Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ready and waiting...

Well, it's been quite a long time since I've written anything, so I thought I should write a little something about my pregnancy and post some bump pictures to document the past 9 months, while I'm waiting for our baby boy to make his appearance.  Overall I've been really lucky and have had a pretty easy and healthy pregnancy, and for that I am very grateful.  I had some bad morning sickness, actually more like all day sickness, in the first trimester followed by several weeks of bad headaches in the second trimester.  The third trimester has been pretty good until the past few days - I'm starting to get pretty uncomfortable and the little guy is definitely running out of room.  Here is a picture documenting the first half of my pregnancy:

8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 20 weeks

I was able to get back to Texas in April for two wonderful baby showers!  The first thrown by some of my wonderful girlfriends in Houston and the second thrown by my aunts in Dallas.  It was so much fun to see everyone and have a long visit while I could still fly.  A couple photos from the Dallas baby shower:

My Aunts
With my mom
For Easter we went up to Richmond, VA to spend the holiday weekend with Charles' brother Paul and his family.  We had a wonderful time and got to enjoy some perfect spring weather during our nephew's first Easter egg hunts.

Easter in Richmond

One of the hardest things this pregnancy was that we had to move in May.  It was a bit stressful finding a place and making moving arrangements all while Charles was wrapping up the school year.  Luckily two of my aunts, Margie and Ellen, came from Texas to help with packing and moving the small items - we could not have done it without them!!!!  It was tough for me to not be able to lift boxes and help with loading cars, but I managed to get through it without "doing too much."  We hired movers to take care of the big furniture items and overall the unexpected move went pretty seamlessly.  The best part is that we are VERY happy in our new place and can't wait to become a family of three here.

Moving Day

After the move we decided to take one last getaway before Baby Watson arrives.  We spent Memorial Day in Florida with Charles' parents, Paul and Meredith, and Meredith's sister Claudia and her husband Brad.  We went to the beach, spent plenty of time in the pool, ate lots of good food, celebrated Paul's birthday, and overall had a great time just being with family!
Heading to dinner in Florida
We have spent June and July readying ourselves for parenthood and (of course) watching the World Cup.  Every day I wonder what he will look like and what kind of personality he will's hard to believe that 9 months have already passed and we will soon know!  A couple photos from the past few weeks:

4th of July
38 weeks

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Long overdue update, and some BIG NEWS!

It's been way too long since my last post.  That's not because we haven't been busy and I haven't had lots to share, it's just because I haven't really felt inspired to write much these past few months. 

We are feeling pretty settled in Atlanta now, although sometimes I feel like it will probably take another 6-8 months to really feel comfortable here.  It has been a busy fall and winter. 

In September we celebrated Charles' birthday and I attended my first SEC football game - Georgia v. LSU.  It was lots of fun and a pretty rowdy crowd.  Although LSU lost it was a good game and ended with a gorgeous sunset! 

Sunset after the Georgia/LSU game
We also went to the Saints v. Falcons game at the Georgia Dome, we were surprised there seemed to be more Saints fans there than Falcons fans.  At the end of the game when the Saints won the entire stadium erupted with cheers of "Who Dat?"  It was tons of fun!

For years we have been trying to get up to West Virginia with Charles' brother Paul and his wife Meredith, she grew up going to West Virginia every year to go skiing with her family.  We finally made it up for a visit in early October, just in time to catch the last of the fall leaves!  We went on hikes and played with our nephew Hayden.  All in all a great trip!  Thanks so much for having us Richmond Watsons.  Here are a few pics from the trip:

Charles and Paul fly fishing

Meredith and Hayden


Family photo

Gorgeous color on our hike

saying goodbye at the airport
We had several visitors for our beautiful fall weather in October and early November.  Our friends Jeff and Sarah from Colorado stopped through town and stayed with us one night on their way to visit Sarah's family in north Georgia.  Charles' parents came for a long weekend and we enjoyed a trip to the Atlanta History Center and showing them around town.  My mom and aunt Margie came for a visit and we went up to see Tallulah Gorge and visited the Atlanta Aquarium.  The best part of their visit was when we got a VIP tour of the whale shark exhibit completely by chance! Then to round out or month of visitors some of my girlfriends from Houston came for a visit!  We went to the spa, went shopping, and ate lots of really good food.  All in all it was wonderful having all of our family and friends visit us in our new home. 

At the Georgia Aquarium with my mom and aunt Margie

With my Houston girls (minus Kat)

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Dallas with my family.  It was nice to be back in Texas and good to see family and eat LOTS of delicious food.  And while we did enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal we had, we also managed to squeeze in 2 visits to our favorite restaurant (Gloria's) while we were there.  Unfortunately I didn't seem to take any photos, I meant to...

We spent Christmas in Florida with Charles' family which was so much fun.  Our nephew Hayden was almost one and it was lots of fun to watch him play and see him open new toys on Christmas morning.  My mom joined us in Florida for a long weekend and we showed her around Sarasota - went kayaking, walked on the beach, went to the Selby Gardens, and the Mote Aquarium. 

Christmas Morning!
For New Years we attended the wedding of our dear friend Ellie!  It was so much fun to go to a New Year's Eve wedding with so many of our close friends.  Ellie and Andy - thanks for picking such an awesome night to get married and for including all of us in the celebration!  It was an amazing and gorgeous wedding!

Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Buchmann
All in all we had a great holiday season!

So far 2014 has been going smoothly and we are happily moving along through our day to day routine.  Unfortunately I got stuck in the horrible Atlanta ice storm back in January - more on that in a separate post.  Charles ran a trail run half marathon a couple weeks ago with our longtime friend Caroline and a new friend Ashley.  It was a tough course, but they all did well and were rewarded with a big brunch after finishing the race.  Next week is Charles' spring break and we are headed down to Florida for the week to get some sun and enjoy some time with his parents. 

Finally, the BIG NEWS:  Baby Boy Watson will be arriving in July of 2014!  We are so thrilled our family is growing and can't wait for our little one's arrival!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Living in Atlanta

Back in June we packed up all our belongings and headed East to Atlanta.  We've been here about a month and are feeling pretty settled.  We made sure we were here and ready to unpack the first week of July so that we would be really settled before Charles started his new job.  And while it was a lot of work those first couple weeks it is so nice to feel like we are settled in and living in our new home.  Once we finished unpacking we spent a week in Wyoming with the Watson family and the Schmidt family to celebrate Charles' parents birthdays.  It was so much fun - another post on that will be coming shortly.  Charles started work this week and I am in the early stages of the job hunt.  If you have any job leads/ideas/tips for me, please share!

I know many of you have been asking for pictures of our new home - so here they are:

Front of the house

Living room from front door, and Lola

View of living room from dining room

Dining Room


Master Bedroom from doorway

Master bedroom looking out

Hall/Master bath

Guest room (ready for visitors!)

Guest bedroom/office area

Guest bathroom

Backyard deck
Hopefully I will be posting a little more regularly again.  I hope.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

quick update

It's been quite awhile since I've posted.  I know my last post was about posting recipes, but when it actually comes time to get my camera out while cooking it never seems like a good idea.  Usually when I'm making dinner I'm tired after a long day of work and the gym and the last thing I want to do is take the time to take photos after chopping and dicing and boiling and baking.  So, none of those posts have materialized.  I will say though that I have enjoyed being back in the kitchen these last few months, it was definitely something I missed while on our trip.

The main reason I haven't written though is because we have been extremely busy.  I went back to work a few days after that last post and it seems that working full time and keeping up with the blog is not my strong suit.

But, we do have some very exciting things going on....

First, Charles is having an art show on Saturday here in Houston.  It is a collection of paintings done while on our trip and over the past few months in the studio.  I am biased, I know, but they are BEAUTIFUL!  If you are in Houston and don't have anything going on Saturday night I hope you can come to the show!  I am so proud of all his hard work and am amazed by the artistic talent he has poured into these pieces.  I can't wait!  If you need info about the show you can find it on his website,, or if you can't make it to the show check the website on Monday or Tuesday and all of the new work will be posted.

Second, we are moving to Atlanta!  Charles has accepted a teaching position there, so shortly after the show we will be packing up all our stuff (and there is a lot of it I've realized this week) and heading to Atlanta.  I must admit I will be sad to leave Texas, but I'm very happy about this next step in our lives.  We have some great friends in Atlanta already and I look forward to making some new ones as well.

In the meantime we plan to spend a lot of time enjoying time with our friends in Houston, enjoying a few more beautiful sunsets from our balcony, and eating as much Mexican food as possible.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fitness and Food

I guess it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense that I am going to be talking about exercise and eating in one post, but it's where my mind is at the moment, so that's what I'm doing.

I am in need of something to focus on post trip and so I have decided to create two goals for myself. 

The first is to work-out/exercise 4-5 days per week.  This will be easy for now, but I'm sure it will be much harder when I start working again in a few weeks.  I'm going to figure out a schedule in the next couple days and I'm hoping that will help me stick with it.

The second has to do a little with our trip and a little with my love for food and cooking.  On our trip there was a dish in each country that jolted my tastebuds and left me craving more.  Here are a few of my favorite food photos from our trip:
Fish & Chips in New Zealand
Panzerotti at Luini in Milan
Svickova in Prague - delicious!
Ottoman dish with eggplant in Istanbul

Street noodles Bangkok
Khmer Vegetable Amok in Cambodia
Wearing my apron at my cooking class in Hanoi Vietnam

Dumplings ready to be steamed in Seoul South Korea

My plan is to recreate my favorite dish from each country over the next few months.  I have already attempted one dish recreation, but I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result.  I made Svickova while we were in Richmond visiting Paul and Meredith, it tasted great, but the texture wasn't quite right.  So, I am going to set out to try that recipe again along with attempting several others.  I haven't figured out a recipe for each country yet, but for now this is where I'll start:

Italy - Ribollita (a soup made with white beans and veggies and thickened with bread)
Czech Republic - Svickova (marinated beef with a divine tasting sauce and bread dumplings - this is the one I tried a few weeks ago)
Turkey - Not sure yet
Israel - Shakshuka (vegetables in tomato sauce with a poached egg)
Jordan - Not sure yet
India - Chicken Korma (chicken with a ginger cashew sauce)
Maldives - Not sure yet
Sri Lanka - Not sure yet
Bangkok - Basil Noodles (thai noodles stir fried with basil and chili sauce)
Cambodia - Khmer Amok (chicken or fish in a coconut curry sauce)
Vietnam - Vietnamese fried spring rolls and lemongrass chicken
South Korea - dumplings

I plan to blog my cooking experiments and provide recipes, depending on how they turn out.  To all my friends in Houston, hope you are hungry and can come over for dinner and help us eat my experimental world cuisine.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 11, 2013


A few weeks ago I wrote this: 

The past few days I've been feeling pretty lost, which is kind of funny because we aren't on the road anymore.  Actually, I think it's the sitting still that is leaving me feeling so confused.  We spent every day for the past five months living each day in the present - enjoying the people, culture, art and experiences that surrounded us.  Now, I find myself completely focused on the future - what type of job do I want, where will we end up living, should I go back to a legal job or find something more personally fulfilling?  These thoughts unfortunately have led me to spending the past two days getting caught up on episodes of Grey's Anatomy and delving into the Downton Abbey series.  The fact that I have spent the past two days in front of the television makes me feel even worse, and yet, I'm not sure what to do about it.

I expected acclimating into "normal" life after this trip to be hard, but I don't really think that I expected these to be the feelings I would have...

I never posted it because I felt conflicted about putting this thoughts out there for the world to see.  I decided today that I would post these thoughts as a part of a larger post, one that is a bigger picture post. 

So, here it is, the bigger picture of life since we returned to the U.S. 

We got back on December 22nd and fell immediately into the holiday celebrations with my family in Dallas.  In some ways it felt the same as any other Christmas in Dallas, except Charles was with me (a first) and I was somehow different.  It was a difference I didn't really come around to though for a few more weeks.  Those first few days of being back from our trip were filled with telling stories to family and friends, attending Christmas mass, dinners with family, wrapping presents, and sharing in the overall joy of Christmas.  It was great!  But, I don't really think that it truly hit me that our adventure was ending, we were still on the travel high and it continued as we left Dallas to head to Sarasota, Florida to visit Charles' family. 

After the long drive from Dallas to Sarasota we were happy to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches, sunny afternoons at St. Armand Circle, and most of all hanging out with Charles' brother Andrew and his family and Charles' parents.  We had a great time celebrating Christmas and exchanging gifts, celebrating Charles' parents wedding anniversary, kayaking and playing on the beach, and overall just being together.  It was a great visit and we shared many photos and stories from our trip, but in a way we were still on our trip.  Here are some photos from our Christmas in Florida:

Lola - so happy to be traveling with us!

Opening presents.  Lola waited patiently to tear up the balled up wrapping paper
Heading to the beach

Beach soccer
Family Portrait
Kayaking and Paddle boarding

Andrew giving the SUP a try

The whole fam out on the water.
Playing skittles on New Years Eve


Saying goodbye to warm Sarasota
After we left Sarasota we headed up to Richmond Virginia to meet the newest member of the Watson family!  Charles' younger brother Paul and his wife had a baby on New Years Eve and we planned to spend our last few weeks of our trip helping them adjust to life with a newborn.  We arrived in Richmond and settled into their basement and helped with all sorts of things around the house - a few basement repairs, cooking, diaper changes, bottle washing, bouncing sweet baby Hayden, and anything else that needed to be done.  We had a great time and really loved getting to see Hayden grow and change over the course of the three weeks we were there.  I enjoyed getting caught up on tv shows I had missed (Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, and Downton Abbey) and started a knitting project to keep me busy.  We both updated our resumes and applied to a few jobs and spent our free time discussing what comes next.  Although we still don't know the answer to that question I think we are both adjusting to the fact that not knowing is ok.  Here are a few pics from our time in Richmond:

Taking Hayden's photo - One Week Old
Hayden's first trip to Ledbury

Hayden the center of attention at Ledbury

Proud parents celebrating with birth year port

Another birth year port celebration

Sweet baby
 We had one last stop planned on our way from Richmond to Houston - a job fair in Atlanta.  Charles has worked with a company that places teachers at private schools around the country, it's actually how he found his last job in Houston.  So, we thought it would be worth it to stop in Atlanta and get a jump on the job search process.  The added bonus was getting to spend time with our friends the Wildmans!  We spent a week in Atlanta with Andy and Caroline and their three precious kids, it was a blast.  We also got to watch the super bowl with our friends Brooks and Missy.  All in all a very worthwhile week.

As we said goodbye in Atlanta our plan was to make our way back to Houston as quick as possible.  But, we ended up stopping to stay with some friends in New Orleans instead of driving the whole way in one day.  What started as an evening with friends in NOLA turned into staying for Mardi Gras parades the next day.  We figured we were still on our trip and Mardi Gras seemed like the best way to spend our last night before we came back to Houston.  So, we went to the Nyx Parade and the Druids Parade with Claudia and Brad and had a wonderful time!  On our way back to Houston we took the long way (something we always say we want to do, but never seem to have the time) so we could stop at some of the old sugar plantations on the banks of the Mississippi.  It was beautiful!

Mardi Gras in NOLA

New Orleans Plantation - Oak Alley

Oak Alley

Last stop of the trip!

So, we're back and becoming reacquainted with Houston - traffic, our closets, the grocery stores, and having a bed of our very own.  It's strange.  I find myself reminiscent many times a day...thinking about an afternoon in Italy, a sunset in Jerusalem, the honking in India, or the thrill of not knowing what tomorrow holds.  It's funny because I still don't entirely know what our future holds, but it's different, when you're not on the road.

So, there you have it.  I'm still just as lost as I was when I wrote that post above a few weeks ago.  But, I think I'm doing better about focusing on the present day and not worrying about the future.  The posts here on the blog will probably be less exciting than they have been this past year, but I still plan to write, so come back and check in soon to see what we're up to.