at the risk of sounding like a chamber of commerce ad, i have to say...houston can be a damn fun city if you know where to look! david and i always joke that houston became WAY MORE fun after we met. he always did cool things, but hated doing them alone. when i moved from chi-town everyone gaped "you left chicago for HERE!?!" but after 5 years, and quite a bit of exploration, i'm pretty happy where i landed. and to prove my point, let me review my weekend:

FRIDAY: picked up cuban tacos and tortilla soup from el rey...definitely our favorite neighborhood spot! okay, so i actually just chilled at the house friday night, which doesn't really explain why houston is fun. but i could mention that in houston i pay the same amount of rent (for a 3-bedroom house) that i paid in chicago for the top floor of a house. although that house was 2 blocks from wrigley field and you could actually hear the games from the balcony...okay, bad example.

SATURDAY: went to zumba class at our (super-snazzy-renovated) ymca. this was the first time i've done this class--i'm usually a power pilates girl--and it was awesome. totally kicked my ass, but totally worth it. combo of latin dance moves, great music...what a way to start the weekend! next was my bi-monthly coiffing...it is seriously my one indulgence. i don't buy designer clothes or fancy handbags or expensive jewelry. but once every 8 weeks i make a date with michael at m salon, and my husband is forever grateful. i just FEEL sexy when i walk outta there. also, michael asked if i'd help him edit his newsletter and some pr stuff...look at me becoming a writer.

and the piece de resistance: ARTCRAWL!!! every year on the weekend before thanksgiving, a bunch of studios in the warehouse district open their doors for us nosy art freaks to enjoy. the weather was terrible all day (and i seriously considered staying home), but once we got downtown it cleared up and we were able to roam the streets drip free. check out a few of my favorites:

then we headed to our secret nooky spot--the boom boom room--but actually met friends this time. had some delicious wine (bohemian highway, yum.) and cheese plate. a great end to a perfect day.

SUNDAY: slept in...relaxed around the house. and then, if you remember back to a previous post, to see uncle kracker! this was such a ridiculous experience for me...winning something on the radio, a private room at the house of blues, and up-close-and-personal with "kid rock's bff" (he mentioned this only a few times!) oh, and do you like how the radio guy made me hold my coozie up for the picture!?!? it was too hilarious. after that we stopped at la guadalajara for a snack (and a margarita)...they make a mean chicken & spinach quesadilla.

wanna come visit?


discovery #17

simple pleasures (at work!?!)

as i was rushing down the hall to meet with a family, i caught a glimpse of orange coming from the dining room. from our 9th floor lookout, i had the most incredible view of the sun setting over rice university and casting a glow over the room. ever since the time change i've been very crabby that it's dark when i leave work, but this experience showed me that i don't have to miss out on EVERYTHING between 8-5! and in my attempt to be more present in my daily life, it was a great example of what we miss when we're rushing from point a to b.
so, here is a list of simple pleasures i have discovered in my work as a social worker in a hospital:
  • teamwork at its finest
  • culturally-diverse potlucks
  • finishing everything on my TO DO LIST (it actually happened once!)
  • compliments from patients, especially on the satisfaction survey
  • seeing a stroke survivor walking with only a cane
  • knowing i made the hospitalization easier
  • laughing at my patients' jokes
  • sneaking away for lunch with friends
  • seeing a co-worker's newborn twins
  • leaving right at 5:00pm
  • free coffee at vendor breakfasts
  • knowing that i am good at what i do

lately i have discovered myself falling into the 2-year slump. i seem to experience this phenomenon at every job...the point where your learning curve has plateaued and you're feeling pretty comfortable. i have found myself trying to incorporate more creativity into my day and often use my lunchtime to write, read, look at pretty blogs.

i hope i can remember the above list on those days when stress is creeping in and i can't stop for lunch. i hope i can remember the joy i feel when a family member hugs and thanks me for supporting them during a difficult time. i hope i can continue to feel connected to my patients and avoid the burn-out that often accompanies a job such as mine.

i hope i can. i hope i can. i hope i can.


none of your beeswax.

beeswax on tile (the leaf i found during a recent walk )

woo hoo...i have finally tackled a beeswax project! i bought this tiny piece of wax over a month ago and finally got out my old saucepan and gave it a go. as with anything, it will take some getting used to...but i loved it! i'm always trying to get more texture and more muted tones. bingo.

but as i was trying this technique (and looking at a few examples online), i realized that lately i'm not so much "playing" as i am trying to get a desired look. it's a strange shift for me...if you look at the gallery of the pieces i've made since july, they are ALL OVER THE PLACE. and i like that. you can tell i'm playing with different mediums, techniques, and letting my creativity take over. lately, i feel like i want a "style"...i know what artwork i enjoy, and i'm feeling frustrated that i'm not creating something closer to it.

so the question becomes: do i want all of my art to look the same? you know how most artists have a body of work that is very similar in style and technique? but how do i feel about that? would i get bored doing the same "type" of artwork over and over again? or would i just get better at it?


bloggy love

i cannot believe i forgot to post about this...i was so happy when i saw it up. and the image was perfect, i had goose bumps when i saw it. sami, over at lifelaughsandlemmings, highlights bloggers who have overcome obstacles in their lives (and survived!). she featured my letter to jamie the other day and there have been some beautiful comments since. smile.

morning show diva

can you say UNCLE KRACKER!?!?!? oh yeah, baby...we're going...this weekend...freeeeee!

i cannot stop laughing from my morning-drive-time incident. picture first my husband and i enjoying a normal, construction-laden, traffic-congested, coffee-buzzed drive to work. then add in a little game show that mix 96.5 likes to call "JUST FOR GRINGOS." basically, they take a popular movie line, say it in spanish, and ask all the whiteys in town to call in with the movie title. so, as my (mexican-born) husband and i are soaking in the exhaust of our fellow h-town commuters, they utter something like "mi madre dice...caja de chocolates..." YES!!! forest gump all the way baby! my overly-priced spanish "immersion" course has paid off!

david dials the number--my heart starts beating... and guess who was the lucky caller???? i have never won anything by calling into a radio station. i have never even called in to a radio show in my entire life. this is why my hubby is the most.fun.playmate.ever! all before 8am.....


blog withdrawal

which is funny, b/c i was home all weekend. david and i had a date night...which turned out to be really nice, we went to salento and drank wine outside. gotta love houston in november.

i also finished the short story for my class...and turned it in today, sooooo nerve-wracking! i've never taken a creative writing class before and i'm a little anxious for the big "critique" on thursday! wish me luck...

and my friend jamie opened her new etsy shop....be sure to check it out here.

here are some things i started working on last week and haven't touched since then. i feel like i've had more pieces "in progress" than completed in the last month...hmmm, i wonder what that's about.


discovery #16

a moment of true bliss.

it happens so rarely, that combination of factors that allow for a wave of peace to wash over me. the feeling of absolute contentment--and the wish that it would unpack its bags and stay for a while. we were sitting in the "community room" of the happiest place on earth: half price books, the one in dallas, a humongous warehouse of glorious words!

so, david is next to me at this wonderful wooden table, surrounded by art that was created for an empowerment project for persons with mental illness. the space was so peaceful, a combination of art gallery and library...where you can actually take the books home forever. d was working on a paper for grad school and i was editing my story for the creative writing class i'm taking, and i was so happy. the window casting this golden glow across the floor and the feeling washed over me like the tide caressing my feet in the sand. oh, to stay in that place, immersed in my writing, surrounded by literary genius, next to the man who encourages me to pursue my passions...

now david can't figure out why i keep bugging him to plan another trip up north!?!
and what i didn't realize until i started writing this is that one of the books i picked up (for $4!) was the joy diet by martha beck. it's a little self-helpy for my liking...but damn is she funny! i'm considering taking her advice on #1...even though it is REALLY against my nature to sit still and do nothing. but the buddhism books that i turn to for a relaxing pre-sleep read have been telling me the same thing for years: MEDITATION IS THE WAY TO GO. okay already, i hear you. how bad can 15 minutes be?

i'll let you know how it goes.



yearning, searching, waiting, dreaming.
live for today. plan for tomorrow.
stuck in the middle with you.
this place would be miserable if every day weren't so much fun.

growing, learning, exploring, creating.
moments of true joy. the 5-year plan.
i am a hybrid.
uncharted territory. the road less traveled by.

clean slate. fresh start. endless possibilities.
and you by my side.
hold on, it's going to be a wild ride.


discovery #15

so we're headed to dallas in an hour and i'm not done packing the car, but i had to get this in. it's a bit of a hodge-podge, rather than one of my long-winded "epiphanies," but i hope you'll enjoy nonetheless. a random selection of things i have discovered lately...
  • the guild shop! i don't know how i've never noticed this while heading to a favorite breakfast spot in the past. david and i went for brunch at la guadalupana on saturday morning and it was totally full...not a seat in or outside. we decided to get the food to go, and while we were waiting walked down to the shop. WOW. i was mesmerized by the sheer amount of merchandise...and good prices too!!!
  • the art of nonconformity...chris guillebeau is speaking TO ME! my favorite part is on page 9 here.
  • the most delicious jamaican restaurant...traffic was horrible tuesday night and david pulled off to avoid my inevitable bitch-session as a result. jerk chicken, bread with honey, veggie pattie....heaven.
  • water colors! (see photo above) david and i worked on the collaborative piece for our new "milos bedroom" last night...so much fun painting together. more to come on the room transformation.

that's all i got...hopefully something fun to post from our little road trip. going to a fundraiser tonight and meet up with some friends on friday night. and hopefully LOTS of writing in between, my story is due in a little over a week and i'm about 1/2 way there. maybe i'll post a bit of it before turning it in.



david and i have been featured in the love & a photo series, check us out! melly hocking does this sweet weekly feature of a couple on her blog. if you're interested in sharing your love story, shoot her an e-mail for details.

and today i also received a lovely e-mail from andrea scher of superhero journal, in response to my comment on a recent post. i love these little connections and electronic beams of support...it makes the experience that much more joyful.

i have been deep in the trenches of the writing world...today i started my "big story" for the creative writing class i'm taking. i drank coffee all snuggled in a blanket with my notebook and favorite pen...heaven. and it's finally cold enough in houston to break out the monkeys!!! and i love my t-shirt blanket...like a walk down memory lane.

i got a good 12 handwritten pages done before lunch. yes, i still have to write by hand and then type everything up later. old school at 32. it just doesn't flow on the screen like it does with real ink. call me old fashioned...