Oct 29, 2007

beanie weenie

Say hello to the (soon to be) newest member of our little family.

This is Lily Bean Rippke. But I think we'll mostly be calling her Bean, or Beanie. "Why Bean?" you ask. Well, apparently Bean is the name of the "tiny hero" in one of Nathan's books. He mentioned the name...I laughed at him...and then I couldn't get it out of my head. So it stuck. The Lily part is to make me feel better about the whole thing. Izzy gets a real name (Isabelle) and so should this little girl. Izzy and her will both be coming back to Iowa with us at Christmas time so get ready for some puppy kisses!

Oct 23, 2007

65 is the new cold

Well, I said it wouldn't happen, but it has. My body has officially adjusted to being hot all the time. And I have a feeling that when I go back to visit Iowa this winter I might freeze. I think Nate might too. I finally understand why people that move away from the North say they'll never go back. This week, for the first time since I've been here, a cold front came in and dropped the temperature all the way from the upper 80s to between 55 and 75. Its absolutely perfect. Although, I do have to say that when it gets down around 65 I start to shiver if I don't have a sweater or coat on. I think we're going to love winter down here.

We enjoyed the first night that it was cool by getting out our mittens and sweaters and sitting on the porch with some hot chocolate. Sounds like fall right? It is. Except when I went inside and realized it was only 65 degrees out I felt kind of silly to have my arm warmers on. Nonetheless, we have really been loving it. Most of the day it's sunny and 72 degrees. We can finally shut our air conditioner off...and not turn our heat on.

I got to work a half day yesterday. My boss wasn't feeling well, and the weather was so perfect she just let us go after our work for the day was done. Izzy was pretty excited about it. She has also been loving this weather. I took her outside to play yesterday while I was home and she just ran around like a crazy lady. She loves to roll around in the grass and say hello to all the neighbor dogs...especially the shih tzu that lives in our building. I think he might be her boyfriend. She's really going to love having a "little sister." She's such a social pup, and loves to meet new people and dogs. Now we just need to decide if we want the black and tan with the white on her chest or solid black and tan. Such hard choices! Ha.

Rachel gets here in 3 weeks from today. And then Jamie gets here that next Monday. We're so excited to have visitors! We love hanging out with each other, but it'll be nice to see a familiar face. Plus then I get to go to the spa with my girl family members the weekend after that which I am more than looking forward to. Yea!! What a great couple of months we have coming up.

We haven't really taken any new pictures this week. But the breeder put a new picture of the girl puppies up. So I will leave you with that.

Oct 20, 2007

bring out the bifocals

It's official. Nate and I are old. When you're Friday nights end at 10:30, and your Saturdays start before noon, college life has ended. We got a lot done today though. Our apartment has been a disaster area since we're both working now. Neither one of us wants to clean when we get home so the mess just builds up over the course of the week. So after going to Elva's for our weekly Dynamites we decided to clean the apartment. And in an effort to make our place "cozier" we got a cinnamon candle and took care of some of the things we'd been meaning to do since we moved in...in June. I'm kind of bummed though. The lanterns we got for the living room (which I really like) kill their batteries in a little over 2 hours so we might be returning them and getting something else.

Nate and I got this stuff in Austin with the intention of making jewelry from it. That was back in August.

Here's my necklace I made from it today!

The frames above the bed are finally hung and the hooks are no longer empty. Yea! Plus, we got the bedroom curtains hung and got a laundry basket. Ha!

These are the lanterns I like... :(

At World Market you can "build your own 6 pack" so Nate and I got beers from all over the world. We even got a couple of Czech beers. Represent the family tree!

Mmm strawberry Pocky sticks.

Oct 19, 2007

some good dachshund news

Well in the worry of everything I completely forgot to post a picture of Izzy's little sisters. So here it is. The two girls are the ones on the left side. The very left girl has a little white on her chest and the second from the left is just black and tan. We're going to get one of them...we just aren't quite sure which one. She will be home with us for Christmas though. We really don't want to loose those 3 weeks with her. I know, I know, it's going to be difficult to travel with both dogs, but it's worth it. And you'll love them. I promise! Look how cute they are.

And happy birthday mom!! Love you!

Here are the little sweeties all cozy together.

Oct 18, 2007

my poor little baby

She got bit by what appears to be like 40 ants...maybe fire ants?? We're not sure. We've given her some Benadryl and she is acting normal. But we called the vet ER and they're open...just in case. Pretty scary, but we're keeping an eye on her.

bring your dog to work day

Last night Nate and I went to "Noche en el Caribe," a breast cancer benefit here in town. I worked on the graphics for the event so we got tickets to go. There were hors d'oeuvres, a fashion show of some local boutiques, and drag queens. The event was held at the Town Club which is a reception hall about 6 stories up in what I'm sure is the nicest building in town...atleast that I've been in so far. The main room, where the runway was set up, was beautiful. It has rounded glass walls on each side and overlooks the water which was really pretty at dusk. There are pictures below that probably do a better job describing it than I do.

Since we were already dressed up Nate and I decided to continue our date night and head to a nice steakhouse here in town for martini night. It was pretty delicious. We hung out for a little while, and I got to talk to Rachel on the phone. She's going to be here in 28 days! We're so excited! Thanksgiving week should be great. We'll get to see Rachel, Jamie, and some of my family. Yea!

Izzy's having a little bit of a rough week. Yesterday when Izzy was running around the yard on her leash one of the neighbor dogs got out of his collar and ran across the yard and attacked her. Nate swatted the meany out of the way, but Izzy was super scared and squeeling. I guess we'll have to make sure to stay super close to her...but that makes it kind of hard for her to run around. Then today while outside she got "attacked" by ants and has more than 20 huge ant bites on her chest. They're gross. But we called the vet and they said to give her some benedryl. She isn't acting like it's bugging her, but it scares me. And it must be uncomfortable. Pretty nasty. I took her to work with me today though so she could have some extra time out of her room...which is now in the kitchen instead of the bathroom. We've put a gate up. She gets more light out there and seems to be happier and more lively when we get home. She was great at the studio though. She had to sniff everything out of course. But once she calmed down she spent the rest of the morning asleep on my lap. It was nice.

Izzy sitting on my lap under my desk. One of the sweetest pictures of her ever.

She fell asleep for a while.

Nate with his martini.

Me waiting for my martini. Nice lighting.

One of the rooms at the Town Club.

This is the glass room I was talking about. Pretty.

Oct 16, 2007

my gma can out glitter your gma

Yesterday was my Grandma Jones' birthday. Shout out to my Gma J! Woo Hoo classy lady! Sorry we missed the party. But I'll see you in Austin in a few weeks!

Anyways. So it turns out that we'll be able to leave Texas a day earlier to come home for Christmas. Which means...you get one more day of us! Yea! And we get an extra day in Iowa. Yea! So, to correct a previous post, we will now be back home on Sunday December 16th (weather and dog permitting).

Also, here are some pictures of Nate's studio he's been working at. This is his desk area up on the second floor. Hopefully he'll get some pics of the first floor soon. It's really a very nice house turned studio. And it always smells good...usually like cinnamon apple.

Nate's work area.

The view from Nate's desk into one of the other offices.

Nate's desk and a cute little sun room/nook.

Oct 13, 2007

a good grilled cheese always feels like home

Well, it's a long one today. For the first time since we've been here we had something to do almost everyday. Which has been good for our social lives, but bad for the cleanliness of our apartment. We started out the week by meeting one of Nate's coworker at the church to take pictures of the signage and figure out how it could be improved. Nate and I got pretty lost the first week we went, so she figured we'd be the perfect people to point out the confusing areas. We're both learning a lot by working in "the real world." It's great that we're in similar, but different, fields. We can help each other out...and learn stuff that we didn't in school.

Izzy's mom had puppies this week. She had a little black and tan girl that we're seriously considering getting. The timing is off though and it would make our trip home for Christmas harder, but we'll see. We really want to get her. So we'll try to figure it out I guess.

Wednesday I went to wine club with Monica. It was at a new bar in town, and as usual, a lot of fun. It's a good way to meet people and learn more about the city. We (the ladies) meet once a month at a bar or restaurant and just hang out for a couple of hours. And then the guys can come meet up with us after that.

I finally got my hair cut. Seriously, I'm like 5 pounds lighter. Josh, the guy that is putting on the breast cancer benefit is a stylist and cut it for me. I love it. It's just too hot down here to have such long and thick hair. We're still in the mid 80's most days. Which means our electric bill is still ridiculous. It went up once again. Bummer.

Last night was the Kspace gallery opening. We had a blast. It was pretty surreal to see Nate's photo up all lit up and hanging with the work of really great artists from all over the nation. I think Kspace was really pleased with the turnout for the event. Both Nate and my co-workers came to show their support. It was pretty packed in there. There was food and wine, and a couple of bands that played. We spent the better part of three hours looking at the art and mingling. There was one piece in particular, a photograph, that Nate was drawn to when we first started walking around. He later got to meet the artist and talk to him about photography and film, and a bunch of stuff I don't really understand. Turns out the guy (who's purple crocs we'd been intrigued with for most of the night) had hung the wall that Nate's piece was on and really liked it. They talked for a long time and he gave him some really good pointers and offered to let him check out his studio space some time. I wish you guys could see the show, it's really quite impressive. We took some pictures though, so I guess they'll have to do. I'm so proud of him!

Today after church we were going to drive the loop around the islands, but we ended up only going about half way because the ferry line was 20 minutes long and we were too hungry for lunch to wait. So we stopped at a diner called "Bakery Cafe" over in Port Aransas. I'm so glad we did. We finally found a real, family owned (since 1929) diner down here! You can even sit on the spinning stools at the counter. I think we may try to make it an after church tradition. The food was so good!

The Bakery Cafe. Mmmm grilled cheese.

The entrance to the gallery.

Nate's co-workers congratulating him.

Nate with his piece. Thuuuumbs up!

Some people looking at Nate's piece.

A shot of part of the gallery.

The artist in the purple crocs.

Nate getting some munchies. Mmm.

My new hair cut.

Carla and Nate discussing the church signage.

Some tamales Sergio, my co-worker, gave us.

Here's your weekly photo of Izzy.

Oct 7, 2007

i'm pretty sure my dad was born to be a cartoon

Corpus Christi is an interesting city. Usually when I'm traveling to a new city I find that the night time can make me homesick. It's often oddly unfamiliar and uncomfortable. But ever since I've moved here this hasn't been the case.

This city is really much more charming during night. The bay is lit up all the way around, making almost a complete circle of lights. You can tell where each port city is, and the water in the center of everything is always so calm. We drove around the city Friday night and walk a little through some of the parks and the marina. There were some shrimpers working on their boat that I would have really liked to take a picture of. But I imagine a dark shadow of a person taking your picture while you work would be a little confusing and frightening, so I decided against it. Almost every business down town has a neon sign. I love neon. I think it is so much more attractive than some lit up plastic crap sign, and usually older and more nostalgic. Now if they could just find a way to fill all the empty parts of down town with businesses we could have a really awesome city here. Maybe that's another reason we like down town so much at night...the darkness hides all of the empty buildings.

Nate's last day at the record store was yesterday. I'm glad. Saturdays alone are boring. But we did have a nice dinner together (our first in way too long) to celebrate at one of our favorite restaurants, Utopia. Yep mom, I got the grilled caesar. I can't resist it. Whoever came up with the idea of putting a salad on the grill is a genius.

We went back to the Methodist Church today for the second time. It was world communion week which was awesome. We're really liking it there, and are meeting a ton of people. I'm sorry to say, I've already forgotten most everyone's name. It was introduction overload. We're really lucky though because one of the ladies Nate works with, Carla, is kind of the "Deb Blaedel" of the church down here (for those of you who know Deb this will take no explanation) so she knows everyone and is really involved. We're looking forward to joining some classes and getting to know more people. Carla and her family took us out for BBQ afterwards which was really really nice of them. And seriously, they have two of the coolest little kids ever. One of their sons spends a lot of time at the studio after he gets out of class and let us know that he is so grateful to have Nate working their so that he "has another guy to talk to"...mostly about Star Wars.

The rest of the day was dedicated to naps, pizza, and creating South Park family portraits. Try to guess who's who. I think the likenesses are pretty awesome. And sorry mom, your hair isn't really that big, it was the only option they gave me that was short and curly. Oh, and just like in real life, Grandma's glasses are custom made...by yours truly. I think you might want to use this as your Christmas card this year.

Me and my baby girl.

One of the boats at the marina.

Some more boats at the marina.

Part of the lit up bay.

My Family. Grandparents, parents, me, siblings, Grace, and Curty. You can click on the picture to make it bigger and see the diamonds on Grandma's glasses.

Nate's family.

Oct 4, 2007

i dare you not to laugh out loud

Yes, I was crying because I was laughing so hard. Just one more joy of the isight.

its kind of like college...only in three different states

So for those of you who were not quite sure what I was talking about in my entry about my virtual lunches and the isight (hi mom) here is a visual that should explain it. This isn't really much of an entry. But I think it's cool, and therefore I am sharing it with you.

Me in Corpus Christi, TX, James in Grand Rapids, MI, and Niki in Des Moines, IA.

Yep, pretty awesome.

Oct 3, 2007

t-shirts are for weekends and cleaning now

This past weekend was Bayfest, which is basically a carnival on the Bay...surprise. We had hoped to go Saturday night and take some pictures while everything was lit up and there were a bunch of people around, but my gut was not feeling up to it. There's been a bit of a bug going around and I think Nate and I had it for a couple days. Or who knows...it could be the crappy water. Ick. Anywho, we ended up going Sunday after going to our new church for the first time (which is huge, on the bay, and beautiful). Bayfest is cool because all the profits from the food go to the organization selling it. So, for instance, the corn dog we ate was provided by a South Texas substance abuse program. Therefore, the money that was made from it went to support that organization. Pretty cool. There were about 30 different food stands...yeah, it's no state fair, but they did have corn on the cob, so it's the closest thing we got to it this year.

In other news, Nate is officially an Iowa State graduate! Check out the picture below. Pretty grown up. We went out tonight and bought him some short sleeved work clothes for his first professional job (which he's loving by the way). It's way too hot for long sleeves down here. And everyone is so casual anyways.

Life in Texas is going smoothly right now. Izzy's sweet as ever, and doing great. She's pretty excited to meet the family and her cousin Winnie this winter. It's also nice to be back to a dual income household of course. This is Nate's last week and the record store. He'll be working full time at the communications studio until we leave for Iowa (in 72 days!). And hopefully when we get back (keep crossing your fingers for us) he'll have his first salary position. Until then we'll just continue enjoying our nights free of homework, and weekends by the pool. Oh, and of course all the Tacos and Sonic we've been eating.

A couple of the food stands. And a guy in short shorts and black socks.

Nate with a sno cone. They actually had PICKLE juice sno cones. This is Strawberry however.

Part of the kiddy carnival

Me on the bay/boardwalk.

Nate is a graduate!!! Woo Hoo!