Friday, September 30, 2011

Ranch Glimpse

You can't go anywhere without forcibly being confronted with the affects of drought all around us. Here is a little glimpse of our neck of the woods...

This is where Barton Creek used to flow freely. The water level was anywhere from 5- 10 feet. Now it is merely dust and twigs. The fish are gone. The turtles aren't anywhere to be found. The swimming hole is now a sand box.

Lets join together and ask for God's sweet mercy and steady rain to fall upon us. I'm especially praying for this little corner of the earth.

In other news, the horses have arrived this week. After months of prepping the land for their arrival: clearing, fencing, clearing, fencing, paddock building, clearing...they have arrived.

I drove in the other morning and looked across the pasture to see them galloping through the grass and dirt. It took my breath away. We have been reunited with our long lost friends.

The cute little one in the middle is my nephew. He's precious, isn't he? He is also the b.e.s.t. baby I have ever been around in my life (and you know I have been around some good babies in my day).

Okay, okay, I won't forget you guys either...

The donkeys are back too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Work Out Gear...Check!

Austin Top 10 Continues:

7. If you like to exercise then there is no better apparel than lululemon . They have a location that is 20 minutes from my house and I could do some serious, serious damage there. Basically, I try my very hardest never to go. The couple of things I have gotten from there have persevered beautifully through the running and sweating. Thank you lulu, thank you very much.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Java love

I'm going through my Austin faves. Its early in our hill country adventures so this list may be premature but thought it would fun to chronicle.

Growing up our only choice to drink was water. I specifically never drank coffee. I thought it tasted like dirt. I even survived college all-nighters without coffee. I worked 70 plus hours on a political campaign without coffee. I even taught junior high at a private school without coffee.

After I got married, I was working in Dallas and it was a particularly cold winter. There was a Starbucks on the way and usually once a week it would call my name. Since then I have been growing as a connoisseur.

Living near College Station for the last couple of years and all of its coffee experts didn't help either.

If you would like a good drink recommendation I get an iced soy sugar free vanilla caramel macchiato with easy ice :)

So for #8 my favorite thing about Austin is a coffee shop and it is without a competitor. Mozart's. It is a gem. Wonderful for date nights. Great for conversation with old and new friends. Even better for a date with my Bible.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grub love

For a better link to the photo credit from last post, see here for more information on all the beautiful creations Kate Stafford has in her repertoire.

9. Local restaurant. Local are the only kind that would make my top ten. Our favorite local, organic restaurant closed down last month. So sad. Its not because we didn't give them business because oh by golly we did. In lieu of our dining tragedy, I will have to go with a new local, favorite (drum roll please)....Magnolia Cafe. . Magnolia cafe is an Austin classic and their food never disappoints.

For all you South siders, then Thyme and Dough is such a treat. They have a precious place that is surrounded by a plant nursery. Their decorations are eclectic and shabby chic. The food is exquisite, local, and organic. They have gluten free options and an espresso bar to boot! It definitely feel like "home away from home."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Bergstrom

Photo credit: Kate Stafford

We have officially been residents of the atx for 6 months now. Whew! I honestly can't believe it. The last time I lived here, it was 10 years ago minus husband and children, and I lived on the north side. Now that we are living and lovin' the south side I thought it would be fun to give you a little taste of a few of my favorite things. Really, lets be honest, this is just my op-ed on all things Austin.

10. Austin Bergstrom. The airport? Yes, the airport.

Growing up we always flew out of Houston Intercontinental. When you get home from a trip there is nothing worse knowing that once you touch the ground you have to taxi forever, wait ages for your lugage, pretty sure it will be damaged, then make the trek to your car, and lastly navigate your way out of the add kids on top of all of that. That place is a beating and has lots of memories of vomiting (we won't go there) and other madness.

For the record, our 2 years in Dallas, the DFW gets a B minus rating.

On the other hand, the Austin airport is beautiful, clean, has quirky Austinish stores and food, and best part of all... you can get in and out in less than 10 minutes. It just makes me want to travel. Can we get a halleluyah!?!

For all of my BCS loves, please always choose Austin. For the rest of you, its worth the trip too.

Now if we can get Austin to have more direct flights then it would completely seal the deal. Might be worth driving from Oklahoma ;)

Stay tuned for more local faves.

Friday, September 2, 2011

my messes

Somewhere between here...

and here,

I completely lost it- not in a sound mind, not joyful and lacking peace.

How could I go from waking to His mercy, to enjoying heaping bowls of steaming hot oatmeal with my beloveds, to walking in on my precious 3 year tugging with all of his might because he wanted to make my bed to.... drowning in fear of man, impatience, and self pity?

Then, sweet Grace threw me a life preserver as I read this post and was undone.

Manifesto for Joyful Parenting

1. Today, I will make our home a house of prayer.
I will pray at set times. And I will invite our children to come move into an interior space that lives with God.
2. Today, I will transfigure all things into beauty, and I will refuse to see anything else.
3. Today, I will not have any emergencies. There are no emergencies! Only amateurs hurry.
4. Today, when stress mounts, I pray to dismount it with gratitude.
My stress management plan will be intervention with verbal thanks. I can only feel one feeling at a time, and I choose to give thanks at all times. Fight feeling with feeling!
5. Today, I will pray to speak words that are only STRONG words, words that make these children feel strong. Grace words. Grace is the only non-toxic air. All other words I breathe are death words.
6. Today, I will pray to be consistently consistent. I will create safe rhythms that our children can find security in. I will create daily ceremonies because everyday we are CELEBRATING the gift of now!
7. Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child’s behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child.
8. Today, I will hug each of my children as many times as I serve them meals — because children’s hearts feed on touch. I’ll look for as many opportunities to touch my children today as possible — the taller they are, the more so.
9. Today, my priorities will be all Things Unseen.
10. Today, I will laugh! And I will let the little children laugh! I will create a culture of JOY!

As I was contemplating how dreadfully far from the mark I continually am yet He has rescued me, then I glanced back in the back seat to see our promised one with his head tilted back, eyes closed, and worshipping his little heart out.

My mess is part of His plan.