Brown Pants

In college, I remember making a list with my roommate freshman year about why we loved Thursdays. It looked a little like this:

  1. It’s one day closer to Friday.
  2. Friends is on.
  3. The dining hall serves special desserts.
  4. The ROTC boys dress up in uniform.

Today, one of the first things Patrick said to me was, “I love Thursday, do you know why?”

“Why?” I replied.

“Because I wear brown pants for the rest of the week on Thursday.”

Only an engineer would look forward to a day of the week because of khaki.

I guess it’s the little things in life. Planning your pants for the week can make or break your stride. I’m writing this during the finale of Project Runway and wondering if Gretchen would agree.

Of a Feather

Every year about this time, College Station’s parking lots become home to thousands of birds. There are several spots around town that are filled with squawking grackles (at least, I’m told they’re grackles).

The birds speckle the power lines by my exit on the highway. They circle above the grocery store. They perch in the trees near the gas station. It seems they’re most active around dusk.

I find their behavior really intriguing. Where have they come from? Where do they go when they’re not pooping on shopping carts and taunting drivers? What are they saying to each other in their disjointed chirps? Why do a few stragglers sit alone farther down the power line?

I like to watch them from my car window, theorizing about their migratory future.

Will they choose where they go they next or will it choose them? Perhaps, it is not instinct alone that keeps them flocking together. Perhaps, no matter how big or small, we all need someone with whom we can share our journey.


The last few days have really felt like fall here in Texas. Despite the warm temperatures, the air sings of pumpkins and trick-or-treaters. Last night, I made a big pot of vegetarian chili and cornbread muffins in true fall spirit.

Over the weekend, Marianne and I ran a 5K. It was my first race since the half marathon two years ago. I went into it hoping to have fun – not break any records – and, as always, laughed my butt of with Marianne. Prior to the race, we went to the restroom and upon leaving, found that the door was missing a handle and wouldn’t open. Panic. Followed by pounding. Followed by: “We’re going to die in here, aren’t we?”

Then Marianne realized you could reach under the door and open it from the bottom. She’s a genius.

Once I regained my breath, I told one of the race organizers that the door should be propped open. “Someone really could get stuck in there!” She calmly advised me that the bathroom had two doors, one on either side. Duh.

Then we took some pre-race pictures with Patrick where a lady with bright orange hair told us to “act like we liked each other.” To Patrick, that apparently meant squeezing the living daylights out of us.

The race was quick and fun, and we’re already plotting our next.

Thank goodness for running buddies. And thank even more goodness for running buddies who follow the run with greasy Mexican food.

Horseback Riding

It’s weird how looking at old pictures can remind you of things you didn’t realize you’d forgotten. I can almost hear my brothers’ voices when they were kids when I look at these photos.

I remember the day Colin and I went horseback-riding. I don’t remember where we were, but I remember going. I remember my mom telling him to hold on to me and keep me safe.

I remember the necklace with the plastic hearts on stretchy elastic. I remember the couch in my living room… Oh wait, we still have that couch.

(I think I intentionally repressed the memory of those acid-washed cargo jeans, though. Wow.)

I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my brothers when we were kids, but I always looked forward to seeing them. The house felt fuller when they were around, more like it was supposed to. When my mom and I would pick the boys up from their mom’s house for Wednesday night dinners, I loved hiding in the back seat of the van to try to scare them. It never got old, and they were never surprised.

I remember dinners where Graham would say he didn’t like mushrooms or tomatoes anymore, and before even trying one, I decided that neither did I.

I remember Colin’s massive cassette tape collection and how he used to blast Gloria Estefan on his boom box.

I remember Graham used to “slam dunk” me into the couch or onto the floor. And I used to retort “I’m gonna bite you” when he’d yell at me to “quit being a pill.”

All these memories from two photos of “horseback riding.” I’m pretty lucky to have such great big brothers who protected me and played with me — even if I really was a pill sometimes.

Family Photos

Y’all. Three days of sugar overload finally got the best of me. Last night I was completely unable to write to you, despite having so many wonderful things to share. As I lay on the couch clutching my stomach, I thought about all the blogging I was missing.

It was so great seeing my family this weekend. My cousin’s wedding was amazing, and his bride was stunning. I ate more than any one person should (did someone say pasta bar?), and cake and ice cream at a wedding might be one of the best ideas ever. Who says ice cream only has to accompany cake at birthdays?

I also finally got some great family photo opps. I love this photo of all of us – my aunt and uncle, mom and dad, sister-in-law (with nephew), Patrick, brothers and me.

And my mom brought me an old photo album of pictures of all of us kids when we were little tykes.

This is my mom and me on her birthday. She’s so pretty.

Check out my dad’s awesome ‘stache and tight ’80s polo.

And this might be the best family photo ever taken. No words necessary. Except maybe an apology to my dad, who no doubt will not be thrilled about the fact that this photo of him is on the internet. Love you, Daddy. (I think my mom still has that exact same plant…)

Stay tuned. More great photos are still to come.