Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"A photo of Avienne once a week, every week, in 2013."

Vignt-neuf :: Hanging out at Mount Bonnell with friends.

The weeks are passing by faster than I can keep up with them! Last week was crazy-busy, and I didn't have the camera out as much as I should have.  So, this is the best picture I could find from our trip to Mount Bonnell with some of our closest friends.  Avienne is starting to get a bit too big for the front-facing carrier, but I think Gui might be in denial that his baby is growing so fast.  To be fair, she hasn't gained so much weight in the past few months, but she seems to be getting taller by the minute.

Linking up with Jodi's 52 Project.

Here we go again...

It's time to say goodbye to our little home in the North University area with all it's leaf-blowing, lawn-mowing and basketball-playing loudness.  As much as we love living in this sweet, old house, we've decided to pack it up and move again.  We're headed a bit more north, slightly shortening Gui's work commute and into a pretty family-friendly Austin neighborhood. We will miss our incredible neighbors and being surrounded by historical landmarks, fun eateries and hot shopping spots, but we're really looking forward to exploring our new, bustling 'hood and making some new friends.  We'll be a short walk from the neighborhood pool and playground, but our new house also comes with its own little playscape and sandbox, so we may be spending quite a bit of time playing in our own backyard, too. I'm excited to have a garage and a deck to hang out on, but I'm pretty sad that we have to say goodbye to the fireplace.

It's taken us a few years and a lot of moving around, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that the new place will be our last stop for a while...at least until we're ready to jump across the pond again back to France. ;)  I, for one, would be happy as a clam to never have to pack boxes or move again!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"A portrait of Avienne once a week, every week, in 2013."

Vignt-huit :: A daily occurence.

This little stinker knows how to make a mess.  I'm trying real hard to teach her how to clean it up, but she's not really eager to learn quite yet.  We will definitely be looking for a new, harder-to-reach place to store all of our junk sometime soon.  But, I'm kind of thinking it would be better to just get rid of all the junk instead.  

Linking up with Jodi's 52 Project.

A birthday party

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I know this was two weeks ago, but here is [finally] a recap of Avienne's first birthday party:

The weekend after Avienne's first birthday, we celebrated with a party at our house with friends and family. Our place is pretty small, so I was a little worried about how everyone would fit and if anyone would be uncomfortable celebrating in our cramped quarters. It was definitely cozy, but we managed to fit in and enjoy the company of friends and family all at once.

I started planning Avienne's birthday about a month in advance. I'm not really good at picking themes, so we thought it would be nice to have folks over for our favorite mealtime - brunch. I dusted off all of my crafting supplies and rediscovered my creative side when I set to work on the party invitations. I had so much fun making them, I even started daydreaming about having a greeting card business. (Maybe someday!)  We invited a handful of friends over who have babies, too, so we figured having a party at 11:00 versus later in the afternoon would suit their weekend schedules better.  In the end, I think it worked out pretty well for everyone.

I mixed up some fruit, bought a few Mexican pastries, croissants and beverages, but the breakfast tacos that my amazing mom whipped up earlier in the day were hands-down the highlight of our brunch spread.  You really can't beat homemade breakfast tacos in the morning.  After a grueling week of cake taste-testing, I settled on a vanilla and strawberry cake from Capital City Bakery.  It was pretty delicious, but next time, I'll order a much smaller one - we have so much cake stuffed into our freezer right now! Avienne had her own smash cake, too, but she hardly smashed any of it.  I think she may have had her fill of cake a few days before when she had her first cupcake.

It was a fun time, and I'm glad so many of our closest friends and family were able to spend some time celebrating for Avienne's first birthday.  Next year, though, I'm designating someone else photographer! These were the only decent pictures I was able to snap during the party.  

Avienne at the Austin Zoo

Friday, July 12, 2013

A lot of people give Austin slack for not having a "real" zoo, but I think the Austin Zoo is really pretty great. Gui didn't even know we had a zoo in town, and I had long forgotten about this place since I last visited on a field trip in elementary school. We decided to take a trip down to south Austin last weekend to check it out.  Avienne gets pretty excited seeing a dog pass by from our living room window, so we weren't too surprised to see her stare and point at the new creatures she was discovering for the first time.  

We started out early and didn't stay too late because it's so darn hot in Austin right now.  Luckily, we made it early enough to see a few feedings, and some animals enjoying a bit a fresh air before the sun was at its hottest.  Seeing animals like lions and tigers still makes me wide-eyed.  We also saw a bear, some monkeys, birds, chickens, ducks, and sheep.  There were some seriously creepy creatures hanging out in the reptile and insect rooms, too.  Avienne couldn't decide if she was terrified or excited to pet a hungry goat at the petting zoo area, and I almost had my eyes pecked out by a shady peacock.  All in all, it was definitely a fun day at the zoo.

I normally feel so sorry for animals behind zoo bars, and although I did feel a little sad for them, I know they're much better off being cared for here than in someone's home or with a travelling circus.  We plan on returning when it starts to cool down a bit, and I'm looking forward to taking Avienne back when she's a little older, too.  

4th of July

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We weren't much into celebrating the Fourth of July last year, but this year we happily relished in some wonderful American celebrations.  There was a neighborhood parade, made up of mostly kids on bikes and parents with strollers, followed by a party in the park.  Avienne had her face painted for the first time ever - she was a little apprehensive when the cold paint first touched her face, but she sat still long enough to get a big, blue, American star painted on her cheek.

I think I ate at least my weight in watermelon and donuts. Why does "American" food have to taste so good?!  Our neighborhood organizers went all out and rented a huge waterslide for the big kids, which was still being used when we passed by a few hours later that afternoon.  There was bobbing for apples, a balloon animal station, flag painting and a candy-filled pinata.  Because what says American independance better than a pinata? ;)  

Later in the day, we enjoyed a BBQ feast with my brothers and cousins at my aunt's house.  Of course, that was followed by pie (and more watermelon).  Then, after a visit with friends, we ended the evening grilling fish on the barbecue.  It was a 4th of July celebrated with all the quintessential American ingredients.


"A portrait of Avienne once week, every week, in 2013."

Vignt-sept :: Covered in clean laundry

I'm not sure why she does this, but anytime Avienne comes across clothes, fabric or hats, she throws it on her head and tries to wear it.  I was washing clothes the other day and she did this first with the dirty laundry and then with a pile of clean clothes waiting to be folded.  I didn't stop her, and this is how she ended up playing in the living room until papa came home (don't worry, it was only for 30 minutes or so).  She tried taking it off a couple of times, but when she didn't succeed, she just kept on playing like it was no big deal.  She's so funny sometimes.

Linking up with Jodi's 52 Project.

June 26th

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Avienne has been a year old for over a week, and I haven't even posted about how we spent her birthday!  So, here's what we did :

Gui surprised us both and took the day off to spend with his little one-year-old girl.  We started off the day with some coffee (of course) before we met up with Grammy and Popo for breakfast at one of our favorites.  (My little Texas girl, naturally, loves her some breakfast tacos.)  It was a pretty hot day, so we ended up spending a good part of the afternoon at the splash pad.  (Really, we spent only an hour or so there, but it always takes ten times longer to get ready with an infant in tow...swimsuit? swim diaper? sunscreen? hat? dry diapers? floating equipment? So much to think about!) Avienne loves swimming, but it sure tires us all out!  

A few hours before it was time for her birthday to come to an end, we presented Avienne with her very first cupcake.  We had no idea what to expect from her - if she'd love it or hate it or not really care about it.  In the end, she totally loved digging into her cupcake, and would have probably stayed sitting at that table until she finished off every last crumb of her frosted birthday treat, if we'd let her. This girl apparently has a sweet tooth only rivaled by her papa.

I know Avienne won't remember how she spent her first birthday, but it's been the most momentous year of both of our lives, and one that I don't think I could ever forget.  When she does get old enough to wonder how we celebrated this milestone, I'll tell her we spent the day laughing, smiling and loving this brand new life that has only just begun.

TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.