Where I grew up in Houston, the annual rodeo was, to me, merely a vehicle for concerts. My very first concert was in 2004, and I got to see my favorite artist at the time – John Mayer. At the rodeo… a fact which seems really strange to me now.
My chaperones were brother Brent and his wife Melissa. And I was super annoyed that they made me sit through the, like, rodeo activities before the show. Excuse you, I was just there for John. What’s with all the barrel racing?? What does this have to do with finding out there’s no such thing as the real world, that it’s just a lie you have to rise above?
So I was surprised when I first went to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. It’s a big deal here (I’d argue it’s even more culturally significant to the city than Houston’s is), but it’s not a concert. It’s all about the animals and serious competition – no pretty boy singers! I’ll let you decide whether that’s a good thing or not.
I have a thing for cows and have since I was a kid. I want to be a cow.
I like walking through the exhibits when the rabbits are here. They are all so funny and beautiful!
This breed reminds me of the Heavy Boobs song in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Adult responsibilities have taken over, and this little old blog fell off my radar! A few people have mentioned they’ve missed reading it, and I have to say I’ve missed writing it and being a part of the blogging community. I also really, really miss having a reason to pull out my big beautiful camera and take photos.
So here I am. Hello, all! Before we get back into the swing of things, I’ll give you a few highlights of my past year:
Discovered pink and purple hair
The initial pink hair was a happy accident. I went to my hairdresser with the idea of a nice rose gold, but my hair really took to the pink dye. Thankfully my workplace is pretty laid-back, and my boss loved the pink. Since then I’ve gravitated more towards purple – it’s a bit more subtle and a little better with my complexion. It’s really, really fun watching the unnatural colors fade throughout the months between my salon visits.
Dove into nature
I’ve fallen in love with nature thanks both to my new job and a recent discovery of a love for rose gardening. Nature’s awesome, y’all! Our world is amazing! Although I spent a lot of time outside as a kid, and Joseph and I really enjoy hiking down, the way I see the world around me is so different now. It’s crazy that I went decades not caring about the names and uses of the plants and animals all around me.
My newfound love of nature has also had a pretty major impact on my personal style. More on that later! Hint: lots of botanicals, lots of ferns.
Went crazy for embroidery… again
Like most of my hobbies, embroidery has been cyclical. I picked it up 8 years ago and have gotten into it a few times again, with varying intensity. But lately I’ve fallen for it hard, thanks in part to the modern embroidery movement. There are so many incredible embroidery artists out there right now who are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with thread and needle. My Instagram feed has turned into a source of constant embroidery inspiration!
Built a deck
My parents came to visit and helped us build this beautiful deck!
Started collecting records
Collecting records opened up a whole new world for me. It’s forced me to expand the list of artists and albums I listen to (I realized a few months in that over the past 10 years I’ve done little to branch outside the music I listened to in high school. gross!), and it also makes listening to music a very active experience. Plus, I’m super into collecting limited releases, especially records pressed on colored vinyl.
Went to Disneyland
And, of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Also – kinda big news – Joseph quit his job in the fall of last year and started his own company. I’m super proud of him and of the team he’s assembled.
Let’s consider this post a jumping-off point for future blog posts. Except for the hair stuff. As much I love my unnatural colored hair, I really don’t have anything else I can write about that ;)
I’ve been actively trying to attract birds to our yard this year because the cats love watching them. But we’ve had a few struggles (we can blame it on our dog, our apparently too-clean glass, and holes in a bird nest situated above our front walk), and I now have a tiny bird cemetery in the front flower bed.
But things are looking up–there’s a nest with four baby birds under our front awning! They are so cute, and I love getting to watch the mom feed them several times a day.
Leonardo and Severus are thrilled. Joseph and I have to keep a ladder on hand so we can carry them onto the windowsill above the door to watch. Although today Sev tried (unsuccessfully) to jump up there by himself… from the floor.
I hate this tiny window by the front door, but it’s the perfect size for Sev to sit and bird-watch. Not to body-shame Leonardo, but his hips are a bit too wide to fit there.
We have birds in the backyard too, but they’re not quite as fun to watch.
Lately I’ve been thinking about two things 24/7: tennis and gardening. This is very bizarre to me, and I’m not sure how I’ve become this person. It all started last fall when Joseph encouraged me to take tennis lessons, and I fell in love instantly, even though I was/am truly tragically bad. Gardening came a few months later, when my parents visited and helped me bring a dream to life–creating an English Garden in my backyard.
I had never planted a single thing in the ground. Our front flower bed has a few boxwoods and a knockout rose the builders put in, and I couldn’t have cared less about either. But I mentioned to my parents how I’d been thinking up designs for the backyard, and they immediately drove me to a nursery to get started. And I’m so glad I did! Although my English garden still looks pathetic (so many baby plants! Confederate Jasmine and Japanese Boxwoods take SO LONG to grow!), they gave me a start that I know will pay off big time in the long run.
My mom has a green thumb, and I was hoping she would pass it on to me. So far I’ve been pretty successful, though I’m still on the phone with her twice a week to ask about gardening ;)
I initially wanted to plant only native plants, but I ventured into the world of rose gardening forums and blogs. I was immediately hooked! There’s just so much variety and history in the world of roses. And all the work to grow roses totally pays.
I could say a lot more about gardening than I already have. About how gardening is an investment into the future, yada yada yada. But instead I want to show off photos of my very first blooms.
Lastly, my babies I’m caring for more than any others (and the first roses I ever planted): the everblooming climbing Cecile Brunner roses I’m training to grow along my fence. The tiny blooms are so pretty, but I want the plants to concentrate on growing tall instead of flowering.
I’m currently getting ready for a trip to San Francisco (!!) for my dear friend Genevieve’s wedding (!!!), and I found my backup memory card with tons of pictures yet to be uploaded!
My parents, sister, and niece came to visit over spring break, and it seems Tori and Avery had fun with my camera while my parents and I were out one day. They took some really wonderful photos! I remember my sister mentioning they played with my camera, and I remember promising I would upload the photos for her, but it completely slipped my mind. It was a nice surprise to find (and a nice distraction from packing and getting the house ready to leave).
Leonardo might not look enthused, but this is actually a major improvement over the last time Avery held Leonardo.
I love these photos. They both look so happy! I’m sure Cory was trying to jump into Avery’s tiny lap even though he’s much too big–he always tries to be a lap dog!
Left: Any time we go outside Leonardo watches through the tiny window by the door.
Right: Avery playing with the bird feeder stand we had just unloaded from my dad’s truck.
I had to leave you with these photos of Avery wearing my favorite mask. Hope these don’t haunt your dreams tonight (just kidding–I totally hope they do. Because I’m mean.)