Friday, October 29, 2010

Space Lobster

I just billed my 210th hour of the month, which is really something when you look at my time entries and see that I had a whole week somewhere in the middle with only 11 hours. There's some loooong days to make up for that. Too bad it's still a year where my bonus has nothing to do with my productivity.

Anyway, despite a looming production deadline and a team of 20 contract reviewers which I am solely in charge of, I left the legal world for 2 hours to attend the kids' daycare costume parade. It was a blast. The weather could not have been more beautiful and it was so fun to see all the kids and their costumes. I'm the Room Parent for Landon's class and I organized a parent pot-luck picnic for after the parade. We ate outside on the picnic tables by the playground. Everyone brought delicious food (I love pot-lucks) and it was so great to meet all the parents we say a quick "hi" to at drop-off and pick-up.

Landon was a space ranger. Not Buzz Lightyear, he will tell with a sigh and a bit of an eye roll (also some pity, because you must not be very bright if you need to ask), he is Landon and he is a Space Ranger. Not Buzz Lightyear, Landon. I mean, you always knew his name before, why are you now trying to call him someone else? Grownups are weird.

The biscuit was a lobster.

A very smiley, ridiculously adorable lobster.

Landon was SO excited that Clairebear was wearing his old lobster costume. He kept saying "and then she's going to be a dragon and then a pumpkin and then a SPACE RANGER!" I gently informed him that at some point Claire is going to have her own opinions on the matter, but he was just happy that for now, Claire wants to be just like him. It's pretty cute - while we were at the parade, so many teachers, even those from other classes, kept telling us how Landon runs over to the buggy as soon as he sees Claire out on a walk. He dances and sings for her and then gets super excited when she smiles at him (which she does without fail). Having two is so much fun.

And, as a special bonus, here is our original lobster in 2007. How time flies:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Picture Day

Today, I remembered just as I was guiding my children and husband out the door this morning, is picture day at daycare. Landon now picks out his own clothes and dresses himself in the morning, running into our room (or wherever we are when he's done) triumphantly exclaiming, "I did it all by myself!" He's been doing this for about 2 weeks and the novelty and pride have yet to wear off. It's one of my favorite moments of the moring.

Today's selection included bright red and blue plaid shorts (from a 4th of July collection in 2009), a green t-shirt with a t-rex on it, and bright orange pumpkin socks from the $1 bin at Target last year. It was a cheerful ensemble and I was just glad he put his shorts on the right way (they're usually backwards and then he doesn't want to switch them, "that's how I like it," so he wears them backwards all day). JP got up with Claire this morning, so he dressed her, always a risky proposition. Today she was wearing her barnyard animal long-sleeved onesie with pink pants that managed to not match any of the shades of pink in the onesie and socks in yet another non-matching shade of pink. JP always looks shocked when I try to explain that just because two things are in the same general color family (i.e. "pink") that doesn't mean they automatically match. In fact, they frequently look quite terrible together.

But it was a nice morning. Landon entertained Claire in our bedroom while JP and I got dressed, dancing around her and singing the ABC's as she lounged on our bed. And since Landon is pretty much the sun in Claire's world, she was smiling spastically the whole time. (Landon is also who she's looking at in the picture of us from yesterday.) So I left the house with a smile on my face, but I did pause when I realized the day, looked at my kids' outfits, and thought, man, that is going to be one odd looking picture!

And tangentially related, pictures from our "Goblins in the Garden" outing at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center last Sunday. Sub-titled: Things That Make My Kids Smile.

Landon: the promise of a lollipop.
Clairebear: What? TOES!

Clairebear: someone is smiling at me!

Landon: my lollipop!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Busy Bee

Know what's annoying? When a personally constantly talks about how busy they are. It is a huge pet peeve of mine. My mother-in-law used to get on the phone with me and spend an hour talking about how much she had to do. I always thought it would be much better if she'd hang up the freaking phone and DO whatever it was that was so pressing.

So, in order to not tell you how busy I am (though my gap between posts is usually a good indicator), look, I got JP to take pictures before work this morning!

(ok, actually I took that one)

The ClaireBiscuit was looking super cute in her leg warmers and I was wearing a suit that up until a week ago still didn't fit, so pictures seemed like a good idea. So what if this suit used to be so big I couldn't wear it without my pants falling down, and all the work pants I bought post-2007 still don't fit yet-- my available wardrobe options have expanded a little more and that's worth celebrating.

Also worth celebrating? My first full night's sleep in many days. And again, so what if it's only because I took two prescription sleeping pills and, for the first time ever in my marriage, slept apart from my husband while we were under the same roof? He woke up flummoxed as to my whereabouts (upstairs guest bedroom), but I came downstairs rested and refreshed and singing. And other than a whole lot of not-going-to-write-it text about my busyness, that's all I've got today! Happy Tuesday to you all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fit for a Fighter Pilot

Last weekend, which already feels like at least a month ago, we celebrated my grandpa's 80th birthday in Houston. It was the first time all members of my dad's side of the family had congregated since my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary nearly 8 years ago. My little piece of the family drove over Saturday morning and made it to the photographer's just in time for the group pictures. That was the morning after I'd returned home from Denver at midnight after an 80-hour work week, but luckily I'm a woman and can apply a thick layer of make-up under my eyes. It was great to get everyone together and I'm really glad we could be there.

My grandpa is a retired Navy Captain, fighter pilot, and engineer. He flew jets off aircraft carriers for four years in the Vietnam war (cheating the system in order to return for that fourth year; my grandma was displeased, to say the least, but looking at them near the end of their 57th year of marriage, I'd say they got over it), and then he went on to be a joint Navy and Air Force chief engineer, building the engines on the F-111, F-14, and F-16 fighters. As he explained in his toast at the party, he wasn't really sure what he wanted to do in his career, but he knew he liked to fly airplanes REALLY FAST. His cake shows him in full Top Gun mode:

The party had a fighter pilot theme so we brought my grandpa's old flight helmet as a centerpiece. My dad thought he should model it first.

Which reminds me of a quick story about my grandpa. We all went to Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida about 8 years ago and as my cousins and I ran over to line up for a giant roller coaster, I saw that my grandpa was coming too. I said, "Grandpa, you like coasters?" He looked at me, very nearly offended, and said, "I'm a fighter pilot." That answered that and we road roller coasters all afternoon.

Here is the original family of four - my dad, my aunt (dad's ever so slightly older sister), grandpa, and grandma:

And there's me and my guy. I think Landon was also in this picture but his mouth was full of an appetizer meatball and I cropped him out. I'm a merciless editor.

Claire was not quite herself (of course, they never are when there's witnesses). She had been on antibiotics for an ear infection for 10 days and her tummy was pretty mad. By the next afternoon the amoxycillin had been out of her system for 24 hours and she was back to her smiley, perfect self - though of course, we were on our way back to Austin. She spent most of the party sleeping, fussing, and pausing the fussing to look confused at all the commotion going on while she was trying to tell us about her pain.

The meal was delicious but the pièce de résistance was the chocolate explosion cake with my much-younger grandpa copied onto a giant piece of chocolate. He was pretty tickled with it:

I believe right here he was saying, "Would you look at me?!"

My dad gave a lovely toast, but my favorite moment came when my cousin presented my grandpa with a picture and a short essay. As the author, he tried to read it aloud, but he quickly became to choked up to continue. My dad (he of the leaky eyes) took over in an effort that was valiant but doomed:

Two lines later, it was handed to my mom who executed the whole thing flawlessly. The leaky eye gene only runs along my dad's side of the family.

It was a great party, and it continued after the restaurant at my grandparents' house. My grandparents are packing up their house to move to the same retirement community where my maternal grandparents currently live (and love and won't stop raving about, as it should be). I took away some gorgeous wooden dishes and serving platters. They were particularly meaningful because my grandma was a great hostess and it's something I love to do as well. Soon they'll be in San Antonio -- how lucky am I to have all four grandparents alive, healthy, happy, and an hour's drive away?

Very. Very lucky.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Biscuits

Last night at dinner Landon asked if we could have another baby biscuit. Actually, I'm not sure it was an "if" question, he seemed more to be inquiring as to when another babyclaire might join our family. Like of course there would be more, but would it be tomorrow, this weekend (the next non-daycay-day), or at Christmas? This is as far as his mind extends, and I'm not really sure it goes as far as Christmas. He also knows his birthday is in July and while he looks forward to it being July again, I'm pretty sure he thinks it will appear at random some time in the future.

I laughed when he asked and found myself saying, "Sure!" of course there will be another baby Claire. JP gave me a funny look but he didn't disagree and then we sat down to dinner.

Later that night I sat in our recliner, rocking Claire as she drank her nighttime bottle. She fell asleep about 7:30, as she normally does, but I keep holding her and snuggling her for another hour. I wondered, did I really just decide to have a third child? It was an easy answer, and saying "no" just seemed so final and sad. We've already put away the bouncer- could we really think we won't get it out again for another baby of ours? But a family of four, two kids, one of each sex - it's so neat and easy and DONE. The world is made for groups of four: hotel rooms, restaurant tables, cars. I'd never have to be pregnant again, we wouldn't stare at an angry newborn again and wonder what on earth we were supposed to be doing to make him/her happy. We'd have two kids we could devote our time, attention, and money to. It makes so much sense and it's absolutely what I want to want.

And yet, I sat and I rocked my baby girl and felt somewhere deep inside that I'm just not done. I want to feel that way, but I don't. At least not right now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday JP

Well, it has been QUITE a past few days. One blog post can't cover it, so I'm going to write about yesterday and then fill in the weekend later. But in short: I landed at 11:00 p.m. Friday night after getting an average of 5 hours of sleep a night since Tuesday, drove home, couldn't sleep, woke up, unpacked, re-packed, drove to Houston while reading depo transcripts in the passenger seat, took family pictures and enjoyed my Grandpa's fantastic 80th birthday party, got very little sleep, drove back to Austin, unpacked, attempted to go to bed early, got an email at 10:30 p.m. asking me to turn a draft of our brief adding cites to the depositions I attended, finished at 2 a.m., collapsed in bed, and was woken up by JP at 7:45 a.m. I very nearly killed him, but it was his birthday and he was just worried about me going to work. I decided to work from home (the whole case team is in Dallas so it really doesn't matter where I am), but then I couldn't go back to sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about how little sleep I'd been getting. So I got up and my Monday began.

(my favorite pic from my grandpa's party)

It took me most of the morning to push through my exhaustion and to stop glaring at JP. Daycare was closed for a teacher workday and after traveling last week, it was lovely to get an extra day with the kids. My favorite moment with Landon was him walking inside (he plays for hours on his own in the backyard now) carefully holding a tiny white flower. He handed it to me saying, "this is for you mama." I thanked him and he said, "It's very fragile, you have to hold it on the green part just like me, see?" I assured him I'd only hold the stem but he still stood there, supervising my flower-holding until he was satisfied that I wouldn't damage the delicate petals. I love love love that kid.

In between checking my blackberry and doing all the laundry and unpacking, I got out our Halloween decorations and made a shopping list for a special birthday dinner for JP. We also carved our pumpkin from the pumpkin patch expedition a week ago. Landon was a little freaked out by the innards.

Claire wanted to eat them.

For dinner I prepared The Pioneer Woman's Braised Beef Short Ribs, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Carrots. The menu was a lot more than I usually put into a weekday dinner, but that's what you do on a beloved husband's birthday. Plus, it was a physical manifestation of my forgiving him for waking me up this morning (which I know isn't really that big of a deal, but my exhaustion combined with the bolt of rage that went through me as I opened my sand-papery eyes meant that my irritation hit an irrational level that was hard to come down from, even on a birthday).

And the meal was awesome and everything my JP deserved. He opened his cards and my present - customized business cards for his swim lessons to hand out when he gets accosted at the pool and grocery store (he's kind of famous in our neighborhood whereas I remain generally anonymous or some variation of "Coach JP's wife" or "Mrs. Coach JP").

As I wrote in JP's card, this is his tenth birthday that we've celebrated together. We've gone from a fancy restaurant dinner and a night on 6th street to a home cooked meal and a night on the couch watching DVR'd shows. And while I am so glad to have the memories and experiences of going out all the time and being foot loose and fancy free, we now have a Landon and a Biscuit to help blow out the candles and I know neither I nor JP would change a single thing about where we are now:

So Happy Birthday to my husband, my best friend, and the father and true parenting partner of our kids. You don't read this blog, but I love you more than I can say and I'm really sorry for kicking you in the shins when I finally gave up going back to sleep and climbed out of bed. Thanks for getting up with the kids every morning for the past two weeks and for not complaining that I've only indulged in the "fun" part of parenting between stretches of working. You are an enormous part of why I can be a happy working mom and I never forget it. Except when you wake me up too early, but even then, I still appreciated you deep down inside, I promise.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Same Hours, New View

I've been working a LOT lately. I'd say I'm right on the edge of the number of hours I can work while still saying reasonably happy (118 hours billed so far this month and we're not quite halfway through). Outside of my travels I haven't had to miss any family dinners, but I have worked every night after the kids have gone to sleep, and I'll admit that even I was in a grumpy when I was still working at midnight last Saturday. I finally shut myself in the study where I wouldn't be tempted to lash out at JP in my frenzy of frumpiness.

I flew to Denver late last night after a full day of deposition prep in Austin. Claire had been up off and on every hour the night before, I think because she knew I was leaving, so I was exhausted. My hotel room is no Presidential Suite (which, just for the record, was a free upgrade; I can't imagine ever actually booking or paying for a room like that), but it's very nice and has a lovely view off a room-length balcony. I'm sitting out on the balcony right now watching the sun set while I type and I am seriously considering a move to Denver. Once in my room last night I still had to draft our Objections to [confidential legal thingy], so I finished that at 12:30, sent it around to the group, and fell into my giant hotel bed at 1 a.m. I then woke up every few hours, absolutely certain I'd missed my alarm, until it went off at 6:30 when I was finally deeply asleep. For the millionth time I wished I'd figured out a way to like coffee, though room service with the most delicious bacon I've ever had helped ease the pain.

Today's deposition was good. I just finished up typing up my summary for the team and doing a few other work tasks. Now I'm going to relax for a whole 30 minutes before heading to a fancy dinner with the client. I'm always torn about work travel. On the one hand I really miss the kids and JP. I completely hate sleeping alone and I miss the cuddles from all three of my family members. But, I'm still nerdy and new enough at this (or maybe it's just that I grew up camping) that business trips with their airplanes and big fancy hotel rooms are exciting. And more seriously, I'd be working non-stop right now whether I was home or not. At least while I'm away I can work like that without the distractions of the office or home, and I can enjoy something like a fancy client dinner instead of just being annoyed that I have to attend any kind of after-work committment.

I fly home late tomorrow night, land at 11 pm, and then drive to Houston early Saturday morning for my grandpa's 80th birthday party. It's going to be a crazy weekend and I know I'm going to have to work a lot (this case is expedited and everything is due Tuesday). JP's birthday is Monday and daycare is closed and we were going to spend the whole day together as a family, but no more. I do have a fabulous birthday meal planned for him, so hopefully he won't mind delaying his turning 29 until Friday. I'm making a homemade cookie cake, along with other delicious things, so I don't think it will be a problem.

Where was I? So, business travel- fancy, tiring, good in limited quantities. Birthdays- awesome, sometimes inconveniently placed on the calendar. Denver- beautiful and tempting me with its mountainous majesty. Me- insanely tired, almost overworked, but having enough fun to know that I picked the right legal career.

I do miss these guys though:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The First of the Dear Claires

Dear Claire (aka Clairebear, C-bear, Clairebiscuit, prettybiscuit, and sometimes just The Biscuit),

This past week has been full of firsts, so it seems appropriate that I should write my first letter to you to tell you about it.

Early Saturday morning our little family of four went to our first Austin Mama Attorneys event at a local pumpkin patch. Kids were supposed to wear costumes, but we decided to spare you the full lobster and dress you instead in a festive combination of orange and black. You spit up twice on your pretty outfit, so after an hour you were changed into a back-up onesie that better flaunted your thigh rolls. Good thing it was 90 degrees outside. Your brother was in his beloved Space Man costume and he and your daddy spent a long time carefully selecting the Perfect pumpkin. Hopefully we'll actually carve it this year.

Now normally you are the smiliest of babies, but when we finally had a third party around to snap a family photo you refused to even look at the camera. I suppose it's more realistic for us to have at least a few pictures where you aren't smiling because you do cry and get mad sometimes, you're just so happy so often that I forget to talk about it.

(click to enlarge)

We went out for pancakes after the pumpkin patch and you slept your way through our whole meal, which was very considerate of you. Unfortunately my blackberry yelled at me right as we were leaving, so I ended up working for the rest of the day. You had no idea of course because the best part about working on a Saturday is that I get to do it with you right next to me! You spent the rest of your day going to the grocery store with daddy, watching football with daddy (and even by yourself for a little bit while he was making dinner), and then playing in your play gym next to my desk. I do love taking breaks between documents to look down and smile and coo at you. I miss you and your smile so much on the weekdays Clairebear.

watching the game

In exciting developmental news, you turned four months old last week and Dr. P said you're strong enough to play in your brother's old jumperoo! I pulled it out of the closet on Sunday and you LOVED it.

Your brother showed you the ropes, as he likes to do, and you were like, "Whoah."

Then you were like, "This is awesome!"

And then the two of you played with it for about two hours.

Claire, I don't know how good of friends you and your brother will be by the time you can read this, but let me tell you that right now he absolutely adores you. He calls you claireBEAR and he loves to hold you and pet you and pick out your clothes. He always wants to make sure you are going wherever we are going (I suppose he hasn't yet noticed that we've never left you behind) and he tells me to be quiet when you're sleeping. If you cry, he immediately informs me that Clairebear is mad and/or hungry and then tells me how I should fix the situation. He can't wait for you to grow up to be a "big kid" just like him because then you will play with him and be his friend and sleep in the other big bed in his room (maybe, but he likes to think so). And on your end, you give him the biggest smiles and are almost always turned in his direction. You placidly tolerate his wanting to hold you, even though sometimes you look like maybe you've had enough. It probably doesn't help that you two are nearly the same size when he's sitting down:

Also on Sunday, we pulled out your brother's old high chair and you got to join the table as a regular member of the family! You've hated your bouncer for a while (and your swing too, you very much do not like to be reclined on your back) so meal times have usually required your dad and me to take turns holding you while the other person ate. Now you're just one of the crew.

Also on Sunday you got to try eating cereal from a spoon for the first time! As with almost everything, and particularly anything involving food, you were a fan.

You did great, though you didn't seem to enjoy yourself quite as much the next night. Maybe the novelty has already worn off and you've realized that the bottle is a much more efficient food delivery device.

Claire, I can't even tell you what a wonderful little baby you are and how much everyone in this family loves you. It's honestly hard to believe you've only been here for four months. Before you were born I thought there would be a transition period where you felt like a newcomer- after all, we three had been together for three years and we had never met you! And I think it took me a little while to evolve in to the mom I felt I should be for your brother, but you came into our family as though you had been there all along. Sure we had to figure a few things out- like your milk allergy, your reflux, and that one specific position that you like to be held in when you're all worked up and can't calm down enough to start drinking your bottle. But those were just little bumps on the surface of things. Inside, in our hearts and in the soul of our little family, you fit perfectly into a hole that was both created and filled the moment you were born. It's wrong to say we were missing something before you were here, but it's absolutely true to say you've added something that makes us even more complete. I love you so much it scares me a little. I feel the same way about your brother and your dad, but I'm more used to it. With you it's still new and raw and I'm still learning to manage it. I woke up countless times at night during your first three months to check and make sure you were still breathing, even though I had no reason to think you might stop and I probably would have scoffed to hear of another mother taking as many 3 a.m. trips upstairs to the nursery as I did.

There is more love, more laughter, and more joy because you are here Claire, and I don't know what else I can say that sums up your first four months better than that.

With so much love (and biscuits),

Friday, October 8, 2010

4 months

Hi guys, it's the Biscuit.

Yes, it's still a ridiculous nickname, but my mom can't stop using it and I've decided to embrace it. If you look at me and say, "Biscuit!" I'll give you a huge smile.

Of course I'll give you a huge smile if you just make eye contact, but it's more fun when we can have back and forth smile/babble conversations.

I turned 4 months old on Monday. I can stand straight on my legs for a super long time and I can do awesome baby push-ups. My favorite is to push up my giant head, rest on my forearms for support, and look all around my world with big eyes, a bigger smile, and triple chins.

My mom says my most distinctive trait is my smiling. I do it all. the. time. It's my default. I only don't smile when I'm super mad and that's usually because I have waited for my bottle for TOO LONG. I'm really quite patient and I'll wait my turn to be attended, but I'm so good that sometimes my parents forget I'm even hungry and then I have to yell at them.

But I forgive quickly.

Because I am the Biscuit.

My big brother is the coolest and I smile extra often for him- he doesn't even have to make eye contact. I get to sit next to him in the car and it's awesome. He likes me a lot too and he always shows me things when we're on walks. I love walks. I face my mommy when I'm in the stroller and spend the whole time smiling at her and chewing on my hands.

My hands are delicious. They're even better when one of my burp cloths is draped over them and I can chew on the fabric. I have fancy teethers, but fabric is my favorite.

I laugh now! My family LOVES it. So far the best way to get me to do it is to blow on my belly or sing the ABC song. My mommy says she doesn't know why the ABCs are so funny but they are!

Oh and I just realized my daddy has a beard! It's scratchy and I like to touch it. I still love baths and take one with mommy almost every night. I love to sit next to her in the tub while she holds me and we just relax and let all our stress melt away.

I'm a super sleeper- 11 hours straight since I was about 2 months old, and I take a 4-5 hour nap in the middle of the day. My reflux is all better and I get to try soy formula soon! Hopefully I'm not allergic to that too because my special formula is yucky and mommy says it's really expensive. I stare at my family's food when they eat it and I'm so jealous I don't get to have any, but the doctor said that can change today! I'm an enthusiastic eater, so mommy and daddy think I'm going to love eating real food.

I got shots today at the doctor. It was terrible. I was giving one of my best smiling performances and had been keeping up a steady stream of conversation with the doctors and nurses and then suddenly one of them stabbed me! I was so shocked I didn't even cry at first. Then I crumbled and I was so offended that didn't smile again until I got home. But then I couldn't help it. Smiling is my favorite.

My life is pretty awesome. I have lots of favorite people and get lots of smiles and cuddles and bottles. I love singing and sleeping and eating and looking at my brother. I am very content and can sit in my bumpo and watch the world go by for lots of minutes. When I wake up in the morning I just lay in bed and chew on my hands and wait for somebody to get me. I almost never cry. Because crying means I can't be smiling! Happy 4 months to me.

With love and biscuits,

P.S. Mommy wants me to report that I'm 15 lbs. 14 oz. (90%), 25 inches (75%), big head (90%).

Thursday, October 7, 2010


As I mentioned in my last dispatch, which I am shocked to realize was written only 24 hours ago, I ended up on an impromptu business trip to Houston last night. The partner I was traveling with wanted to leave as late as possible (1) to avoid traffic and (2) to let me put the kids to bed. So after a day spent frantically preparing for the witness interview, I got to go home and spend a few hours with the kidlets (while packing, answering emails, and organizing depo prep binders, but still, with the kids!). We ended up leaving Austin at 8:30 and drove up to the hotel about 11:15 p.m. We had to check back out at 7:30 a.m. for the 8:00 meeting and I was exhausted. I just wanted to strip, crawl in bed, and squeeze as much sleep out of my 8 hour stay as possible. I was also considering brushing my teeth and taking out my contacts, but honestly, as I was riding the elevator up to my room on the 22nd floor, those actions seemed negotiable.

Then I got up to my room. I had thought it odd that I needed to insert my room key into a slot in the elevator to select my floor, but figured maybe it was an after-hours thing. Then as I was walking down the hall I noticed the room numbers weren't going up near fast enough for me to ever hit mine. But suddenly after 2210, it jumped to 2222- a large mahogany door that stood out starkly against the others. I inserted my key and walked in.

Once past the foyer, I was greeted by this (and sorry for the terrible quality, it's my blackberry phone):

A dining table set for 10 with a huge stone fireplace, TV, and additional benches and seating.

Holy crap.

A kitchen, stocked with my own ice maker.

A TV room and sitting area.

And, lastly, the only thing I really wanted and needed, the bedroom:

and a very nice bathroom which inspired me to do the whole wash my face, brush my teeth, take out my contacts routine after all.

It was amazing and I only got to spend 60 waking minutes in it. I didn't even sit in more than 2 of the 39 seats available in the space. Now that I'm back at my desk in Austin, it pretty much just feels like a dream that I was ever there at all.

Back to work.