Tales from the Hill's Country

Quips, stories and observations from our adventures in marriage and parenting (as told by Katie).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Dangers of Traveling Light

I posted about a week ago about Johanna and Justin's Birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House. The plan was for Chris and I to drive from Houston straight to Jojo's house in Baton Rouge, change into our supper clothes, then head over to the restaurant.

As usual, when it came time for us to leave for the weekend we were still scrambling to get everything together, secure the house, get the dog, etc. Even with our hectic departure, we still made it to Baton Rouge in time.

Once we were all dressed, we took those obligatory celebration photos:
(Jeremy and Johanna)
(Johanna, PD and Jeremy)
(Chris and Katie)

See how everyone is appropriately dressed for a nice dinner? Let's take a closer look:
What?! Chris forgot his dress shoes!

He didn't, however, forget his coat, tie or even his dress socks (you can see the navy blue socks in the above photo)!

Not one to let things like appropriate footwear bother him, my sweet husband rocked the tennis shoes!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Little Helper

While I'm being a bum on the beach and Chris is fishing in Canada, my kind parents are taking care of our dog.

Here he is helping my dad work on the computer:

What a cutie!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beep, beep!

As Justin & Johanna's birthday weekend continued, we celebrated with a pool party!

Jojo is expecting her first child in November (and Laura, Justin's wife, is expecting hers in January!). Her co-workers gifted her with this adorable pool toy, which is being modeled by our pal Cameron:

So cute! It provides great shade for the baby and Cameron loved floating around with the big kids and pushing the horn.

Whew-- it's strange to think that in a few short months we'll have a slew of pool toys like this, burp clothes and BABIES at each of our family outings!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Baton Rouge

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Morning Coffee

My blogs might be a little scant this week.

Usually I take my morning coffee to my office, sit at my desk and type out little stories from the Hill House. Sometimes, if I'm feeling daring, I'll open the blinds to let in some natural light. It's nice... until I look out the window to see the side of my neighbor's house.

This week, however, I'm taking my morning coffee on the porch of my* beach house.

*By 'my' I mean 'shared rental property for the week'.

So instead of 'questionable yellow' house siding as a view... I see this:

Now. Do you really think I'm going to get a lot of work done with that view??

Not so much. In fact, there's a beach that's calling my name right now...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Carillon Beach

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ruth's Chris

Ruth's Chris Steak House has been a fixture in Chris' life since he was a little boy. He has memories of his parents getting the whole family dressed up for a night of fine dining. Can you imagine taking three small children into a nice steak house? Sounds nerve-racking! But Chris' parents did a wonderful job preparing their children for how to act in a restaurant and Chris remembers receiving many compliments from strangers who were impressed with their manners.

So it's little surprise that Justin and Johanna chose Ruth's Chris has the location for their 30th birthday family dinner.
And what a wonderful dinner it was! As PD says, we "dined". And it was nice. We told stories and enjoyed each bite and sip. We had so much fun that we were the very last group to leave the restaurant! So I didn't feel bad asking the waiter to use the flash when taking a group photo:
When we arrived at the restaurant, we sat at a table for six... Laura was still in Chicago and not due back until Wednesday. Or so Justin thought! In reality she had woken up at 4 in the morning and driven back that day to surprise him!
I love a good surprise!
(Sorry for the dark photos... I didn't want to disrupt the other diners with a flash!)

Too often we are all too busy to come together for a celebration-- I think that makes evenings like these all the more special!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Busy, Busy World

When I was younger, one of my most favorite books that my mom read to me was Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World. (It's kind of ironic, since as an adult I'm always feeling busy, busy!!)

One of the characters I loved was named "Lowly Worm":

I even had a little stuffed animal (I think my mom made it?) of the character!

This weekend I was out shopping and I did a double-take when I saw this:
Lowly Worm! In an apple car!

He even made little noises. I was very tempted to deposit a quarter and travel along with Lowly Worm... but of course, I was busy, busy and had to keep up my shopping pace. Ever wonder where your childhood went? Well a little piece of mine is situated between Banana Republic and Ann Taylor at the strip mall in Baton Rouge.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Celebrating America!

The Hill House Krewe had a day on the bay for the 4th of July!

It started with a trip out on the water:
Where we passed the many restaurants of the Kemah boardwalk:
(that photo was taken on the way back).

While we were on the water, Chris prepared a delicious meal of steak and mashed potatoes and we enjoyed eating it while watching the sunset.

Then, my favorite part... fireworks!
There are many different marinas and yacht clubs surrounding Kemah and they each have their own fireworks show. We stayed out on the water and enjoyed watching SEVEN of them!! From our vantage point we could enjoy the clubs closest to us as well as many around the water-- it was like we were surrounded!
Here's a photo of K-Dog, Gordon and I enjoying the ride back in:
Chris had the next day off of work, so we went on an "all day date" that included lunch, dinner, and a movie. We also made stops at Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel where we used up the last bit of our wedding gift money-- we made that last for over two years! It was so nice to spend a relaxing, non-agenda filled day with Chris-- something we often forgo in our busy lives-- and we are looking forward to making that more of a priority!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Life imitating craft?

I received a custom order in my shop not too long ago. It was a wreath to be used at a birthday party. The client is my new etsy friend, Stacy. She saw this wreath in my shop:

She loved the idea, but wanted it to coordinate with the colors she had chosen for her son's birthday party, navy and lime green.

Although she knew she could probably make the wreath herself, she's a busy working mom and decided to delegate the task to me. I'm a big fan of DIY, but I'm also a big fan of delegating when life becomes too hectic. So, I was happy to set up a custom order!

She needed a larger wreath for her larger door so I set out at measuring, cutting, gluing, placing and gluing again tons of navy and lime green ribbons.

Navy and lime green, navy and lime green, navy and lime green... the outcome was adorable:
I was tempted to make another one for our house!
Although I can usually crank these out within a few days, Stacey's deadline was very lenient-- she didn't need it until August! So she kindly allowed me to take my time with the navy and lime green. But a funny thing happened during the three week period that I worked on it... I started unconsciously choosing to wear navy and lime green! At least twice a week I'd go into my closet, pick out a lime green shirt and navy skirt... only to realize later in the afternoon that I was matching my project!

Sure enough, here is what I was wearing the day the wreath went in the mail:
(The lighting's not great, but trust me-- that's lime green.)

Stacey loves the wreath and I am confident that she's going to throw an adorable birthday party. I'm so honored to be able to help in a small way towards the celebration!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Hills Hit Houston-- bonus post!

Although I've already written about the amazing weekend we spent with our Louisiana family... there is a HUGE part that I left out. And I've finally been given permission to share it now.

When everyone arrived PD let me know that he'd brought a newspaper with him so I could have the coupons (I'm desperately trying to become a couponer, thanks to the help of the "couponmom.com"). I thanked him and kept preparing dinner... no need to interrupt my rolled steak for a free tube of toothpaste!

Later, we sat down for dinner and PD informed me that Minnie Mouse had been kidnapped from Disney World. I was shocked! How could that happen? Where was the character handler? PD said there was a huge article in the newspaper and Justin kindly brought me the newspaper to read. Well, we were in the middle of dinner so I thanked him and left the paper folded on the table. I wasn't going to interrupt dinner for a Minnie Mouse story!

A few minutes later PD mentioned that LSU football was in trouble and there was an article explaining the situation in the newspaper. Chris, immediatly grabbed the newspaper to read the story. I guess LSU football is worth the interruption!

As soon as Chris opened the paper, he saw this:

He turned to me and said, "you might want to see this."
I knew I wasn't pregnant... I knew Johanna had already told us she was pregnant... and I knew that Laura had been drinking beers all night! So... what was going on?!

I dutifully turned to page 4A where I saw this:
A closer look at the sonogram shows that this is Laura and Justin's baby!!!!

I was so happy that I created this delightful face:
And hugged the new mom:
Turned out Justin was drinking beers all night and refilling the bottles with water for Laura. What? I was foiled again! I told the group that I wasn't a good Sherlock Holmes and PD quipped I wasn't even a good Watson! Touche.

Laura and Justin had woken up early that morning and put this special newspaper on PD's front lawn. That's how he found out. Later, on the car ride over to Houston, they had shared the newspaper with Jeremy and Johanna:
Laura and Johanna's babies will be about two months apart. Chris and I are SO excited to meet another niece or nephew in January! And we're especially delighted for Justin and Laura who will be amazing parents.
I'm sure it will be a house full of creativity, learning and laughter:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where's Gordon?

The other morning I sprang out of bed and immediatly hopped in the shower. A few minutes later when I got out, I couldn't find Gordon! Usually he's snuggled up in our bed, but this morning he wasn't! I checked all his usual places-- the sofa, his bed in my office... even his kennel! Nothing.

Finally I noticed some movement in between our bed and the wall... where many of the covers had fallen as I sprang from bed:
Yep-- Gordon had found a comfy spot!
Wouldn't it be nice to lounge around all day? Imagine if you main concern was, "how many times should I turn around in a circle before I plop down and relax?". Ah Gordon, you have a nice life!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hills Hit Houston Part Three

The Hills left Houston on Sunday... which also happened to be Father's Day!

Chris and I are SO blessed to each have wonderful Fathers who love their kids and love who their kids love (follow that?). We wanted to give them a fun experience so on Sunday morning the boys took PD and my Dad to an old timey barber shop for "The Works". This included a hair cut, a straight razor shave and about a million towels.

Here's my dad getting ready for the experience:
When they all walked in, the barber shop attendants looked a little nervous. Remember Justin and Jeremy?
That's a lot of hair! They breathed a little easier when they found out it was just PD and my dad that were to be attended to.

Here's PD getting ready, with Justin in the foreground:
And here's what the dads looked like mid-session:
As the boys were on their outing, the ladies stayed back and prepared brunch. And we all enjoyed it at my parent's house.

My Houston family:
And my Louisiana family:
It was such a fun weekend bonding with the family-- we look forward to spending more time with the Louisiana Krewe soon!

Monday morning came early and I felt really bad for the guys that pick up our recycling:
After a full weekend of entertaining we had a lot of empty bottles and containers for them to collect!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Hills Hit Houston Part Two

On Saturday evening, we took the Baton Rouge Hills (and Couvillions) to a Houston tradition:
Miller Outdoor Theater!

I've been going to these free performances since I was a very young child. There is a large theater with covered seating and a larger hill for picnic goers. Although I've been to Miller countless times, I think I've only sat in the covered area twice. It's just so much more fun to lounge and enjoy the performance from the hill.

We had our picnic basket full of snacks and wine... but my dad made one last important addition:
You can't have a picnic without watermelon, right? Except there was one problem: my dad didn't bring a knife! Thankfully PD had a Swiss Army knife and somehow my dad was able to get the watermelon open!
It is was a good thing because everyone enjoyed it:
Especially Justin:
Miller Outdoor Theater plays host to a variety of performance arts and this night it was hosting the Houston symphony.
We all enjoyed our time on the hill and I was so happy to share this part of Houston with my Louisiana in-laws.
One last cute tidbit: Chris and I met the summer of 2007 and many of our early dates included Miller Outdoor Theater.

Here we are on the hill on one of our very early dates:
And here we are in 2011 on the same hill:
I'm sure there will many more memories made (and photos taken) by us at Miller Outdoor Theater!