Thursday, June 27, 2013

Next Chapter

Secret's Out 01

Secret's Out 02

I’ve been keeping a little secret that some of you caught onto on Instagram. Have you noticed my sneaky little hashtag #lindsaysnextchapter over the last week? ;) I suppose I have some explainin’ to do! No, I am not pregnant (although that is a very understandable guess, especially considering my unintentionally misleading photo on Sunday). Just when I accepted that we’d be in Houston for quite a bit longer, life decided to get all turned up-side-down in a really great way.

Some back story. One thing you should know about my husband is that he leaves no stone unturned. When it comes to making a decision, he researches every possibility. Most people may write out a list of pros and cons. My husband? He scours the internet for reviews, discreetly gathers information from colleagues and friends, reads up on the topic, mulls over the possible outcomes with me over dinner, requests my opinion every step of the way, and then Googles the answers to every question he may have. He is diligent about making educated decisions, and he never waits for opportunities to present themselves. He creates them. It is one of the qualities I admire most about him. When he is in that mode, he is on fire!

Long story short, a former colleague of his e-mailed him about a position opening for an entertainment company. It was a job right up my husband's alley but something that he had stepped away from for a few years. But again, no stone left unturned! It seemed interesting enough, he applied, he had a couple interviews, he got an amazing job offer during my San Diego trip, and after a lot of discussion with me, he accepted the position as the associate director of a corporate entertainment company! He’ll be installing shows in three venues/states. We worked in theme park entertainment together, and I’ll just say that stepping into this job is like... being the top dog in a theme park entertainment department. This job is a total game-changer for him… and us! I am so proud of him, and I know he is going to rock it!

The point of this post is less about his new job and more about where his new job is located. Yes, the big news is that we’re moving – and very soon! As of July 9 or 10, we’ll be residents of (a small town in) Knoxville, TN!


Smoky Mountains,
Gatlinburg,
Pigeon Forge (which will be fun when we have a kid),
rolling hills of lush fields and trees,
and a gorgeous rental home deep in the country.

I’ll soon be doing my blogging from my new backyard:

Secret's Out 03

We’ll be so tucked away in the country that I’m not even worried about posting a photo that shows the exterior of our house. It doesn’t even show up on Google Maps street view, and it’s relatively new, so sometimes it doesn’t even show up as an actual address. Good luck, stalkers. ;)

It’s going to be a hectic two weeks ahead (as if the last two haven’t been?). Wish us luck! And if you’re ever in the Knoxville area, let me know! We’ll go play in the Smoky Mountains together! 
 

Friday, June 21, 2013

When Someone You Love Becomes a Mom

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When Someone You Love Becomes a Mom 04
HOT MOM ALERT!

When I told Emily that my sister was pregnant last year, she recalled that seeing her own sister become a mom was one of the most beautiful things she had ever experienced. She was totally right. My sister has been my best friend since the beginning of time. Okay, that might be a lie. I am almost positive that there were years that I annoyed her, pissed her off, and was the human form of the black plague that she wanted to avoid at all costs. But the older we grew, the smaller the four-year gap seemed, and that left room for sisterhood to become friendship. That being said, I know Summer as just that: my sister, my friend. And now motherhood has added another dimension to who she is, and it’s really wonderful to observe.

I thought I’d have to be in “all hands on deck” mode during my visit, but you know what? She’s a champ at this mom thing. She was attentive to Baby Mac but always calm. She was constantly smiling and snapping photos. She was realistic about how the day was probably going to go. She was never too busy or too tired to hang out with Rocco (the pug) and me. She had been home with the baby for weeks, and she didn’t lose her shit. I’ve heard so many stories about new moms sobbing in private because they’re so tired or having a melt-down because mothering a child is so overwhelming. But my sister? She’s glowing. That’s it. She’s tired. The house is much quieter. She isn’t running ten miles on the weekend. Her former routine in life is gone. But she’s glowing! I’ve been at so many of her race finish lines, and she always crosses with a big smile on her face, hands waving in the air, and glistening (not sweaty and gross) skin. I think those races bring her joy and a deep sense of pride, and Baby Mac brings her those same feelings one-hundred fold. Motherhood looks so right on her.

When someone you love becomes a mom, you learn a new kind of love and admiration.


But seriously. HOT MOM right there.
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Real Friends" vs. "Other Friends"?

SoCal Blate Trial By Sapphire
I caught up with some of my best friends (Here’s lookin’ at you, Annie, Erin, and SueEllen!) when I was in San Diego. Even though it had been 14-20 months since I had seen them, I always have that comfortable closeness to settle back into. Skip the chit chat! Straight to the good stuff! (And there was some good stuff!) It was like I still lived there, and we were catching up over dinner. I love that so much. I’m so lucky to have friends that know me, love me, laugh with me, laugh at me, and are down with sharing the crazy that is our lives.

On the flip side, I also had lunch with two people I had never met in person – two of my favorite bloggers, Emily (my blog BFF... who is back on the blogging train after a very long hiatus) and Devon (a fellow USD alumna with mutual friends, believe it or not)! Earlier in the trip, my dad and I were talking about my plans, and I differentiated between the plans as going out with my "real friends" and my "other friends." I felt like "blogger friends" didn't do the relationships justice (and let's be honest, the whole online thing is a bit "1999 creepy chat room" to non-bloggers), but I also hadn't been face-to-face with them before, so... "other friends" it was. 


 Well, when we were finally all in one place, it was exactly like being with real friends. Em and I have been in touch over phone and Skype since last year, so I knew she was awesome. What I love about Devon is that she is exactly who you think she'll be... but with a whole lot of feisty sass! We talked for hours about hilarious things that we don't share on our blogs (Stop outing us, Em!), our homes, future kids, possible upcoming life changes, southern California, the fact that only crazy people think snakes are beautiful, and of course, some blogger stuff. I would be remiss not to mention that Emily is a giant next to Devon and me and that she was sure to snuggle us in her bosom for good measure. Also, they're both really, really gorgeous.

It was hard to believe it was the first time the three of us hung out. It was so much fun! Just a lunch with friends.
Real friends!


Notes:
  1. Devon, I loved seeing and listening to you outside of your blogger "shell," you wild one, you! Thanks for recommending the good eats.
  2. Em, thank you for driving down from Redondo Beach! You are the best blog BFF!
  3. Little blog, thanks for continuing to be such a great friend matchmaker.
  4. To Emily’s husband, J: I’m real! Your wife befriended an honest person through blogging! No Catfish action here!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Precious Little Nugget

Proud Aunt Trial By Sapphire 01
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 My trip to San Diego was amazing, and of course, seven days just wasn't enough.

Meeting my nephew was such a thrill. I mean, just look at him! I am so in love with that little nugget. My sister must have gotten tired of me saying "I just want to steal him!" I've seen babies a million times, but there is something really magical about them when you really think about them. When my family vacationed together last year, Baby Mac wasn’t even a blip on the radar. He was born exactly one year after we went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. I love looking back at specific timelines and seeing how much is different yet the same.

He is still so young, so he slept most of the time, but as anyone who has ever loved a baby will tell you, it is fun to just sit at look at him. I was completely mesmerized. I would smile at my sister with every coo and cry, and she laughed when I compared his sporadic, flailing limbs to Disney animatronics.

I know he didn’t understand a word I said to him, but when I held him, I would whisper to him: You are so loved... You are amazing… We’ve been waiting for you... You’re going to love your mom and dad… I don’t live here, so you’ll see me mostly on Skype, but I love you so, so much… You smart, sweet boy. 


I am so in love with that precious little nugget!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Two Outstanding Men



Long time, no see! Whew! Have I got a lot to fill you in on. Life has been throwing all sorts of exciting curve balls lately, and I'm anxious to share. First things first. Cheers to those two outstanding men in the photos up there! My life would be infinitely different and a whole lot less awesome without them. 

Happy belated Father's Day to the man who wholeheartedly supports his family! Thank you for being an example of love in action. I have learned so much from you.

Happy birthday to my big, little brother who is the nicest guy in the world! Growing up with you was so much fun, and being friends with you as adults makes this ride through life even sweeter.

It felt so great to hug you both back home last week. I can't wait to see you again. I love you both so much!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Night at the Opera: Italian, Bohemia, and Funny Tweets




Above photos courtesy of The Pavilion


Yo! Sorry I've been MIA recently. I've been spending QT with Mr. TBS (our Memorial Day weekend was packed!), wrapping up my first year of grad school, plugging away at work which has been crazy busy, and getting ready for my trip. Tomorrow can't come soon enough! I'm anxious to get to San Diego (Hello, perfect weather!), but things have been pretty swell around here too. Have I mentioned how nice it is to have great friends here in Houston? It's even better when I see them twice in 48 hours. ;) 

Meg and I tried something a little different recently. We went to the opera (a first for both of us) at The Pavilion in The Woodlands. The Pavilion is a gorgeous outdoor amphitheater that hosts the symphony, the ballet, the opera, and a lot of awesome concerts. A great perk for we frugal folk is that you can watch and picnic on the lawn for free. Meg and I took advantage of the surprisingly nice Houston night air for the Houston Opera's performance of Giacomo Puccini's La bohème. It's about young artists living in Paris in 1830 and the financial struggle and love affairs that come with it.

I have been singing the lyrics of RENT since its Broadway premiere when I was 11, and I have some pretty close ties to the show (more on that later). I always knew it was inspired by La bohème, but I had no idea exactly how much the rock opera mirrored the Italian opera until now. This was very helpful since I don't speak Italian! There were also subtitles on the big screens.

Not only was the cast incredibly talented and the set design colorful and stunning, but Meg and I got a kick out of the live tweets from the audience that were posted on the screens between acts. I think there is a general assumption that the "opera crowd" is boring and uppity, but there were some pretty hilarious and witty tweets.  I think it was really awesome of The Pavilion and the Houston Grand Opera to encourage it. Talk about bridging the gap between 1896 (when La bohème premiered) and 2013! Here are a few gems:




It was a splendid night at The Pavilion!

Monday, June 3, 2013

GlassesUSA.com




It should be common knowledge by now that I love wearing glasses... a lot. At what number does someone become a collector of something? I'm beginning to think that I am a glasses collector. One pair just isn't enough. Neither are two or three. My near-sighted eyes now have six pairs of glasses to don. My latest pair is from GlassesUSA.com.

GlassesUSA.com considers vision a necessity, not a luxury. (I agree!) They provide top quality lenses and fashionable frames at great prices -- all with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They were kind enough to send me a pair of the Independence prescription glasses, and I am in love with the rhinestone flair. You can never go wrong with classic black, but these have that extra something special!

I am not an avid online shopper. I always worry that something won't fit or look right if I can't try it on first, but with GlassesUSA.com's Try-On tool, it wasn't a problem. Before I entered my prescription information, I "tried on" my eyeglasses.


When I compare the Try-On tool image with the first photo in this post, it looks like a perfect match to me! Try it out for yourself.


 

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