Monday, March 18, 2013

San Jacinto

Before I get started on this post, I wanted to say a huge "thank you" to all of you who welcomed me back to blogland last week.  Your comments were so encouraging and just what I needed to be reminded why I love blogging.  Thank you for your kind words and for being the most wonderful readers around!

When we were home in Texas over the holidays, we took advantage of our downtime and scheduled in some good old fashioned Texas sightseeing.  As a native Texan, I've seen all the big stops (i.e. the Alamo, the Capital, the JFK memorial, the major universities, etc.) but my dad thought it would be fun to hit the road for some of the less traveled sights.  We had so much fun scooting around Texas, taking a few daytrips from Houston.  For one of our trips, we headed to San Jacinto, home of the most decisive battle in the Texas Revolution.  And since I rarely paid attention in history class, it was quite the educational day trip :)

C281479The monument itself is quite breathtaking.  It's the world's tallest memorial column, located in La Porte, Texas, about 25 miles southwest of Houston.  My favorite part was without a doubt the enormous Texas star that sits atop, recognizable from any angle.  Have I ever told you how much I love being a Texan? :)

C281481The day itself was pretty cold and windy for Texas, though I can't help but chuckle as I type that weather report sitting in Chicago now.  Oh what I would give to be back in the "chilly" Houston weather.  Ha!

C281482It was an all boys + Allison day, which ended up being a ton of fun!  My uncle flew in from Atlanta for a quick overnight visit, and he always manages to liven up the party.  Any time we get to see him, we know we'll be entertained.

C281486Even though Matt isn't a native Texan, I think he is surely an adopted one by now.  Marrying a Texan gets you some street cred, but spending 5 years there for graduate school, well, that definitely shows a level of dedication.  I was also glad my boots could go for a spin.  With all the Chicago snow, they haven't seen the light of day for several months now.

And of course, a few Instagram snaps from the day...

Dec 30 20128The view from the ground and proof that yes, everything's bigger in Texas.
A few (very) good men.

Dec 30 20129I was in LOVE with this door.
The view from the top.

Does anyone else enjoy being a tourist in your own city or state?  I must say, I was surprised how fun it was!  I'm ready for Chicago's weather to warm up so we can resume our Chicago sightseeing.  PS: looking at these pictures makes me a little homesick for Texas.  I'll have to fix that later this week with a little bbq and Dr. Pepper :)  

Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



Hi there; it's me.  I know it's been a while since I've blogged.  It's actually been a long while, huh?  Things around here have been busy, and I haven't chosen to make time for this little internet space of mine.  There have been several contributing factors, and if I'm being honest, one factor was that I wasn't sure anyone was still reading this little blog.  I think we often get swept up in blogland, (I know I do), and sometimes that means we jump from blog to blog, without commenting or sticking around to say hi.  But that is something I'm trying to change about the blogs I read, and I hope that if you're reading this blog today, you'll leave me a quick comment or hello, just letting me know you're here.  Because sometimes, it's nice to get an extra smile, hug, or hello...even if it is virtual :)

In an effort not to ramble on for paragraphs about what I've been up to lately, I thought I'd keep it a little more simple...

Reading the study materials for my upcoming licensure exam.

Listening to Lana Del Ray at work and Beyonce + Britney at the gym.

Eating healthy!  Several months ago, I made a renewed commitment to live a healthier life, and I have been pretty surprised at how much I've transformed my diet.  I'm feeling fuller, more energized, and more motivated.

Watching the Biggest Loser (team Danni!), Elementary, and lots of HGTV.

Travelling to Ohio for my Granpa's 90th birthday.

Saving for a house, eeek!  Our house hunt has gotten a lot more serious lately, and I'm hoping to have some exciting news to share within the next few months.

Drinking tea!  After years of yearning to be a tea drinker, I've finally acclimated and found several teas that I really like.  I've traded in my morning coffee for chai tea, and I'm enjoying a rooibos in the afternoon.

Chatting more frequently with my bestie in Texas.  We've given up on being able to have frequent long phone conversations, instead realizing that twenty minutes here and there is better than waiting for the "perfect" time when we both have three free hours.  Never.gonna.happen.

Buying a lot less!  I literally can't remember the last clothing purchase I made.  (See three lines above about saving lol).

Pinning recipes and home inspiration.  (Find me here.)

Wearing snow boots.  After a relatively mild winter, Chicago has gotten quite a dusting of snow over the past month.

Embracing weekday ponytails.  Sometimes twenty minutes of sleep is just too good to pass up.

Planning several meet ups, play dates, and coffee chats with girlfriends.

Enjoying small, daily rituals.  After years of grad school craziness (aka no structure), I'm learning to find comfort in small moments of structure and predictability.

I'd LOVE to hear what you've been up to lately, either using one of the word prompts above or using one of your own.  And a big thanks to all of my lovely and loyal readers who emailed to check on me; you rock!