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Hey, guess what?

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Scott and I have been married an entire year. And it’s still awesome. He’s still patient and humors me when I’m crazy (he can tell I’m trying to rein it in – that’s love, right?). I am still the luckiest girl in the world. He still calls me “the best birthday present ever.”

Did I ever tell you about how we met on his birthday? Because I typed it up the other day to update a friend who I hadn’t seen in AGES (Hi Nicole!) and since I went to all that trouble, I thought I’d tell you too. It’s such a good story.

It’s March of 2008. I had a business trip to San Diego and I decided to fly out early (Friday morning) and have a little vacation. It was my first solo vacation, no big deal, I always make friends, right? Wrong. In a city of tourists, everyone was completely focused on their friends. Two days later, I’d spoken only to waiters.

I was so starved for conversation that I’d spent Saturday morning at the San Diego zoo talking to kids about how cool the animals are. That afternoon I was back at my hotel, reading a book by the pool. When a nice group started to make even a hint of conversation, I was up and in their circle in no time. Turns out, they were in town for a girlfriend’s 30th birthday party. So naturally I invited myself. )Gracefully, of course!)

The party was great, but it was also very “L.A.” –  all decked out in fancy clothes and very cool. I was having fun, but wasn’t sure if this was my crowd. But wait! This guy walks in looking straight out of J.Crew – complete with sexy architect glasses. And then he came right up to us. It was Mr. Magic, and it turns out, he actually is an architect. He apologized for being late, but since that day was his birthday too, he had been out for dinner with his parents & brother. (Have you heard of your “lucky” or “golden” birthday – that day was his: Mar. 29th, and his 29th birthday).

When he found out I was from Dallas, he said, “Oh, I’m visiting there next month!” I asked if he had any friends or family there, but he said no, he was coming to see a building. He’s an architect, and his favorite is the guy who built the Kimball Art Museum. So he already had a ticket to visit me even before we met – how’s that for fate?

Not an hour later, after taking my business card and having a great chat, he said he was going to leave, could he call me tomorrow? It was probably about 10pm and I was bummed – I was sure he had a date or something.

But not only did he call the next day, the next three nights he took me out for these fantastic dates (the first was at the oldest dive bar in San Diego – he said he wanted to set the bar low) including a walk under the twinkling lights of Balboa Park. Years later we’d picnic under those lights and laugh about that evening. So I went back to Dallas, but we visited each other 7 times in 6 months. On Labor Day weekend I packed up a UHaul, he flew to Dallas, and we he drove to San Diego.

And that’s the magical Magic story! Pretty good, no? I’ve told it a thousand times, but this was the first time I’ve written it down and I just had to share.

Happy 1st Anniversary, Mr. Magic. You live up to your name every day.

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Recent Revelations

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It’s an odd feeling to discover (admit?) something new about yourself – aren’t we supposed to know more about ourselves than we do about anyone else? Here are some things I’ve recently uncovered or owned up to:

  • I love meetings. If I could have a job where all I did was go to meetings and solve problems and collaborate, I would be one happy camper
  • I love brussels sprouts. If you’d asked me even a year ago about my eating habits, I’d have told you that I’ll try anything once, except bugs, and that I hate brussels sprouts. Turns out, I only hate boiled, stinky, squishy brussels sprouts – quarter and fry them up with a squirt of lemon juice and a dab of aioli like they do at El Arbol and I will happily eat them until I turn green
  • Same with eggplant – I have, on occasion, composed a song to the lovely melanzane as Scott cooks up his delightful version of moussaka. Matter of fact, I just had an entire eggplant for lunch. Yum!
  • I don’t really want to be a writer. I’m an avid reader, and everyone assumes they go hand in hand. I don’t mind writing and it comes fairly easily, but I’m finding myself turning away projects that have me stuck in front of the computer instead of out talking to people. I’ve had chapter one of a book and a ‘working title’ on my desk for months now, and I can’t seem to motivate myself to get it done! Also, my blogs all seem to be taking the form of lists lately, for the same reason.

Speaking of reading, I’m back on a reading kick lately. I got my Austin library card and when I was trying to decide what I wanted to read I remembered how much I loved Fall of Giants over the holidays and typed “historical fiction” in the library catalog. As a result, I just finished The Jane Austen Book Club and I’m 600+ pages into re-reading Pillars of the Earth. Downstairs I also have Gamestorming; Tina Fey’s new book, BossypantsBlack SheepMy Name is Mary SutterBecoming Jane Eyre & Dragonfly in Amber. I am SO glad this is a long weekend, because I think I’m going to spend a good part of it with a book or two (or three!).

And this weekend we do have some plans that don’t involve bookmarks and paper cuts – we’re headed to Spicewood (about 45 minutes outside of Austin) tomorrow to attend one of my most-anticipated events of the year, the Alford’s Annual Spicewood Crawfish Boil. One of the best things I took away from my time at Texas A&M is my lifelong friend Marie, who is one of those people that connects everyone around her a tight-knit group of friends. All my best friends from my years in Dallas stem from this lovely lady.

One of these friends, Andrea, has a set of parents that everyone wants to adopt for their own, and every year they throw the best party and invite everyone they know. In addition to games of poker, cornhole, dominoes and “find the 2”, a plethora of dogs and horses, there’s enough enough food and drink for an army. This is the first year since 2008 that I’ve been able to go, and I CAN’T WAIT! Since I last saw this group all together we’ve had seen three weddings and two new babies, and I’m so excited to catch up with the gang.

Good Stuff I Haven’t Told You About

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Life is good. Really, really, really good. We’ve settled in Austin, have great new neighbors, each landed some new clients, and are happily exploring a new fantastic place.

And I haven’t told you about it at all, have I? Sorry about that. Sometimes I’m just too busy enjoying life to describe it. Some of the best stuff:

  • Finding out my closest friend from when I last lived in Austin, Jess, lives 5 houses down from us
  • Riding our bikes to Alamo Drafthouse (Tron and Bridesmaids were both awesome)
  • Fresh-roasted coffee and a rainbow of veggies at the HOPE Farmers Market
  • Winning pub trivia as 1/4 of team Magic Casebeer (our real last names, no joke)
  • Being married half a year (!)
  • Hosting a rocking housewarming/ Cinco de Mustache party on our rooftop deck
  • Having one of our younger party guests, (age 4) bring me a pink crown to wear
  • Enjoying the Austin sunshine and getting a tan line where my wedding bands go
  • Finally having a washer and dryer in my house that doesn’t need quarters
  • Woohoo! Dishwasher (enough said!)
  • Yay, microwave (who knew appliances could make me so happy??)
  • Lots of my very favorite yoga class at Sunstone Yoga (yay, Water class!)
  • A visit to my alma mater, Texas A&M to see my cousin Erin become a vet

And lots more! That I’ll probably get around to telling you in another month, at the rate I’ve been blogging… Promise to be back here more often!

Howdy, Y’all!

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Hello from Texas! I know I’ve been completely lax about posting, but I have a good excuse…We picked up at the end of March and relocated ourselves to lovely Austin, Texas. East Austin, to be exact, about a mile and a half due East from the state Capitol. We’re renting a lovely, lovely house that is still on the market, which means it’s all ours to enjoy, but we have to let realtors show it, and be ready to move if it sells. Today the realtor was running about an hour late and almost caught Scott in the shower… oops! Luckily they’ll pay our moving costs, but we’re crossing our fingers that it’s overpriced and that we’ll get to stay here a while.

My sister Kendra and her hilarious husband Travis are coming to visit us this weekend. I’d like to think they’re coming because we’re so much fun, but I know the stockpile of boxes in our shed are part of the attraction – they close on their first house in about 6 weeks, up in Ft. Worth close to our parents. We’re SO excited for them. We have so many new things we want to show them, I’m sure we’ll run out of time.

So Scott and I are both networking our socks off (who am I kidding? It’s too hot for socks here!) and looking for new work. Scott is actually hunting for an actual job, so cross your fingers and let me know if you know anyone seeking a brilliant licensed architect who wants to find a spot in architecture or construction and hopefully get his contractors license sometime soon.

My only complaint about our new digs? The ice cream man comes twice a day and it seems that just when I get the song, “Do Your Ears Hang Low” out of my head, he’s back for round two. If we stay I may have to donate an additional few songs to his repertoire!

What’s Your Superpower?

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I love being a contributor to the Content Marketing Institute, and today I have a new post up about finding your “superpower” – the “secret sauce” that gets people talking about your business. If you speak for a business of any size and don’t know what your cape would say, read on!

The Role of Personality, the Underdog and Superpowers in Effective Social Media Marketing

When visitors give your website or social media profile a quick glance, it’s the equivalent of them asking “What do you do?” if they met you in person. There’s only a brief instant to make a connection as they decide where your company “fits” in their world.

  • As a company, are you interesting?
  • Are you an expert at something they need help with?
  • Do you share a passion for an activity they enjoy?
  • Most importantly, do you seem genuine?

Read the full article at the Content Marketing Institute website. Thanks for checking it out! If you like it, please “Like” it at the top of the CMI page, or we’d love a retweet.

Ode to the Overwhelmed

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Scott and I were just talking last night about how I’m removing the word “busy” from my vocabulary (more on that later) and this morning I found this poem:

by Samantha Bennett

And as you stand there
Late again
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with

With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again

And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with

Let us now praise you.

You, the untidy.
You, the careless.
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.

The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa –
Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and
Forgot.

And that despite your best efforts,
You rarely eat a square meal,
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself.

But you are good and brave.
You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and
I’ll–have-to-call-you-back-on-that-could-you-send-me-an-email-to-remind-me-to-call-you-back-on-that?

As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,
You are a fount of good intentions.
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little….funny.

But you have gifts that no one knows about.
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.

So much for the overpriced lingerie.

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful.

Frazzled and overworked and underpaid
You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?

But you never forget to say, “I love you”
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their
Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.

You are beautiful.
So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today.

Because you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.

© 2009 Samantha Bennett
www.TheOrganizedArtistCompany.com

I’m So Optimistic…

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photo by mukluk, click for link

“I’m so optimistic I’d go after Moby Dick in a row boat and take the tartar sauce with me.”

~ Zig Ziglar

Sorry for the radio silence, we’ve been enjoying our new life, changing my name (yes, it takes almost 4 months!) and getting ready to announce some big news. The kind of news that requires a uHaul, not a crib, in case you’re curious.

We also just received 16 DVDs with wedding photos and a short video, so stay tuned… I’m hoping to sort through them this weekend!