Sunday, November 10, 2013

Halloween 2013

Oh, Halloween. How I love you so!

Seriously, what's not love? Costumes all day and candy before bed. SCORE.

Oh, and waking up to this cutey asking you if it is "Hellobean yet."

Yes, Lucy. It was.

Our May Family Hellobean. I seriously love me a family theme but alas, Gabriel really wanted to be a Ninja turtle this year... well... after I talked him down from being "Death". Mama needs a few years before the scary costumes.

I guess technically they were all animals.

The post trick-or-treating/pre-candy-crashing moment sure felt magical.

Happy Hellobean!!!

Flooding Fun

For a section of Texas plagued by drought, there sure have been several crazy rains this season. I'm sure you've seen the pictures of the massive flooding that overtook parts of Austin on the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and then again just before Halloween. It was truly rain like I have never known. You can read all about ways to help here. Our backyard measured out around 10 inches of rain in just 2.5 hours.

The perfect weather for pumpkin carving, no?

Rain, rules and a bunch of kids yielding knives. Our pumpkin carving 2013.

Pumpkin Carving 2013 from Julie May on Vimeo.

Rain definitely contributes to a spooky night of art.

The Hunt

Let it be known.

The next time Rosie George has circle tail, I will put my camera down and go inside.

I am going to lovingly refer to this video as "The Hunt" or "What-Julie-thought-was-a-cute-dog-playing-in-the-bushes".

Rosie G. Hunt from Julie May on Vimeo.

Too bad that there is no video footage of me running to the house two seconds after filming when she turned around with a SNAKE in her mouth.

Sweet Berry Farms

I know I say this over and over again, but it is so true. I just LOVE living near all these hill country towns so much. Sweet Berry Farms has been a favorite for such a long time.

A farm full of pumpkiny goodness is such a beautiful way to welcome in fall.

Such an escape for these city kids.


There is something to be said about taking a moment to step out of the grind, turn off all the buzzing in your brain and make way for fresh breezy skies and some very good company.

This past month, we scrubbed away our surface and served our children dirt, adventure and abundant tree climbing with their breakfast. Let me tell you, my picky eaters devoured it all. In fact, the grown ups did too.

Want to find the answer to that question echoing through your 9-5 head? Feeling behind on chores? Losing perspective? Weary from life? What better way to tackle that all then with a s'more in hand and the infinite outside as your witness? Pack it up and move on out.

You see, camping makes me brave.

It makes me free.

It makes me laugh in the parts of my heart that feel the most empty.

It brings out the silly.

The messy.

The weary from life.

Only to welcome in new light and endless possibilities.

There is no better community than that shared with friends watching your children on their very best day.  

On my very best day.

Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea and drink the wild air...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mover Mays?

Kelly and I have a pretty balanced communication style. I guess, when you have been loving someone for more than half your life, understanding what really makes the other one go completely insane is pretty much charted territory. We do our best to just steer clear of those triggers as much as possible. While I love my husband so much, the nostril flaring that occurs when he is angry can probably be seen from space. I do my best to avoid it--- for the sake of the solar system.

Sometimes though, it just sneaks up on you...

I mean, this looks like a recipe for success, no?

Oh, what's that? Pushing a piano up a side of a mountain, followed by 10 stairs, in the rain, post book club and somewhere north of 3 watermelon margaritas in is a BAD idea? Who knew.

There miiiiiight have been some profanity, massive shoe squeaking, piano squashing people moments. We miiiiiight have mistaken our degrees in child development and mass comm for one in engineering. I can pretty  much say with certainty that Kelly's nose hairs were honed in on high def at the Russian Space Station. Mays were not bringing our A game.

So, we did the only natural thing one could do.

We stopped. Glared at each other one last time. Limped up Kelly's deathtrap wooden ramp and called in reinforcements. You know, someone who actually has a degree in engineering.All for the sake of our marriage. 

Well, that... and a really pretty painted piano. 

Here's to not moving that bad boy EVER EVER again. Such music to my ears.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The other day at breakfast, we were discussing whose birthday came next in our little family. Bet you can't guess who started that conversation. GABRIEL, er, somebody has been counting down since about last March. Molly kept incessantly trying to upgrade her barely 7 status to 7 and a half. That was a harsh reality for her. Not even 7.5 until Gabe's birthday? Say it ain't so.

So, when Lucy chimed in that she was a half now too, our resident expert on all things birthday was very quick to shut.her.down. Somewhere around mid-bite into my bagel it hit me...oops... Lucy was in fact two and half years old. Happy half birthday, Lucy from a couple weeks ago. Your negligent parents sure love you and your easy going ways.

Wait, did I say easy going and 2.5 in the same sentence? Yeeeeeah, I thought not.

Don't let this face fool you.

This kid is all things two-years-old. Loud, opinionated and at any given moment far too sticky for her own good.

It's been a big couple months for Lucy.

Big girl panties.
 First hair cut.

First skeleton mask.

You know. The important milestones.

No seriously, the biggest milestone of all took place for her parents. Lucy has been independently climbing in and out of her crib now since she was around 15-months-old. For the past six months or so, we have just been kissing her goodnight and then watching her climb in to the ole' crib for the night. I know. I'm not proud of our parenting choices either.

But alas, her crib has been converted! Our panty-wearing, skeletor of a toddler is legit in her big girl bed. It only took her parents 15 or so months to catch up. Being the third child rocks, no?

She doesn't seem to mind, though. You see, mermaids really know how to roll with it.

Tank top when it is 49 outside? Why not? I mean. Who doesn't love a backwards rainbow tank top in the fall?

So, here's to you, Lucy May. You sure know how make 31 months look awesome.


Our home.

For my birthday this year, more than anything--- what I really wanted was for my new house to feel like home. I could think of no better method to achieve this then to cram the place full with people I love, delicious snacks and ample amounts of alcohol. For all the 60-75 amazing people hanging around my house, I didn't take a single picture. I was too busy living in the moment. I know I have mentioned this before here, but I am continually blown away by the amazing people in our lives. Love really is all you need.

So, since I can't document all the love in the house--- I'll show you a little bit of labor.

Home projects are my personal form of Xanax. Nowhere else can I get in my head for a bit, blast some music and take out life's frustrations with a hand sander and a bucket of paint. Thank goodness my husband knows how to meet me in that space, not offer "suggestions" and keep me company. Fellow music lover, midnight furniture painter and the man can work magic with a jigsaw... swoon.

When we purchased the house, it really was move-in ready. Of course if you at all know me, then you know that means absolutely nothing. The weeks between close and move-in, I  grabbed the besties and painted a couple rooms in the house (I traded in picture taking for wine drinking, of course). The rest of the painting projects were late night Kelly and Julie dates. He wooed me with frog tape and semigloss paint.

While it was definitely labor... I sure felt the love.

in beautiful spring green cabinets (color pictured is wonky. It looks waaaaay better)

and super stripedy bathrooms...

in a Kelly-made patio table and the sweet people that eat dinner there...

in the art that lines my backyard fence.

This house is a starry night, smores cozy kinda love.

In the past several months, I have decided to take on projects that I had absolutely NO idea how to do. Sounds like the ideal recipe for success, no? I guess the one positive of Craiglist treasures, is what is the real harm if something comes out horrible? Always a risk but thankfully with my most two recent projects, it was a total reward...

Like for instance... it turns out reupholstering furniture isn't hard at all... who knew? (Well, especially when your insanely-talented-seamstress-of-a-MIL handles the seat cushions--- that part actually does involve sewing abilities). I think I might have found something even better than the hand-sander for pent up aggression. MALLETS. Get you one and go crazy. On furniture. Not people. 

I digress. Refocusing you back. 

See... it came out pretty!

 I seriously considered being all pinteresty with the whole step-by-step,  how tos and what-nots... and then I returned to reality and remembered that I still have absolutely no clue how it all came together. Luck and a whole lot of staples. Is there a pinterest category for that?

The whole space just floods with light and Milo and I can't get enough of it. If only his grey self could just manage to stay off the champagne upholstery. Le sigh. Fancy cat, le sigh. What can I say, he appreciates my hard work. (Note to self, if you are at all allergic to cats then you miiiiight want to avoid the far left winged-back chair. Ahem, Maxey.)

There's still a lot to do with the space downstairs. I guess that is the beauty of owning a home. I have all the time I want to fill it with my weirdy treasures. Thank goodness I have weirdy people to tie me over until then. 

It suffices to say that we are definitely breaking in our new digs, 

getting comfy...

and making it our own. Mermaids and all.

Pictures of the upstairs to come sometime in the next decade or so.