About Christina Does It All

Doing it all, One blog at a time

The Craziest, Most Foolish, Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

This year has been a big one for me and my husband. In January, we traveled to Italy and experienced a week so magical, I couldn’t have possibly dreamed it up any better. In April, we said our first hellos to our beautiful baby girl. Now we’re in the works of planning a trip in celebration of our upcoming five year wedding anniversary. Five years! Say what?!

This past weekend was a quieter one, spent with Robby’s parents in New Ulm, Texas. Saturday night, Robby and I ventured to the nearby town of Brenham, Texas for a date night. Over shrimp and a beer-rita at a seafood shack followed by a chocolate torte at a two-story-house-turned-Italian-restaurant, I found myself giddy and grateful for yet another adventure with my main squeeze. Over six years together and nearly five years of marriage, and he still manages to make me swoon on a regular basis.

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As many of you know, I was a young’un when I met Robby. I had technically been a single adult for only a little over a year when I met him. Just a month previous I had told someone, a community college friend who asked me what I was wanting from ‘this’ after an innocent kissing session, that I only wanted friendship. And that was the truth, though I could understand the mixed signals. When the eager gentleman before this one told me he couldn’t believe how much he liked me already, on our first date, I ran. Fast. This was partly due to the fact that I was simultaneously managing to have my heart completely broken by someone who was never actually my boyfriend, but instead a friendship escalated out of control. A relationship wasn’t exactly the first thing on my mind the night I met my future husband. Distractions were. But I think I knew even then that if I let my jaded self walk away from someone like Robby, I’d probably regret it. Was I ready? Maybe not. Probably not. But who is ever ready? For love or life or big, scary, maybe terrible, maybe wonderful changes? The most we can ever do is put ourselves out there and hope for the best. So I did.

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Still, in staying with Robby, I had so much growing to do on my own. I was a naive, silly, confused teenager when we met, and no amount of love was going to fix that. Tying that knot did not keep me from making my own mistakes, or accomplishing my own goals. I’ve noticed that marriage has this dangerous potential of guarding someone from becoming their own complete person if used as a shield against the world. But I’ve never been a big fan of barriers. If anything, I feel I came into my own even sooner than I would have as a young single girl, because there was no one to impress or put on faces for. With Robby, for better or worse, I simply am who I am. And I was who I was. At first I was the crazy, emotional, angry, stereotypical teenager who thought she knew everything and actually knew very little at all. Then I was the typical poor college student, nannying on the side, keeping my measly funds in my own bank account. Eventually, I graduated college. I realized what I was passionate about and went after those things. I became an event blogger and started my first post-college career. I gained friends and I lost them. I traveled with Robby, and I traveled with friends and even alone. I adventured and started jogging and filmed a commercial; I hurt and laughed and learned and cried over things that had nothing to do with my husband in the slightest. Robby has been there for me every step of the way, while always giving me space to breathe and respecting my need for freedom within a relationship. I always understood that he couldn’t help me fix my own issues or fulfill my personal dreams. I wouldn’t have wanted him to. 

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What I want from him is something different entirely. I want him because his smile is the purest, most joy-filled smile I’ve ever seen. Because we laugh so much. We laugh so hard that he has tears and my sides hurt. Because he listens to every strange, ridiculous, rambling thought on my mind. Because we could be trapped in a cardboard box together and still have fun. Because he has been through so much more than I have, and he is still so kind, and open and not even slightly cynical. I love him because we have our own language, a dialogue so full of inside jokes and odd remarks that we’d be sure to get odd looks speaking it in public. Because I am still a little taken aback by the the love he gives to me with his eyes, his words, his actions. Because while I have taught him to be more politically and grammatically correct, he has taught me to slow down and savor even the tiniest of moments. Because he loves openly, affectionately and without hesitation. Because he is such a patient, doting and loving father to our redheaded, blue-eyed baby girl. Because I grew up with him, and because I hope to grow old with him.

Looking back, I am incredibly thankful to not have had the good sense to realize that twenty is not usually the best age to get married. I might have walked away from a world of happiness with someone who is not just good to me, but for me. I might have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime, an adventure that I hope will last me the rest of my lifetime. I chose to turn a blind eye to the statistics and societal norms and follow my stubborn, ignorant little heart. And that was the craziest, most foolish, best decision I’ve ever made.

Because..

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Because there are so many adventures to be had, y’all. Also because I believe in shameless blog promoting at a social media conference. (And yes, my handwriting really is that bad.)

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Because lounging by the pool is better with books and a Slurpee. And because I am indeed reading both The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Brain Rules for Baby. Because life is better with variety?

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Because I swear she looks a little bit more like her daddy every day.

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Because being an event blogger is awesome and leads to lovely new experiences like learning how to captain a dinghy sailboat. Thanks for the informative lesson and perfect Saturday excursion, Austin Sailboat Rentals!

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Because attending Facebook Fit for work means being on the clock whilst eating yummy food, meeting wonderful people and learning new internet things. And also posing with my new thumbs-up ‘Like’ sign on a stick.

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Because best friends are the best.

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Because my best friends also make pretty awesome aunties to Baby Bryn.

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Because, okay, I just had to post one more picture of this chunky little baby of mine.

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Because being alive is spectacular, and I think it’s important to keep a running record of that.

What A Wonderful World: New Orleans 2014

I had such an incredible time road-tripping and vacationing in New Orleans with three of my favorite girls.

Wandering the Jackson Square and French Quarter areas was both a quaint and charming adventure.

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Partying on Bourbon Street and collecting bead necklaces without ever having to expose boobies was a blast and a half.

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Staying in a renovated coffee house turned boutique hotel was magical.

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Visiting the Voodoo Museum was equally creepy and entrancing.

Gobbling beignets at Café Du Monde and scarfing down catfish and red beans and rice at Mother’s proved that these famous eats most definitely live up to their names.

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The history and culture of this city is absolutely mesmerizing, and I found myself completely enchanted throughout the duration of our trip.

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But more than anything, I just loved being with three of the lady loves of my life.

I met both Rachel and Hannah while practicing for a college play years back. They tell me that they often discussed their feelings for me before we officially all hung out. “That Christina girl. She’s bad ass.”, is probably my favorite quote that has been recounted. One day after rehearsals, they invited me for ice cream. And from that moment, ’twas love.

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I met Kristin through Hannah and we immediately just clicked. Of the four of us, we are the two married ladies of the group, though this is only the beginning of the long list of things we have in comment. For instance. We’re also both extremely non-confrontational and unaggressive slow walking girls. This quickly became a running joke (no pun intended) throughout the trip as both of us followed around the other two to their destinations of choice. (All top-notch destinations, I might add.) As we lagged behind the rest of our group, we bonded further. I texted my very closest friend and told her I almost already considered this girl one of my best friends. This isn’t something that I text lightly. Years ago, I was the girl who wanted to be everyone’s friend and often choose quantity over quality. I still love talking and learning from most anyone and everyone, but am much more choosy about who I let into my close circle of friends. I am 25 now, after all. I crave stimulating conversations and meaningful bonding moments right along with the giggly inside jokes and chats about sex, dammit. When I later told Kristin about previously mentioned text, she excitedly confessed that she had been thinking the same exact thing about me, but didn’t want to sound creepy. I am almost always the first to be creepy. I am okay with this.

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So despite all of the lovely New Orleans moments, my favorites are a little bit more personal. Dancing around our hotel room and later canoodling with Hannah. Sharing a bed and Cajun fries with Rachel. Eating Ihop at 4am with Kristin, and getting lost but laughing the entire time we circled our way back to the hotel. Buying matching cat pajamas with three of the best gals I’ve ever had the chance to know.

On our last night in New Orleans, we went into a bar and were seated directly behind a marvelous jazz band. As we swayed along to the music and enjoyed our close-up view, the band began singing “What a Wonderful World.” Surrounded by my lovely ladies and soaking in the beauty and essence of New Orleans, I simply couldn’t have agreed with those lyrics more.

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“I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.”

What I Want Her To See

My baby girl is three and a half months old and already, she is becoming accustomed to her mom’s shenanigans.

When I was pregnant with her, I traveled to Puerto Rico, Colorado, Mississippi, Milan, Florence and Venice. I went indoor skydiving when she was only a bean in my tummy. I ran a handful of 5ks, covered a red carpet event, met Willie Nelson, posed for photo shoots, dived into my first post-college career and self-published a short story.

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She was with me for all of these things, and that was incredibly special to me. Now that she’s here, I still love being able to take her along on adventures with me, but I also know that she can’t come along for all of them.

She wouldn’t have been able to soar through the sky with me as I went hang-gliding, nor could she have been my plus one as I covered an Ed Sheeran performance for my event blog. She can’t really come with me to food tastings, and she can’t tag along when I attend a social media conference for work tomorrow. It wouldn’t really be appropriate for her to join in on every excursion I have with friends, and she probably wouldn’t have been nearly as amused as I was, had I brought her along to shower under a waterfall with me.

This weekend, my girlfriends and I will be road tripping it to another state, and Brynlee will be spending this time at home with her amazing daddy.

Since Bryn has been born, my whole entire world has been overflowing with joy, more joy than I ever even knew was possible. She smiles and I turn to goo. She laughs and my heart melts. I watch her with my husband and I feel as if happiness is seeping out of my ears. I made my favorite little person with the help of my very best friend. I look into her eyes and I can see that she is mine. It is the absolute best thing I’ve ever had the chance to experience.

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And yet, I still feel so capable of living my own life to its fullest. I heard recently that moms who work full time today spend more time with their kids than women who were stay-at-home moms decades ago. I find that admirable and selfless in many ways, but I also know that this isn’t the way in which I will raise Bryn. This is partly because I don’t feel that my daughter’s existence makes mine disappear. I am still here, as are my dreams, desires, loves and passions. Also partly because I have a sweet mommy who watches Baby Bryn while I’m at work and a loving husband who whole-heartedly wants to share responsibilities 50/50 with me as a parent. I am a little shocked by how rare said sharing still is in our day and age. But more than anything else, it’s because there is so much I hope my daughter will learn from watching how I try my best to live life.

I hope that she will always be open-minded and accepting, and that she’ll realize that everyone finds their happiness in different ways.

I hope she will see that marriage, despite the statistics, can work out. That actually, it can do so much more than just work out. That it can be beautiful, fulfilling and most of all, so much fun. I hope that she won’t settle when it comes to love, that she will only be with someone who is able to give her as much joy as she saw her parents give each other.

And more than anything, I hope she will see me living my life and be inspired to live her own. That she will have confidence to follow her passions, the courage to go after her biggest, craziest dreams and the desire to make a mark on her little piece of the universe. What I want her to know is that this world is hers for the taking, if only she has the eagerness to go out and take it. What I hope she notices is my hunger for life, and that this will make her appetite grow wild too. What I want her to see is me, the person who loves her more than anything, showing her how to fall in love with the life she lives.

5k. Baby. Mop. Boat. Etc.

LFE IS BUSY. And fantastic. A sample platter of updates:

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Bryn joined me for her first post-womb 5k last weekend. The Caleb 5k honors a family friend who passed away years ago. It was the first time I’ve ever been emotional picking up a race packet, and also the most meaningful race I’ve ever had the chance to run. I’m so very glad my favorite little lady got to be my sidekick for such a special three (.1) miles.

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Speaking of my favorite little lady. She’s three months old now. What?! Stop this speeding by stuff, time.

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This past Monday, my dude and I took our boat out for the first time this summer. It was a beautiful, albeit hot, day spent on Lake Austin with that wonderful baby daddy of mine.

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Occasionally I get paid to work from home. Other times I get paid to organize silly pictures with friends. Most always I really love my job.

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Weekends spent at the in-law’s always consist of delicious meals, gorgeous scenery and fantastic company. My soul feels refreshed every time I come back from a visit in New Ulm, Texas.

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My dear friend Hannah is in town for the summer, so we plan weekly shenanigans accordingly. This past week it was happy hour at a wine bar with an incredible view of the Texas Hill Country. On the way back to her apartment, we took a photo with a lone mop randomly placed in our elevator and then scurried back to my car in the pouring rain. We drove back to her place soaking wet and laughing in glee. Wine and a mop and frolicking in the midst of a storm. It was all very romantic.

What more could I ask for? I have a beautiful family, amazing friends and so many incredible adventures both behind and in front of me. Life is the best.

Soaring Through The Clouds, And Other Life Things

What a completely incredible past couple of weeks it has been.

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I spent two weekends in a row with my crazy, wonderful family. This includes my girl cousin whom I grew up with, vicariously living our grown up lives through Barbie dolls. Now we are grown up, and our two baby girls, only five months apart, have started smiling at the other. It probably won’t be long until they’re playing make believe together too. And that is kind of beautiful.

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I showered in a waterfall. It was exhilarating and laugh-inducing and it also kept trying to take my bikini bottoms off. Which, of course, made it even more exhilarating and laugh-inducing.

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My best friend of thirteen years (more than half of our lives!) came to visit from Virginia, and we spent our time adventuring together. Whether this be tubing the river, brunching with mimosas, watching the sun set on the lake, hiking the Austin greenery or road-tripping our way to winery tastings, every moment spent with her was an absolutely lovely one. Meg mentioned that, at one time in her life, she held every guy she dated up to the standard of her friendship with me. Then she realized she could never date a dude who was like me. I tend to be the free-spirited to her grounded, the insanity to her stability, the jumping into things to her thinking things through. We balance the other out, and it is ideal in that it would only ever work healthily in a friendship scenario. And though we would probably eventually murder the other as lesbian lovers, she is and always will be my female soulmate.

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Speaking of being free-spirited and slightly insane, I checked off a pretty exciting bucket list item by going hang gliding for the first time. I was literally soaring through the clouds, y’all. It was breathtaking and stunning and scary too. But then, I think all of the very best things in life are often this way. Whether it be raising a child or almost running full force into a tree branch while floating the river or loving people with your whole, fragile heart that could very easily be broken, all of the beautiful stuff tends to be just a little bit terrifying. Because, yes, soaring through the clouds can take some courage. But once you’re up there, you won’t want to come back down.

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An Unexpected Adventure

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I were heading out of town for a race that I had registered to run. Robby’s parents were watching Miss Bryn at our house for the day and I had my jogging shoes ready. We were good to go. Except that when we got there, the race was over. The event coordinators had messed up on the online times, and though I got my money back (and a bunch of other freebies too), I was still a little bit bummed. But that didn’t last long. My husband, always one to make me quickly find a bright side, suggested we drink the free beer we’d been offered and walk down to the nearby river.

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So we did. And we held hands and laughed and ate free BBQ and shared warm conversation. We sat side by side with our Miller Lites, and found bliss in the comfort that comes from simply being next to the other after all of these years. On the way back, we found ourselves a quaint little winery and chit-chatted with their cheerful and animated staff.

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It was a day of perfect, unexpected adventures spent with the person I feel so very lucky to permanently hang out with.

And there isn’t a scheduled plan in the world that I would trade that for.