My friend John wanted to take his nephew (high school student) to the University of Texas for a campus tour and invited Jacob and I to come along. We've been on campus a few times when the kids were smaller (they don't remember much) so it was good exposure now that he's only a few years away from college. The timing of our visit was good since class was still in session so the high school boys got a glimpse of life on campus.
But man, the campus has changed so much since the time I attended classes there... 20+ years ago. New buildings. Old buildings newly renovated. Walking around UT made me want to go back to school. Well... hmmm... nevermind... I don't like school, studying, exams, and sleepless nights... but the atmosphere is really nice.
We officially have our first (and probably only) football player of the family, Andrew. He's on the school's 8th grade football team. Granted, he's only a kicker but a football player nonetheless.
My main concern was him getting hurt. First of all, he's not a football player. Second, he's pretty small when compared to the other players. But being that he's a kicker, it's not likely that he'll have any contact... or so I thought... 😧
For the third September in a row, school was canceled due to heavy rain. In 2019, school was canceled for Tropical Storm Imelda. In 2020, it was for Tropical Storm Beta... which was actually the second cancellation of that year (school was canceled in August for Hurricane Laura). This year, it was for Tropical Storm Hurricane Nicholas.
I've missed going out to eat... like really going out to eat, i.e. "fancy" dinners. We used to dine out frequently (sans kids) but that came to a halt when Elliot came into our lives. Not counting the Mother's Day dinner this year, the last time we ate at a really nice restaurant was a month before Elliot's arrival... six years ago! But when she was old enough to be left at home with her brothers (or other family), the pandemic hit.
Now that things are essentially back to normal, we're back at it. Saturday night we went out to Eddie V's to celebrate my brother-in-law Dat's birthday.
We spent a week in Colorado to continue our National Parks journey (and to also vacation in my favorite state not named Texas) but this trip was rough. I'm usually okay with long road trips (we've already went on seven road trips to CO) but maybe I overextended myself this time around. In the beginning, it definitely didn't feel like a vacation. It was exhausting. I might have to reconsider these long road trips... or at least not do two 2,000+ mile trips in one year.
This picture accurately shows what happened. It was taken during our trip in Hot Springs, Arkansas... the very moment SARS-CoV-2 popped out and infected me! Okay, that's not exactly how it happened but it was definitely during our time there.
So everyone got home on Friday evening and by the start of the following week, a few of us started to get minor symptoms. A sore throat, runny nose, sneezing... nothing to worry about. Sounds like bad allergies or a cold.
On Tuesday, I was a bit congested and had a low grade fever. It felt like a minor head cold. But on Wednesday night, I couldn't taste my dinner. Uh oh. So on Thursday I got tested for COVID which confirmed what I'd feared... I got the 'rona. 😑
Last week we took a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas in what is now becoming an annual vacation with the whole family. There were a few people who couldn't make it so we "only" had 29 people. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about this trip. Hot Springs in the middle of summer? Sounds hot and miserable. And what is there to do in Arkansas? So glad I was wrong.
As you can see from this picture, Jacob was in desperate need of a haircut. But I never push him to get one. It's only when he asks for one will I finally cut his hair... which only happens 2 or 3 times a year.
Being that it's so hot now and his hair getting in the way, he finally wanted me to cut his hair cut.
And so I did... but not before I played around a little bit.
With Jacob having such a full set of hair, I wanted to experiment with different hair styles. I can't believe he didn't like my first two styles. 😂
I ate too much sugar on this holiday weekend. We had two dozen donuts, 24 donuts, which happened when Lynn and I each ran errands and came home with a dozen donuts. Great minds think alike. Naturally I had to eat as much as I could since they wouldn't be good the next day... and the fact that they're my favorite sweets. On top that, we always make desserts for July 4th. Lynn made a strawberry cheesecake and banana pudding. I made a lemon loaf. We also already had cookies from days prior and a ton of ice cream in the freezer. It was sugar overload.
For lunch, we had burgers. For dinner, we went over to my parents' house to have ribeye steaks. I cooked half of the steaks (4) and my dad grilled the other half. Let's just say I didn't eat any of my dad's steaks. I like my meat with some pink in the middle... not my dad though.
We met up with Lisa's family (visiting from San Diego) and my other cousins for dinner at Yard House. Afterwards we just chilled outside at the green space as the kids played.
On Sunday, we went out to eat for my mom's birthday at Mai Thai Pho & Grill. It was weird when the owner asked us to write down our order. Then later talked about his troubles of finding a proper cook. We probably won't be back.
Last weekend we went to Schlitterbahn with friends and family. I'm a little bummed that we didn't get a big group picture together because we were rolling deep.
7 families = 32 people = 13 parents + 19 kids
We took over four cabanas and the entire park... jk. I only took a few pictures because I didn't feel like carrying around my phone, especially at a water park. We were there for the entire time, from opening at 11 am to closing at 7 pm. Good times.
Jacob finished 9th grade with all A's except for one B (87) in AP Physics (a class usually taken in 11th grade). As long as he passed the AP test and get college credit, I don't really care about the grade.
Andrew finished 7th grade with all A's. His soccer team won their district division and he was announced the team's MVP.
Tyson finished 4th grade with all A's. He was awarded the Citizenship Award for his class.
On Friday night, there was a graduation party for two of Lynn's cousins (Brian from college and San from high school).
As for the rest of the weekend, it was pretty chill.
What a busy weekend. Where do I begin? So the big boys were scheduled to play in the South Texas Cup state finals last week but it got postponed (due to weather) to Mother's Day weekend. We were hesitant at first since we already had plans. But we didn't want to be the reason the team forfeits either. After much debate, we were in.
I'm super grateful for my work-life balance. The scales really tip towards the life than the work. I can't imagine ever going back to an 8-hour (or even 12-hour) shift again. I get to make my own schedule. Most of my work is done remotely, usually at home but essentially anywhere since I'm provided a global modem (internet access on the go). All of this equals freedom. Freedom to spend time on what matters most to me (family). Oh, the things I get to do while most people are stuck at work. I'm not trying to brag but just expressing how lucky and appreciative I am of my situation.
A winter blast is coming. The weather forecast predicted it days (if not a week) in advance... with a high likelihood of snow in Texas. How exciting! Or so we thought.
By Monday morning, Presidents' Day, the snow and cold weather came. We woke up to no electricity which went out around 1 a.m. Good thing the kids already had the day off or else everyone would've been late for school. Naturally, we played in the rare Texas snow.
My mom has a problem. She can’t seem to let go and stop babying us. I appreciate the things she does for us but sometimes it’s a bit too much. Overwhelming. Smothering. It’s been a work in progress, and she has gotten better, but she still does things that make me say, “What are you doing?!”