two of us

when i left for my first semester of college you made me a cd of songs to listen to on the drive. you said the songs reminded you of me and the first one was "two of us" by the beatles. every time i have listened to that song since, i instantly get happier because it reminds me of everything wonderful about you.
when my mom told me she was going to have a baby, i was a bit apprehensive. i, being the oldest and only child until then, was very content with my life of all the attention from mom and dad. my mom found out a bit later than it was a boy and they decided to name him alex. i eventually warmed up to the idea and every day i would sit in my mom's lap and talk to alex. i would tell him how i was going to be his big sister and i hoped we would be really good friends. and i would tell him every day that i loved him and couldn't wait to meet him. on the day he was born i was brought in to the hospital room to see him for the first time. he just looked like a tiny blob and i wasn't sure how i was going to be friends with something like this. but as soon as i said his name he turned his head and opened his eyes as if we had already known each other for so long. that was the first time i met alex and i think we have been best friends since that day.
no one meets my brother without walking away loving him. he has a complete and wholehearted devotion to his integrity and is adamantly loyal to the people in his life. he knows exactly how to make me laugh and how to comfort and listen.
not long ago alex moved to chicago to study at the art institute. he was the first person in my extended family to move away for college. i was so proud of him and so envious of his bravery and of course, when i visit him now, he seems to know at least half the city. everyone loves an alex.
and so today, my friends, is his birthday!
alex is 21 years old!!
alex, i raise my glass to you today. you are a wonderful man that i fully respect; you are wise and i trust you will go far. above all- you are incredibly fun. i wish i was there to buy you a jager bomb!!
may you always be bold and brave.
and may your glass continue to be full.
i love you with all of my heart.


fall football festivities

hello to all!
i hope everyone had as beautiful a weekend as i did. our miniature austin version of a cold front finally came in today. i'm sure, by many standards, today was hot. i, however, was all ready to start carving pumpkins and making my halloween costume. week three of football brought all kinds of emotion. on saturday toby got his longhorns jersey on and got us pumped up for the game.
he also got a haircut. you may notice he shrank a bit from last week's photos. he behaved very well during the trim and it turns out his ut shirt fits a lot better now.
but the longhorns did not play quite as well as we had all hoped.
toby was not happy.
but he wasn't upset for long- andrew shared his salsa. (you can actually see his thoughts in this photo)
and then sunday we had many festivities! we had hot dogs for lunch and then spaghetti night, football edition. i made a large pot of spaghetti and meatballs and almost all of it was eaten. i also woke up really early so i could attempt a lemon cheesecake. i love lemon flavor anything and i super love cheesecake (especially in light of my recent intolerance to gluten which has stripped me of the ability to eat almost every dessert in existence). and i'm happy to say- my attempt turned out to be a huge success. yum.

toby watched all the food and won some nibbles with his cuteness. i tried to photo him in his cowboys jersey, but he was way too excited about food to do a photo shoot.
and guess what?? the cowboys got my letter! in case you missed my letter- it is at the end of the previous post, and it is directed to the dallas cowboys. apparently my threat of ending our lifelong relationship was enough to get their focus back! sure enough- they destroyed the texans!! the defeat was a terrible blow to my fantasy team, but i will make any sacrifice for america's team. they played like the team i always knew they could be and i welcome them back into my heart. thanks cowboys. this really means a lot.

happy first day of fall (which was last wednesday i think). the harvest moon was beautiful and i hope you all got to see jupiter at its super close proximity to us! fall is the best part of the year and i am so glad it is finally back! much love to all.


cowboys, we need to talk...

so andrew had some misfortune at work last week...
someone dropped a heavy object on his foot and broke it pretty badly. he has been hurting and has to wear a boot for a long time till it heals- that means no sports, no biking, no dancing, no walking (well, some walking). the good news is that toby has been taking really good care of him.
so on sunday, we woke up really early and drove to dallas for the cowboy game. we were all really excited about the little adventure, and everyone wore their gear (even the tobe).
we were so excited to get to the stadium! it was the season's first home game and we were all trying our best to put last week's loss behind us. johnny even made a really amazing shirt.
we even got there early and ate nachos.
the best part about going to the games is getting to see some of my family. kristen was in town and came with her kiddos.
the boys had baby hamburgers (also known as sliders).
i love andrew.
we even had a birthday cake to celebrate all our september birthdays!
ben and sawyer really got into it.
seeing as johnny's birthday is this wednesday, we celebrated him (and the others) with a champagne toast!
lets just say, the cake was much better than the game.
but there is nothing i love more than hanging out over beers and football!
everyone kept their chins up, despite the terrible loss to the (blah) chicago bears.
dear dallas cowboys,
people have told me my entire life that you are america's team.
when i was much younger, i wholeheartedly believed this. every sunday i watched magic happen on the football field. i wore the star with pride and even bought silly things like slippers and coffee mugs with your logo and colors. i pay more money than should ever be spent on television just so directv will let me watch every one of your games and every one of you opponent's games. over the last 14 years i have clung to the thought that every team has ups and downs and you were struggling to rebuild but would then rise up and become great once more. i have religiously watched and attended your games and screamed my lungs out at all fans of the opposition. i cried at your defeat in the playoffs last year, but i knew this would be your year. i watched your draft, your training camp, and all of your interviews. i ignored the painful losses in the preseason because i knew they didn't count. and finally the day came. the season began. i let the first game slide. and then yesterday i drove eight hours in a single day just so i could attend the first home game. i just knew we could cheer you on to victory. but no. you let me down again. it was a disgrace. it was an absolute disgusting mess. i'm not pointing fingers at any individuals, but you as a whole, have failed me. i'm telling you now: if you don't get your act together, i am leaving you. i will jump on the first bandwagon i can find and (thats right) cheer for a different team. this is your last chance. i'm being serious.

i will always love you and always miss you, but it might just be better if we went our separate ways.

your friend and hopefully forever fan,

and to everyone else that isn't a dallas cowboy, hope your weekend was great!


a demonstration for you

in the spirit of me moving to hawaii, i would like to share with you something i fell in love with last week in hilo.


it is this hairy fruit does not show up on the mainland. i have seen it before, but never like in hawaii. everything tastes better there. fruits, vegetables, fish, honey... its endless deliciousness. so anyway, the rambutan obviously tastes better too! i was not fully aware how one might eat a rambutan until recently. so now i will demonstrate it to you!

first you look at it and get excited about eating it.
then you push a finger (or fingernail) into the skin and try to tear it open.
it sometimes can be twisted apart.
and sometimes you have to make this face:
hurray! now it is open!
now peel away the top half of the skin and you will see the white fruit inside.
there it is! kind of looks like an egg...
but watch out for that seed in the middle!
apparently, if you eat it, it makes you constipated (according to a hawaiian).


so go try some rambutan, and don't forget to have a really wonderful weekend!


big news

we're moving to hawaii!!

last week, andrew and i flew to the big island with my parents to look at the university of hawaii at hilo. maybe i should back up. i have always wanted to study marine science, and i am finally getting the chance! i was recently accepted to the uhh marine science program and i got to go visit last week!! we flew to honolulu and then connected to hilo.
hilo is on the big island. it is on the opposite side of kona, where all the fancy resorts are, and it gets about eight times as much rain. it also happens to be the same side of the island as the volcano park! all the rain makes for some incredible plants and animals, and the most delicious fruits and vegetables ever! we got to stay in a house right off the ocean. instead of a sandy beach, it was all lava rock. this is right in our backyard!
here's the back of the house.
there were little black crabs everywhere and we found some that didn't make it. they were crispy and red.
we got to spend four days getting to know the city, the campus, and the housing situation. we had breakfast at ken's pancakes one morning. the parking lot was literally always packed, so we checked it out. i'm not sure if it lived up to the hype, but it was funny.
here we are at breakfast.
before we left, my dad was lucky enough to come in contact with someone that used to live in hilo. he wanted us to meet some of his friends there, and gave us some phone numbers and emails. i was a little nervous to barge in on someone that didn't know us, but apparently the nicest people alive live in hilo. our new friend allan spent his entire saturday driving us around the city and showing us all his favorite spots. since he has lived there his entire life, he knew a thing or two. this is a really beautiful surf spot he showed us.
then he drove us up to akaka falls. it was stunning.
there were windy stair trails all over that took you through gigantic trees and plants that i have never seen before.
look at the size of the bamboo!
every single detail was amazing.
the colors and the shapes didn't even look real.
it was like a painting that went on forever.
the banyan trees looked like they had been there since the beginning of time!
big leaves. only one yellow guy.
crinkle leaves.
then we made it to the falls.
yes i saw this in real life.
yes it is unbelievable.
yes when you come visit me i will take you here.
my parents were looking cute as always.
andrew and i were giddy with excitement!
dear sweet allan, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for welcoming us to your home! you truly made the experience unbelievable and gave me so much confidence in my decision to move. oh and everyone else- please do yourself a favor and buy some of allan's chocolates from his store, big island candies. they are absolutely to die for!

texas time is five hours ahead of hawaii, so i woke up before the sun every morning.

and every morning it was beautiful.
pretty greens and pretty yellows
good morning ocean!
but this little flower hadn't woken up yet.
then we found this big frog that got stuck in the pool!
my mom and i helped him escape.
he ribbetted a thank you.

on football day we had champagne (my favorite).

with lots of white pineapple from the farmers market. it tasted like candy!
the champagne was intended to be in celebration of the first cowboys game, but they sucked. so instead it was in celebration of me going to school.
me and moet
timer group photo!

in hawaii, football starts really early in the morning. so we had pjs, mimosas, and football. could it be any better than that?? if you look carefully you can see- we have tv football, laptop football, ipad football, and iphone football and fantasy football. i dominated fantasy all day sunday, but then stupid jamaal charles had to go and ruin everything with his huge touchdown on monday night. you win this time andrew...

later, andrew and i found a coconut. they are really hard to get open, especially if you don't have tools. so we threw it into the rocks over and over and finally busted it open. it was delish!!

blue waves behind our house.
oh and there were huge sea turtles all around! they kept poking their heads out of the water to say hello.
here is a huge snail we met. we helped him cross the road to safety.
andrew by the ocean.
then we spotted a dead fish. he got thrown up on the rocks by a wave and couldn't get back in. it was sad.
you can see a little dead crab on the rock. he got smushed.
me and some giant grass. i felt a little like alice in wonderland, just without the talking flowers.

it is really hard to remember any of the street names. they all sound the same to me.

the lava rock is so cool. it looks like frozen time.

so there you have it. hawaii here we come!
but i know what you're thinking... what will become of toby? and his dog blog??
well, andrew and i talked it over with him...
and he's coming too!
i even brought him a hawaiian shirt to get him pumped about it.
he has to get all kinds of tests and quarantines before we can bring him, but he is a brave puppy. school starts in january and i have to be there in time for orientation, so i'll have to go early. in the meantime i will be selling everything i own (except for my favorite things which i will store with jon and linda). but if i own anything that you want- just ask about it- i'll probably sell it to you (possibly more on this later).

thanks for all the support from my friends and family- i can't wait for you guys to visit!