Category Archives: Random Tidbits

Oh, hey, 2015

I may have not made enough time for blogging these past few months, but 2015 has been a good year so far. Instead of brushing the past four months aside or doing separate posts for different moments (ain’t nobody got time for that), I decided to throw them all together here. Ready for picture overload?

January:

We celebrated the new year with some sweet friends in Fredericksburg. We love this awesome group and had such a good time talking over a delicious dinner, playing Pass the Pigs and Heads Up, watching the NYE special, and eating 12 grapes at midnight.

Dinner in Fredericksburg

Dinner in Fredericksburg

Ready for 2015!

Ready for 2015!

After talking about it for a while, I saw a dear friend move to LA. Y’all, this sassy girl is awesome and I love hearing about her new life in California. I have so much admiration for her for making this move!

One last dinner with Priscilla before her move

One last dinner with Priscilla before her move

February:

We spent Valentine’s Day in Fredericksburg and visited some of our favorite vineyards before having a great dinner at Arcade back in San Antonio. Each table was given a single red rose; naturally, I felt like I was on The Bachelor.

Wine tasting at 4.0

Wine tasting at 4.0

Will you accept this rose?

Will you accept this rose?

One of the best parts of this year has been finding a home for our foster dog, Molly. This will most likely get its own post at some point so I can share some pictures and more of her story. I still can’t believe we had her for five months and that we were able to see her change from an extremely timid dog that was completely numb to any human interaction, to a goofy and sweet, shy lab. Molly hit the doggy lottery when my dear friend Haley‘s parents adopted her.

On our way to meet up with Haley's parents

On our way to meet up with Haley’s parents

We took a trip to Nashville and ended the month with Ranchopalooza with our youth group.

With Riley and Becca in Nashville

With Riley and Becca in Nashville

March:

Warmer weather in March had us outside working on the yard. We planted some new grass in areas that the dogs had worn down to dirt and put some new plants in our garden. We finally did some landscaping along the fence of our backyard… twice. We planted some azaleas before we realized they are poisonous to dogs… oops. Thankfully we bought these plants at Millberger’s and they have a great return policy. Those azaleas came out and Indian hawthorn went in.

Wrigley's such a good supervisor

Wrigley’s such a good supervisor

Wrigley's all "Seriously, mom?"

Wrigley’s all “Seriously, mom?”

Back flowerbed once we planted the Indian hawthorn

Back flowerbed once we planted the Indian hawthorn

Gerber daisies have kept our garden looking good

Gerber daisies have kept our garden looking good

April:

April was spent preparing for Fiesta Arts Fair and coordinating volunteers to work throughout the two day event. I’m so thankful to be part of a team that made my first Fiesta Arts Fair so great and to Chip who worked the entire weekend with me. Other highlights to the Fiesta season were the River Parade and party at La Fogata.

Viva fiesta!

Viva fiesta!

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

Fiesta Arts Fair

The perfect card from one of my coworkers

The perfect card from one of my coworkers

Fiesta River Parade

Fiesta River Parade

So VIP...

So VIP…

At the La Fogata Fiesta event

At the La Fogata Fiesta event

May has already been off to a great start with the birth of the royal baby and having my little brother get engaged! So excited for Alex and Teresa!

Engaged!!

Engaged!!

A couple of last pictures of Wrigs…

And now we’re pretty much caught up. Hooray.

A Valentine’s Day Story

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Last year, I shared the story about Chip and I’s first date. I know, having a first date on Valentine’s Day is some serious pressure. It didn’t faze Chip at all as he tried to play it cool when he asked me out eight years ago (eight years, what?!) with a simple “what are you doing Wednesday evening?” So smooth. I was recently telling some friends about another Valentine’s Day story Chip and I share. They got a good laugh out of it, so I thought I would share it here on the ol’ blog…

It was five years ago, Chip and I had been dating for three years and had graduated from Trinity that previous spring. We were at the point in our relationship where we were talking about our future together and starting to use the big m word… marriage. So when Chip started talking about Valentine’s Day plans weeks in advance, I totally read into it and thought he was dropping hints about getting engaged. Chip made reservations for us at the Grey Moss Inn, something that was definitely out of our budget. Why else would we have such a fancy dinner date on the anniversary of our first date if not to get engaged, amiright? I can’t tell you how I agonized over what to wear. Like Elle Woods said, I needed to look bridal but not like I was expecting anything. In the end, I remember picking out something simple – a fitted white long sleeve shirt, grey/silver skirt that had a bit of a sheen to it, black tights, and boots. And yes, I had my nails painted because I was totally anticipating taking pictures of my hand with an engagement ring.

We got to the Grey Moss Inn and I had jitters like it was our first date all over again. Would he do it before dinner? Nope. Maybe during the meal? Nope. Alright, surely after dinner somewhere on the grounds? Three strikes. We left dinner and Chip was acting totally normal, so I assumed he was trying to fake me out and propose when I wasn’t expecting it. For those of you that know, we got engaged a few months later in May (and I totally wasn’t expecting it, it was such a great surprise, didn’t even have my nails painted! ;)). We left dinner that Valentine’s Day, stopped by HEB to get some chocolate covered strawberries (dessert was a little too expensive at dinner), went back to Chip’s duplex that he shared with three other guys and watched The Count of Monte Cristo. I tried so hard not to be disappointed or angry at Chip for unintentionally leading me on and then not proposing, so I’m pretty sure I ate most of those strawberries myself and paid little to no attention to the (super long) movie.

I asked Chip the other day if he knew I had those expectations for that Valentine’s Day years ago… he was absolutely clueless. Bless his heart. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!!

After our actual engagement in May 2010

After our actual engagement in May 2010

With my parents after Chip and I got engaged

With my parents after Chip and I got engaged

Little puppy Wrigs was with us when we got engaged

Little puppy Wrigs was with us when we got engaged

27 Thoughts on Twenty-Seven

Today, I turn twenty-seven. While it did take me some time to wrap my mind around moving from my mid-twenties to my late-twenties, I’m excited. I feel 27. And that’s a good thing. I thought about making one of those lists you see on the internet “27 things to do when you turn 27” but that felt overwhelming. And I don’t want to look on that list a year from now and feel like a failure if I haven’t accomplished what would most likely be an overly ambitious list. So instead, I have decided to share 27 lessons I’ve learned. Most are small reflections and none are ground-breaking revelations, but still, these lessons have shaped who I am today.

1. There is such a thing as eating too many cookies. Hard to believe, I know.

2. The best way to break in new shoes is to wear them with socks around the house. And on that note, never wear brand new shoes to a wedding or any event that will have a lot of standing/walking/dancing.

3. House projects will always cost more money and take longer than originally anticipated. If HGTV makes it look like it can happen in a weekend, it will probably take a month.

4. I’m naturally very Type A and a detailed planner. Being spontaneous is challenging, but I’m trying to be more flexible.

5. When doing manicures at home, base coat and top coat make all the difference. Also, make sure there is no dog hair nearby because it will inevitably get stuck to your nails.

6. May 7, 2011 will always be one of the best days of my life.

7. I have wonderful parents who have sacrificed so much so for me and my brother. They are such great examples of what it means to be a husband and wife as well as selfless parents.

8. Just because I’m small and have typically been younger than my peers doesn’t mean I’m not strong or capable. I can do more than I give myself credit for. And if I get a running start, I can still put my brother in a headlock.

9. All wine tastes better when chilled.

10. Make one “bulk” meal a week that will give us leftovers for busy evenings.

11. I am loved and treasured by a gracious God.

12. Make time every day to check email, except for weekends. It’s good to disconnect every now and then.

13. Always pack chapstick

14. Treasure Saturday mornings. I love when we have a free weekend to sleep in, take Wrigley (and now Molly as well) for a walk, and have breakfast together somewhere. It recharges us in the midst of busy schedules.

15. I am surrounded by a loving community at Redeemer that has helped me grow so much over the last three years.

16. Deciding to stay in San Antonio after graduation was a big deal for us. We don’t have family in town, but I am so grateful for this city and for friends that feel like family.

17. Dust first, then vacuum.

18. Don’t take the weather forecast seriously, especially in Texas.

19. Make time to read.

20. If I need to remember to do something, I have to write it down.

21. Comparison is the thief of joy. This is a lesson I’m constantly learning, along with not only being content, but joyful in each season God has called us to.

22. Handwritten letters can brighten any day.

23. Remember to take care of myself and not feel guilty saying “no.” I have a tendency to over-fill my schedule (there, dad, I finally admitted it) and have realized that I am not the wife, friend, and daughter I want to be when I’m exhausted.

24. Always carry an extra hair tie.

25. Do a little cleaning every day, and don’t beat myself up that our floors get dirty within 36 hours of vacuuming and steaming.

26. Don’t leave important papers on the coffee table: they will either be thrown away or eaten by Wrigley.

27. Set aside a little bit of money each month for traveling. It doesn’t have to be much, but it will slowly add up.

The Gilmore Wardrobe

Who else out there has been binge watching Gilmore Girls? I’d say my marathon evenings have been pretty moderate, I’m just now starting season three. Apart from remembering how much I loved the quick-wit dialogue of the show and these wonderfully flawed characters, I’ve been reminded of how much I loved the fashion of the late 90s and early 00s. If they wouldn’t look so ridiculous, I would totally re-wear some of these trends today. After watching the first two seasons, here are some of the wardrobe choices I love most, particularly from Lorelai since Rory is always rocking that Chilton uniform:

Who doesn't love the B-52s?

Who doesn’t love the B-52s?

– The screen print tee: Who doesn’t remember wearing a shirt with some random message on it, whether it’s a bowling alley or a tribute to the B-52s. Double points for glittery screen print tees. This eventually evolved into the branded tops from American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch. Nothing like in your face logos accompanied by the name of some random beach.

– Bandanas: Sookie wears these like it’s her job. I really can’t criticize this wardrobe choice, it’s a super practical option considering she’s a chef. Cooking is impossible when your hair is all up in your face. And confession: I totally wore bandanas from Claire’s or wherever else sold them during 8th grade. My personal favorite was when I decorated a Diamondbacks handkerchief with glittery puffy paint and wore it like a headband, a la Sookie in the picture on the bottom left. #winning

So many colors, so little time

So many colors, so little time

– Choker scarves: remember when people used to wear scarves like this? It often exposed half of your neck, but all those knit patterns and stripes sure looked fancy.

Bonus points for knit scarves

Bonus points for knit scarves

– The not-quite-crop top: a Lorelai favorite, and one I never really embraced. Hello, insecure and modest 14-year old Jessica. Also, blue seems to be Lorelai’s favorite color.

Lorelai's favorite casual look

Lorelai’s favorite casual look

– Turtleneck: I’ve personally never been a big turtle neck fan, but I love how often the residents of Stars Hollow wear these.

Please note the little silver clips in Lorelai's hair. That's 2001 class, right there.

Please note the little silver clips in Lorelai’s hair. That’s 2001 class, right there.

Can I have all of these?

Can I have all of these?

– Sheep fleece lined jacket: probably the one article of clothing from the early seasons of this show that I would bring back in a heartbeat. I lived in one of these cozy and warm jackets from Aeropostale for a winter and I loved it.

The clothing definitely got better the longer the show was on air. Can’t wait to get further along in the series and see the beloved hair-flip style. You bet I did my hair like that my sophomore year of high school.  And thankfully, Dean’s hair got better, too. How could he even see anything during season 1? And let’s not forget Luke and his timeless flannel and backwards baseball hat uniform.

Do you have any favorite wardrobe moments/styles from Gilmore Girls? And please, no spoiler alerts! I never saw the end of the series and have somehow managed to not find out how it ends. Now time to get back to season three…

Fiestas Patrias

Please forgive that this post is a day late. Oops.

September 18th always brings two words to mind: Fiestas Patrias, the Chilean holiday. Now, this wasn’t always the case. Growing up, I really didn’t know anything about Chile. I think I dressed up like a “typical” Chilean for some school culture project in fourth grade… or wait. I’m pretty sure I was a gaucho from Argentina, not Chile, but I’m not sure (a little help, Mom? Bonus points if you have pictures of awkward Jessica with those awesome huge glasses and buck teeth). I even pronounced Chile like the comfort-food soup chili. Ah, the shame.

Thankfully this all turned around while I was in college and decided to study abroad and eventually chose to go to Vina del Mar in Chile. For any college students out there: please please please consider studying abroad. I know I’m not alone when I say that studying abroad was the best experience from my college career (apart from meeting my husband, of course). I learned how to get around a new country all on my own while speaking Spanish filled with “cachai”, “poh”, and “bakan.” I was able to see a different part of the world and be part of a beautiful culture. I made my faith my own and found a wonderful church to go to for my five months in Chile. I learned how to do a long distance relationship with Chip. I made some truly wonderful friends with other students in my program. These friendships run deep and I am so thankful for them. I had one friend surprise me for my 21st birthday my senior year at Trinity and had a couple of super awesome girls come to our wedding three years ago.

I was lucky to study abroad in Chile during Fiestas Patrias, which meant several days off from school. My friend Caitlin and I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to travel to the Atacama Desert in the northern area of Chile, the driest non-polar desert in the world. After looking at travel options, we decided to take a 24-hour bus ride instead of fork over a little extra money for a flight. That’s right, 24 hours. Thankfully we had some movies on our bus (with no audio, but were accompanied by our own commentary) to watch and some wonderful 90s sing alongs to keep us entertained (a favorite was I’ll Stand By You). We were meeting a couple of other friends up in the Atacama Desert and had a great time exploring the driest desert in the world.

Naively excited for our 24 hour bus rides

Naively excited for our 24 hour bus rides

Traveling light? Maybe.

Traveling light? Maybe.

This seemed like an adequate amount of space at first

This seemed like an adequate amount of space at first

A little tired the next morning on the bus... I totally forgot about my old red glasses.

A little tired the next morning on the bus… I totally forgot about my old red glasses.

Soooo ready to be done with the bus

Soooo ready to be done with the bus

In San Pedro de Atacama for Fiestas Patrias

In San Pedro de Atacama for Fiestas Patrias

San Pedro de Atacamas

San Pedro de Atacamas

San Pedro de Atacamas

San Pedro de Atacamas

Freezing our bums off at El Tatio Geysers

Freezing our bums off at El Tatio Geysers

El Tatio

El Tatio

Leaving El Tatio

Leaving El Tatio

On the tour later in the afternoon

On the tour later in the afternoon

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna. The landscape was so stunning.

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna. The landscape was so stunning.

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna

Part of the tour of Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna

Further north in Iquique, Caitlin and I went paragliding. I'll spare you the pictures where we look a little less confident...

Further north in Iquique, Caitlin and I went paragliding. I’ll spare you the pictures where we look a little less confident…

Paragliding in Iquique

Paragliding in Iquique

And now prepare for more Chile photos because now I’ve become plenty nostalgic on this wonderful and at times challenging semester abroad. Here are a couple of other more luxurious blog posts on Chile that I’ve loved reading from Lesley Murphy and Ker & Downey. Please let me know if/where you studied abroad or if you’ve ever visited Chile before! Viva Chile!

Part of our orientation in Olmue

Part of our orientation in Olmue

Exploring neighboring city Valparaiso

Exploring neighboring city Valparaiso

Exploring neighboring city Valparaiso

Exploring neighboring city Valparaiso

Exploring neighboring city Valparaiso

Exploring neighboring city Valparaiso

Out in the bay of Valparaiso

Out in the bay of Valparaiso

My dog friend at the botanical gardens in Vina del Mar

My dog friend at the botanical gardens in Vina del Mar

Taxi ride after arriving in Cajon del Maipo

Taxi ride after arriving in Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo... CBuck and I always ate well together

Cajon del Maipo… CBuck and I always ate well together

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

Cajon del Maipo

One of the highlights to my semester abroad was when my mom came to visit and we traveled to Peru together

One of the highlights to my semester abroad was when my mom came to visit and we traveled to Peru together

The ruins of Ollantaytambo

The ruins of Ollantaytambo

Machu PIcchu with mom

Machu PIcchu with mom

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

I loved the llamas of Machu PIcchu

I loved the llamas of Machu PIcchu

Machu Picchu, day two

Machu Picchu, day two

Machu Picchu, day two

Machu Picchu, day two

Celebrating my 20th birthday

Celebrating my 20th birthday

The entire COPA Program

The entire COPA Program

Our great Spanish class with Jorge

Our great Spanish class with Jorge

With Elsie's fabulous host mom, Angelica

With Elsie’s fabulous host mom, Angelica

End of the semester with Katie and Caitlin

End of the semester with Katie and Caitlin

End of the semester with Vivi, Claudio, Katie, Pame, and Caitlin

End of the semester with Vivi, Claudio, Katie, Pame, and Caitlin

Love these girls

Love these girls

My fellow gringos at Union Church

My fellow gringos at Union Church

With our Chilean friends at Union Church

With our Chilean friends at Union Church

With Pastor Richard at Union Church

With Pastor Richard at Union Church

At the end of the semester, Katie and I traveled south together

At the end of the semester, Katie and I traveled south together

Getting cold in Puyehue

Getting cold in Puyehue

In Puyehue

In Puyehue

Reading outside our cabin in Puyehue

Reading outside our cabin in Puyehue

Puyehue

Puyehue

Ziplining in Puyehue

Ziplining in Puyehue

Another stray dog friend in Pucon

Another stray dog friend in Pucon

River rafting in Pucon

River rafting in Pucon

It got a little intense... we all ended up outside of the raft (except for the guide)

It got a little intense… we all ended up outside of the raft (except for the guide)

Being lifted back into the raft

Being lifted back into the raft

Post rafting experience with a nice ankle injury

Post rafting experience with a nice ankle injury

Caitlin and I in the Dallas airport after our flight from Chile

Caitlin and I in the Dallas airport after our flight from Chile

With Kam and Caitlin at our wedding. Kam caught the bouquet!

With Kam and Caitlin at our wedding. Kam caught the bouquet!

Three Year Anniversary

Yesterday marked three years since I married this guy:

My groom

My groom

Hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Traditionally, the third year is considered the leather anniversary. Seems kind of weird, but we were given a description of what this means and I just love it.

The third wedding anniversary is often when a couple is aware of the durability of their relationship. That is why leather is the traditional gift for this celebration. Leather is a material that is durable, warm, strong, flexible, and has a sense of resiliency to it. These are qualities that help a marriage thrive.

Reading this description had us thinking about this past year of marriage. Our first year was fun and full of us figuring out daily life together. Our second year helped us grow closer together and deepened our marriage. But this third year has been our favorite. We don’t feel like newlyweds anymore, we feel more and more like a team. Together, we accomplished and got through a lot this past year. Chip passed the final level of the CFA giving us so much more time together this spring and will surely help us in the future. We were able to go on a bunch of different trips together. We did more projects around the house and remodeled our bathroom with the help of our families. When I decided to leave my job in November, Chip was my biggest supporter and has been so excited for me in this time off. We celebrated our birthdays, the holiday season, friends’ weddings, and so much more together. We like to think that we did become more resilient this year and continue to build a strong foundation for all of our years to come.

For our anniversary, Chip surprised me with a homemade breakfast yesterday. I slept through his alarm and didn’t even notice him getting out of our bedroom (it takes me a bit to transform from a zombie to a functioning human being). I heard our front door open a couple times and honestly thought that maybe he had left for work without saying goodbye (note: he never does that, so not sure why I even thought this was possible). Anyway, I saw that it was only 7:00 and was curious what Chip could be doing that was making so much noise. Y’all. I came out into our kitchen to see him preparing a feast of French toast, scrambled eggs, and fruit. He had even set out our wedding china for us to eat outside together. My heart was so full (and soon so was my stomach).

Was so surprised to see our patio table set like this!

Was so surprised to see our patio table set like this!

Who doesn't love fresh flowers

Who doesn’t love fresh flowers

My only contribution to breakfast: slicing the strawberries

My only contribution to breakfast: slicing the strawberries

I love that our first time using our crystal glasses was to drink some OJ

I love that our first time using our crystal glasses was to drink some OJ

Can we have breakfast like this everyday?

Can we have breakfast like this everyday?

The rest of the day wasn’t as exciting, I took Wrigley for a walk and then quickly went to the gym to try to save myself from that French toast making its way to my hips. I also had a dentist appointment in the afternoon. Talk about living the wild life, right?

For dinner, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate: Dough. We just can’t get enough of this place. Their food is amazing and we love how much fun we have every time we go there. We also went there waaaay back for our first anniversary.

Wine from our two year anniversary trip to Napa

Wine from our two year anniversary trip to Napa

I could eat this pizza everyday

I could eat this pizza everyday

Three years!

Three years!

Chip, thanks for being you. Thank you for loving me even when I don’t make it easy, for all the ways you make me laugh, for helping me grow, for comforting me whenever I’m upset, for always pointing me back to Christ, for all the ways you love Wrigley, for doing life together. Here’s to many more years ahead.

May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011

Three Year Housiversary

Yes, I just made that word up. But it totally works, right?

Three years ago, Chip and I bought our very first house right before getting married. I joke that we didn’t have enough on our plates between both of us working full time, planning a wedding, and Chip studying for the CFA, so why not add buying a house to the mix. The real story is that as we were looking for rentals, a realtor asked us to consider buying. We really didn’t have very much savings between the two of us so we had never even thought that was an option for us, but after this realtor walked us through the requirements for an FHA loan, we started looking at homes within the range we could have a mortgage loan approved at. I don’t remember the whole process very well, but it felt like we had soon found our house and after a looong bout of paperwork, we were homeowners.

I can’t believe we’ve already been in this house for three years. Apart from the house I grew up in, it’s the longest I’ve ever lived somewhere after moving into new dorms every year for college and then an apartment and town home following graduation. Sometimes it feels like we just moved in, other times it’s like we’ve been here for forever. We’ve enjoyed having friends over and making this house our home and still have lots of projects we would love to do that will keep us busy in the coming years (I’m looking at you, laundry room).

To celebrate our three year housiversary, we decided to have a nice home cooked meal this past Friday. Chip had the day off for Battle of the Flowers, so we were able to go on a nice long walk with the pup in the morning, pick up a few more plants at Millberger’s, and grab lunch at Habanero’s before coming home and doing a little bit of yardwork. Once we had finished raking, planting, and watering everything, we went grocery shopping and then came home to cook dinner together. Let me tell you, I love having date nights at home. Sure, it’s fun to go out to a favorite restaurant and not have to worry about washing the dishes, but it is so fun for us to be in the kitchen together and take our time eating outside with some wine. This time, we decided to make pasta bolognese from Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook (will try to post that recipe soon!). Our dinner was so good and we’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunch these past couple of days.

Love my sous-chef

Love my sous-chef

One of my favorite wineries from our trip to Napa

One of my favorite wineries from our trip to Napa

While having dinner, we had fun remembering some of our favorite house projects (planting our garden for the first time is up at the top, followed by re-doing our bathroom) as well as some not so favorite moments (like the time our living room flooded…). Overall, we love this home and are so thankful to be living here. Here’s to many more years ahead!

Eating outside is my favorite

Eating outside is my favorite