And we are back

School started today and I am not officially the mom of a middle schooler. Ugh! I have so much angst about the year and I am trying super hard to not let it show. Both boys seems little anxious about starting the day but we managed to get everyone out and on their way. The 30 minutes difference in school start time is an adjustment but hopefully it will work out.

JT was still asleep when Zach was up and ready to go. He actually left early with Rick to help sell t-shirts at school. The girls were asleep to see Zach leave but cried when JT walked out.

Lucky for me, I can view JT on his walk to and from school from the back deck. This is me sneaking a pic as he walks to school with friends.



Life flies by and stands still all at the same time.
School starts on Monday and we've been busy working and trying to enjoy the last few days of summer.

I have lots of thoughts and things I think about saying but until we get going in our school routine they will all have to wait. Here are a few photos until then.

Lulu in a princess dress. She wore it for 3 days straight.

 Kit Kat sharing snacks at the pool with her favorite friend Ben.

Kit Kat and Lulu getting to play dress-up with Abbey. Abbey's younger brothers came to our house to play Legos with JT and Zach.


the first tri

I wish I could say that this post was all about me and my amazing accomplishment but it isn't, it is all about JT and honestly, any feelings I would have about myself completing a tri are far out down by the pride I feel for what JT accomplished today.

A little back story - we had a great spring baseball season, perhaps one of the best we've ever had - not so much in wins but in coaching and overall teamness (that is a new word I just created). JT worked harder than he ever has, which if you've ever had the pleasure of seeing him play is saying a lot. The coaches this year stressed conditioning and when the season ended and the coaches told all the boys that regardless of what they do in the summer and fall the boys better come back in the same shape the coaches left them or they may not make the team.

JT pondered what he wanted to do for a few weeks and then during one of our daily swims another mom mentioned her daughter was signed up for Triathlon training. JT spent a few days researching training, what kids tris were coming up, and then asked if he could do the InspireKids Tri. There were a few hurdles the biggest being a bike suitable for the race (his Redline wouldn't be a good choice) and proper swim wear.

JT asked a few neighbors if he could mow their lawns, started swimming laps daily, and found a bike a goodwill that he fixed up and started riding around the hood. His grandparents bought him he long coveted tri-shorts while in Spokane.

Which leads to today. It was great to watch him compete. His swimming was good, we worried about him during the bike portion and noticed when he did appear that the seat didn't seem high enough and it was making him have to pedal oddly. He ended up having to use my bike as his was good enough for the streets here but was not legal for competition. He also had a wipe out during the run and came in the finish gate with a bloody leg but what matters most is that he did it. And by did it, I mean: he swam 200M, biked 6 miles, and ran 1.2 miles.

And after a long day of sleeping and lounging he has already asked to compete in the Pflugerville Tri this September. I guess the rest of us need to step it up a bit.


Chicago, Spokane and Back Again

I am finally feeling settled after a whirlwind week or at least settled enough to post here. So here is our adventure from last week.

Rarely do proposal managers get asked to travel so when the Regional Sales Director invited me for 24-hour trip to Chicago to meet with a customer, it was hard to say no despite the fact it meant I would be getting back at 10 PM the night before the boys and I were set to leave for Spokane. All boring work stuff aside, it was a great opportunity and I am glad I went. Probably the best part was that I got to spend a few hours with Barb, whom I haven't seen in at least 5 years. Now if only all my work travel could be to places with friends.

Photo of Barb and I acting like fools in my hotel room and two shots at the Big 10 headquarters where the meeting was held.

I woke early trying to work and pack prior to the boys and I taking off for Spokane. It has been a while since the boys flew so it was funny to see how anxious flying made them. Despite being an hour early, they insisted we sit at the gate so as to not miss boarding. Of course I think the glamour and excitement wore off quickly when we arrived in Phoenix. The layover was just under two hours until Southwest had some plane issues and I think we ended up staying almost 4 hours in the Phoenix airport. We entertained ourselves the best we could - moving walk-ways are never boring, checking out the stores (and their supplies of properly spelled Meghan gifts) and the people watching was fabulous. Our delay worked out perfectly because our original arrival time would have put us coming in just as a quick but strong storm ripped through Spokane causing power outages. We spent out first night in the dark debating how long an ice cream cake will last in a freezer with no electricity. Thankfully the power was restored just about midnight so we didn't have to feast on Zach's cake a day early.

Thursday (7/24)
The morning started off with JT and I heading to the Valley to pick up Lauren who happened to be staying with her "other" grandma for a week. I also tortured JT with a tour of a few Valley haunts including the house I grew up in. We spent a full day at Mobius, ate at the Onion, visited Aunties, BooRadleys, Atticus, and then headed home to celebrate Zach's birthday.

We were back downtown to be  Spokane tourist at Riverfront Park. We rode the gondola (first time ever!) and spent an inordinate amount of time on the carousel. I had no idea 12 and 9 year old boys would find it so much fun but the competition of grabbing the ring kept them wanting more. Zach got the bronze ring, which may have been the highlight of his day.

I decided the boys needed to see REAL mountains. I remember Grandpa Joe once coming to Spokane and telling us he didn't need to go to Montana to see mountains; he has mountains where he lives. We headed east and when we reached Coeur d'Alene the boys kept asking if  "those are the mountains." I laughed and told them to just wait. My original destination was Wallace, Idaho just over the 4th of July Pass but once we did that it was just a short 20 minute drive to the Montana border (specifically the $50,000 Silver Dollar). I told the boys we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see 3 States in just under 2 hours (it takes us 6 to get out of Texas) and the Silver Dollar is such a kitcshy tourist junk stop, we had to stop. So we took on Lookout Pass and headed to Montana. The boys were impressed especially when they realized we were at 4700 feet compared to Pville's 700 ft. I wish we had been up and about earlier as once we hit Montana I would have loved to just continued to Missoula for the day. There is so much I love about Austin but being in the mountains made me miss the PNW. I want to figure out how I can get the family to Montana next summer.

We spent the rest of our time in Spokane relaxing, taking in a Spokane Indians game, doing a bit more shopping, lots of eating, Huckleberry ice cream,  torturing the boys with some more trips down memory lane,  a visit to GU, and handing out with Mack (aka Fluffy). I also got to sneak away one evening to meet up with some great friends from my G-Prep days as well as hang out at the Manito Country Club with Kassio so we could catch up while the boys swam.

It was a great trip. We all enjoyed spending time with Pete and Judes and of course we were all sad to leave. Hopefully we will back up with the chickens soon.


a life at lucas house update

Summer is cruising by...
In just a short month, I will be sending JT to 6th grade orientation.
Here is a photo recap although I don't have photos of us swimming, which is what we spend our days doing. The chickens have turned in to little fish.

Some shots from JT's final baseball game of his season and Zach playing with his summer league team (yes that is smurf turf you see - strangest ballpark ever in Dripping Springs).

The girls have a growing obsession with Star Wars so one day we tried making Star Wars cookies. I was short on proper supplies so we tried a shortbread recipe. As you can see by KitKat's reaction, they didn't turn out how we wanted. And to be clear, they are dancing in that upper left photo.

Our first adventure bowling. KitKat kicked all our butts.

Baseball in the backyard in our princess nightgowns. The night before KitKat fell asleep crying about playing baseball.



Lulu on the left and Kit Kat on the right
I just wish I knew what they were talking about.


spovegas baby!

The boys and I are packing our bags in a few weeks for a trip to SpoVegas! It has been 12 years since I've returned to my home town. I won't lie to say I am a bit excited. I have grandiose plans to torture the boys by making them drive all over Spokane to some of my favorite places and for them to actually see mountains. I wish I had time to take them to Helena but Spokane will have to suffice for now. 


I am also hoping to catch up with a few friends that I haven't seen in a bit although hopefully we will be a little more refined than we were 20 years ago.