Sick and Tired

March 30, 2009

Sick and Tired

Sick and Tired

Carrie told you in an earlier post about our crazy weekend of sickness last weekend.  This picture typifies that entire weekend.  Grace had just told Carrie that she was about to get sick.  Carrie took her to the bathroom, and both fell asleep as they waited for Grace to, well, get sick.  She had already thrown up nearly a half a dozen times by this picture.  And my beautiful wife did what she does best, comforted Grace.

I am a journalist at heart.  I love to tell stories with pictures.  After helping with Grace throughout the evening, and realizing Carrie had control of this situation, I felt compelled to get my camera out to capture the intimacy of the moment.  It was a moment I will never forget.  Both girls were so tired from the entire day. You can see the expressions. Yet, you can see the warmth of Carrie’s embrace with her hand as Grace fell back into her.

Carrie made me fall in love with her so much more during this first “big family sickness.” After all, she and Alyssa got sick as well.  She is a true champion of taking care of both of our girls, remaining steadfast in her devotion to God, to them, and to me.

Grace dancing at the Domain

Grace dancing at the Domain

This weekend has been a blast.  Not “fun” as in – crazy, wild, fun.  But “fun” as in – I love being with my family, “fun.”  “Fun” as in – I’m refreshed and ready to start a new week, “fun.”  Here’s what we did.

I had a baby shower to go to Saturday afternoon, so Matt took the girls to get an oil change and car wash.  Fun for Momma because I had some time with friends.  Fun for Daddy and the girls because they had time together.

After nap time, we were antsy to get out of the house.  Matt suggested going to the Domain to walk around.  (For those who don’t live in Austin, the Domain is an upscale, outdoor shopping area).  Matt had a little extra work clothing allowance burning a hole in his pocket, so we went to Macy’s first.  As we walked out of Macy’s and started checking out the other shops, we noticed that they had blocked off the main road running through the Domain.  A stage was set up and signage said there was a fashion show.  In the distance, we could hear live music which sparked our curiosity.  We walked to the opposite end of the Domain and asked a security guard what was going on.  Come to find out, the fashion show had an after party with a live band, free drinks and desserts!  One of our favorite things is to stumble upon something cool.  This fit that criteria.  It was so much fun!  Grace danced the night away.  Alyssa shook her booty in the stroller.  Matt and I enjoyed watching them.

Today we had another great day!  After church we drove to Marble Falls and ate at the Blue Bonnet Cafe.  AMAZING!  Good, comfort food.  They are known for their pies.  DELICIOUS!  We had the peanut butter pie and it was fabulous.  We practically licked the plate clean.  After we had stuffed ourselves silly, we went to Sweet Berry Farms and picked strawberries.  It was perfect weather to be outside and the farm was a great time.  Grace really got into finding good strawberries, picking them, and putting them in her basket.  By the end, she had strawberry juice all over her clothes and face.

I’m so far behind on posting pictures to our flickr sight that it completely overwhelms me.  I’m trying to upload a bit at a time.  HOPEFULLY by the end of the week I’ll be caught up.  At that point, I’ll post pictures from our fun weekend.  Sorry to do so many posts with no pictures!!

I think we confused Grace a little by having her party on Saturday, but saying her birthday was on Sunday.  She eventually started referring to Sunday as her “real” birthday.

We had fabulous plans for Grace’s “real” birthday.  We were going to church and then heading out to Marble Falls with some friends to eat at the Blue Bonnet Cafe and pick strawberries.

As we pulled into the church parking lot, we hear Alyssa throw up.  So, we get out, clean her up, and head home.  Sorry, Grace.  Your birthday is going to be spent taking care of your sick sister.  Bummer.

Alyssa was sick until about 3:00 that afternoon.  We were very thankful when she started keeping Pedialite down.

On Monday I took the girls to Lady Bird Lake for a walk.  Well, I guess I should say that I TRIED to take them for a walk.  As we were taking our exit off MoPac, I hear Grace throw up.  Seriously?!  So, I get out, clean her up, and head home.  Sound familiar?!  🙂

She was sick until about 10:00 that night.  By 12:30am I was sick.  Matt called in sick yesterday to help with the girls.  I slept all day.  By this morning, I was finally feeling back to my “normal” self.  Matt is doing OK so far.  Hopefully he’ll avoid the plague that is taking over our house!  Now I’m on a cleaning mission to get rid of the germs!!

Oh, and our strawberry picking/Blue Bonnet Cafe adventure is postponed until next Sunday.  🙂

Grace is now 3

March 25, 2009

We survived the weekend.  In fact, we had a lot of fun – enjoyed every minute.  But, let’s just say – I’m glad we celebrated on Saturday and not Sunday.  More on that later.

Grace’s party was a success!  She was so thrilled when she woke up to find the house decorated with balloons and streamers.  I was thrilled that all the food was prepared, but just needed warmed and made presentable.  The weather was beyond beautiful so we had all the festivities outdoors.

After the girls woke up from their naps, we took them to Hey Cupcake.  It’s this fabulous place in South Austin.  They serve gourmet cupcakes out of an Airstream trailer!  The cupcakes were delicious!  And, a cowboy was entertaining the crowd and serenaded Grace with a “Happy Birthday” song as well.

SXSW (South by Southwest) was also going on, so we walked down South Congress and listened to live music at several venues.  Grace wanted to stop and listen to all of them.  When we headed back to the car, she said, “I want to go do more dance!”

It was a great day.  I’ll tell about her “real” birthday in the following post.  It’s a post in and of itself!!

The stolen laptop

March 20, 2009

So, my laptop from KXAN was stolen last Friday at Austin’s famed SXSW festival.  Not the best day of my life, for sure.  After checking security footage, calling police, asking around, and telling my boss, my photographer Mark Batchelder suggested I should post a Twitter message about my stolen laptop.  I did, and my “followers” on my twitter page passed it on to their followers, who passed it on to their followers.  Eventually thousands of people in Austin, and all across the country knew that I, a TV reporter in Austin, Tex., had a laptop stolen.  Even the Texas Department of Public Safety (a.k.a. Texas State Troopers) saw my twitter post and retweeted to their network. Below, you can see a copy of all the “re-tweets” of my original post.  I never found that laptop, and I’m still looking.  So if you see a lovely Dell Latitude 6500, please send me a Twitter message @mattflener.

Matt's Twitter Feed After Stolen Laptop

Tonight’s activities

March 20, 2009

Tonight, Carrie’s Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary Ann Routzhan came in from Dallas for Grace’s birthday party tomorrow.  We ate at Sago in the Triangle tonight.  It was perfect weather, and great to see them.  Can you believe Grace turns 3 on Sunday?  We’re expecting about 30 people tomorrow for the big party.  It will be a blast!

Grace’s 3rd birthday is on Sunday.  We’re having a party for her tomorrow morning.  Why am I stressed?!?

We have fire ants in the backyard.

I’m making homemade kolaches for the first time.

We’re going to have 30+ people in our house.

I hate feeling out-of-control.

And the best part of all of this is…Grace probably won’t remember her 3rd birthday party.  I know I don’t.  So it all comes down to this…kids’ birthday parties end up being about the adults.  So, fortunately, all of Grace’s friends have parents who are our friends!  This is why I’m stressed.  The kids won’t care if there’s not enough food or my house is messy.  But, adults do notice those things.  🙂

It should be fun.  I just need to let go of control (once the party starts) and enjoy the ride.  Matt will be responsible for taking lots of pictures, so stay tuned for that!

Through a new lens…

March 16, 2009

So, Carrie and I just upgraded to two new lenses for our Canon Rebel XTi. We are still learning quite a bit about them, but they are capturing some beautiful (and hilarious) pictures of the girls.  Here is a sampling!

Grace Flener poses for the camera

Grace Flener poses for the camera

Alyssa Flener poses for the camera

Alyssa Flener poses for the camera

With Carrie's Sunglasses

With Carrie’s Sunglasses

Being a Parent

March 8, 2009

Matt and I are taking a class at church this semester called Theological Survey.  In this class we talk about some different doctrines of the Christian faith.  The topics have radically shaken our world views and views of God.  It’s amazing how through this deeper knowledge of God, we are able to worship Him more.  Incredible.

Anyway, today we talked about several topics, but the one that hit home for us was Adoption.  Adoption is the fact that God adopted us into His family.  Even though we have blasphemed His name and killed Him on the cross, He (in His infinite love) took our sin, gave us His righteousness, and invited us to share His inheritance with Him – Heaven.

I love human examples because I can really relate with them.  One example we talked about today was how it feels to be a parent.

We love our kids.  Not because they make us wealthy (yeah right!) or because they are always nice or because they DO anything.  I love my kids because they are MINE.  It doesn’t matter what they say or do.

It’s the same with God.  He is our Father.  He loves us.  Not because we DO anything.  Just because we are HIS.  Isn’t that so beautiful?!  It makes me weep.  It makes REJOICE!  It makes me WORSHIP HIM!

Blog Experiment

March 7, 2009

After the response I got from my post called “Domestic Diva,” I decided to create a blog that will allow people to exchange recipes.  It’s an experiment.  As I say in the first post, I’m not a chef – not a cook – not even close.  Just a mom trying to cook healthy meals for the fam.

So, check it out!  Tell your friends!  Share your recipes!!

This week’s category – Slow Cooker!!!

I know – the name is cheesy – Matt already told me.  I wanted something with “recipe” in it so people would find it in search engines.  “Recipe Exchange” and “Recipe Swap” were already taken.  So, this is it.