happened in the past few weeks. For one, I moved to Texas! I am safely and happily settled into my new house with my new roommates and a puppy. It is HOT down here, let me tell you! It has been over 100 degrees every day and although I haven’t melted yet, I am definitely looking forward to cooler weather (sometime between December and February, so they say). Despite the heat, people are always out and about – running, biking, doing errands, shopping, eating outside at restaurants. It is an awesomely active city. My to-do list is already a mile long but I will wait and divulge all of the activities as I get them crossed off my list!

For now, I want to share pictures of my new house with y’all! As most of you know, I am a homebody. I want my home to be a comfortable, happy place for myself and anyone else who comes in. This caused particular stress when I was trying to figure out housing from a thousand miles away, while I was still in DC. However, I could NOT be happier with what my roommates chose. Take a look!

(This is supposed to be a slideshow. I hope it works, I’ve never tried it before.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

YAY! Home sweet home. I am a happy girl.

I’ll be back soon with stories for y’all, but for now, enjoy your long weekend!!

 

Hi, my loves!

I have been talking about this blog for months. Since New Years, actually, when I promised Nikki that I would start a blog and added it to my “2011 To Do List”. So here it is! Humble beginnings, I know. But there is no better time than now to get this started because . . .

Tomorrow, I embark on the BIGGEST ADVENTURE OF MY LIFE!!! After two wonderful years in DC, I’m headed to Austin, Texas. My U-Haul trailer is packed to the brim, my road trip tunes have been chosen, and my comfy driving clothes are laid out. And let me tell you, I cannot wait to get there!

I will use this blog to share my adventures (Texas and otherwise) with y’all. I am hoping that it will keep me moving, so that I have at least one exciting experience to share each week. I’m also going to use the blog to tackle my issues with photography: 1. I am not good at taking pictures. 2. I never remember to take them. I think this little place will be the perfect remedy.

Poppa Burke and I are leaving early early tomorrow morning, so I won’t be able to blog again until I’m settled happily in Austin. I will see y’all in 1,350(!) miles.

Let’s hit the road!

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