Sunday, February 19, 2023

All the February Updates to Date!

Thank you for your questions in the AMA, I had fun answering them! There's something about forcing myself to spend 2 minutes answering a prompt without agonizing over making sure my answer if full, measured, and complete. Instead, I just typed whatever popped into my head. It was an excellent exercise we will have to do again. But while I was doing that, about a million things have been happening over here!
Like this beautiful custom bookcase for our gameroom! It just got painted yesterday (Benjamin Moore Hale Navy) and I can't wait to fill it with our only remaining unpacked boxes, all of which are filled with books.
And we got the gorgeous entryway console that was the very first item I ordered when we started decorating the house. It was made from scratch right here in Dallas and I'm obsessed.
We just hung up that art and added a few other decorative pieces I haven't taken a picture of yet, but Milo approves and it looks amazing with the new entryway chandelier that arrived and I love that we finally have a beautiful entry space to greet us when we walk in the door.
We also got our new dining light fixture that looks like a funky gold spaceship and makes me happy.
I smile every time I walk into this kitchen. We didn't change much, but the switching out of every light fixture has made such an impact and I'm so glad we went for it even though I originally told myself we'd keep what was already there. That resolve lasted about 3 days.
Right after our snow days we had Landon's rescheduled Regionals swim meet Monday and Tuesday evening. I got to embrace the art of the telework and email from the stands while cheering on our swimmers.
Regionals is a big deal - the top two finishers make it to state and then the next fastest 8 throughout the state are picked up to make 24 entries in each event. Landon goes to a Dallas ISD city school that is not known for their swim team, or any country club sport that really shines in the suburbs. There are three pretty fast seniors who have been waiting years for a fast fourth swimmers to make a relay with a chance at state and with our little Landon, they got it.
They placed 2nd in the 200 medley relay (Landon swims the 50 fly and went his fastest split ever) and 3rd in the 400 free relay which was the first team "picked up" for State (they have a very fast region). They shattered the school records they set earlier in the season and everyone was just thrilled. Senior parents were crying, everyone was screaming, it was just the best.
With the rescheduling of the meet, my parents were able to stop by on their drive home from Colorado and they were thrilled too. They immediately made plans to attend state and we started googling Austin hotel rooms from the stands.
Speaking of Landon, he has been on multiple dates, including the Sadie Hawkin's Valentine's Dance which his girlfriend-who-was-not-yet-a-girlfriend asked him to in adorable fashion along with her best friend and his best friend, who is also a swimmer. The girls are not swimmers, which makes their dedication to wearing snorkel masks when they asked the boys all the more significant. It was adorable.
The dance was even MORE adorable. Landon woke up on Saturday - dance day - declaring that he needed a vest to go with his suit because he could not POSSIBLY wear the same shirt he wore to homecoming (when he did not yet know the girlfriend-who-was-not-yet-a-girlfriend) and the Valentine's Dance was 1920's themed and since he didn't think suspenders were his "look" he needed a vest. With the dance in 5 hours we headed to Marshall's, where we found Landon a white button-down shirt. Next it was TJ Maxx, where Landon became enamored with a men's swimsuit with pink crabs all over it. I told him we could get it and he bemoaned the $75 price tag until I pointed out the $12.99 TJ Maxx price tag and he was FLOORED and declared he should buy all the things and resell them on eBay because clearly this was a huge arbitrage opportunity. After that it was Men's Wearhouse where we found a vest for $189 that was a hard no until we found a boy's version of that vest for $40 which I was considering even though Landon couldn't lift his arms while wearing it but how important is that at a dance? Then the clearance rack came in FOR THE WIN with a perfect men's size dark gray vest for $19.98. We drove home, flush with victory, where he got ready in 6 seconds because he is a boy.
James tied his tie, the girls squealed as they peered out the window when Landon's best friend (the extrovert on the team who adopted Landon on the first day of school) and the girls arrived. They looked smashing and from the occasional update I got, had a lot of fun throughout the night.
This past weekend was State. I flew over to Austin on Thursday so I could meet up with one of my favorite female litigation partners and work out of our Austin office Friday morning. I had an important call I couldn't have taken from the car on the drive over with James and the girls, plus I love our Austin office right in the heart of one of my favorite cities.
I met my partner for dinner. She had written "Group Therapy" in the location line of our calendar appointment and I 100% assumed she was making a clever title for our mini female partners in BigLaw meet-up, but no, I learned on Thursday, that was the actual name of the restaurant. The title was still accurate though! We had a fantastic time catching up, commiserating, brain storming, and sharing stories. There is such power and purpose in getting together with similarly situated individuals and one of my favorite parts of private practice is being able to meet up with and connect with more bad ass women in law.
My parents drove over from San Antonio where they had stopped to visit their parents, and James and the girls drove over from Dallas, and we all met at Hula Hut on Lake Austin, which was one of my faves in college and when we lived there again when James was in business school. I'm delighted to report that the Veggie Tubular Taco is as delicious as ever and the fried ice cream remains the stuff my dreams have been made of for 20+ years.
We headed over to the pool - the pool where I swam in my high school state meets a century ago, and where James and I trained in college - to find a Taylor-Swift-concert-like line outside for seats. It was as annoying as it was impressive. Swimming? Generating sold out tickets and crazy lines with annoyed people getting mad at the line cutters? This was not the swimming of my day and I was here for it.
Hello old friend.
As a fellow swim teammate wrote when she saw the picture I posted, "I can smell the chlorine from here." Chlorine and heart emojis just fill the senses in this space.
The 200 medley relay is the first event. Our little DISD-team-that-could was seeded 12th. The top 8 make A finals, next 8 make B finals, and the final 8 are done after prelims. And our boys- our 3 seniors and 1 freshman- dropped time (Landon went a 23.58 for his 50 fly, which was a new best for him), re-broke their record, and tied for 6th! 6th! From 12th! They made the A finals and we were just thrilled. I think my mom cried. State swim meets are the best.
Their 400 free also did great- dropping more time and moving from 12th to 10th, which put them at the top of the B final. Two of our seniors made finals in their individual events and our single female swimmer made finals in both of hers as well (she already signed to swim for UT after high school; Hook 'Em!). Prelims ended at 9:30 pm. My parents headed back to the hotel while James, the girls, and I walked through campus at dark, reminiscing, and exclaiming over all the things that are new and all the things that are exactly the same. The girls did not share our enthusiasm, but they did like the pancakes we got for dinner at 10 pm at Kerbey Lane. It was a whole day spent living my life 20 years ago and it was wonderful.
On Saturday I woke up early and worked out in the gym (I'm on a 30 day streak, I don't know who I am at the moment, but she feels good!) and then we ate the hotel breakfast and headed out to San Antonio to visit the great-grandparents! It was a tight turn-around, but you can't be an hour away from your 3 living grandparents and not make a trip.
And they look great! My grandpa gets around great on his scooter and has settled into assisted living, visiting my grandma down in memory care twice every day. His short-term memory is pretty well gone, but he recalls everything from the past with great clarity, and his joy in seeing me, James, and the girls was pure and absolute. Every day we still get with him is on borrowed time. He fell two days ago and broke at least one finger, and there is much about life that is really hard for him now, but he calls me Counselor and Partner and tells me every time we talk how incredibly proud he is of me and how I'm making a name for himself and he just bursts with pride. My goal in life is to love my family as much as he does.
My grandma is largely absent, but with a smile on her face and occasional flashes of perfect recall, asking James if he was still teaching swimming and recalling that I was a lawyer. She wanted to know all about the girls and liked hearing about Landon and his girlfriend-who-is-now-officially-his-girlfriend (he asked her on Valentine's Day while they ate pizza in our gameroom and watched Billy Madison; the stuff of high school romance indeed).
We also visited my Grandpa Jim who is getting along well with his cat Smudge. Misses my Grandma Jo, but seems comfortable, was dressed impeccably as always, and clearly enjoyed seeing us. I continue to wear my Grandma Jo's jewelry and think of her so often. What a blessing these four people have been in my life.
We drove back to Austin, stopping for lunch, and getting back in line to get seats for finals. My parents met us and we settled in for another great round of swimming.
We had 3 swimmers medal in individual events, our boys' relays did great! The 200 medley dropped more time and got 6th and the 400 free added a bit and got 12th, but they had a fabulous prelims and everyone still seemed happy. We met Landon outside the swim center (it's still weird for James and I to not be allowed on deck; we used to live on that deck!), gave him hugs, and headed back to Dallas.
It was late, but we always prefer to sleep at home when possible and the midnight ETA didn't seem too bad. Until our "quick" stop for dinner took forever and our ETA moved closer to 1 a.m. It was a lot of driving for James, but Landon and I kept up a continual stream of chatter which I feel like helped propeled him home. The girls fell asleep, Landon filled us in on every thought he'd had for the last 3 days we'd been apart, and our cats were delighted to see us when we crawled in the door.
Today is errands, laundry, catching up (like this post!), and getting ready for the week ahead. I head to NYC for work tomorrow, my mom comes on Friday for some birthday shopping, I turn 40 on Saturday (!!), and then I fly to Miami the next Tuesday for work. (And then it's back to Austin, then we have a family vacation to St. Lucia, and then it's Denver. I am SUCH a good packer of my little carry-on suitcase.) All of life continues forging ahead at what often seems like breakneck speed, but it's a pretty great ride.
The girls and I are headed out on a rollerblade. I haven't bladed in 20+ years, but my parents got us all pairs for Christmas and it's like riding a bike right? Something else I recently did for the first time in 20 years and it went fine, but just in case, I'm publishing this before we leave. Happy Sunday to all!

Friday, February 3, 2023

Snow Days for Days - AMA

Dear gentle readers, why isn't there a Season 3 of Bridgerton yet for me to binge while trapped in this house for the rest of my life? Or Never Have I Ever or The Sex Lives of College Girls or a surprise reboot of Veronica Mars? (Speaking of a reboot- I LOVED the first season of Reboot on Hulu and now I saw it's not been renewed and there is no fairness in this life.)
Why yes, we are on Day 4 of no school and general ice-mageddon. Last night in a fit of familial love and cherishment, 100% brought on by the fact that school was supposed to reopen today, we had everyone clean the gameroom together, play an epic ping pong tournament, and then play Skip Bo at the kitchen table. It was delightful. It was supposed to cap off this special time we've had together and send them BACK TO SCHOOL with smiles on their sweet little faces.
Instead we are all still here. Even the bulldog is unamused.
So in honor of having absolutely no updates to share because I haven't left the house since Monday, I thought I'd turn it to you -- ask me anything and I'll answer what I can.
Anything I mentioned but never followed up on? With my extremely sporadic posting these days I'm sure I've left hundreds of threads unfinished. Ask away!