Big November Blessings (+ Wrestling!)

I have a huge final football post coming up next, but before we get to that monumental chapter closing in our lives, I wanted to share the joy of my mom‘s visit + a new start for Annelise!

My mom came the first week of November, and it was a bit unique, as it was more focused on spending time with *me* than doing stuff with the kids - not that she didn’t get to enjoy any of that, as well, but they were in school all week. We had outstanding girl lunches together (mango pomegranate hot chicken tostadas! blackberry sage waffles!)

We had divine Chinese reflexology foot massages, and she shopped for me - nothing makes you feel as beautiful as when your mom buys you accessories for your son’s Senior Night! (Y’all, I live in workout clothes - earrings (a miracle my pierced ear holes were still open!) & a sparkly sweater poncho made me feel like the fancy moms who look sooo “with it!” :-D Pics in the football post!)

So one of my mom‘s most favorite places to go here every time she visits is Ace Hardware. It sounds silly, if you’ve never been, but it’s GLORIOUS! Just a hardware store? Not here, it’s not! They have all of this beautiful unique home decor, seasonal decorations, tons of kitchen supplies, a ladies boutique of clothes, jewelry, & accessories, entertaining & party foods, a chocolate shop, and our local post office branch in the back - along with all of the normal things in a hardware store! It’s like a hardware store, a home decor store, a kitchen supply store, and a southern boutique gift shop all in one! Thursday night, Ace had their annual Ladies Night Out = everything 20% off, endless drinks & samples, & gifts for everyone! To have her visit coincide with that event was kismet!!!

My mom blessed us with our turn at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Houston, too. Yes, I yoga-ed. :-) It was beautiful & a craving I’ve had since first seeing Atelier des Lumières (in Paris) online years ago:

She also brought a box of my Dad’s old war pictures for me to go through, (esp. apropos timing, close to Veterans Day & on what would’ve been my Dad‘s birthday that day.) Everyone always said I looked just like him, as I was growing up. I never saw it at the time, because he was so much older, but I see it in his war pics, and I absolutely love them for that connection! Here’s my Dad in the Navy (lying in front) & his crew. He was a tail gunner on a torpedo bomber (the Plastered Bastard! :-P)
We were also stunned when we discovered that Annelise & my Dad have almost the exact same writing style! I had never noticed it before, b/c I always saw my Dad‘s cursive, but here are some notes Annelise took in school last week beside some picture descriptions my Dad wrote during the war:
Who knew penmanship was genetic? :-D

My mom ended her visit with brunch at Xochi - an incredible Oaxacan fine dining restaurant in downtown Houston. I’ve been dying to try it for years, and we were absolutely floored that it completely lived up to the hype! Fresh churros & Mexican hot chocolate churned tableside. The best taquitos any of us have ever tasted. Huevos rancheros. Chilaquiles. Tlayuda. Corn soup with huitlacoche. And a complete dessert menu to die for! Behold:

So after all of that, we also moved forward last week into an incredible new season for Annelise: she is officially a high school WRESTLER! :-O She is sooo fierce, and she is thriving on the drama-free camaraderie & personal accountability! #girlswrestling #girlpower

She wrestles other girls in her weight class - not boys. There are 18 girls on our wrestling team! She became so frustrated & disillusioned with some aspects of cheer, (esp. faux girl drama (she is NOT about image or popularity) + if *one* person doesn’t give their all, it sabotages the entire team) so she had to make a significant change. Talk about an unexpected turn, but it’s so perfect: she’s still on a team, but her personal match is all on her. And the coaching & her teammates are incredible - out of 18 girls, there are no cliques or haughty attitudes!

Her very first match was last Wednesday:
I was sooo proud of how fiercely she battled, how she never gave up, even when something popped in her ankle. (Yes, she’s out now with an ankle injury. :’( Please pray for quick & complete healing! We know nothing is broken, and the trainers have been giving her awesome therapy treatments before & after school with hot & cold water jets before wrapping; but with this being her first year & her having so much new to learn, we pray this doesn’t sideline her for very long!) And yes, she’s wrestling with her hair down: I assumed we would be braiding it on meet days or putting it in a bun, but it’s actually an advantage to have that huge mane getting in your opponent’s face, so she’s going with it! :-D


  1. Oh my word, I am so hungry after seeing the food pics and reading about all that delicious cuisine y'all enjoyed during your mom's visit!! So happy for you that it sounds like y'all had a great time while she was in town.

    And congrats to Annelise for trying something new and probably a little bit out of her comfort zone!! Hope she recovers from this injury quickly and has a great first season of wrestling!


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