Why am I posting a “Sunday Snapshot” on a Tuesday? Well, two reasons..I made to major blogging goofs! First, I am so off this week due to the long weekend that yesterday felt more like a Saturday than a Sunday or a Monday. Also, at the beginning of the month I forgot to post a very important post with pictures so I decided I would go ahead and do that now.
On May 1st, Bill and I went to see the Broadway musical Rent. It was touring through Houston and we pre-ordered our tickets 6 months in advance! This show was pretty special for me because, not only do I LOVE Rent, but it included 3 of the original cast members (Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Gwen Stewart).
When I was 17, my high school choir took a trip to NYC to perform and discover the city. We were promised 2 Broadway shows while we were there: Les Miserables and Rent! We were so excited to see both performances but after arriving we were told that our Rent tickets “fell through” and we would see a different show instead. I was devastated and have never let that disappointment go. If I had seen the show in New York back in 1997, I would have seen the entire original cast perform it on the Nederland stage.
Regardless, being able to see atleast these three iconic performers travel to Houston and put on Rent was redemption! Bill and I caught the Friday night show. On Sunday night, my friend and I went back to the theatre and stalked the stage door (with about 300 other people) to get our Playbill signed and snag some pictures of the stars. We got there early enough to get a good spot by the door. It was an amazing weekend! I was even brave enough to chat it up with Adam Pascal and Gwen Stewart. Gwen even gave me a big hug!
We were crazy close to the stage door!
Adam Pascal signing our Playbills (he never stopped smiling!)
2nd time I have seen him/met him in person..amazing guy!
Gwen Stewart (she's the one that makes "Season's of Love" the masterpiece that it is!)
Finally! A Sunday where I am actually posting a photograph I have taken. Friday we had some beautiful blow in..literally! We had some mega winds in the evening Friday but it left us this weekend with blue skies and a lovely cool breeze. It would have been criminal to spend a substantial amount of time indoors Saturday so we tossed around a few ideas and ended up heading downtown to Discovery Green park. They have a plenty of free-roaming green space, entertainment, a playground, and lots of good summer attractions like a water fountain playground. She loved the freedom to roam! Here is a shot of Mirabelle and Daddy I couldn’t help but capture!
One of my favorite local blogs, The Houstonist, posted a great article yesterday about local health food restaurants around town. A couple years ago my hometown of Houston was named the fattest city in the country 2 years running!! Since then, as a city, great efforts have been made to get our name as detached from this not-so honored status. The article highlights some amazing restaurants around town that are dedicated to maintaining a more stellar reputation. Texans as a whole eat out more than any other state, but until recently, it has been very difficult to find a decent health food restaurant. Even the salad bars are packed with calories!
Most of the restaurants listed in this article I have heard of or seen popping up around town. I have decided to go on a healthy restaurant tour. I will visit each one and post pictures and reviews. What I am really curious to find out is if any of these restaurants will be kid-friendly. So often restaurants are not kid-friendly in general and the kids menu is nothing but pasta, fried food, and sugar. So, that will definitely be something I will be looking for as part of my review.
You can check out the article for yourself here!
Today I will be heading up to the north side of town to attend a Catholic run retreat center called The Cenacle. The word “cenacle” means quite literally “to commune”. The purpose of their center is for people to come for a period of time for rest, prayer, meditation, fasting, etc.. Some people go there to mourn and heal while others are there to seek the Lord for help in guidance in major life directions. There are MANY reasons to spend an extended period in meditation and communion with God. Some people go for a day or weekend while others have stayed for extended periods of time.
For me, I am needing rest, restoration, and to seek guidance in getting back on track in where my life should be headed physically and spiritually. I haven’t felt this spiritually dry in a long time. Lately I have wondered if I was depressed again which is something I haven’t struggled with since early in college, but I think I am just so spiritually blah and lonely that I am confusing that with feeling depressed.
When I get there today I will get a key to my room. Its a very small room with a bed, desk, and a sink area and that’s it (very modest- think Sister Act when they take her to her cell but more like a tiny dorm room feel less medieval cell). Most of my time will be spent outdoors today. Their grounds are spectacular. They have walking trails, lots of places to sit and enjoy the surroundings and read, as well as a walking prayer labyrinth. The first time I visited the retreat center I had never participated in a prayer labyrinth before but I decided to try it and it was a great experience. I will also meet with a spiritual director early in the morning who will help talk through what it is that I want to focus on during my stay. They ask a lot of questions to help draw out a more specific prayer focus. The first time I did this I was very nervous and intimidated and I felt like I rambled for an hour about everything in my life that bothered me!! The last time I went I felt like I had a more realistic understanding of the role of the spiritual director.
I will also be journaling a few times throughout the day so I will be sharing those on this blog in the coming days.
Here in Houston, its rare that we get to enjoy weather that comes close to resembling winter..but the last few weeks have been blissfuly cold. Last week, it even snowed! Its the perfect weather for playing in the yard, rolling around in the freshly fallen leaves, and crafting! I had taken a brief break from sewing projects but tomorrow I am going to get back to work on a few final christmas gift projects. Once I am through with those I can move on to some projects that I have been dying to try just for fun. My christmas list is mostly comprised of crafting, sewing, DIY, and knitting books, a few patterns, and various supplies. I have been so inspired by some great ladies in my life, wonderful crafting blogs, and just life as it happens around me. I see color, patterns, and textures in new ways. I also have a new crazy love affair with fabric..its a sickness really!
Here are a few snapshots of a rare Houston Christmas season as well as my precious baby girl playing dress-up with Momma’s scarf and hat.
Last Sunday my husband and I took advantage of an anxious grandmother who wanted to babysit our daughter and spent the afternoon on a date. We headed downtown to explore some of the better parts of our city. I find it a daunting task to enjoy living in Houston but its days like Sunday that remind me that there are much worse places I could live.
First we spent some time sitting around cafe tables at the Bayou City Place stage just talking about life, the church, and our city. After that we strolled around the Theater District and Buffalo Bayou. The weather was fair (a rare treat for the Houston area–even in October!) so it was a perfect day for a stroll. Before leaving downtown we decided to stop in at The Hard Rock Cafe. My husband has never been to a Hard Rock so it was an experience for him. We sat and talked and enjoyed a drink. We each ordered a drink that came with a souvenir glass so it was nice to have something to take home to commemorate our date!
All in all..probably one of our best dates in a while!!
This afternoon I FINALLY took my car in for a much needed oil change. I took my daughter to her grandmother’s house for some playtime which allowed me to take care of this tedious errand without worrying how I would entertain her in the most kid-unfriendly environment ever!
I brought along a book I have been working on reading, per my husbands suggestion. I ended up taking my car to this little service station up the street from our house that had a shorter wait than the large chain store in the heart of the city…the one with the comfy leather couches and free coffee. So there I was in a metal folding chair with my diaper bag (because who carries a purse anymore!) and my book waiting amongst the sodas, beer, and Rolos. Now, my precious little black VW Golf has been nicknamed by my mom “the hippie mobile” and perhaps it just might be. I have a few (3) bumper stickers on the back and in my opinion there are NOT enough. After my car was appointed its name it received a little added flair to confirm its origin and so I proudly display a peace sign necklace which dangles from the rear-view mirror. Anyway, my 3 bumper stickers read as this “Live simply so that others may simply live.”, “Give birth a chance, use a midwife.”, and “Be Green.”.
Now of the three I was suprised by which one received the most attention at the service station today. While waiting for my car I became deeply enthrawled in my book. I usually read in such small spurts because caring for a toddler doesn’t lend itself to concentrated times spent on ANY ONE thing. Out of the blue I heard a voice say “BE GREEN!” I looked around and it took me a second to realize the shop owner was not only talking to me but referencing one of my bumper stickers. “I’m sorry?” I said…more so for clarity as to why he felt the need to announce it to me. “Be Green. I like that!”. “Oh, you like my sticker!”, I said. “Yeah, but I really don’t think that whole thing is really gonna amount to much for atleast 5 years or something like that.” he theorized.
I could have easily just nodded and went on reading my book like I really wanted to but lately I have found myself missing opportunity after opportunity to say what I want to say and mean what I mean! So, instead I put my book down and went on to add “Well, the truth is that the research and information that is becoming more and more mainstream today has been out there for years and years. People like me have been living green for decades. What I am afraid of is that right now, its just a fad…its something to wear, its something to claim, its even something to stick on your car…but to actually live it out…you might be right, it might take years to see an impact and see it really being lived out in large ways.” He just shrugged and walked out. I wonder if he assumed I was another airhead cult follower like so many today. It is something that has truly frustrated me to no end. I have considered stopping people I see on the street wearing their “Green is the new black” shirts or other “green living” attire and ask them “How are you living green? What are you doing to positively impact the planet? Do you know what a carbon footprint is?” I am pretty sure I would be pretty unamused while not suprised by the results. The “green” fad has actually made me consider removing my “Go Green” bumper sticker because I don’t want to be mistaken as being yet another poser.