January 1, 2017

Happy New Year [Goals for 2017]

Brunch 2016 was an awesome goal, here's hoping 2017 will be just as great.

On the docket-
  • Host at least four seasonal dinner parties with different folks
  • Make at least one nice sit-down meal each week at home (trying to get out of the burger/taco/spaghetti weekday rut)
  • Start daily journaling
    Plus-
  • Keep documenting life with bi-monthly blog posts
  • Spruce up the side yard shade garden, fix the pool spa heater and learn how to pressure wash the house/deck
  • Hit the road this summer - California is the plan, but Key West hasn't lost its appeal, Oregon/Seattle would also be fun.... or even just Big Bend again, we will see!

December 28, 2016

Virginia Christmas Trip

We headed east this year for winter break to see Matt's brother+crew for the first time since 2013.
We added on some new sights/states in the Virginia area, and ended up with a theme that was remarkably Civil War and lots of fun.
Highlights and way too many pictures-
Lots of this....
 Washington & Lee
 
 
 All about the Madisons @ Montpelier - our favorite stop!
Our Lovely B&B - The Carriage Inn, Charles Town, West Virginia
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
 Antietam Battlefield / Burnside's Bridge - Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania
Harpers Ferry Lower Town Historic Area & Appalachian Trail Mid-Point
Confluence of Potomac/Shenandoah - West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland in view

Jefferson Rock / Smithsonian Air & Space - Dulles, Virginia
Manassas Battlefield
Family Fun in Stafford
Making it home with the Go Bayside! podcast - 3,400 miles of fun

November 20, 2016

A + M = 11

 We celebrated 11 with brunch x2 this year - time flies, as usual.
(Breakfast at The Theodore and window shopping at NorthPark + Sunday morning at Sixty Vines)
Happy anniversary to us!

November 15, 2016

Thoughts on "The Trump House"

So, we had an interesting situation next door from May-November this year, turns out our neighbors are way into Donald Trump. At the time we thought they had a minority opinion, but turns out they were on to something.
What I posted on Facebook:

Finally took a selfie from our front porch of the "Trump House" next door. Here's to hoping the signs will come down quick!
For those of you following our neighborhood saga - yes, the house next door is still free speech gone wild. Mostly it's been lots of honking drivers, drive-by swearing, and people stopping traffic to take photos every time we look out the window.
There have also been protests, TV stories, biker BBQs in the front yard, the owner dressing like Hillary in a prison costume while mowing the grass, plus a creepy anti-Trump guy who holds signs at traffic on Sunday afternoons while parked in front of our house..the list goes on....
It has been distracting and sometimes scary, and I have been the mean neighbor yelling at people to get off my grass on more than one occasion.
The last 4+ months of living in the Trump zone has not brought out the best in Matt or me all the time, but I promise we handled it better than you would think. It's been an annoyance in the scheme of life and I'm thankful to live in a place where we have free speech, the right to vote, and the right to make crazy yard signs if you see fit - just hope this is a one-time display. :)
How the "Trump house" affected us isn't about the election, but about social media, decency, and how it's "funny" to honk and take pictures of someone else's house, but not so much when it's next door. Matt and I have talked about it more than I wish with friends, family, and anyone who happens to ask. Needless to say, it was a temporary inconvenience, but upsetting enough to give us real empathy for people who live in unstable environments around the world. Luckily we were never in any danger, but having people stop to take pictures while standing in our yard and hearing honking/cussing/etc. at all hours of the day got old quick.
Besides the anti-Trump guy in costume and front yard rallies, the only other actual upsetting thing was from a reporter....
Matt was home and saw a woman with a fancy camera zoomed straight into our living room. When he went outside to see who she was, why she was doing that, etc. without introducing herself as press she asked "What's it like living next to these people? Pretty awful right?" - Matt didn't take the bait and asked her not to take pictures of our house. He had a feeling she was a reporter due to her appearance and equipment, but her behavior and demeanor was unprofessional and gives you a feel for why people hate the press. Here's her story [Meredith Yoemans - yuck).
Whatever! I'm writing this to reflect back on someday, I'm sure I'll feel differently as time passes. At the end of the day, Kim has the right to free speech and we're really not mad that she took her signs to such an unbelievable level. It was extremely annoying and a few plates of cookies and/or some form of acknowledgment that we suffered from her display would be much appreciated - but I'm not holding my breath for that to ever happen. Mostly we just hope Trump doesn't run again!
In the press (or just google "Trump House McKinney"...
http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2016/08/07/mckinney-home-vandalized-because-of-trump-signs/

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2016/08/08/trump-supporters-home-mckinney-vandalized-protested-campaign-signs

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/8/trump-house-the-target-of-repeated-vandalism-prote/

http://video.houstonchronicle.com/McKinney-Home-Becomes-Vandalized-Because-Of-Trump-Signs-31241252

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/mckinney/2016/10/06/two-teens-arrested-ongoing-investigation-vandalism-trump-house-mckinney

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Two-Teens-Arrested-for-Trespassing-at-McKinney-Trump-House-396353441.html

http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/texas-women-supporting-trump-say-they-respect-him-for-family-as-well-as-policy/319303397

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2016/11/09/supporter-packs-up-her-controversial-shrine-to-donald-trump/

http://manestreamnews.com/9504/features/mckinney-resident-goes-extra-yard-to-support-trump/

More Photos: https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipN0cG48jfS3kc2SLpO_oaoSnjEa7FKKJU9jiJoI