Monday, April 28, 2008

Neiman Markus and Jenn

Ahhh....this weekend's retail exploration turned out to be a lot more promising than last. We ventured out to The Shops at La Canterra next door to Six Flags Fiesta. Not Cortana-like at all!
The best I can describe it is an outdoor mall. Its not really a strip since its got a center to it. In the center (or maybe I could call it a median?) there are waterfalls and little streams. Music plays on strategically hidden Bose speakers creating a certain sort of ambiance that is relaxing, yet invigorating. Everything was clean and new and I liked it!

Idea! I went to their website...this is how they describe it. I didn't do so bad.

An open-air marketplace brings a new vitality and sophistication to shopping in San Antonio. The Shops at La Cantera will amaze you in more ways than one. Just as you think our selection of stores and restaurants will over excite you, the tranquil surroundings of lush greenery and soothing water remind you that everything here is in perfect balance, just like you’ll be., in case you're wondering.

Now, most of the shops were beyond my budget, but its sorta fun to pretend, right?

I finally got to go to Pottery Barn. Jenn let me peruse through her P.B. books a while ago and I've always admired their designs. The actual store did not let me down. I can't wait till I can decorate our new house! Okay, so that's probably a year away, but i'm still gathering up ideas. The whole time I was there, I thought of Jenn and what she would pick out. I pretended that she was with me and we bought new dinnerware so we could try out new and old favorite recipes from the food network. I love Jenn.

We also passed a Mac store and I thought of Markus and his great love of Mac computers. Maybe he and Jared would hang out in there while Jenn and I tore Potty Barn apart.

We strolled into Neiman Marcus. We didn't stay too long because we felt under-dressed. No, I'm serious. :) Jared picked out a nice pair of shoes. They were only $350 Prada basketball shoes. No biggie for us, i mean, you know we have that in our couch cushions. these shoes were the high-top basketball shoes with an alligator skin trim. Weird.
This was one of the only times i've ever been in a department store where no one asked me if I needed help as I was looking at all the perfumes. They weren't understaffed or anything, they were all dressed alike; pretty and shiny people that looked like they probably shopped there. I think they just knew we didn't need help because we couldn't afford to sniff the perfume! It was still fun.

They had a Nordstrom's too and maybe since Uncle Dale had taken me shopping there a few times I felt a little bit more like I belonged. I liked being there because it reminded me of Uncle Dale and the time when he gave me, Kevin, Lexi, and Caitlin gift cards and we had to spend them all in one day. It took me till the store was closing to accomplish this because I had a hard time spending any of it. I wanted to cash in my gift card to pay bills, but it doesn't work that way. Lexi burnt through her gift card pretty fast and then spent more on top of it. Kevin, I think, went over a little as well, but he got some great stuff. Caitlin didn't do too bad. I think she might have stayed within budget. I bought really nice makeup and a great pair a boots that I still have and wear. I miss them.

They also had more affordable venues such as Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, and your typical mall fair such as NY&Co. (I got a pair of much needed sunglasses for $8.50), American Eagle, Victoria's Secret, Dillards, Macy's, etc...

We'll definitely go back there. If not to buy, then to dream.

Friday I also checked out the Alamo Quarry Market. That was pretty neat. They have a Whole Foods, a bunch of restaurants, a Border's Books, an Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and a slew of boutiques and specialty shops.

I didn't buy anything, but again, its fun to pretend.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The tiny me

Since we moved here it has become hard to hear Sadie cry. Sure, no one likes to hear a baby crying. Their cries are designed by nature to evoke a response. That's how babies get their needs met. But lately, the response it evokes from me is sadness.

I look at her and see a tiny little me crying because she's scared to be left alone. Scared to be in a strange place. Afraid that the tumultuous and stormy waves will never settle back into the predictable lapping waves that rhythmically fall against the shoreline. I see her just wanting to be comforted and held and told that everything is going to be okay. When she's crying, I want to cry too. I don't want her to be sad because I know what sad feels like. And when Sadie cries, it brings up all of the feelings I try to keep pushed down inside.

I remind myself that she's just a little baby that is crying because she's fighting sleep or is mad that her juice is "gone-gone" and Mama can't refill it 'cause we're in the car. But its not till she settles down that I can actually believe it.

Its then that I can take responsibility for my own feelings. I can tell the tiny little me that I'm not alone and that soon this strange place won't feel so strange. I tell my tiny self that one day I'll realize i'm not keeping track any more of how many days its been since we moved from Baton Rouge and that i'll actually consider this home. I tell tiny me that life will feel consistent again; that things will settle and the bits of sadness that creep up will come less and less often.
Most importantly, I tell tiny Courtney that its okay to feel this way. I let her know that she is normal and sane and that its okay to feel sadness and fear and frustration. Its all part of being.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The general state of wait

Do you ever find yourself waiting? Not just in line at wal-mart, but in a general state-of-wait?

Waiting to grow up because then I'll be cooler. Waiting for prom because it'll be the best night ever. Waiting for graduation because then life will really begin. Waiting for the end of the semester because you can't stand your college algebra professor and once she's out of your life, things will get better. Waiting for graduation because then life will really REALLY begin. Waiting to find that special guy to come along because then life will be complete. Waiting for the wedding day because it'll really be the 'best night ever'. Waiting for the baby to come because then life will really REALLY be complete. Waiting for a better job because then we can afford the life we want. Waiting for baby number two to be born because man its getting harder to breathe and get comfortable and i'm peeing more than sleeping at night and once the baby comes this pregnancy will be over!

Waiting to move, waiting to stop, waiting for whatever big milestone that comes next. Do you ever find yourself waiting for life when all the while life is happening while you are waiting? I do.

It hit me the other day that once this baby is born, I won't get my daily afternoon naps with Sadie and I really enjoy those naps. Not just the sleeping part, but the snuggly cuddly part where I get to watch my little girl dream. Life's gonna change...a lot and i better start appreciating where I am right now.

This month makes 4 years since my dear friend Chandra passed away. I find myself remembering randomly ordinary days we spent together. I'd never call them boring, because you'd never be bored with Chandra. I remember odd things that I think Heavenly Father, in his infinite wisdom, tattooed into my mind so I wouldn't forget them. I remember her hands and her shoulders and the way she would tense her jaw and swallow right before she would cry. I remember how she would talk really fast and then linger on the last word of the sentence when she was trying to explain something that she hadn't thought out completely. I miss her.

I looked at Sadie sleeping next to me and decided to enjoy that moment. Because I don't know what's going to happen in the moment or the hour or the days that follow and she could be taken away from me. Jared could be taken, my family, my home, all of what I have could go away tomorrow. And if I spend everyday waiting for something better to come along, I'm saying that what I have right now isn't worth being present for. And that isn't how I feel at all about my life. I have a great life with irreplaceable people that make it truly a blessed existence. I pray to appreciate life and thought that I was doing that, but how could I be if i'm hurrying life along?

It was almost like I could breathe better. Like I had been holding my breath till that decisive moment. I had given myself permission to live my life...every bit of it. Even the parts that are uncomfortable and boring.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

After the nap

Sadie and Daddy at Stone Oak Park today
As I was taking a picture of Jared, Sadie started to climb. I was freaking out a litttle.
Our apartments are in the back ground. I love being able to walk to the park; especially not having a car.
The static from the playground made her have crazy hair
Our townhouse is the one on the corner. I LOVE having a garage. The car stays cool and we have a place to keep stuff.
Can you see the Temple? Its waaaaay in the background on the hill. This is the view from our complex.
We're still Tigers!
Yay! The park! Sadie was excited.

This kid's shirt said "future heartbreaker." He kept pointing at her as if he were saying "how you doin'?"

Our little big girl.

Guess who's a big girl?! Earlier this week Sadie came up to me and said "Pee-pee" so I took her into the bathroom to use the potty. To my surprise, she went pee-pee in the potty! I was filled with such pride and excitement! We went to Target later that night to get a seat for her that would make it more comfortable for her to sit. All week we've had hits and misses with the whole pee-pee thing, but poo-poo...oh no. no poo-poo for Sadie. She hates to do it! We know she has to go when she starts crying and running away from us. Its like she doesn't want to go in her diaper (she calls it "ih-key") so she freaks out, but when we would try to take her to the potty she freaks out even more. Tonight, she started crying and wouldn't let me comfort her so we knew what was goin' down. Jared brought her into the bathroom and set her on her little seat. I went to go find the Elmo book. You know, the one where Elmo is helping his doll 'Baby David' to use the potty. Okay, so the book was a little weird to me at first because Elmo and his doll were talking about using the potty and what kind of 'big kid underwear' they get to wear because they are potty trained, but that was just because when Sadie got the book for her birthday it seemed like potty training was this milestone that would never happen. She was always going to be just the way she was at that moment...never a day older. But sadly AND gladly, she has grown up and the potty with Elmo book is very relevant. By the time I walked into the bathroom, Jared was congratulating her for her first poo-poo in the potty. She had calmed down and when she saw the Elmo book she was happy. "Mo-mo! Mo-mo!" as she turned the pages. "Sadie, do you want to flush the potty?" Jared asked. He helped her flush and we waved 'bye-bye' to the "ih-key" poo-poo.
When did this happen? When did she learn that poo-poo is icky? or that pee-pee goes in the potty? She likes to brush her teeth with her dora the explorer toothbrush and when I get ready in the mornings she brushes my blush brush across her little cheeks. She wants to wear my headbands and Jared's LSU hat and whenever she finds something with a strap, she puts it on her arm like a purse. Did we do this? Wow...parenting happens sometimes when you don't even know you're doing it. I don't even know if i can take credit for it. Its amazing to watch her grow into a big girl....a little person with an opinion and feelings and complex thoughts. I wish I could navigate through her thoughts and feel what she feels. Then maybe i'd know if i'm doing this whole thing right.

retail exploration, bubbles, and home

Today we decided to go to the mall. We had to drive about 20 minutes to get there, but we thought it would be worth it. Ugh. Reminded me of Cortana. All my Baton Rouge peeps will understand that comment. Luckily, there is bountiful shopping opportunities close to our apartment that don't involve shady asian massage parlors and skanky ghetto clothing stores. Maybe we'll give another mall a try some other day.

When Sadie wakes from her nap we're going to go explore a little more. I think we'll take her to Stone Oak park first so she can run around a bit. Maybe we'll bring bubbles. Bubbles are her new thing. She brings them to me and says: "bubba? bow! wffff....wffff..." The other day i decided to let her try blowing the bubbles herself. She immediately put the bubble wand into her mouth. I thought that she would be upset about the taste, but rather she looked up at me and blew a bubble straight out of her mouth. "Good job, Sadie!", I said with a little laugh. She sure does make my day.

Being here in a new and foreign place with Jared and Sadie helped me understand all the more that they are my home. I'm never alone. They depend on me and I depend on them. We are binded and woven together in a way that makes me feel safe and loved. Knowing that makes life familiar and beautiful.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the cool pool

The pool is really cool here. There's a great kiddie area where the water is only 8 inches deep and there's this huge purple and gold (geaux tigers!) umbrella/mushroom looking thing that spouts water. Sadie likes going in the water and she hasn't quite learned yet that she can't step off of the pavement and walk across the top of it, so this shallow area works great for us. We bought her a floatie suit and she looks like...well, a little like me.

Feasting on Sunday

We wanted to be spiritually fed and we were really hungry, so we went to church twice this Sunday.

Actually, since we moved a few feet across the street into a different apartment complex than originally planned, we wound up going to the wrong ward. One of the members of the bishopric came to greet us at the 9am Canyon Springs meeting and told us that one side of the street is one stake and the other side is another stake and that now we were on the wrong side of the street for their ward/stake. We listened to some great testimonies and I met a few friends out in the hallway before we headed home for a nap before round two. Jackie from the hall took down my e-mail address and told me that she would e-mail me when they have playgroups. I'm so excited!

After a nap, we went back to church for the Sonterra Ward. Its huge! We had to sit in the overflow. People were really friendly. The first guy to greet us through the door wound up being best friend’s to Jared’s second cousin. Then we found out that his parents were in the same mission as Jared’s grandparents. The small-world didn’t stop there. As we were leaving, Jared told me we had dinner plans with the Roberts. He said we were having crawfish. Imagine going all the way from Baton Rouge to San Antonio for my first crawfish boil of the season! I was a little wary because crawfish doesn’t taste good unless you know what you’re doing when you’re boiling it and what does a Texan (no offense my Texan friends and family) know about boiling crawfish? Well, it turns out that this was no ordinary Texan. This Texan was a former Baton Rougian who happens to be the older brother Daniel Roberts so all sorts of connections started happening there.

He didn’t use the whole bag of boil because his wife and her family are from Nova Scotia. It was still really good. Anything spicier and it I don't know if pregnant Courtney could handle it. I'm a wimp when it comes to heartburn. I ate my share of the 20 lbs he boiled and i was almost proud to have peeled so many. It was so sweet of them to invite us over. Truthfully, they could have served me dirt cakes and I would have been tickled to go just to hang out with them. They were a lot of fun and Sarah gave me good advice on doctors and places to get a haircut and such. If everyone here is as welcoming as they are, then this is going to be a pretty darn good place to live.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Eating animal crackers at the zoo. Oh, the irony.

you can't see it, but there's a tiger in the distance. Geaux Tigers!

The entrance to the zoo.

Playing in the childrens' exploration area

Getting to know the goats

This past Saturday we went to the San Antonio zoo. It was a gorgeous day! Everyone else must have had the same idea because it was really crowded. Sadie really loved the monkeys. She did her monkey imitation when she saw them. They have a nice area for "little explorers" where they can play and see things on their level. I liked that. The petting zoo consisted of goats and there were a heck of a lot of bird exhibits (i'm not a big fan of birds), but I did like how everything is close together at this zoo so you can see a lot in a little amount of time and that works well when you're pregnant and hanging with an 18 month old who needed a nap. I'm still partial to Audubon zoo. Because things are spaced out a little more, it doesn't seem as crowded and it just seems to stand in a class all its own. Maybe its because that's MY zoo; the one I grew up going to. Here are a couple of pictures

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Taking on Texas

Well, we did it. We left our sweet home Louisiana behind and crossed the border into Texas. I fell asleep for a little while and when I woke up, there were ROCKS. ROCKS! At first, I thought they were purposely placed inside the walls that lined the sides of the interstate as part of a decor. When I realized they were there naturally, I burst into tears. Where they heck am I? My ears were popping from the altitude. Yes, altitude. Were were going through hill country. Hills. HILLS! It'll take me a while to get used to being above sea level.

The movers came last Tuesday. I must say, I am completely spoiled for any future move. They were fantastic! They actually tissue wrapped pencils and paper clips. How did I ever move without them? Oh, I remember...garbage bags and old fruit boxes from Albertsons.
Anyway...we weren't scheduled to be in San Antonio until that Friday, so we went on to Houston to spend time with Jared's folks till then. 4:30am on Friday we awoke and started our drive to San Antonio. The movers met us at our new apartment complex and began to unload as we finished up with the lease in the office. After signing a gazillion papers we got our keys and eagerly drove to #1510. We opened the door and climbed the stairs and I suddenly I felt my lips go numb. My stomach turned. This was not what we signed up for.

Anyone who has coordinated a move to a place they have never been to can testify that its scary and complex. Having a large fear of the unknown, I researched and asked questions, and looked at police crime reports, and maps, and floorplans, and pictures, and did my absolute darndest to get an idea of where I was going. It was already a very emotional day. I’ve lived in Louisiana my entire life and love my friends there. My family would now be 12 hours away instead of 4 and I wouldn’t get to see them every month or two like I was used to. On top of it all, my papa had been life flighted to a hospital in Birmingham the week before and wasn’t doing so well. Needless to say, when I saw the tiny, odd shaped rooms of the apartment and then learned our furniture would not even fit into them, I was totally beside myself. What were we going to do? I think I hyperventilated a little. The movers were here with an 18 wheeler full of our stuff and we don’t have anywhere to put it. Because the apartment’s leasing agent misrepresented the room dimensions and now our stuff wouldn't fit in them, (he said the bedrooms were 15 x17 and 16 ½ x 14 ½ and they were 13 x 13 and 10 x 11) they said they would refund our money and let us out of the lease. But Jared would still have to start work on Monday, and we wouldn’t have a place to live. I called the apartment locator and she sent us across the street to another complex.

Jared and I kinda scoffed as we pulled past the fountain and through the gate of the Tuscan inspired complex. Yeah, like we’re going to be able to afford this. We went in to satisfy Deborah (the locator). This place was gorgeous! I walked past the tanning rooms and the fitness center on my way to the bathroom. I could see the pool with its custom area designed for little kids with water-falls and gentle cascades of water to the larger pool(s). The leasing agent showed us the prices. As we suspected, we couldn’t afford it. But then, she informed us of the special they are running. We looked at the model for the floorplan we thought would best suit us and then realized: “We can do this!”

They didn’t have anything ready that day so we drove back to Houston. It was an exhausting day, but so nice to go home to family. Sunday afternoon Jared’s parents followed us back to San Antonio to help me out with the move since Jared would be working on move-in day (they were a HUGE help). We stayed the night in a hotel and on Monday morning we moved into our second apartment in San Antonio.

Everything is unpacked and pretty much in place now. The part of town we live in is beautiful. I drove Jared to work today and let me say, I’ve never been to a place where I could drive 12 miles and not hit a run-down spot . Everything is so convenient and there are tons of things to do. I really feel like Heavenly Father wants us here. He’s given us so much in order to make this move: The great job, the way the housing came through, the bump up in quality of life… I believe its what has enabled us to be here for a greater reason. I don’t know what it is yet, but I have faith that it is right that we are here. That faith is what comforts me when I miss home. And boy do I miss home. It'll take a while to get used to things, there will be challenges, and Louisiana will always feel like home; but I’m excited to make a new home here as well.