It's been a long time since I just wrote a "this is what we've been up to" post.
Right now I've got coffee drip-brewing and the front door open. I'm working on a grocery list, and planning to knock out some errands as soon as I've had my caffeine. Oh, and yes - it's official - I'm truly a coffee addict. I've started getting those caffeine headaches on days when I don't have even a little. Blah.
At the end of the summer, I officially ended my stint as a full-time event planner for WHITT. Two years ago I thought that was my dream job, so it was not entirely easy to walk away from and I had many doubts over the decision. I learned so much and met so many people around Austin, but it was not a good fit for me and that became really evident as my physical and mental health declined. However, it positioned me to be in the right place and time for what I'm doing now - which I love! - so I think it was all meant to be. I'm now helping to manage Fair Market, an awesome events venue in East Austin, and working with a stellar team. They immediately made me feel welcome, and since (for now) I'm a contractor I have almost total control over what my life and schedule - and therefore, my sanity - looks like these days. I feel really lucky, and it's made it very easy to celebrate gratitude this holiday season.
Tim and I took our second annual trip to NYC at the beginning of November to see some FALL FOLIAGE! We walked till our wee feets wanted to fall off (get it?), bickered just a bit, and overall had a grand time. It's always a shock to the system - being back in a big city. I know Austin is growing exponentially, but it still doesn't come close to the hugeness of a place like NYC. I guess few places do. We saw three broadway shows: Hamilton(!!!), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and King Charles III (a modern day history play written in iambic pentameter). All three were really, really good. Hamilton was breathtaking and really deserves it's own post entirely... hopefully I get to that soon. We also saw Spectre and The Martian in the evenings when we just couldn't walk NO MORE. We managed to fit in a couple of strolls through Central Park, scoped out The Guggenheim and The Met, ate Murray's breakfast bagels twice, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, and got totally lost in the Brooklyn subway system.
We celebrated Thanksgiving at Linda's (my mother-in-law) house in Gonzales. It was some really nice, quality family time. We all collaborated on the cooking and ended up with a ton of food, and it was all delicious. And then we stayed in our pajamas for the next 24 hours to recover. Our oven quit working WHILE my pies were baking. The pilot light kept going out, so I had to sit on the floor in front of the stove and listen to the gas and manually relight it whenever it would go out. So frustrating! On the bright side, we are getting a new oven delivered right before I have to do any more baking for the holidays - waaaahooo! Kelli (Tim's sister) & Alex are finally engaged - so a wedding is in our family future - and we are very happy and excited for them. Being engaged during the holidays is so fun! It felt so good and relaxing to all be together in one place, and, because of their news, especially cheerful this year.
We've been having really nice weather, but I wish it was just a smidge colder. That's partly why I'm so excited for our family christmas trip to Santa Fe this year. We are spending almost a whole week there in a beautiful rental house. Susanna has an amazing trail ride planned for us through her friend - a wrangler - out at Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch. I can't wait to be back on a horse, and to hopefully see some snow and beautiful mountain views. I can't believe we are finally taking the kind of holiday trip we always wanted to take as a family. Better late than never!
Because of said trip, we opted as a family to not exchange gifts this season. Tim's family was also on board with this idea this year, so as a result I haven't shopped at all. Except for myself, hah! We've done this before in years past, but it's usually been more about money or stress. This year it just felt so excessive in light of all the awful things happening around the globe. In the spirit of giving we plan to make donations to one or more charities instead, which makes me very happy. Gift giving is definitely one of my "love languages" though, so I feel a little robbed of opportunities to show my nearest and dearest what they mean to me. I guess this year that can be done with words and hugs instead.
Many happy happy holiday wishes to all!