A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Texas

I love the rain. Even when it’s inconvenient, there is something soothing about rain. It washes away the dirt, bringing life to the earth.

Austin Rain{photo credit}

It’s been raining here in Austin for the past two days. And it’s lovely. We need the rain so badly that there is something even more soothing about the downpour.

While my kids are going slightly cray-cray and might be watching too much t.v. {hey, there are only so many indoor games you can play}, I’m loving today. Sitting back, sipping tea, while listening to Nat King Cole and watching the rain. I’d call that a recipe for a nice, calming Friday.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

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I love Austin. It is my happy place. No matter where I travel in the world, I would choose Austin over it all. There is a comfort here that I have never had anywhere else I’ve lived. From the moment I step on UT’s campus over a decade ago, I knew that Austin is my home.

Austin

I love Austin, but…

I miss fall weather. Not gonna lie. After all, fall is my favorite time of year – the leaves changing, the crisp air, the apple pies, the reprieve from summer.

Austin doesn’t have fall.  Austin has summer and not summer. There are no seasons, no changing leaves, no crisp fall air. There is simply summer and not summer. I’ve admitted before that I haven’t always enjoyed summer (though I have a newfound love for it). Summer to me has usually just been the months you endure before fall.

But as the paradigm shift in me has begun – the shift of loving summer more – I’ve found myself missing fall but being willing to redefine fall. I still secretly want our family to spend our fall days in the Adirondacks {hint, hint Jonathan}, but I’m enjoying fall looking like 70* days and sleeping with our windows open until January. I’m redefining fall as lingering summer days that give my kids more time outside. Cooler {but not cold} mornings for my outdoor runs. And having outdoor BBQ’s in December.

Fall in Austin will never been like fall in Iowa. But I love Austin enough to embrace my sweet city’s version of fall. Though I wouldn’t mind a trip to upstate New York come October.

 

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Yesterday I completed the Austin Half Marathon.  

Enjoying a chocolate shake about an hour post-race

I have to say this was my best race yet. I wasn’t as nervous as last year, as I knew what to expect. Though, I will say, like child birth, you forget how killer the hills are. About 2 miles in I remembered why this part of Texas is called the hill country… Thankfully this year, Jonathan and I coordinated where he and the kids would be cheering during the race, so I was able to see them at mile 8 which gave me a huge boost.

I got oddly nauseous at mile 7, which I think was related to drinking too much Gatorade {I don’t drink Gatorade while running just during recovery}. I suppose the sweetness of Gatorade just didn’t sit well with my stomach. Thankfully it passed quickly, and I didn’t actually get sick.

By mile 6 my hips were beginning to hurt, nothing major, just slightly irritating. However, once I reached mile 11, there was a killer hill. At that point I walked up the hill to give my hips a break and catch my breath. My hips thanked me for it later, by pushing through to the end without any real pain.

Once the hill was done, I was able to finish off the race strong. It was such a good feeling to cross the finish line and be greeted by my family and friends.

I celebrated with a great burger and shake from P. Terry’s. My recovery has been really good, and with the exception of a little glut pain yesterday and calf soreness today, I’ve felt really good.

Jonathan said after this race he has been convinced he wants to run with me next year {woot!}. And after seeing a few families running together, I’m hoping once the kids get old enough we can make it a family event!

Our family has been back in Austin for almost 14 months now. Each time we drive into downtown, I’m amazed at how much I still love living here. I loved it while I was in college, but I love it even more now that I have my four favorite people to share it with. I keep thinking that the love-struck feeling will wear off, but it doesn’t. And with each passing date night, trip out with the kids or chat with another Austinite, my love for this city grows.

Here are some of the things I love about Austin ::

1. Zilker Park

Being in Zilker brings a certain calm over me. I tend to feel closest to God when I’m out in nature, so having that closeness coupled with an amazing view of my city just impacts my love for Zilker even more.

2. Live Music – 

You can’t walk downtown without hearing music. Whether it be from a bar, or a person on the street, the city is constantly filled with music. It brings an energy like nothing I’ve felt before.

3. Swimming –

Summers in Texas are hot. In fact, as I’m typing this, it’s 63*. In January. Swimming is a must from April through September {and even in October}. Which is why I love our community pool.

4. Barton Springs Pool

Technically, I’ve not taken the girls to the actual pool part of Barton Springs, but we’ve taken Jack swimming in the nearby reservoir several times. The water is cold and filled with tons of other dogs. It’s tons of fun for Jack and the girls.

5. The Style –

Austin is a laid back, easy paced city. With a few exceptions, the typical dress code is casual. Summer consists of dressed and flip-flops. Winter consists of jeans and lightweight jackets. Being a jeans and tshirt kinda gal, I love it.

6. The People –

You can’t have a laid back style without laid back people. Austinites know when to work, but know when to play. They are willing to chat for long hours, let you crash in their house, and are always up for running.

7. The Food – 

We have a great book, Food Lover’s Guide to Austin. Packed full of great eats, sectioned off by areas of the city, we are slowly eating our way through the city. My personal favorites are Guero’s, Hopdoddy, Trudy’s, and Tarka, to name a few.

8. The Austin Stone –

One of the hardest things about leaving Iowa, was leaving our friends and our church. I knew that God would grow us in new ways at the Austin Stone, but I never thought I’d love it like I loved Mars Hill. But I do. Completely. My church, or rather the people in it, have had great impact on my life.

9. Littlefield Fountain –

{photo credit}

This fountain sits at the south end of the University. It stands out in my mind as one of my favorite spots on all of campus. Sitting on the south lawn {which is directly behind the fountain} looking off south to the Capitol Building {which is directly south of the fountain}. It is decidedly Austin to me.

10. Running Community – 

While I didn’t run in when I lived here during college, I’ve thoroughly loved the running community since moving back. Because of the hot summers, spring and late fall are the best times to run here in Austin. And because of that, there are always great/fun runs to participate in during the cooler months. I’m racing in two next month and a third in March.

What is your favorite city? Why?

This post will be linked to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda and Things I Love Thursday at Diaper Diaries.

I might have mentioned a time or two that Texas is experiencing the hottest weather in recorded history. Perhaps, I haven’t mentioned that we are also going through the worst drought since the late 1800’s. The heat and drought have led to rampant fires throughout Central Texas. The town of Bastrop {30 miles east of Austin} caught ablaze Labor Day weekend, burning 40,000 acres and destroying 2,000+ homes. Sadly, the fire still hasn’t been fully contained.

Texas needs rain. Badly.

This last Saturday it rained. For 30 minutes, it poured. It was glorious. It was wonderful. It was refreshing. In her excitement, Julia asked me to dance with her in the rain. I gladly accepted. We danced, we puddle jumped, we laughed as we got soaked.

{The rain while driving}

During the rain, our family ran an errand to Target. As we were leaving {and it was still raining}, I overheard two young ladies complaining about the rain. Having to walk in it. Having to get wet on their way to the car. People standing around us, grumbled in agreement. The rain, so badly needed, was an inconvenience.

To say I was irritated, is an understatement. In a state faced with drought, why aren’t we rejoicing at the rain? Why aren’t we seeing it through the eyes of a three year old, whose only wish was to dance in the rain. My initial thought was how selfish these people were. How dissatisfied can they be? Bemoan the drought, then bemoan the rain.

And in my judgement, I realized :: I am always complaining.

Too hot.

Too cold.

Too dry.

Too wet.

My kids are too hyper.

My kids are too shy.

I don’t get enough alone time.

I don’t get enough time with others.

The list could go on. Contentment isn’t exactly my strong suit. Yet, I am called to be content in all things {Philippians 4:11}. Trusting that God is in control, that I have no need to worry.

I want to rejoice in all the moments in my life. Even the ones that seem to inconvenience me. I want to see life as purely as a 3 year old. I want to dance in the rain with my daughters.

Countless times, I’ve started a post this week, only to erase it. You see, I tend not to write {or twitter or facebook} in the midst of challenge. And well, our A/C gave out this weekend. So in my little world, this week has been a real challenge. Being 8 months pregnant, in Texas, during the hottest recorded summer, is not the time to have your A/C go kaput. And while most of America is getting ready for fall, we had 4 record high days out of 5 during our A/C fiasco. Oh, that crazy Texas.

The house temp right after the repairman left. Awe-some.

But you know what? Our family is blessed beyond blessed. After the A/C died on Saturday, we stayed with some friends that live on our street. Because the repairs to the A/C required speciality parts, the repairman wasn’t able to fix the unit until last night. For 5 nights and 4 days, our friends graciously housed us. It was a really wonderful time. Our kids are all close in age, so they thought our stay was a constant party. The adults got a chance to learn even more about each other and grow in our friendship. And if you don’t think our friends are awesome just for letting us stay with them, they actually still like us by the end of it {which just goes to show how great they really are!}.

By 5pm on Wednesday, our A/C was back up and running. It took through the night before the house completely cooled off. But, Jonathan and I were laughing before bed about how 82* seems cool compared to 90*+, especially when there’s air blowing in the house. Though, part of me is a little temped to turn the air down to the low 60’s just because I can.

 

I’m ever so happy to have a cool house again. What “fun” adventures have you had this week? 

 

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

Summer isn’t over until September 23. That means 38 more days of summer. Summer. My least favorite season. Ever. And my dislike has nothing to do with being pregnant during my first Texas summer in 7 years {though, it certainly isn’t winning any points}. Or that I’ve never been a fan of triple digit numbers when it comes to weather. I just don’t like being hot. Ever.

And while many people take signs of browning leaves and grass, such as this


as impending autumn weather, here in Texas you’d be wrong. That’s how our grass has looked since June.

As my friends across social media fill my screen with tales of cool weather and leaving their windows open, my heart misses autumn and Iowa. Because Iowa knew how to give a proper fall. And fall is my favorite season. Ever. 

1. Pumpkin Patches – I love picking out larger-than-my-head pumpkins. There’s something so fun and festive about pumpkins.

2. Apple Orchards – Ahhh… Wilson’s Orchard. How I will miss you and your wonderfulness this fall.

3. Crisp Nights – I love needing to pull on a cardigan at 8 o’clock in the evening because of a fresh crispness in the air. Love. It.

4. Fire Pits – And with crisp nights always comes fire pits. Long conversations with Jonathan and friends while the girls sleep. Simply heaven.

5. Open Windows – Windows wide open filling the house with a coolness and reprieve of summer.

6. Leaves Change Color – There’s something awesome about seeing leaves become golden before the fall to the ground. It’s just so peaceful.

7. Geese Migration – This might seem funny, but I love watching geese migrate. And we lived near a pond in Iowa, so I always got to see them make their flight South.

8. Pumpkin Spice Latte – I can’t think of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and not think of fall. And I can’t think of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and not think of my sweet friend Katie and our mornings spent chatting while our kiddos played {sad/missing you face}

9. Rain – A cool rain that might chill you or make you shut those open windows. At this point, I’d love any rain. Any.

10. Newness – For most people, they think of spring as new. Not me. I have always seen fall as new. New school year. New chapters in life. And this year, new baby. Fall in my mind always equals something new and exciting.

What’s your favorite season? 

Visit Amanda at Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

*photo credit


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