The Friday Five!

1. I’m writing this from the fellowship hall of my daughter’s preschool, which is big and quiet and has super fast internet, so it’s quickly become one of my favorite satellite offices. Downstairs, her class is having their annual Hibernation Day, and I’m pretty much in sugar shock from the cuteness. It’s the best tradition: every year at this time, there’s one day where everyone wears their pajamas to school, they put out big tents everywhere, and the preschool director makes pancakes for snack, tossing them high in the air as she does so. It’s just so freaking sweet, and it makes me realize how much I’m going to miss this place next year when my kid moves on to kindergarten. Is it weird that I am super anxious about the transition to Real School? I am trying not to pass this nervousness onto her, but at times I wish she could stay super little forever. Ah, the tug and push of parenthood. Never easy. I think I’d feel better if I was in my pajamas.

2. Last night, we went out with our friend Heather to a local restaurant. Heather’s a bartender at  one of our favorite places, Peccadillo, and basically knows EVERYTHING about wine. I am on the other end of the spectrum. I love wine, and basically will drink just about anything you put in front of me, from Ernest and Julio to a forty dollar bottle. I am clueless when it comes to all these terms Heather was using to describe these various reds we were tasting, not to mention how she was able to sense a difference in the wine after it had been open awhile. They were all lovely to me, but again, my standards are low. I guess. Someday I will learn about wine, just as I will get more gourmet with my food and learn another language. I just need, you know, some spare time. Where is that, again?

3. Speaking of food and drink, the Superbowl is this weekend. I am not a football fan, but I love any excuse to eat and imbibe, and this is basically the pinnacle of allowed gluttony. Case in point: on GMA the other day, they were making a 47 layer dip that I first saw featured on Buzzfeed. They were literally assembling it in a food prep BUCKET, the kind I remember from my restaurant days. Which prompted my husband, who is always drawn to GMA when they are featuring animals or food, to say, “I just don’t know about a snack you have to eat from a bucket.” True that. Still, I was intrigued. But how do you even dig DOWN 47 layers? NO chip can take that! Personally, I’m planning chili for Sunday, along with maybe some pigs in a blanket and nachos. But there is still time for more of a menu. Okay, now I’m hungry. Moving on…

4. As I write this, I am waiting for word about my cousin Deborah, who, if all goes well, will be getting a lung transplant today. She’s been on the list for a long time, and we got the word early this morning that they’d received the call. Her sister, my cousin Erika, just had two transplants in the last year for the same condition, pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes scar tissue to build up in the lungs. I’ve always been an organ donor, and seeing what miracles have happened for my family because others have made the same choice has been really enlightening. Of course, a lung becoming available is only the first step: it has to be viable, the transplant must go well, and there is recovery and the fear of rejection. But for now, I am just thinking the best thoughts I can for Deb and praying for her family. If you have a second to do the same, I know it would be much appreciated.

5. Finally, we are in the final days of counting down to our big family trip to Austin, TX, where my husband is running the Austin Marathon. This is his fourth one (I think?) but the first my daughter and I have tagged along on since she was born. Marathon prep is NOT for wimps. For the past few months, he’s been doing these daily runs, with a few off days, and SUPER long runs on Sundays (last week, 23 miles. TWENTY THREE!). It makes him achy and cranky and he’s stressed about his times, but he still swears he’s doing it for fun. Really? I will never truly understand the runner’s mentality, which is why I am a treadmill-while-watching-Bravo-long-run-is-three-miles kind of gal. Which is just fine. I don’t have tattoos, either: that’s this thing as well. But I AM excited about Austin, where I have been twice for work but never for fun. If anyone reading this has good suggestions for what to do with an active five year old there—preferably near downtown, as we won’t have a car—please leave a comment. I am thinking Duckboats, but am not sure of anything else. Any and all TX native advice is WELCOME. Thanks in advance!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

21 Responses to The Friday Five!

  1. Lindsey Jo says:

    The Austin Children’s Museum is great fun (for big kids, too!) and I love visiting the Botanical Gardens at Zilker Park. If you can get to the Congress Bridge around dusk, you’ll get to see one of our bat colonies – it’s pretty amazing.

    Hope you all have a wonderful trip to Austin! So glad you’re getting to come visit again – and MAKE SURE you get to Chuy’s, too!! :)

  2. Kelle Coleman says:

    Make it a priority to see the Spazmatics while in Austin! A fun (but loud!) show that everyone should see at least once. ~Kelle :)

  3. Katie b says:

    Oh!! You have to take Sasha to kidz n’ play! She will have a blast! It is right on airport blvd. I lived in Austin for years and my kids LOVED IT!

  4. Lianna says:

    a few years ago, my mom ran a half marathon here in CO and she ended up injuring her foot. after that, her problems just kept getting worse. eventually, she fixed everything (forget how) but she wasn’t able to run for a while which i could tell disappointed her but now, she is able to run a bit more. she wont be doing any more long runs but at least she is able to keep running. make sure to warn your husband about how he could hurt himself and have to stop running for a while.

    • Hi I read Sarah dessen books are good f for me right now iam on chapter 12 and the book. Is good bye what happens to good bye it is the best book that I have read all day this week not done yet I also read the boat book

  5. Allison says:

    I live in Austin! If you are restricted to downtown then I’d say definitely go to Zilker Park, play on the playscape and ride the train (Zilker Zephyr). Botanical Gardens are very close by as well and they’ve been having a “How to Build a Fairy Garden” series that looks super cute. Children’s Museum is downtown and the Austin Nature and Science Center is close by. Zach Scott Theater is doing “Goodnight Moon: the Musical” on Saturday. Cherrywood Coffeehouse (a bit northeast of downtown) has free kids’ shows on Sunday mornings. Whole Foods downtown has a nice playscape on the roof. BookPeople is an independent bookstore downtown with a great kids’ section and a lot of fun stuff to look at. And don’t forget to hit Magnolia Cafe for awesome pancakes! (Frank, a hot dog restaurant downtown, is also fun.) Aaaand there’s a coffeehouse/improv theatre downtown called The Hideout that does kids’ improv on Sunday afternoons. Hope this helps! I’d be happy to drive you around if need be, but that’s probably too weird since you don’t know me. :)

  6. Allison says:

    Oh, I’d also say just walk on the trail if you get a chance. There’s one particular spot close to Zilker Park where you can usually feed the ducks along the trail. (This is the Lady Bird Lake Trail, formerly Town Lake Trail). It’s always fun to just walk the trail and people watch, and dog watch.

  7. [email protected] says:

    Zilker Park is a must. The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum is good. They have a fun movie at the beginning. You could go to Johnson City and visit the LBJ Ranch. If you’re lucky the bluebonnets will be blooming. We were just there over Christmas. The capitol is nice. My son was just saying yesterday how lame the NC capitol buildling is compared to the Texas one. Everything is bigger there. The UT campus is a nice place to walk around. South Congress has lots of great places to eat (every time we go to Guero’s Friday Night Lights/Nashville’s Connie Britton is there.. okay only twice, but still!) and funky shops. Kirby Lane has yummy breakfast, the original Whole Foods (that’s lame but…), and mexican food, mexican food, mexican food.

  8. Nilam Ali says:

    You could always drive to Houston!!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one day you’ll come here for your book tour!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I second the Houston vote! Houston actually has the number one Children’s Museum in the country, though Austin’s is pretty awesome too. Hope you enjoy your visit!

  9. Chrissy says:

    My thoughts are for your cousin Deborah. May this transplant lead to better things!
    I was born in Texas (although I now live in New England). We drive cross country for Christmas a lot, and one of the coolest things is the scenery. Watching the scenery change from North to South is just amazing. So if you can’t find any places to go, its nice to just take a walk around (it’s really warm in Texas!!!) and look at the different scenery. Food, clothing, the culture of the deep south is so different and unique too. You’ll have a blast! :)

  10. Sending good thoughts to your family.

  11. Lara says:

    So excited that you are coming to Austin! I just moved here a few months so not much help on where to go… but get ready for some warm weather! I only wish you were here on official business for a book tour so there could be a meetup so hoping that I will be able catch you on the official tour. Have a great time and good luck to your husband! Running is awesome :)

  12. Naomi says:

    I echo the Children’s Museum, it’s on 2nd and Colorado downtown and is so much fun! South Congress has lots of funky shops and yummy restaurants, and definitely go to the mothership Whole Foods, it’s kind of amazing.

  13. Nora says:

    My husband and I went to Austin for NYE a couple of years back and we went to Peter Pan mini golf It is so cute and retro. I think you and your daughter would love it. We have some awesome pictures with the dinosaur and the bunny. And I second Magnolia Cafe. Plus Hey, Cupcake is a fun food truck.

  14. Pujita says:

    So I just read your book- This Lullaby. And I find it frustrating that you have not written the ending completely. I mean, I really hoped you’d explain how Remy forgave Dex and talked it out. Not just one look and everything is realised and they kiss..
    Just saying. My favourite book of yours is Just Listen!
    Much Love,

  15. Anna says:

    Sarah, I am sending all warm prayers to the Almighty on the behalf of your cousin Deborah.

  16. Emily says:

    Have a fun Superbowl! :D

  17. Kristina says:

    praying for your cousin

  18. Kate says:

    I love Austin. Torchy’s Tacos are great, Kerbey Lane Cafe has amazing queso and spinach dip (everything else is great too!), and Jo’s Coffee has just about the best iced coffee I’ve ever had, called a Belgian Bomber. It tastes even better when it’s over a hundred degrees out :)

    All of that stuff is great– but obviously the best lunch in town is at Primanti Bros. here in Pittsburgh– I hope you liked it! I was at your event last month, and it was such an absolute dream to meet you.

    Sending warm thoughts to your cousin. Have a great trip to Austin! :)

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