Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Summer's Top 5 (So Far)

It's really sad how out-of-date I've let the blog get over the summer break. It's been almost 3 months since my last post. I don't think I've ever gone more than about 5-6 weeks.  Since our move, things have been such a whirlwind. I've been living in Tuscaloosa doing the school/single mom (Mason) thing and Chris has been doing his out-of-town military husband thing.  I managed to squeeze in a couple of trips to San Antonio in the meanwhile, and we really had a blast there and would love to be stationed there permanently some time in the future. I really can't begin to catch up on everything that has happened over the past several months! I decided to just come up with the top few and share some pictures. I probably am not going to write very much because...let's be honest, once I get started, y'all know I can't stop, and no one has time for me to do a full recap of 3 months! Including me! The most exciting news I have is that Chris comes home on the Fourth of July and wee can begin moving into our new house on base next week... on our SECOND ANNIVERSARY! Sometimes it's so hard to believe that we have been married two whole years, and then sometimes it seems like we have been married forever because so much has happened in those two short years. I will save my contemplation on that for the next post. Here are the top 5 happenings (mostly from my perspective, since...well, since I'm the one who takes the pictures and writes the blog) over the past few months.

1. Together time in San Antonio

Chris never gets tired of being an he is repping his squadron in SA on the volleyball team.  They got second place in the whole league. 

Dinner at the, what an awesome night!

The Havana bar was underground and was pitch black but for all the red candles.  And the bartender was the best in SA.

Took a weekend trip to Austin and met up with Greg and Larke, who live in Houston

The gorgous TX state capitol
UT stadium

Mason getting ready for fun in Austin!

Moose head on the wall at the Menger Bar, which is the bar across the street from the Alamo where Teddy Roosevelt is said to have recruited his "Rough Riders". It's the same bar, pretty cool!
The Alamo

Before drinks at Tower of the Americas

Happy hour at Tower of the Americas, which is basically like the space needle

Tower of the Americas

Dinner at The Melting Pot...they had an amazing military special for Memorial Day week!
We <3 Melting Pot!

Our "War Damn America" T-shirts that we wore on Memorial Day. We thought these T-shirts were the best thing ever but I think we learned just to wear them closer to Alabama where people actually understand them.  Someone came up to us and was like "What does War Damn America mean!?" I was like "We're  patriotic, I promise! We're Auburn fans!" She totally didn't get it. Oh well.  WDA. 

Corona-rita in the WDA t-shirt

Spent a day exploring the adorable town of Gruene, TX, about 20 miles away from SA. That's Gruene Hall, the oldest Dance Hall in TX.

Winery in Gruene

Inside Gruene Hall

It was packed!

Wine tasting in Gruene

Plaque outside of Gruene Hall

Mason and Chris waiting on lunch

Annual beer dinner menu at Blue Star Brewing Company
The name of the beer dinner was the "King's Feast", thus the special crowns...
After the beer dinner we walked down the street to this German place. It was like...a bar/restaurant/cultural center...with live German music...Chris got hungry and bought a Snickers, go figure.

Menu for the wine dinner we had at Arcade was wonderful!
At Arcade Midtown wine dinner

Tableside guacamole at Boudro's on the Riverwalk.  Scott met us here this night and we all had dinner, it was fun!
Some kind of yummy soup with black beans and queso
Breakfast I made for Chris and Scott

At the SA "Grand Tasting"...WOW what an awesome night! At least 60 wines for tasting, along with samples from all the top restaurants in SA...we were in heaven!

At the BBQ and Brew-fest...sort of like the Grand Tasting, but more casual...we got to try BBQ from all the most popular BBQ spots in town

Dinner on my last night in SA...steak grilled on the "Old Smokey" that Chris bought while out there
Some of my other favorite things in San Antonio were the AMAZING outlet malls (most of any city) and touring the Culinary Institute of America. But, obviously, our favorite thing about SA was experiencing all it had to offer in cuisine! Chris and I consider ourselves to be "foodies" much as possible for what our experience and budget SA was complete paradise! We tried all the top restaurants and bars and spent a whole week attending events put on by the SA Food and Wine festival (such as the tastings).  Hopefully, I learned some things that can inspire me in the kitchen of our new house!

2. Wedding festivities for Hannah, Lauren, and my sister and 3. Hannah's wedding!

I have a shortage of pictures from these events, but many of my weekends since Chris has been gone have been filled with fun wedding events for my girlfriends! My sisters engagement party, showers AND bachelorette parties for both Hannah and Lauren, and Hannah's wedding took place over the last few months.

With Bachelorette Lauren at her party in Orange Beach

Getting ready to go out in Orange Beach

Lauren Emily threw Hannah a lingerie shower at her house in CUTE are these cookies!!?

Wedding morning breakfast that I hosted for Hannah

With Bride Hannah on her wedding morning after breakfast!

Bridesmaid selfie!

Missing Chris...that was the idea of this picture, if you can't tell haha

Thank goodness I had another Beck to be my wedding date! Thanks again, Warren!

4. Finishing my first year

I defended my first year paper before the faculty and they passed me onto my second year of the Ph.D. progarm! Woo! Obviously I don't have pictures of this.  So, instead I will share some other random pictures.

I made this!

Mason riding on my classmate's boat in Lake Tuscaloosa

My car tire about to be changed after discovering an hour into our trip to Lauren's bachelorette party that my tires were...NO GOOD anymore! Yay, glad I was in the mood to randomly spend a surprise $800 on tires, NOT! Oh well, as you can tell from this picture, it could have been WAY worse

Mason just being his cute self

Lauren, Hannah, Jessica and I hanging out in Auburn the week of Hannah's wedding

Ready for Football 2013! 

Meredith and I at Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham

With friends from college at Avondale

5. Getting ready for the new house

Looking forward to our move and hoping I like the paint colors I chose for the new house! This time we are having it painted before we move in.  I wasn't able to test out the colors.  It's their policy to not let people into the houses before they move in! Not even to measure! But I got to see it because I had to show them where I wanted each color to go.  Fingers crossed! Our new house is so much better than our old one! Here are some "before" pictures...can't wait to post the "afters", hopefully in a few weeks!
Our new house! 

We picked this one because we liked the tree in the backyard, and still plenty of room to throw the ball to Mason

A kitchen with an ISLAND! 

Dining area where we hope to put the dining room suite given to us for our first anniversary by Chris' mom and Greg, Granny and Grandbob.  Also going to buy a rug and give it some new paint...Actually, EVERYTHING in the house is getting new paint.

kitchen and part of the dining area

Living room

Living room and french doors that lead to screen porch

See that door? That's a real pantry.  So excited. 

Entry hall.  I was going to paint this blue but I can't now because that big cutout was going to make everything look funny.  Good thing I got to see the house instead of just telling them where to paint based on the floor plan!

Entry hall

2 car garage...

with storage space!!


Guest bedroom

Master bedroom.

Master bath...which is actually PART of the master bedroom!! And 2 sinks, yay!
Screened porch
The house also has a real laundry room (with a door!),  a half bath in the downstairs, and a full guest bathroom. Those of you who have ever visited our old house can sense my excitement over such seemingly simple things as a door on the laundry room and a bathroom connected to our bedroom. I know this move, just like any move, will be stressful, but I can't wait to get in the new house so we can settle back in to our pre-SA life and start getting back in touch with our friends in Columbus. Also, I want to throw a party.  So excited!

Thanks for reading!Time to go to bed...first day of teaching my summer session is tomorrow.  I guess that makes today my last "real" day of summer, even though I've been working on and off the whole time.  Oh well, can't really complain about having time off in the summer! I tried not to be too lengthy and I'm also too tired after writing all this to proofread, so hopefully it makes sense. I won't go another 3 months without that Chris is back, there will be way too much to share!