Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bearish Birthday

Last weekend our good friend Ryan Marchbanks entered what we've coined "the Jesus years".  That means the old biological clock checked out of the 20's and into the 30's.  The rationalization is that Jesus really came into His own once He hit His thirties but really it's just a way to cope with leaving the twenties behind.

Stacie became good friends with Hilary and Ryan while attending Baylor University.  When we moved to Austin we unwittingly rented a house roughly five minutes from the Marchbanks home...a brilliant stroke of luck!  To help Ryan ring in 'the Jesus years' we were invited to cheer on Baylor in an upset bid of Texas A&M.

Here's a shot of the action

Hillary & Ryan

Sic'm Bears

We drove down to Waco last night and cheered the Bears on to victory over A&M.  We even joined in and sang 'The Old Baylor Line' as they celebrated the big win.  Somehow we ended-up sitting in one of the two A&M sections (worthy of it's own blog post) and yet we had a great time.  Happy birthday Ryan and thanks for letting us celebrate with you!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Too Close for Comfort

For all of our faithful blog followers I'm sure it's no secret that Austin Texas experienced a sad and eventful day.  In case you missed the days' events, check this link here:  LINK

Long story short; a guy gets into it with his wife, she takes the daughter to a hotel, he busts out an anti-government manifesto and posts it on-line, burns the house down and crashes his plane into an office park housing the IRS.

Here's where it gets a bit personal.  Take a look at the map below.  Pin D is our house and Pin A is the charcoaled remains of the perpetrators home.  Notice that D covers A because we're freakin neighbors!  We walk our innocent puppies by that house every day (okay, they're not so innocent but you get the idea).

Map of Destruction

Now, deploy your mapography skills on points C and B.  Point C is the new home of eFueling Technologies, LLC where I toil daily.  Point B is the office building slash make-shift landing strip.  My office is about 7 minutes away from the crash site.  It's wild to think I was so close to the start and finish of this domestic meltdown.

Neighbors Burning House

Post Fire Snapshot

Office Park Ablaze

I guess it just goes to show that we never know what's going on inside people.  As we walked the pups by that house every day we never could have imagined the intense emotional storm brewing inside.  I'm still contemplating exactly what to take away from today's events but I've definitely got some food for thought.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

The 9 lives of Mercedes...

Most dogs like to eat dog food and especially people food.  Any kind of meat, ice cream, popcorn- all of it.  But some dogs, very special dogs (i.e.- shorter than normal bus dogs), like to eat other things- like sheets, rugs or cardboard.  Our lovely Mercedes is one such dog.  

This past week while Kyle & I were at work, Mercedes decided that the sheet we had put in her doggie crate to keep her warm looked oh so edible and delicious.  When we came home from work, we saw that she had eaten part of the sheet. So we did what we usually do and scolded her and then went about our day. This is normal, she tends to get into things and eat them and things tend to be fine.  But this time that lovely sheet got stuck in her intestines.  After 4 days of no eating and lots of vomiting, I took her to the vet on Friday morning.  After a few x-rays, it was confirmed that Mercedes had a "foreign object" blocking her intestines (yeah, I told them, I already knew that!). The options were surgery or dead puppy.  Nice options.  So, being the Jesus lovers that we are we choose life for our little dog.  Or as I like to refer to her as our very stupid dog.  

Doesn't she look pathetic?

That's a lot of staples! 

I'd like to say that this is the first time that Mercedes has had such a surgery, but that would be a lie.  About a year ago, she had to have surgery to remove another "foreign object" in her intestines.  You would think that she would have learned- but dog brains don't work like people brains, that much I have learned. The vet gave us a firm warning that Mercedes intestines would not fare well if a third surgery was ever required (she's missing about half a foot now).  I feel like a parent having to protect my child from themselves! 

She is resilient though.  Kyle & I lovingly refer to her as our "tough old bird".  Less than 24 hours post-op she is running around and laying all over Deacon just like before.  She's like a cat with 9 lives...maybe we are cat people after all. Who knew?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our Burns Supper

This past week Kyle & I had our first Burns Supper celebration in America.  We had taken part in a Burns Supper in Scotland last year and wanted to replicate the same tradition at our house.  Traditionally, the Burns Supper occurs on January 25 and is a celebration of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.  You'd probably recognize his most famous poem 'Auld lang Syne'.  The supper has agenda that is followed at all traditional Burns suppers.  First the host makes a welcoming speech, then you have the entrance of the haggis (accompanied by bagpipes of course), the reading of 'Address to a Haggis' a Robert Burns poem and after dinner a toast to the lassies (this is the equivalent to a 'roasting' as we would call it).  We didn't go through with the whole dinner schpel, we just picked and choose our favorite parts which thanks to my wonderful friend Katie did in fact include haggis!

Haggis in a can!

For those of you who don't know what haggis is, it is the equivalent to an american hotdog but made from sheep parts.  It is usually served with 'neeps and tatties' which is the Scottish way of saying 'turnips and mashed potatoes'.  I steered away from the turnips, but did serve up some mashed potatoes to accompany our haggis.  I also made some 'bangers' to go with our 'mash' (aka sausage). 

Our Scottish Feast (the bowl with brown mush is the haggis)

Our piper for the entrance of the haggis

Our good friends Hilary & Ryan came over to celebrate with us and brought the other staple of our meal- Scotch.  And to top off the meal, Kyle read 'Address to a Haggis'.  Here a snipet of the poem for your enjoyment:

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his tread. 
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade, 
He'll mak it whistle; 
An legs an' arms, an' heads will sned, 
Like taps o' thristle. 

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

It never ceases to amaze me how different Scottish culture is from our own and vice versa.  Cheers too our favorite country after our own!