Monday, July 13, 2015

Sushi, Swim Meets, and Safari Splashing

This weekend turned into something of a Fort Worth staycation and it was wonderful. It began with a trip to our favorite sushi happy hour on Friday. I worked from home in my jammies all day and James was at the pool, so we rushed around getting the big kids from far away outdoor adventure camp (which they have LOVED), and getting Cora (who I temporarily forgot wasn't also at far away outdoor adventure camp, but rather in the opposite direction entirely), but we'd upgraded our ensembles and were sitting at a table ordering everything off the $5 sushi menu by 6 p.m.

I was super happy about this and made James take a selfie with me to prove it. Blow drying my hair doesn't happen very often, so we need to commemorate this stuff. I was also really happy about my cucumber saketini. I will order any beverage with cucumber in it, and when it's happy hour, I will order two.

We ate all the sushi and just chatted and enjoyed the hell out of being with each other and without James's laptop or our beloved children.

round 3!

We've been going on more date nights this summer. I think they've just been a natural (and necessary) counter to how INSANE James's schedule has been lately (two companies; he now owns and is running every detail of two companies, I do not recommend this). Usually we get many hours together every night after the kids go to bed at 8, but now his laptop gets most of that time, so I have to woo him away with sushi, a babysitter, and blow dried hair as often as possible.

Not that I really have to woo him, but I enjoy the process.

We finished the evening with a bottle of champagne and three episodes of Mr. Robot and it was perfection.

~ ~ ~

On Saturday, we had an afternoon swim meet on the schedule. I'd planned to take the kids to the Y in the morning so I could run while James coached (yes I've been running, it's weird and awesome), but detoured through a Starbucks and headed to our favorite park instead. I have no regrets.

When James got home we made Cora miss her nap (third baby!) so we could drive to Southlake to watch the kiddos compete in a blessedly indoor swim meet.

Landon was entered in the 50 free for the first time (two lengths of the pool rather than the usual one) and Claire was in the 25 fly (also a first, and the youngest swimmer by two years in the event) and they both did SO great! Landon continues his undefeated streak in all his events and Claire was adorable in her tiny suit in that big pool and made it all the way across with her fly, something she was IMMENSELY proud of. That girl is one little fire ball of confidence when it comes to her swimming and I love it.

James decided to enter the meet (they have adult events in our league), and his swimmers were SO excited that he got nervous and then all pink in the face when the whole stands started cheering for him. It was adorable.


He was amazing of course, swimming a 50 fly that was only 0.1 seconds off his college splits. I hadn't seen him race since we lived in Austin and thoroughly enjoyed watching him speed through the water. And, amidst the jokes from other moms in the stands, thoroughly enjoyed knowing that he was coming home with me after ;).

hot man on deck

The meet lasted for 6 hours- with my three little summer leaguers competing in a total of 9 events. Cora and I cheered and ate a box of mini Nilla Wafers. She was honestly amazing given that she missed a nap and had to entertain herself in the bleachers the whole time. Though I did pack her purse, a necklace, and a plastic cell phone- what more could she possibly need? And she really does love cheering on her big sibs (and daddy!) and claps after every race.

When the meet ended at 6:30 I desperately needed french fries and a margarita, so I put those two things into yelp and found a restaurant five miles away that promised delicious versions of both. And oh did it deliver! Carne Asada Fries were new to me (french fries + fajita steak, topped with queso, served with sour cream and guacamole) but they need to become a regular fixture in my life. And always served with a frozen prickly pear margarita. I had a burger too, but I really should have just ordered more queso-steak-guacamole-fries.

All our children were asleep 3 minutes into the drive home. It was a great day.

~ ~ ~

On Sunday we woke up and decided we hadn't spent quite enough time around water, so we headed to the new Safari Splash park that just opened up at our fabulous (and fabulously close!) Fort Worth Zoo. We arrived just before opening and were the first ones in the park. Landon immediately went down every slide and didn't stop until we left at 11.

Claire tried a big slide, cut her finger, and retired immediately. We got her back on a few of the smaller ones, but she mostly lounged on a chaise with her sunglasses and appeared to be having an excellent time.

Cora eyed all the squirt toys suspiciously before graduating to vigorously patting a small alligator sprinkler.

James went down all the slides and his 200+ lbs. of mass had him FLYING off the ends and nearly taking out two safety gates and several small children. It was pretty great.

Cora decided she was ready for her nap 2 hours early and Claire was very concerned about the waterproofing powers of her bandaid, so we left after an hour, but for a $16 investment and a 5 minute drive from home, it was perfect. And we've learned that when we take Landon to a water park for his birthday, we can probably leave the girls with a sitter.

Post-waterpark activities included grocery shopping, laundry, teaching barre (yay! I've taught 4 classes in the last 8 days; subbing in summertime is the best), and Cora taking a 4 hour nap. Our neighbors have their 7 and 9-year-old grandchildren visiting from California for a month, so we had them over to swim at 3. Landon couldn't believe they lived in the place where all our best fruit comes from and had a lot of questions about the vegetation. James went to swim and when he got home I had all the stuff ready to make dinner but just couldn't bear to actually do it. So we decided to continue with our theme for the weekend and headed out to Torchy's for tacos and margaritas. It was an excellent decision.

I really needed this family, fun, and restaurant-filled weekend. Now just 34 days to go until our real vacation. Can't wait!


  1. Hi! I have been following you for years, after coming across your blog on a friend's blog. I appreciate your stories - I too am a perfection-driven working mother trying to balance it all. But I have to ask a question - you make everything seem so easy and problem-free. I know you went through hell with Landon as a baby and the whole issue with your husband losing his job. But, still, you were living in Texas making 6 figures - so from a money standpoint, you weren't exactly heading to the poor house. I live in the northeast, work in journalism and my husband is a businesss owner. Cost of living is high - 2,000 a month for a two-br apartment. You also never speak of problems with your husband or work stress. Is it possible that you two never fight, have tons of sex, perfect weekends and wonderful work-life balances? If so, GREAT FOR YOU!!!! That's awesome. But it would be nice to see a less "poised" side of your life... if one exists. This is not meant to be negative. I am honestly just wondering if things are as perfect as you make them out to be.

    1. Yeah, I'm confused. I thought this was reality TV. Don't you OWE it to us to tell us every last detail of your personal life? [eye roll]

      It's her blog. It's like a scrapbook that she can look back on and show her kids one day. Why would she write about the crappy stuff? It's not a diary.

    2. Anon @ 10:29...Her blog, her rules. You've been reading her for years, you know she's as real as it gets on the Internets. I randomly selected a date on the archive sidebar and came up with this post...
      You're right, her life just can't always be perfect but wow, she does find the happy in every day.


  2. I just want to jump in here and say that one thing that I really appreciate about this blog is that while it's full of pictures of your beautiful family and home and the joy that you get from little moments of your everyday life, we also get a sense of everything that goes into creating that life that you love. We don't get all the details about the harder days, but we know that you have them, and we get to see how your attitude towards the challenges that arise has shaped where you've ended up. I really appreciate the honesty that you show here and admire the work (the forfeited sleep, the planning and organizing, the hours deliberating on big decisions, your commitment to fitness, etc.) that goes into making your life (and those abs!) look the way it does (/they do). Not to dismiss what the commenter above is saying, but it helps me to see that you rarely choose what's easiest. And so when I get home after a trip and don't unpack my suitcase for DAYS, I'm reminded of why my life isn't quite so glossy, and that's ok too. Thanks LL.

  3. I also want to jump in and say I love the refreshing perspective you bring to life through your writing style. I too an a married, working attorney mother trying to balance it all, and I so appreciate the perspective you share through your writing. You clearly have hard times as do most people and I certainly don't think you hide them or gloss over them (i.e., Cora's poop fiasco in your post a short while back; this post where 2 of 3 kids clearly didn't like the water park; your and James' opposite work schedules; juggling sick kids when you both have mandatory work commitments; etc). What I appreciate most from your writing is that while hard is hard, particularly in the moment, you deal with it and move on. There is no need to spend so much energy focusing on how hard something is/was when there is much more to be grateful and thankful for and so much life to enjoy. Keep on celebrating the good!

    You've mentioned a couple times now that you worked from home on a Friday --- is this a regular occurrence? if so, how did you/do you make it work?

  4. While I love my family and I know nothing is perfect, the grass is always greener, yada yada yada, I wish my family could be more like the LL family and enjoy/appreciate the here and now. Keep up with the good work and positive outlook:)

  5. I read/have read a lot of blogs over the last 10 years and hands down yours is my favorite and the one I have never quit reading. You're interesting, honest, witty and so inspirational to me. Thank you for letting me read what you share. It's honestly such a fun treat -- and a gift to my own thinking process in many areas!

  6. Anon 1, I respectfully disagree! One of the many things I love about LL's blog is that she revels in the moment and her kids. It makes me smile and actually appreciate my own kid & work happiness/craziness more. When it's hard, she says so, but when something could be lovely, she enjoys it. Another person could have probably written a b$&@fest with this same weekend (stuck @ sports, grumpy water park kiddies). That's not this blog, thankfully.

  7. I really love your blog! As a student at UT it's kinda of nice to read about a Texas Ex! My only thing is that initially when you started the blog it was very law oriented. I totally get that it was before you had the kids and now family is the priority. But I do wish you would talk about your career more. It's not often that I find blogs about working moms, and I would love if you would include more about your work on there:)