Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Good grateful morning to you!  We had a fun and fabulous weekend to make up for the sad and uneventful one before.  Here’s what I’m grateful for today:

  1. I’m grateful for amazing friends who are so nice to share with us.  My friend Lindsey and her husband and kiddos invited us to ACAC waterpark where they have a membership and we had so much fun with them!  There is an enclosed kiddie area with a kiddie pool and splash pad so I was able to take the boys by myself without an extra helper.  We had a great time, played in the water, and enjoyed lots of snacks by the pool.  Thanks Lindsey and Greg!


    Enjoying snacks by the pool

  2.  I’m grateful again for amazing friends and daddies who watch kiddos so mommies can get some much needed relaxation and adult time!  Friday night, Sarah and I went to the free wine tasting at Market Street Wine Shop, something we used to do all the time B.K. (before kids!) and even ran into some old friends.  Then Lindsey, Sarah, Kaleigh, Sherry, and a couple others met up at Wine & Design to paint a tree at sunset scene.  Everyone brought delicious snacks and wine to share.  We had a blast and decided to continue the evening with drinks at The Whiskey Jar.  What an awesome night!  Thanks to Lindsey for planning and thanks to Ben, Ian, and Greg for pulling extra daddy duties and putting the kids to bed so we could all enjoy the evening!

    Some of the ladies and I at The Whiskey Jar

    Some of the ladies and I at The Whiskey Jar

  3.   I am so grateful I live in such an amazing part of the country where I can witness the beauty of nature every day!  Saturday afternoon, while the boys were napping, I was sitting on the deck enjoying the sunshine and watching for hummingbirds when 2 bald eagles flew right by me and landed in a tree nearby.  Ben and I watched them for several minutes with the binoculars.  I’ve never seen one, much less 2, that close before!  I’m so thankful I was in the right place at the right time!
    They're difficult to see but you can spot 2 black blurs in the tree.

    They’re difficult to see but you can spot 2 black blurs in the tree

    1 of the bald eagles flying above the house

    1 of the bald eagles flying above the house

  4. I’m grateful for my boys and for being given the gift of twins.  Now that they are getting older, I’m getting glimpses of sibling love that just melt my heart and I’m so thankful I get to witness it.  Morgan LOVES to hug and kiss Carter (although Carter isn’t always the biggest fan since it sometimes turns into a wrestling match) and it makes my heart so happy to see the love between them!20160710_11355820160710_113610
  5. Lastly, I’m thankful for my in-laws who help us in so many ways.  This weekend, they allowed us to use their membership to a local neighborhood beach so we could take the boys to the lake and let them practice using their new floaties.  They had so much fun and I’m so grateful to my in-laws for sharing these amenities with us!IMG_20160710_164137548 IMG_20160710_164133472_TOP



















Happy day friends!

Oh wow!  It’s been a while since my last post!  Summer has been busy yall!  I need to remember to be grateful and keep a positive outlook on life so here’s a few nuggets of gratitude!

  1. I’m thankful for the opportunity to fly to Texas with Ben and the boys back in July and introduce Carter and Morgan to so many friends and family and the place that I first (and will forever) called home!  They got to meet so many people who are some of the most important people in my life and that makes me so happy!
  2. I’m thankful for an amazing summer so far!  We’ve done so much, including but not limited to, graduated from swimming lessons, tried out our first splash park, flew to Texas and back, ate authentic Tex-Mex, went to the Richmond Zoo, met and visited uncles, aunts, and cousins (in both Texas and Virginia), attended 2 beer festivals, went to King Family Polo with awesome friends, had so many awesome play dates, went swimming, visited new wineries and breweries, tried lots of new foods and restaurants, and went on lots of fun walks!  If I have time, I’ll do a detailed recap of the boys’ big summer.  What a blast it has been and I thank my boys and everyone involved for making it so much fun!
  3. I’m thankful for a new restaurant in town I’ve discovered, Brazos Tacos.  It is owned and run by Texans, serves authentic Texas-style tacos and awesome salsas and guac, and is totally kid friendly!  I’m so thankful for a little taste of home here in Virginia.
  4. I’m grateful for awesome coworkers and cool people I have the opportunity to work with.  I’m lucky to be surrounded by such talent and amazing personalities.
  5. I’m grateful for all of the moms in my life…they make being a mom myself so much easier and so much more fun!

Love to you all!

Happy Tuesday friends!  It feels like I’m always in a hurry these days, but here’s a quick list of gratitude to keep me mindful!

  1. I’m thankful for a healthy heart, strong legs, and a nice day that allowed Ben and I to run the Charlottesville Ten Miler on Saturday.  We each got personal records for the distance and ran the whole time despite a lack of training due to cold weather, snow, illnesses, and overwhelming parenting duties!


    Ben and I at the finish line!

  2. I’m thankful to my mother-in-law for everything she does for us.  She got up early on her day off and watched the boys so Ben and I could run the race Saturday.  She rocks!
  3. I’m thankful for my 3 men!  The other day I was thinking that it finally feels like I have a family!  I’ve been missing this feeling since I went away to college and I finally feel complete again.


    Visiting Daddy at work on Friday!

  4. I’m thankful for warm weather and sunny skies!  My 3 men and I have been going on lots of walks outside now that spring is upon us!  I hope to instill a love of the outdoors in my children so we’re getting out as much as possible!
  5. I’m grateful for spring and summer!  There are so many fun things planned in the next few months, I can hardly contain myself!

Happy day friends!

We are getting dangerously close to the end of summer, and although I LOVE fall and all of the beautiful colors and changing leaves and cool and crisp air it brings with it, I dread the shorter days and decrease in sunlight.  The fall colors are something that I never really saw growing up in Houston that I’ve really come to apreciate here in Virginia.  However, the shorter days where it gets dark around 5 PM is also something  that I never saw growing up that I really can’t stand.  It brings on a serious case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD 🙁 ).

With these last few days of summer and late evenings still filled with dwindling sunlight, I’m trying to soak up as much of it as I can get before the time change.  The Meade Park Farmers Market that takes place every Wednesday afternoon from 3 PM until 7 in Charlottesville is about to come to a close for the season next week so I suggested to Ben that we go for a run to the market after work.  After a beautiful 2.75 mile run to the market in perfect temperatures, we arrived at the market where we bumped into some friends, got to sample some delicious and nutritious bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company, and ended up buying some fresh and local green beans and swiss chard.  We than ran the 2.75 miles back home along the Rivanna River where I cooked barbecue chicken (with authentic Texas Rudy’s barbecue sauce – thanks to Cheryl and Dan), asparagus, and garlic parmesan sauteed zuccini.  After dinner, Ben and I watched 21 Jump Street, the movie and laughed our butts off!  I highly recommend it especially if you’re looking for a good laugh.

It was a great day, made even better by the fact that rather than going and sitting in front of a computer all day, I got to spend the work day volunteering with my company for the Thomas Jefferson Area United Way Day of Caring.  We organized closets, separated donated childrens’ clothing, and made goody bags for young families in the area at the Child, Youth, & Family Services in Charlottesville.  It was wonderful to learn about the organization, help out my community, meet lots of new people, and give my time and effort to such a great cause.  And you should have seen the amazing lunch they provided us!!!

I’d have to say it was definitely a summer day to remember!

Last night, I went downtown to Fridays After Five, a free concert held at the Charlottesville Pavilion every Friday in the summer time, to meet up with the AMAZING Travis family(Robin, Sterling, and Sarah, my sister-in-law) to see Craig Travis (Sarah’s dad) sing with his former band the Houserockers.

After bumping into some friends and enjoying good conversation while sipping on local Star Hill beer, we went to the front of the pavilion to cheer on the Houserockers and dance and sing along.  The Houserockers put on a wonderful performance and Sarah’s dad is truly talented.

I apologize for the blurriness of these pictures, but we were dancing after all!

Robin, Sterling, and Sarah waiting for Craig’s performance. I love this family!

My sister from another mister and I!

Craig singing front and center.

Go Houserockers!

After the show, Sterling, Sarah, and I stopped off at Miyako for some sushi and edamame.  It was a great way to start the weekend and I’m so glad I FINALLY got to see the Houserockers perform after hearing so many great things about them from the Travis family!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog!  It’s been an extremely busy summer with lots of traveling, special occasions, and activities!

Recently, I’ve been helping my friend Sarah get ready for her wedding that is two weeks from tomorrow, but once things calm down some and the slow and relaxing air of autumn is here, I will share all of my adventures!

Charlottesville must have angered the gods because yesterday we had one hell of a storm!

Yesterday, Charlottesville experienced what the meteorology world calls a microburst.  And it was the second microburst experienced by the Charlottesville area in less than three weeks!

I was driving from work to pick up Ben so that we could go to my Team in Training Batesville Store fundraiser.  Ben works in the heart of downtown Charlottesville which was the hardest hit area, so lucky me got caught in the middle of the maelstrom that came out of nowhere.

I was driving and chatting with my brother on the phone when I heard a message from the Emergency Broadcast System come on the radio.  I knew a storm was coming because I saw dark clouds and heard thunder, but I just expected it to be a quick passing summer storm so I didn’t pay too much attention.  Less than two minutes later, rain started pounding, large branches started beating my car, and huge tree limbs were blocking parts of the road.  I barely had time to turn on my windshield wipers when I heard a loud popping noise on my right.  There was a huge burst of flames from a power line in the field next to where I was driving.  I quickly put down the phone (the storm had already ended my call for me) and started to inch my way through torrential downpours, strong winds, and falling trees.

When I was almost to Ben’s office building, I heard another loud popping noise, this time on my left.  This one was even louder and came with a flash of blue light that scared the shit out of me!  I believe it was a transformer blowing.  When I got to Ben’s office parking lot, the storm was starting to die down, but the parking lot was covered in trees and a downed power line.

Ben and I spent the next two hours driving around Charlottesville trying to find a way to Batesville, and then giving up on the fundraiser and trying to get home.  Traffic was terrible because of power outages affecting traffic lights, trees blocking roads and intersections, and power lines down everywhere.  We saw one tree that had a root system at least 10 to 15 feet in diameter that had been uprooted and was leaning against a house.  We saw a light post that had been broken from its pole and was dangling near a power line.  We saw several trees and power line poles snapped in half.

I’ve never seen so much damage and I grew up were hurricanes and tornadoes are a common occurrence.

When we FINALLY got home, we were surprised to see the large poplar tree that is usually staring back at as through our fourth story windows on the ground.  We have worried about this tree falling and damaging our building many times in the past, but I am glad it is finally no longer a threat and did not hurt anything or anyone in its demise.

Here are some pictures of the tree’s final resting place:

I’m glad that everyone I know was not hurt and we all came out alive and safe, but I’m still wondering what is with all this crazy weather: 2 large snow storms in December and February each totaling more than 2 feet of snow, 2 microbursts in June that have caused tons of damage, and a June heatwave that I’ve never seen in Virginia!

If you’d like to check out more pictures from the storm, they can be found here.

Last night was a blast!

Cheryl, Jennifer, Kristen, and I headed out to the Charlottesville Pavillion to celebrate the first day of summer and see Colbie Caillat and Sheryl Crow play!

We started out the evening at my apartment with a quick glass of wine and then headed to the downtown mall.  You may remember me writing about Ventana a few months ago and their very unique margaritas.  Well Ventana was offering a discount to all Sheryl Crow ticket holders so we decided to stop in for a pre-concert cocktail.  I finally got to try the cucumber margarita.  It was delicious!  It wasn’t as good as the jalapeno margarita, but it was definitely the perfect refreshing beverage for a hot summer day.  Jennifer tried the strawberry margarita and Cheryl had the habanero margarita which I tried the last time I was at Ventana.

After drinks, we headed to the Pavillion for the music.  We enjoyed some awesome Star Hill Lucy as we chatted and listened to Colbie Caillat play.

When Sheryl Crow took the stage, we got to hear all of our old favorites and some new ones too!  We danced and sang and had a great time and even bumped into some more friends!

Overall, it was an awesome first day of summer.  We definitely started Summer 2010 off right!

Summer makes me feel young.  The sun makes me feel happy, and today, the first official day of summer, is the day with the most hours of sunlight.

I’m celebrating by going to an outdoor concert to see Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat this evening with some awesome ladies!

In honor of the true beginning of summer, I wanted to post one of my favorite summer pictures.

This was taken by one of my best friends and partners in crime, Sarah Travis, a couple of summers ago while camping at Spy Rock in Nelson County, Virginia.  From left to right sit Ben, Me, Ian (Ben’s younger brother and Sarah’s fiance), and Sarah.  We had a great time that involved hiking, climbing, watching the sunset, building a bonfire, roasting weenies, and watching the stars.  This will always hold a special place in my heart as one of my favorite camping trips and summer days!

Here are a couple of other pictures from that evening (also taken by Sarah).

I hope everyone kicks off their summer right and enjoys some fresh air and sunshine today!

About Texas Lou

Name: Leslie

Bio: I'm a Texas girl who now lives in Virginia. My goal in life is to experience as much as possible, and this blog will follow me in my adventures!