Today is my son’s 10th birthday and what a milestone it is! From the moment he arrived, our journey as individuals, as parents and as a family changed in an unexpected, yet extraordinary way. He was a happy beautiful baby, but seven years ago he was diagnosed with autism and it was devastating. However; an amazing thing happened over the years.
While we loved, guided and protected Steele, he became our teacher. When we were scared and restless, he was brave and determined. When we questioned his limits, he exuded confidence. Today he no longer lives in the shadow of autism. He outshines it. He invites us all into his world to share the happiness, purity and enthusiasm he embraces every day. And what a gift that is! Happy birthday, baby! I’m so proud to be your mom.
Please share this inspiring story with anyone you know who is facing obstacles today. Tomorrow holds hope! @MommyQ
I’m so excited it’s National Cat Day today, because I love cats. I had a dog growing up, so I love dogs too. But I’ll take an independent, fickle and moody cat over a hyper dog any day.
I’ve created a little video In honor of my three cats, Rocky, Smoke & Tiger. Rocky & Tiger are about 14-years-old, so that’s why they just walk as their main form of motion. Smoke is a stray we’ve been feeding for almost six years! He’s too wacky to bring indoors (we’ve tried!), but he does have a Cat Igloo outside for the chilly nights that we rarely get in Austin, TX! Happy day, kitties. Happy day!
I’m not a treasure trove of baseball trivia, but I’m a big fan of the game. I watched the entire 2004 series featuring an epic and excruciating battle between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. I was hugely pregnant with my first child (due in November 2004), so vegging out on the sofa watching other people’s awesomeness was all I could muster.
I especially loved the Yankees that year (Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, A-Rod — yes, A-Rod) and, in stark contrast, I detested the Red Sox. Maybe it was because Big Papi couldn’t stop crushing home runs or because Manny Ramirez owned one of the most disgusting batting helmets ever in the history of helmets. Jeter was, of course, my favorite player. There was just something everything special about his uniform him. He was a legit superstar. And the fact that he was humble made him a hero.
Today I have two young boys and one of them plays baseball. He just graduated from tee ball into coach pitch, but this is Texas, so sports are very competitive, even at a ridiculously young age. It’s like real baseball, people. He has a mini athletic cup, little cleats, custom bats, batting gloves, practice every week, scrimmages and we travel to play weekend tournaments. It’s a family affair. More importantly, baseball gives us endless opportunities to teach him about building character.
Forget the athleticism and the physical development – capabilities at the age of six are impressive, but rather silly to worry about. What he gets to experience and learn first-hand is how to be a supportive teammate, a positive thinker, a person who perseveres and a good listener. He grows and improves daily, which is great, but he’s also learning to take the knocks and the tough calls in stride, which is necessary. As a mom, I need my arsenal of “perfect athlete” pep talks in the pipeline and ready to go. Enter Derek Jeter.
Me: “Everyone strikes out. Even Derek Jeter.”
Me: “Don’t worry about dropping that fly ball. Even Derek Jeter drops a ball once in a while.” Okay, that is a lie.
Me: “I’m sure Derek Jeter has spilled red Gatorade on his pants too. We can wash that out later…”
Derek Jeter has held up his end of the bargain by remaining hero-worthy. Jeter gives us the chance to teach our children how to be athletes by example. What a novel idea, right? Based on the news clips flooding ESPN right now, it seems as though our heroes are falling from grace daily. Unlike those clowns, Jeter understands that the term is aspirational, not ass-pirational. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to agree that Jeter has been steadfast to the end. He is retiring with the stardom he earned. He is retiring with grace. He is retiring with dignity.
On behalf of new baseball moms everywhere who are desperately trying to raise respectable young men, thank you Derek Jeter…
Our trip to Globe Life Park in Arlington this summer to see Jeter’s farewell tour:
Summertime in Austin typically brings new delights in the way of cool new hangouts. This summer we welcomed an awesome new taproom to the Lake Travis area, Oasis Texas Brewing Company. Not only is this brewery serving up delicious ales and lager, but it happens to be situated on one of the most beautiful hillsides in the city, so the views of Lake Travis are amaze-balls!
Oasis Texas Brewing Company celebrated its official grand opening last week and it also celebrated a co-grand opening a few months ago for its spectacular (shared) venue space, The Mansfield. I was an event planner for years and I can honestly tell you this new venue is THE place to throw a soiree. The space is vast, gorgeous, rustic-inspired and totally hip, just like Austin.
So how do you win a brew with a view for your crew? Lake Travis Lifestyle, LT’s resource for all things happening in the Lake Travis area, has partnered with Oasis Texas Brewing Company and SherpaLux, Austin’s premier transportation and tour provider, for a TOUR & TASTING giveaway where one lucky guy or gal wins a private tour & tasting at the brewery for 10 people! SherpaLux is stepping in to provide transportation to and from the brewery. It’s a unique prize that you can share with your best buddies and peeps that retails for around $800.
Head over to Lake Travis Lifestyle for all of the details and find out how and when to enter. (Hint: Book a babysitter for Saturday night!) Good luck!
Kids say the darnedest things. We all know this is true. But what they say can be quite brilliant if you really listen. For instance, when we were little girls my younger sister would call breakable objects “glassable.” She mixed “glass” and “breakable” and voila! Glassable. My youngest son used to say, “buckle me out” instead of “unbuckle me” when he wanted help getting out of his 5-point harness car seat (and who can blame him for that?!)
Thanks to an intense year of being taught the importance of good manners and his genuine desire not to be disrespectful, my younger son (now 6yo) has a great new habit that harkens me back to my sorority days. If he knows he is going to say something that could be interpreted as mean, he prefaces his statement with, “I don’t mean this in a mean way, but….” And then he says something… well, honest. But he says it in such a way that it doesn’t seem mean at all. It is genius and sweet and kind of premeditated. Pure. Gold.
It reminds me of the “compliment sandwich” we were taught to use when we had a problem with a fellow sorority sister. In an effort to help ease the insane drama that often occurs with a bunch of crazydrunk emotional girls, we were told to deliver bad news sandwiched between two compliments. For example, “You look really pretty today, but I think you’re a lying troll and by the way, I love your perm!” And shockingly enough, it worked every time. Especially the part about the perm.
It seems my sweet little guy has mastered the art of the “compliment appetizer.” Even better. Less carbs!
There are four words that can strike fear or love in a mom’s heart. Elementary school talent show. Ahhh, I have such fond memories of mine. I did a tap dance routine with my younger sister every year. I believe in our very first show we wore raincoats and twirled umbrellas to “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddy Rabbitt. Oh, yes, that was a 45 rpm record that we played over and over again until it was so scratched it wouldn’t play anymore. As we got older, we stepped it up with some clogging to “Mountain Music” by Alabama. Yes, that’s how we rolled in Virginia 30 years ago.
Last year, my 8yo son performed in his talent show for the first time. You can read all about it here. This year with both kiddos at the same school, we thought they should both perform. It was a no-brainer for my older son (he’s 9yo) who pretty much has one awesome talent – Kung Fu. Figuring out a talent for my athletic kindergartner was more of a challenge. He couldn’t dribble a soccer ball or throw baseballs on stage. Hmmmm.
One day Pharrell’s “Happy” came on in the car and my youngest son shocked me by singing all of the lyrics and singing with some attitude. Yes! He would sing in the talent show. He wasn’t very into the idea at first, so we got him a few singing lessons to test it out. After the first lesson, he was hooked. I was so excited for him to branch out and do something he had never done before. He was six! Everything is a big accomplishment when you’re six, right?
As the show got closer, we started practicing everyday. And then a few days before the show, my nerves caught up with me. No, not his. Mine! I suddenly felt like I had unintentionally pushed him into something that would blow up in my face. What if he forgot the words? What if he froze? What if he just puked on-stage? What if it was a horrible experience that plagued him for life? I could envision him walking into a therapy session at the age of 25 and saying, “Well, it all started when my mom wanted me to do that stupid talent show when I was in kindergarten…”
That’s when I realized God blessed me with boys for a reason. This mommy is not cut out for stage stress! Dance recitals, solos, gymnastics…balance beam routines? Oh lordy. I don’t know how moms stay calm. I would be popping Xanax like Skittles with wine chasers.
The night of the show, I told both boys I was proud of them no matter what happened during the show. They had impressed me so much with their hard work, nothing could erase that. And it was true. I was 100% proud. Doing well in the show (or just having the guts to try) would be icing on the cake. In my mind, they had already achieved so much.
And without a doubt, they both did great! My older son who just loves being in the spotlight did so well. He was psyched! My youngest NAILED IT. He sang, he did his choreographed moves, he smiled and he had fun. Afterwards he found me in the crowd and we shared a very special “I know exactly how you feel” hug that was priceless. Of course, we’re already discussing next year’s act… 😉
It was unavoidable. For years I heard all of my friends dish about their obsession with Lululemon. Posting on Facebook when they bought a new outfit, usually with the word “Yay!” peppered in or wearing their new street-smart athletic threads around town.
When it comes to cute athletic gear, girls built like me usually strike out. Let’s just say sports bras for busty gals are typically horrid. The larger the size, the more fabric. And if you have a thin midsection, then the elastic band underneath never fits. It’s always too big. Plus, thick straps are unavoidable, so the cute skinny straps that make it look better are hopeless. I mean, you can get away an ill-fitting jog bra if you’re just walking around, but try running in a “cute” sports bra that doesn’t fit. Uhm, looks vulgar/scary and feels even worse! (Ouch.)
Now I’m experiencing the Lululemon obsession myself thanks to the Run Times Tank. The Light Luxtreme shelf bra offers a perfect fit – not too tight and not too loose – and the easy-breezy tank makes it all versatile and stylish. I wish they had more color options because my body rejects mint green – er, sorry…Heather Bali Breeze. I love the Grey Light Flare and the Black, of course.
Also, the Speed Short is maybe the best pair of running shorts I’ve ever owned. Oh yes, I’m obsessed.