:type travel tuesday: {a cozy cafe, paris}

Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with family, friends, good food, a cozy hearth, and a thankful heart. Praise be to our Emmanuel who came this day, to bring us salvation!

Merry Christmas!


O root of jesse, O clavis david...

O Radix Jesse!
O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.
Isaiah 11:10
Romans 15:12
Revelation 5:5

O Clavis David!
O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and lead forth the captive who sits in the shadows from his prison.
Isaiah 22:22
Revelation 3:7



O come thou wisdom...

The O Antiphons of Advent...

There are seven short verses sung before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer of the Church on the seven days before the vigil of Christmas. They each begin with the exclamation "O". Each of them ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes more urgent.
The antiphons were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together texts from the Old Testament which looked forward to the coming of our salvation. They form a rich mosaic of scriptural images. These seven verses, or antiphons as they are called, appear to be the originals although from time to time other texts were used. They became very popular in the Middle Ages. While the monastic choirs sang the antiphons the great bells of the church were rung.
A curious feature of these antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation may be taken from the Latin to form an acrostic in reverse.
So the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel, provide the Latin words: ERO CRAS . The phrase spells out the response of Christ himself to the heartfelt prayer of his people: "Tomorrow I will be there".

O Sapientia
O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.

Proverbs 1:20; 8; 9 
I Corinthians 1:30

O Adonai
O Lord and Ruler the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

Exodus 3
Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:6


all is calm, all is bright

Sorry it's been slow around here lately. We're home for Christmas and everything is covered in a fresh blanket of snow. Those two facts make tending to regular business decidedly more difficult than usual. I will post about our Christmas adventures...eventually.

A very Happy Advent season to you all.

:type travel tuesday: {auntie's tea shop}

Inside Auntie's Tea Shop, Cambridge, UK


the more the merrier?

Brandon often sends out sweeping invites to boxing night at our place, usually with reasonable returns. On a normal night we have 4 to 6 people comfortably watching. The other night, however, everyone seemed to think boxing was the perfect way to fill the evening, and we ended up cramming 15 people and one puppy into our TINY hallway of a living room.

I have been saddened many times at the thought of how few people we could seat, and how poorly suited we are to "movie nights" and such. Now I know that it is possible to fit a whole lot of people in, but definitely not comfortable.


nephew love

One of my VERY FAVORITE things in life right now, is when James sees Alissa's computer or phone and starts crying, "Ah-nnie!" or "Ah-ndie!" because he wants to Skype or Facetime with me! It makes my heart melt.

Of course, after a minute or so he just wants to go and play with his toys, but he comes back for a little hello and a little chat every now and then.

It's hilarious too, because when he's done talking or he's over it, or he just wants Alissa to get off the phone he starts saying, "bye.  Bye.  BYE!" SO adorable. I can't wait to see him in person soon!


waco holiday cheer

Here's a pretty photo of Waco in the 50s or 60s. I wish it still looked like that downtown! There I go romanticizing by-gone eras again. It's so hard not to.

Not sure where the photo came from but this guy posted it on facebook.


it's beginning to look a lot like...autumn

Only now that it's basically December has it finally started looking like fall in Texas. I'm over it. I feel like we just skipped a season, but even though I love fall (or used to when we had it) I'm ready for winter! I know that it's a romanticized version of winter that I'm longing for, but I want a coat of freshly fallen snow, crisp air, carols playing, a scarf, warm mittens, a hot wintery beverage and a gently crackling fire.

The brutal reality of winter is bound to shatter these desires as soon as I step foot out of my car onto Midwestern soil. For now, however I choose to think of them fondly.

It was pretty nice to go to the outdoor Baylor Christmas festival last night and only have to think about dressing seasonally appropriate style-wise instead of temperature-wise, and not having to worry about freezing to death, however I miss having FOUR seasons.


We're finishing up Christmas purchases and starting to prepare for our journey home. I'm so excited!


boohoo flu

Well, the flu knocked me out the last couple of days, but Brandon earned a million and eight husband points for taking care of me, being sweet (only poking fun of me a little (and that only before I got really sick)), and making me DELICIOUS homemade chicken noodle soup. You're the best.

I realized that I think this is the very first time I've ever gotten SICK sick away from HOME home. Brandon said that must mean Texas really feels like home to me now. Seems like an odd way of proving my love for a place, but there you have it.


:type travel tuesday: {edinburgh, scotland}

So, I was super sick yesterday and actually thought it was Monday, so here is Tuesday's Type Travel a day late. Forgive me, not that anyone cares. :)

Edinburgh, Scotland

Nemo me impune lacessit is the Latin motto of the Order of the Thistle and of three Scottish regiments of the British Army.  It is often translated as No one attacks me with impunity, or as No one can harm me unpunished.

From Wikipedia


the importance of branding

My friend Emily showed me this sketch by Mitchell and Webb. It's hilarious and also demonstrates the importance of a logo and branding so well. :)


birthday weeeeeeeek

As I mentioned, birthday celebrations this year extended far beyond my actual birthDAY, and closer to Brandon's tradition of a "birthday week" which is 13 days (just shy of two weeks so that he can still (somehow) refer to it as one "week" and NOT two).

Some lovely friends made a cake for me and for Ryan, since our birthdays are annoyingly close together, stealing spotlight from both of us. Kidding. They then convinced me to follow the alleged Mexican birthday tradition of taking a bite out of the side of the cake (the veracity of which is yet to be validated). Here's documentation. In the first one I'm making a weird face trying to get Ryan to stop blowing out the candles and pose for a photo. Apparently, he doesn't pose.

Brandon semi-surprised me with a trip to an amazing french restaurant in Austin! We live sadly far away from any fine French cuisine and we miss it bitterly. He also invited some friends along to make the evening even better!

The restaurant, Péché, turned out to be a curious amalgam of French and Italian cuisine, the unifying principle of which seemed to be whatever is insanely delicious, novel, and difficult to pronounce. They specialize in pre-prohibition era cocktails which were beautifully complex, and just SO good. It's an absinthe bar, as well.

Besides the fact that our friends are wonderful, it was especially fun to go in a group because we got to sample so many drinks and entrees. Everything was exquisite!

I ordered a Silver Monk, composed of my very favorite liqueur, Chartreuse (Green), honey, lime, egg white & Angostura Bitters. WOW.

For dinner, Brandon and I split the mac daddy dinner (yep, that's a french term), Prime Cowboy Ribeye with Seared Foie Gras, Truffled Pommes Dauphines, and Black Truffle. Just. Wow.

Last but not least, for dessert I ordered Espresso Crème Brûlée with Amaretti Cookies, and Brandon had Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chèvre-Black Pepper Mousse, Candied Beet Chips (why?), Orange Bourbon Gastrique, and Chocolate Sauce.

If you're in Austin, go to Péché! Only your wallet will be sorry.

I like food, bye.


birthday weekend

Last weekend I turned 29. I guess this is the year I will try to make last forever, and in the interest of getting that started we have basically been celebrating my birthday for the last two weeks!

Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful calls, skypes, texts and Facebook messages, and especially to everyone who I got to celebrate with in-the-flesh (I know many of you wish that would've included you, and so do I!).

Brandon had a conference over my birthday weekend and I didn't have much for plans, so in a fit of impulsivity Meghan and I decided she better fly down here to keep me company for the weekend! We had an absolute blast, and it felt like she was here for no less than four days. It was really fun to have alone-time and a girl's weekend. Our weekend was complete with all the best things a girl's weekend has to offer, fun conversations, shopping, great food, a picnic, tree climbing, glamour shots, more shopping, movies, and more talking, then more food.

It was a surprise that Brandon came home from the conference early and got to be here ON my birthday as well!

We had a few SISTER-TWIN moments when we realized that we both have pretty much the SAME antique locket, and when we tried on matching dresses, which also matched our own hair colors.

Thank you for coming, Meg!



philosophy lesson

Some things may be acceptable as a philosophy of decorating but should not be translated into a philosophy of life...

Compliments of Kelly Wearstler for One King's Lane


surprise for brandon

Brandon's dad Chad, and Sheryl, surprised him with a visit the other weekend!!! We had a really fun time being sneaky, planning the whole thing behind his back, and trying to figure out just HOW to surprise him.

Brandon, not knowing they were coming that weekend, kept changing his friday afternoon study plans on me, so we had to improvise in the end. My favorite plan was "for if Brandon is reading at home." They brought disguises (fake mustaches, sideburns and wigs), and I was going to come home from errands and tell Brandon that there were two really creepy people outside going through the dumpsters, and that I was scared. When he looked out the window he would see them! I was curious how long it would take him to recognize them.

We ended up sneaking up behind him while he was reading in the library, and with an unsuspected rush of mercy, Chad decided it would be best not to be in costume in such a public place.

He had NO IDEA! Sucker. :)

It was so much fun hanging out with Chad and Sheryl! They took us out to "the posh restaurant" in Waco, which we had been dying to try. We went shopping and antiquing, did a lot of walking and eating. I love getting alone time with awesome people we usually see in groups.

Thank you so much for coming down!


:type travel tuesday: {no buying, or selling, or using. wales}

"To buy, to sell or make use of this bottle is ILLEGAL."

Whataya supposed to do with it then?! And why is it for sale at an antique store?

Hay on Wye, Wales.


all saints' celebration

In honor of All Saints' Day, I attended a Saints and sundries costume party with Baylor friends! Sadly, Brandon is in LA for a conference so he couldn't go. It was a wonderful evening of explaining our costumes, laughter, libations, and singing around the fire (praise music with the occasional "secular tune" mixed in, of course). (As always, click to enlarge the photos).

Can anyone tell I am Saint Lucy (or Santa Lucia)? I went Scandinavian with my costume since I'm part Swedish, and wore the crown of lights. St. Lucia's name is derived from Lux, Lucis meaning "Light," and she is the patron saint of the blind. She pointed others towards "the Way of light." I just found a round metal candle holder and added the holly. It will now serve as our advent wreath. Turns out metal candle holders are uncomfortable when worn on your head, and a bit scary if on fire.

Here are some of the other saintly party-goers. Sadly, I can't remember who everyone was portraying.

St. Hedwig of Silesia (?), and St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Some pirate-saints, and an "unknown saint." (Sorry, guys.)

Saint Zita, and St. Mary, St. John the Evangelist (as an eagle) and St. Michael the Archangel.

The host-is Moses, and Father Daniel (as himself)

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