Northern Drawl

Category: Family

Promotions, Peppers, and Bad Parenting

I found out I got a promotion at work yesterday, and because we didn’t feel like cooking/cleaning we decided that it was cause enough to go out to eat and celebrate. I picked a Mexican restaurant called Serrano’s, and right after I got home from work we piled in the car and headed out.

Brent, Ashen, and I talked for a while and then ordered food. When Brent’s food came out he had a perfect little raw serrano pepper on his plate. He picked it up, looked at it, and told Ashen he would give him 15 bucks if he ate the whole thing. Now, this is when I got excited.

Ashen asked if he had to eat the whole thing. Of course we said yes. Brent told him he could eat it throughout the course of the meal – but I thought this would be too easy and told him he had to eat the whole thing without eating any of his other food in between. I mean, 15 dollars was on the line.

Important side note: My dad is basically an oversized kid – and my family has an odd/dark sense of humor about stuff. My dad never went easy on us as kids. And although I don’t remember him ever daring me to eat a pepper – I do remember similar scenarios. Once, as a small child, I was complaining about a canker sore that was hurting. He recommended I put some ketchup on it.

He literally told me to rub salt in a wound. I also caught him cheating in a game of crazy eights once against my niece who was 6 years old at the time. We’re a competitive bunch. I’ve had a yahtzee cup thrown at my head by that same 6-year-old niece. Anyway, I digress. This is all just to show that we appreciate giving each other a hard time.

Ashen agreed to the dare. He bit into the pepper, taking about half of it down in one bite. He started to chew and then quickly put the rest of it in his mouth. He showed us the tiny little stem, and I nodded my head in approval. He continued to chew the raw pepper, with all the seeds intact. Now, I always thought serranos were a little less spicy than jalapenos. But it turns out they are a notch above, see here. The more you know. At this point in the dare Ashen’s eyes started to water, and he looked a little scared. He chewed a few more times and then asked if he could spit it out, while turning a shade of red. Brent said “sure.” I said “not if you want that 15 bucks.”

Brent called me ruthless and Ashen started to cough a little. Once the coughing started I worried that he might actually choke – so I told him to spit it out. We like to push each other in my family, but we never mean real harm. Or, not death anyway.

Ashen spit the pepper on to his plate and that was that. The rest of the meal consisted of Brent and I casually chatting about our day, enjoying our food, and Ashen drinking three huge glasses of water and a Dr. Pepper while literally wincing and wiping tears from his eyes.

He couldn’t eat any of his food because he was in so much pain. I’ve never seen him drink so much water in my life. It was great. I did feel a little bad, but he was a trooper about it. And I caught Brent laughing some, too.

For the record, I gave Ashen $20 this afternoon for his pain and suffering. The poor guy had a stomach ache all last night, and didn’t even complain. He tried to give me the $20 back, but he deserves it. And not just for eating that pepper. He deserves it because he’s a good kid.

He also mentioned that he’d swallow the pepper next time for $100.




Out on the Weekend

I’ll freely speak for everyone in my little family when I say, we had a good weekend. Saturday morning we woke up early and took Ashen downtown to a little French crepe place (he’d been asking if we could make crepes the night before). Brent and I have been there a few times, and when we manage to wake up early enough to avoid the normal downtown pace, it always hits the spot.

After breakfast we went swimming and laid out in the sun, played some card games, watched Benny and June, went for an evening bike ride, and made a late night run to P. Terry’s for a burger. Basically, the perfect summer day.

This morning we hosted Brent’s parents (and Silas and Sadie!) for “church” and breakfast; I had a lot of fun making this (I added blueberries). We drank coffee and talked a little bit about our personal relationships with God, and what is, and is not, beneficial to each of us. I always enjoy getting together with Brent’s parents. They’re such an encouragement.

This afternoon we took the dog out for a walk, and played on the jungle gym at the playground down the street. Brent and I couldn’t even get across the monkey bars – monkey bars are no joke as an adult. I feel old.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. We’re trying to be more active, and so far, I think it’s been really great. I love spending time with Brent and Ashen, getting out of the apartment, and enjoying the place we live – even if it is 103 degrees in Austin.




Oh, and Brent came home from the grocery store with these on Saturday night. ❤

Life Lately (According to my iPhone)

Image^^ We took a trip to East Texas to visit Brent’s Grandma. Brent pushed me in the hammock for awhile, and I snapped a photo. ^^

ImageImage^^ We walked in the woods around her house. Brent showed me where they used to play, and where their forts were when they were little. Pretty cute. ^^

Image^^We ate burgers here. The owner was walking around with gun on his hip. I remembered that I do, in fact, live in Texas. ^^

Image^^ Inside of Van’s. It was a fun trip. I was able to see where Brent went to high school – and realized that we grew up in pretty similar towns. This shot reminds me of Wisconsin. ^^

Image^^ Brent, Ashen, and I went to a Music Tapes concert downtown. Waiting for the show to start. ^^

Image^^ Music Tapes. ^^

Image^^ Music Tapes. ^^

Image^^ For Memorial Day we went to Kim and Colby’s for a BBQ. I love that family gatherings always turn into this. ^^

Image^^ Little celebrity. ^^

Image^^ This one is older, but it’s on of my favorites. Amelie and Sadie. ^^



Slow Times at McKinney Falls

Our apartment smells like a bonfire. We went camping yesterday, and took Ashen and his friend with us. We went to McKinney Falls which is nice and close; it’s only about 20 minutes away (but we still managed to miss our exit and double the length of the trip). Hah.

It felt really good to get away from traffic, technology, work, the apartment complex, etc…and spend some time in the woods. Even if it was a short respite, it was well worth it. We bought a yearly pass that gives us access to over 90 Texas state parks, so I’m hoping/planning to get our money’s worth. Here are some pictures I took on my iPhone of our brief adventure. Enjoy!

ImageImageImage^^ The night before we left Brent and I bought a bunch of supplies. He REALLY wanted a lantern…and I was being a cheap scrooge. This is what we came home with. On the way home he mentioned something about how pathetic it was. I started laughing so hard I was crying. Poor man. I’ll let him get a real lantern next time (I don’t know why he puts up with me). ^^

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage^^ Ashen and Wade. Not only did they let me take their picture, they smiled for me.^^


^^ He is my favorite.^^

ImageImage^^ My husband is a professional s’more maker. (I may or may not have made a s’more after dinner and after breakfast)^^

ImageImage^^ Breakfast spread.^^

ImageImage^^ French press coffee by a morning campfire. There isn’t much else better than that.^^

ImageImage^^ Final hike before leaving.^^



Easter Walks and Afternoon Thoughts

We started our Easter Sunday off right by making waffles, bacon, and coffee at home. After breakfast we all made our way to the living room and read a few chapters out of John to recount the Christian Easter story. We started to wonder where the tradition of eggs and bunnies came from, so we also did some research on the origin of Easter and found out some interesting things about the pagan holiday (which does account for eggs and bunnies).

After a lazy morning we made our way to the botanical gardens at Zilker park (I’d never been). It was nice to get out of the house and spend time walking around with my little family. I’m usually semi-satisfied with my iPhone photos…but these are not the best. But how could I not share a picture of Ashen and Brent (and Elsi) in a butterfly chair, they are such good sports. Maybe one day I’ll get a nice camera and learn how to use it.

Happy Easter!