Saturday, September 17, 2022

Fall Haul and General Catchup

You guys, the Great British Baking Show is back! Discovered during my first bout with skin cancer several years ago, after a few crazy weeks, I was so looking forward to getting home yesterday, changing into pajamas from my conference-going-attire, and settling in to the first episode with my personal laptop to do some picture-downloading and blogging.
And I did exactly that! And then I immediately fell asleep. With the laptop on my lap, the show playing, and two cats purring away in the angles of my arms and legs.
I woke up an hour later, nicely rested, mildly confused, and with the show just finishing up. So attempt #2 is me on the couch on Saturday morning, with two cats, and The Great British Baking Show back on again. James and Claire are at the Y (him for his workout; Claire for physical therapy), and I'm trying to recall what's even happened over the last two weeks before I head off to my Sculpthouse workout at 10 before we all go to Cora's soccer game at 12:30 and attend the high school Homecoming Festival at 4:30 (Landon is working the swim team's booth for the first few hours). This is our life now- kid schedules, our schedules, and everyone cheering each other on as much as possible.
[Speaking of cheering on- blogging break for Cora's soccer game! Our rule is every one goes to everyone's games, meets, and performances unless you have your own at the same time and we have to divide and conquer.]
We're home and I'm back on the couch! This speedy little nugget scored two goals and continues to LOVE soccer. She has also admitted she "likes" her new school and class and has lots of friends and has the biggest smile on her face when we pick her up from school.
Moving on to Claire! She had her first cross-crountry meet 2 (3? 4?) weeks ago and hurt her ankle along the route. We went to the doctor, she did ice and rest and heat and ibuprofen, and it just wasn't getting better. James spent one morning calling every orthopedist in Dallas and got into one a ways north, so off they went, with James texting me this update a few hours later:
She has a stress fracture in her ankle and a flare up of her Osgood-Schlatter's disease in her knee, so she's got a bionic leg for the next month. No more cross country, but we're hoping she can try out for soccer when it starts later this year. Between that and her new braces, a recent bad sinus infection and other issues, and continuing to work hard in her counseling, I think she's had about 15 doctor appointments in the last three weeks, but she is smiling through it all.

In my adventures, I flew to New York last last Monday (Labor Day) to meet some of my fellow white collar partners for a client pitch. It rained when I arrived, but that didn't stop me from walking the city my first night anyway. God I love NY.

On Tuesday we had our pitch, I attended a few meetings in our beautiful NY office, I talked to a former law school classmate turned new client, I had drinks with some of my favorite partners, and then, in delightful turn of events, a former fellow summer associate at V&E Austin in 2007, whom I haven't seen in YEARS, happened to text me about my virtual barre classes from lockdown in 2020. After answering her actual question, I, an oversharer as always, mentioned I was in NY for work, and she said SHE was in NY for work, and next thing I knew, we were meeting up for a fabulous meal at Valerie in midtown catching up on years of career and family news.
I truly love all the threads that make the fabric of my career and life so very rich. Two baby summer associates 15 years ago, now two partners in two different cities, making our own way and living our dream. It was a great night. And then I worked until 2 a.m. because sometimes that's how it goes. The night was worth it.

On Wednesday I took the train to DC for the SEC Speaks conference and SEC alumni dinner. I LOVE the train. Why can't I take a high speed train to Houston and Austin when I have work? Why do I have to pick between a stupidly short flight or an annoyingly long and trafficky drive? [politics, Texas, grumble grumble]
Once again, I brought the rain with me, but I still walked- taking in the White House, Capital Building, and more. The SEC Speaks conference was great, and TWO blog readers came up and said hello! Hello blog readers! I absolutely love when that happens and it was so nice to meet you. The best part about the conference was getting to see so many people I know so well, either from my decade at the Commission or my past 6 months on the securities conference circuit. I had a fabulous time, stayed up very late, and took zero pictures. What a fabulous fraternity of SEC alums I get to be a part of.

I took an earlier flight than expected out of DC on Friday and surprised everyone by being home in time for our traditional Friday homemade pizza meal. I am so over this rental house, but I sure do love the people in it!

While I was gone, James went shopping with Landon, his new friend, and the new friend's mom to buy Homecoming suits for the boys. I got many picture updates and Landon was very proud of his bold shirt choice. After I got home he tried on his suit and shirt for me without me even asking, so he's clearly into the whole ensemble and I can't wait for next weekend when he's all dressed up. My baby boy! The kid who won't wear pants! In a suit and going to Homecoming! What is even happening?
Speaking of shopping, and the original impetus for this post I sort of started 6 days ago, I accidentally went on a fall shopping spree last Saturday night as part of my date with James. Have you ever heard of Evereve? I am now completely obsessed and absolutely nothing about this post or the links are sponsored. I got an Evereve magazine in the mail and when I went online to peruse their wares, I felt a throwback to the 90's and wondered if there was perhaps a physical store in my area. And there is! And it's right next to a Mexican place I thought would make for a great date night. I told James we'd stop by.
60 minutes into our "quick stop" I had... many things. I agonized for 20 more minutes to pare them down to the following and I am SET for fall.
The beautiful thing about Evereve (story here) is it feels like a curated collection of all the Nordstrom brands I've realized I like and look good on me, with saleswomen who are all trained stylists who do not work on commission, in a warm, comfortable atmosphere. My salesperson took in my body type and brought me all kinds of outfits and combos she thought I might like. And like them all I DID.
[Links because I hate it when I see something I think I'd like and no one gives me a link to it: Kut From The Kloth Coated Reese Utility Pant | Evereve Charlie Tie Neck Blouse | French Connection Abel Sleeveless Turtleneck Pullover | Paige Ribbed Cut Out Pullover | Blanknyc Eye Catching Jacket | Good American Good Legs Flare Jean | Evereve Tia Floral Mesh Turtleneck | Dolce Vita Dorado Wood Sandal | Sam Edelman Codie Bootie]

Boots, denim (I reallllly needed some new denim that fit and made me feel good), a couple sleeveless sweaters, a snazzy black vegan leather blazer that is 3 inches outside my comfort zone but I also love...
[Hudson Jeans Faye Ultra High-Rise Flare Jeans | Michael Stars Chanel Vest | Evereve Ever Denim Jacket | Paige Cindy Straight Leg Jean | Sam Edelman Loraine Velvet Flat]

And this outfit that makes me feel SO good.
[Evereve Kinsley Pullover | Evereve Chelsea Skirt | Schutz Blake Bootie]

And these commando pants that don't seem like they should fit and make my legs look a mile long and will look great with sweaters and blazers this winter.
[Commando Neoprene Flare]

So it was a successful trip and now I am done for fall, especially since so many of these pieces will work beautifully with what I already own and much of what is still packed in storage and will finally be released when we move into the real house in a month. I've blogged about my work with the amazing Bonnie before, and with my "rental house tiny closet half my stuff in boxes" situation, we aren't going to shop together this season (thus the haul above); instead, she's going to come make an album for fall and winter after we move and I've unpacked my closet. I can't wait!

On Sunday we once again embraced the 90's and all went to the mall after Cora's second soccer game of the weekend.
It was so fun. Northpark is a ridiculous mall and it blew the kids' minds. We had a blast picking up a few fall things for the kiddos, eating in the foodcourt, and twinning with my tween in American Eagle.
I also picked up a pair of shoes I looked at with Bonnie during our shopping trip this Spring and haven't stopped thinking about since. Hello gorgeous.
Look at the padding and support in here. I am obsessed.
I wore one of my new ensembles to speak at the UT Law Government Enforcement Institute conference this past Thursday.
Look at us, dropping all sorts of SEC knowledge for your CLE/CPE enjoyment. The faculty dinner afterward was delicious (who knew vegan bolognese is the thing to order at Truluck's) and fun and the people watching at the Zaza bar after that even better.
On Wednesday I got to see "Ain't Too Proud," a play about the Temptations, with a good friend and it was FABULOUS. I might have worn the same new shirt I ended up wearing Thursday because I liked it so much.
And finally, I've continued to work out every day since mid-August, including every day of my trip (except one, unless you count my city walk) using videos in my hotel room. I'm obsessed with Sculpthouse in Dallas with their half-treadmill, half-megaformer workout. I even went at 6 a.m. twice last week to fit in a class post-getting up with my Swim Kid and pre-meetings and conference-speaking.
I'm the 2016-ish workout-obsessed version of me and I'm annoyed at how good it feels because it weakens all the excuses I have when I go periods of not working out.
Me in 2022: not the same size, but feeling almost as strong.
And now we're off to the Homecoming Festival! I have no idea what's in store there, but we're here for it. 29 days until we move into the new house. 4 days until my next speaking engagement, 5 days until my next trip and another speaking engagement. 7 days until the Homecoming dance and 13 days until Landon's first high school swim meet. I am so in love with this new chapter of life for all five of us and can't wait to see how each week unfolds!

Sunday, September 4, 2022

3 Weeks and 17 Years

Friday was the end of Week 3 of school and yesterday was the start of Year 18 of our marriage! We celebrated the latter (and I suppose the former) AND the 21st anniversary of our first date by going out to a fabulous dinner at The Mexican.
The food was AMAZING and the house margarita maybe the best I've ever had. The ribeye chicharron was incredible, as was the barbacoa de arrachera and sea bass ceviche (omg the sea bass ceviche), and we had the chopped salad, spinalis steak, manchego mashed potatoes with chorizo gravy, and lobster elote, which despite not being big fans of either lobster or elote, blew our damn minds. We had 1/4 cup of the elote left at the end which we brought home and then fought over the next morning.
I wore The Shoes and two women in the incredibly well-lit bathroom gave me all the compliments on their fabulosity. I love a fierce female bathroom cabal.
We had the most lovely time together and then we got to come home to our crew and talk about dates to Homecoming dances and cross country meets in the morning and how my necklace (a gift from James years ago) looks excellent as a tiara.
(Oh and James got me ridiculous flowers and I adore them.) Pretty much the perfect 17th anniversary night!
We got to wake up bright and early on our actual wedding anniversary so James could take Landon to swim practice and I could take Claire to the bus for her cross country meet. Because our kids are living their best lives and we're their rides.
Speaking of, Landon started 6 a.m. swim practice this week!
We take turns to wake up with him at 5:15 a.m. to see him off, hanging out with our surprisingly chatty and cheerful eldest child while he gathers his things and waits for the very sweet junior swimmer who lives nearby and picks him up to take him to practice with her each morning.
On the first morning the pets all assembled to see him off as well. Milo was very confused about the lack of snacks.
By morning 2 Maggie decided he could handle the morning on his own.
She still loves you, but she doesn't want to talk about it until at least 7 a.m. when she helps me work out.
Her form is impeccable. Look at that squat.
Also on Saturday, James took Landon halfway to Fort Worth so he could have a sleepover with a friend, Claire finished her cross country meet, and Cora went to a birthday pool party. And James and I snuck away for an hour to see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit which was awesome!
Also, Claire got braces, she ate a lot of smoothies, and I got fully addicted to the black milk tea from the boba place next door.
Then a junior associate introduced me to Postmates so I could order Boba without even leaving my desk and now I am doomed. Good thing I'm back to working out every day.

I head to NYC tomorrow for work and then to DC from there on Wednesday and then home on Friday. I've managed to get 5 days worth of work clothes in my carry-on AND four days of workout clothes because I am DETERMINED to keep this streak going. Travel is my exercise kryptonite, but I'm going to try my best. Hopefully Maggie can keep her streak going too.
(Just kidding. She is fully strike about walks and has yet to leave the driveway of this rental house. She gives so much side eye.)
We're off to a Labor Day party (our new neighborhood residents are the NICEST; I've felt so welcome) and then watching the last episode of Slow Horses when we're back. That show is so good that I'm sad to finish it. I also just finished Never Have I Ever Season 3 which was a delight, so I need more recommendations for my flights and train rides over the next week.
In closing, here's James & Rebecca at a swim party circa 2001 when we had just started dating. Taken via my old camera on actual film without a red eye or night flash adjustment. Look at those crazy kids! Now a month away from moving into a beautiful home in Dallas with our 3 kids and 3 pets. How lucky I've been to grow up alongside someone who loves me so much.