Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fun Before the Fall Before the Photobooking

I dragged myself out of bed on this rainy, lazy morning to go to 7:30 a.m. yoga. I was rewarded for this show of initiative by my car refusing to start in the Starbucks parking lot across the street where I stopped after class. The lesson I have learned is not to go to early morning yoga on rainy Saturdays. (James gently suggested, after he rescued me, that perhaps the lesson was not to stop at Starbucks, but that's clearly erroneous. The answer is to not leave the house in the first place.) I ended up spending the day trapped in the house with pouring rain, an increasingly flooded driveway, a (new!) roof that leaks, a wall in my sun room caving in with water damage, and three little girls who alternated between princess movies and chasing each other and giggling at the volume of a scream. James was coaching lessons and Landon had escaped to a friend's house for the next 24 hours. I wore pj's and got a lot of photo booking done (photo books are my perpetual white whale) and then I happened to check blogger and saw comments blogger failed to tell me I had (sorry! I'm fine!), which prompted me to finally post while we watch Season 2 of Ozark and hope three girls can fall asleep quickly in the same room.

There's no one reason I haven't posted in 2+ weeks. I've been teaching some extra barre which has been great fun. My classes at TCU have consistently had more than 20 people in them and that's a blast. Work is super busy. It's nearly the end of our fiscal year and my days are very full. The kids are great. We hired a new after-school nanny and everything is finding it's new school-year rhythm.

To celebrate making it through the first 5 days we had a Back to School Pool Party.

Literally, any excuse fr a party and I'm there.

We did frosé, one snack/fruit/veg/dessert item, preferably store bought, and threw in $10/family for Costco pizzas. It was the best.

The kids are mentally exhausted but physically wired from sitting still all day for the first time since May.

And the Mamas need to dish, commiserate, and experiment with making frosé, a beverage recipe on which google was not super helpful.

This was good for everyone.

Except my flamingo leg. It struck again.

And our trash and recycle bins. The pizza boxes actually totaled 7.

On Saturday night I went to see Crazy Rich Asians with my mamas. And one of our favorite dads (who is married to an Asian, also in attendance, so we allowed it). We ordered three bottles of wine to start in the movie theater and I got seasoned fries for dinner. It was an excellent night and I LOVED the movie. I've missed having rom coms in my life.

I straightened my hair just for the movies and felt that act of valor required a selfie with my post-movie champagne. Someday when I'm a real grownup I'll consider doing my hair a normal part of my day instead of something to be celebrated.

Then on Sunday I got a blinding crushing headache that made me think my head would explode and that would be a blessing. It ended on Tuesday. Or, it lessened on Tuesday. I had to go to work anyway (because of the busy) and it was not awesome. What is awesome is that Landon continues to love his climbing and is deeply proud of all his new calluses and blisters.

Also awesome? Cora rode a big girl bike without training wheels for the first time and totally rocked it. A year younger than her big siblings and while wearing as many necklaces and bracelets as possible. I was able to convince her to wear a practical "biking tutu" instead of the ankle-length Princess Elena gown she was wearing beforehand.

Also, on Wednesday, when I was home feeling super sick with nausea and the stubborn remnants of my headache, I ordered a new electric tea kettle and a random book for Landon. It was delivered at my house 5.5 hours later. How is that possible? It'd be wrong if it wasn't so right.

About 9 days ago (headache now definitely cured; stomach still annoyingly iffy; barre classes and work proceeding as scheduled), it was the 17 year anniversary of the night James and I met.

I can't remember if I recorded the story here, but it makes me smile:

17 years ago today I met this guy in a bar on 6th Street. The swimmers were all at Platinum X and a tall, happily drunk guy asked if I wanted to dance. I assumed he was a swimmer and said sure as he handed me a Jack and Coke. About a minute later, a bouncer walked by and kicked us both out for underage drinking. I was 18, he was 19. I thought I was going to jail while he gallantly held the door open for me and assured me everything was fine. Our teammates didn't know we'd been kicked out and it was early in the night, so we ended up walking up and down 6th street together for the next few hours. I found out his name was James. He was a junior and a finance major. He wanted to start his own business someday. We talked and talked and he finally asked for my number when we reunited with our friends. His teammate drove us home and I learned later that James valiantly waited until I was inside my dorm to jump out of the car and throw up in the bushes by San Jac. He called me the next day. We went on our first date the night after that, to The Oasis on Lake Travis. I learned later he drove all the way out there earlier in the day to be sure he knew the way. (He also described his car to me so I’d walk towards it since his memory wasn’t entirely clear on what I looked like...)

Two weeks later we took these pictures at Cherry Bomb 2001. We’ll have been married for 13 years on Monday with 3 kids, 3 moves, 2 graduate degrees, and a thousand ups and downs. But I love thinking of that night we met, just seventeen and one million years ago.

As noted, Monday was our wedding anniversary. Lucky number 13. We went out Sunday night to celebrate.

On Monday night we did a fancy meat and cheese night with the kids. They LOVE this dinner and I love setting it up.

It was the perfect anniversary celebration. A fancy night out for just the two of us and then a fun night at home with the family we've created together. Plus champagne and chocolate cake.

On Tuesday he delivered flowers, because I adore them and love seeing him midday. And also because the federal government doesn't accept personal deliveries from vendors.

They brought me joy all week.

As did this conversation with Cora on Thursday morning while I was putting on my makeup:

Cora: Mom did you like going to my school when you were a little girl?
Me: I didn’t go to your school. I went to preschool in California.
Cora, aghast: You did not always live in this house??!!
Me: No silly, we moved here 6 years ago.
Cora: But who built this house?
Me: I don’t really know. It was built before Papa and Gigi were born.
Cora: But what is it made of?
Me: Bricks, and some other things.
Cora, nodding bc something finally makes sense: Oh, so the wolf will not blow it down?

I love how they work to make their world make sense.

The rest of the week had a PTA Board meeting, going out with friends late Tuesday night, more teaching barre at TCU, running through the pouring rain to get to my class on Thursday, and then more rain today (SO MUCH RAIN). The last two weeks also contained the anniversary of my parents' house flooding in Harvey, me driving down there to help, and me struggling when I got back home.

Parts of Fort Worth were flooding today, but nothing like Houston and in our corner we just had Landon running around in his swimsuit to rescue earth worms while the girls choreographed new dances to The Greatest Showman and One Direction.

Both activities were perfectly suited to the person(s) who chose them.

And me, I've created a 102 page photo book of the 2016-2017 school year with 989 pictures (did you know Shutterfly restricts you to 1,000? I do now.) of our life, their art work, birthday invites and cards, sweet notes they sometimes write each other, and literally anything else I want to save from the year, plus quotes, snippets, and funny stories I go back and pull from Facebook and the blog. It's a goddamn labor of love (literally more hours than I spent in labor for the one child I labored with, times about ten) but the kids adore them- they read them on a weekly basis and the quotes and stories are their favorite part. It's worth it- I love them too and I love that I feel like there's nothing else I need to save once the book is done, but man, they're a lot of work.

I have two pages to go. And then I get to start on 2017-2018. Never let yourself get behind.

But I promise to try to stay more up to date here. In the back of my mind I've been thinking about what I want this space to be now. We're fairly settled. Our days, nights, and weekends are full. Our kids are older and their stories increasingly belong to them. My job doesn't allow for much work discussion. Or my legal one doesn't- and the barre one gives me enormous happiness but few stories. I'm not going away and I doubt much will change, but I understand more and more why most blogs don't last forever (or don't sound the same forever). I've been writing in this one for nearly 12 years and published 1,699 posts. (This is number 1700!). I was 23, married for 15 months, and weeks away from finding out I was pregnant with Landon when I wrote my first one. That woman seems a million years away, much like the goofy drunk guy I met on 6th street a different million years ago, but I like that when I read her words I recognize her voice.


  1. Love your last line.

    I hope you keep writing - I love following the family adventures and the way you can capture so much with such great phrases.

  2. It's completely understandable why you can't write about your real work but I have always loved reading your meal planning posts, shopping hauls, and trip reports. I'm going to Disney World in November and have reread your Disney posts multiple times!

    I hope you keep writing too, but if things do change and you decide to phase out of this space, thanks for sharing your writing so far.

  3. I've been reading your blog for about 7 years now and seriously look forward to each post and get worried when you haven't updated in awhile. I first came across your blog when I was thinking about having a baby in law school and I actually emailed you about it before I got pregnant in my 3l year. Your experience encouraged me and your advice made me feel like I wasn't crazy for wanting a child in law school. A few years later and I'm an attorney and mom of two :) Your blog has meant so much to me. I'll be very sad if you decide to stop blogging but also understand if you need to phase out. Thank you for sharing with us all these years!

  4. Also look forward to your posts. I am an attorney as well-probably old enough to be your mom-but I can really identify with much of what you've said about practicing law and the juggle of raising kids/tending to your relationship with your spouse/making sure that you get time with friends/having family that is beloved, but not nearby. Although my kids are grown, I struggle/still struggle with balancing all of that. I'm trying barre today for the VERY FIRST TIME today after reading about it here. Understand completely about family privacy, but hope that you'll hang in there-maybe less often, but not completely faded away.

  5. I've been reading your blog from the very beginning - since that post in which you mentioned your attempts to run, all pre-Landon. I read every single post since then (12 years?!!) and laughed, and cried, and cheered for your amazing family. I feel like you've become not just a friend but a family member. We've never met in person but I can't imagine my life without Lag Liv. I'm actually going to Austin for work for the first time next week and I all I could think about is that Austin is where Lag Liv went to school, and met her husband, and I can't wait to see the city! - Olga

  6. I also understand the need to perhaps phase out, especially as the kids get older, but I look forward to reading your posts, even though we've never met. I realized recently on FB that we have a mutual friend, Andrea Saenz. The world is so small!

  7. Happy Anniversary! I love that you have those pictures from early dating days.

  8. I've been a reader for several years and often look to you as an example of how to do a big job and have a family well. I often debate leaving public accounting for an industry job, and think of you regularly (you once commented [paraphrase] that you didn't know what you were missing until you started working less...). I feel like I know you and love your voice and hearing about your family, how you meal plan, and how you live a full life with many responsibilities. That said, I can understand if you choose to move away from writing here, but selfishly, I hope you keep your presence here, in some way.

  9. I love your blog! I’m a working parent so I come to your blog for relatable and realistic content, and your meal planning/reciepes! I also enjoy your travel recaps!

  10. Consider writing about anything more often, miss your writing! Even if not family or career, cooking or books or travel tips? Or do what makes you happy but had to put that out there, lol.

  11. Obviously this is my new role in life. Where are you? Is everything OK? Miss your writing and your family. Ever thought about writing fiction?