Category Archives: Memories

Sometimes We Need To Take A Moment

This past weekend, we headed to Austin to celebrate a wedding of a couple friends, to say “safe travels” and “see you soon” to another friend moving to Tennessee and all the while saying hello to lots of people who we haven’t seen in a little bit. It was an exciting weekend. Something that didn’t happen was a lot of picture taking which is unfamiliar territory to me but there’s a lesson that dawned on me along the way…

Sometimes we need to take a moment. 

It’s great to have all of these moments captured using photographs, videos and other social media aspects but I think it’s even more important to put it all down and savor it. As much as I wanted to share with everyone how absolutely beautiful the venue was at the wedding, the group dinner and delicious food we ate in Austin or the fun we were having on 6th Street after the wedding – it’s one of those times that I just needed a moment with no strings attached.

With that being said, I have one photo to share which has turned out to be one of my favorite photos taken of Spencer and I.

Barr Mansion, Austin, Texas, Wedding Venue

As for festivities and places which we enjoyed in Austin this weekend, here is out list.

Wedding Venue: Barr Mansion Ranch
Absolutely beautiful with an old, Southern mansion, white-stringed lights throughout the property and a beautiful glass faced building in the back.
Dinner: Matt’s El Rancho
Tex-Mex at it’s finest. The salsa is delicious and spicy. Sit outside to enjoy the fresh evening air and Austin culture.
Breakfast: The Kolache Factory
After Wedding Festivities: Buckshots on 6th Street.
Order a Mass Attack in honor of our friends. It’s on the menu list!

Have you put your camera down lately to enjoy the moment in the moment? 

What I’ve Learned About Texas

Today is my Texas anniversary! It’s hard to believe that seven years ago today, I arrived in Texas. Little did I know where I would be in seven years from that date – here I am still in Texas!

Since I’ve moved to Texas, I thought it would be fun to do a little recap of what I’ve learned, how I’ve changed and some of my favorite spots in this state. If you’re a Texas transplant, I’d love to hear what you have to add as well!

Here we go!
(These are just a few, feel free to add your own.)

2008: Mexican menu’s might as well be written in Japanese. Vermont + Mexican = Confused.
2015: Queso is a must. A Tex-Mex fix is in order before every trip back to Vermont and upon returning. Let’s not even get started on taco’s!

2008: BBQ? Hamburgers and hot dogs, right?
2015: Delicious, melt in your mouth meat that’s been smoking and cooking for hours on end. Brisket, ribs, pork, turkey, must be accompanied by potato salad. If you can get your hands on an end piece, you’ve just won the Hunger Games.

2008: Jalapenos? Don’t come near me.
2015: Stuffed jalapenos varieties are endless. Dip in a little ranch. May have a little kick but it’s so worth it!

2008: Kolaches? Dunkin Donuts please!
2015: Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be found in the form of a Kolache off Exit 353 (35S)

2008: Ranch dressing on everything? What’s the obsession with fried foods?
2015: Ranch isn’t a necessity on everything but in certain cases, yes. Fried foods – I could skip the state fair. (No change.)

2008: Country music = anything main stream. Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, etc.
2015: Texas County is the only country. This is where the great songwriters start and musicians play for passion and love. Let’s talk a little Dirty River Boys, Robert Earl Keen.

2008: Four seasons. Attempting to be prepared for the brutal summer heat, wishing for fall foliage and snow in the winter. More or less praying I don’t melt away in the summer.
2015: Four seasons can happen in one day. 98 feels glorious after an over 100 degree run. Running in the summer and relishing the (maybe) 24 hours of snow we get during the winter. The cold wind though – I may be from the north but it this wind is no joke – packs a bite to the bones.

2008: Coming from a small private college with no Greek system or college sports. What do you mean – who’s my team (football in the fall).
2015: Greek system is a part of most people’s lives and brings friends for life (similar to my hometown friends.) Pick a team, stick with it. You’ve just signed up for a life commitment as a fan. It gets brutal. Looks like I’ll be rooting for UT.

2008: Where’s the hockey?
2015: Dallas Stars games are a lot of fun and it’s pretty privileging to be able to afford seats on the glass when the Habs come to town. The Stars make a great home team too!

2008: Drive where? How? I need directions – North/South? East/West? What does that even mean? What happened to take a left at the church, right by the yellow house and your destination will be next to the big red barn?
2015: I’ve given directions to people who have lived in Texas their entire life and now look at the highway system thru a compass vision – head west on 30, you’ll be in Fort Worth in 20 minutes.

2008: “You guys”
2015: Let’s just stick to “y’all”.

2008: Biscuits with dinner besides chicken and biscuits?
2015: Biscuits – top them with butter and honey. Don’t ever look back. (Thank you John Jones.)

2008: Look at all the cowboys!
2015: They’re not all real… let me pick out the posers.

2008: Where are all the microbrews?
2015: Finally Texas, you’ve caught on!

2008: Nice day outside? Let’s go sit on the grass.
2015: Sit on the grass? Are you crazy? Red ants, poisonous snakes, chiggers – among other things – no thank you.

2008: Real Maple Syrup
2015: Still working on this one. Texas is going to catch on….

What I’ve learned the most about Texas is that it taught me more about myself. 

Hot Spots! My personal favorites thus far.
Favorite City: Fort Worth
Favorite Mid-Sized Town: Gruene
Favorite Small Town: Strawn
Where everyone must go once: Luckenbach
Most Unique Dancehall: The Greenwood
Best Way to See Texas: Get off the main roads and just drive.

Favorite Music Venue: Magnolia Motor Lounge
Favorite Musicians: Dirty River Boys, William Clark Green, Walt Wilkins, I mean let’s be serious they’re all fantastic!

BBQ: Billy’s Oak Acres
Queso: Chuys
Italian: Mamma Mia’s, Fort Worth
Taco: Salsa Limon, Fort Worth
Best Brew Tour (Texas): Revolver
Favorite Food Festival: Texas Steak Cookoff and Wine Festival
Best Wine Festival: GrapeFest

Best Hike: Enchanted Rock
2nd Favorite Hockey Team: Dallas Stars (Sorry, staying true to the Habs!)
Baseball Team: Texas Rangers

My Advice: Texas is a state that’s to be seen and explored. Get off the main road, step into that questionable looking BBQ place, hold the doors open, where gentlemen remove their hats to greet you and there’s that special hospitality that only Texas holds. This one has a big ole sky that goes on for miles. Roll your windows down, turn the radio up and grab a cold one on those hot days. Be careful, stay too long and you’ll find yourself saying a few words with that good ole Texas drawl. Go on, take a deep breath and take in the big ole sky that never ends. It’s never too late to be a cowgirl (or cowboy)!

Have I missed anything?!

Hall Around Texas

Happy Birthday – Here’s to 30! A Look at the Last 10 Years

Turning 30 never seemed to be a “bad” thing until my last day as a 29 year old. Something about that morning hit me good and hard. It was “Enjoy your last day in your 20’s.” I’ve never been good at good-byes. This felt like one. Everything that’s happened in the last ten years was coming to a close, a new chapter was starting and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to have those memories, be memories.

Our 20’s is the first decade that we really control. It’s all up to us. Adventures, education, freedom. We learn, experience, grow so much. We even get better looking!

2004 – I was starting my Junior year at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved “Camp Champ”, the faculty, my friends, my education. I would go back in a heartbeat. It was a chance to make mistakes, make the right decisions and meet people that would forever change and be a part of my life.


December 2004 NYC

2005 – Brought adventure. I went on my first airplane trip, solo (to see Josh and Mere in D.C.). I even went to the Macy’s Day Parade and drove back to Northern Vermont with one my oldest friends.


2006 – The last year before going out into the real world. College graduation was underway but first it was fun, fun and so many laughs sometimes we couldn’t move. It’s absolutely amazing how people connect and become close friends. Years later, we have so many different and life changing experiences yet we are still so connected with memories. 2006-04Then, it seems as quickly as it started, it’s complete. We reached our goal. We graduated. To the best four years that we could’ve spent together.


2007 – I wasn’t yet ready to leave the great town of Burlington, Vermont (although it weighed on my mind). Take full advantage. Enjoy every view. Sit and watch the sunset with your best friends. When you live within walking distance to downtown, drink all night and carry your friends home (or have them carry you, it’s good to take turns). Laugh, laugh and laugh. 23 was one of the best years of my life.

2008 – Wow. Did my life changed in 2008. It was time. Time to explore a new place. My original thoughts of moving to Colorado (primarily because I couldn’t leave my fresh runs snowboarding on Saturday mornings) quickly changed to Texas (where there’s not even any mountains in sight). I packed up my car and moved 2,000 miles without a job. Who does that?! Leaving behind my “Cheers”, Tuesday Bluegrass nights where a table was always saved for Becky and I and they knew exactly what I was ordering – chicken strip platter with sweet potato fries, honey mustard sauce and a Switchback. It was a sad day my last Tuesday.


And my little brother graduated college! 2008-05

2009 – This was the beginning of the run of weddings. It’s pretty special to grow up with the same group of people. Get together’s feel more like family reunions where a beat hasn’t been skipped. These are the people you want in your life forever.


2010 – I’ve never seen mountains so big or trees so large. The world is full of treasures. We shouldn’t just go read about them, we should see them, smell them, feel them. They’ve molded us just as much as we’ve molded them. 2010-012010-092011 – I got to stand by my little brother when he got married, plus I got a sister. 2011-092012 – I was granted the best gift, a niece. Followed up by being her God-Mother. This perfect little girl constantly makes me laugh and puts a smile on my face. Can it really get better than this? 2012-072013 – …then it did. Niece times two. Complete opposites but they’re the absolute best. I can’t remember what we all did before them. I’m fairly certain that my brother did this on purpose. I use to win at every game we played before they were born, now I’m distracted as soon as they come in the room and he wins. I get it and I’m perfectly fine with it. Just don’t tell him.


2014 – Here we are at 30.

If you asked me at 18 where I’d be at now, I would’ve told you graduated from college, married, at least one baby with maybe another on the way. Even funnier, at 23 I would’ve  said I’d be married to my bluegrass playing husband, living in the mountains of Virginia expecting a total of four children all with crazy, uncommon names (this hasn’t changed, they’re still going to get crazy, uncommon names).

In reality, I’m turning 30. I’m single, living in Texas and still hoping that husband is still in my future with our oddly named children. I now know that it’s not meant to be rushed, it’ll happen when the time is right.

I’ve met countless people that have forever changed my life. I still have some of the same friends that I’ve had since I was five, college friends who are like family that live across the country and new friends that I couldn’t imagine living without. That one person could change your life forever – right Heather? I wouldn’t have the memories of the last six years if it wasn’t for you (or should I say your dad?). Who knew the first day of English class freshman year would have such a big impact.

Life is unpredictable. No matter how much you dream, plan and prepare, I’m not sure that it ever comes out just as one may think. It wouldn’t be so much fun if there wasn’t a curve along the way. If you hit a guardrail, it’s to make sure you’re paying attention. God has a plan all on his own. Sometimes, he even comes back full circle to make sure you see how we’re all connected.

So, here’s to 30. Here’s to the past ten years that’s helped to mold me into the woman that I am today. The people, the travels, the experiences and the memories. I came into my 20’s a college student with little knowledge about what the next ten would bring. I leave a stronger woman more prepared for the ride of what may come along the way. Although I’m a little sad to be leaving my 20’s, it’s because for the most part they were pretty wicked awesome. Here’s to new adventures, loves, friends, travel, memories and making the most of every moment of our lives. Here’s to making 30 look good.