Friday, July 29, 2011


Since I crazily, maybe even stupidly, named our blog "Matthews, Table for Two" I figure I might as well talk about a restaurant every now and then. That brings us to Mexicali, a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant on Northwest Highway just a couple of miles from our house. Luke had just seen it in the Advocate, a local neighborhood magazine, so when we needed a place to eat on Tuesday evening (because I was exhausted and starving and not willing to wait for food to cook in my kitchen), it was the perfect choice.

The place looks like a dump from the outside. And to be honest, it also looks like a dump from the inside. All of the booths were cracking, and there was (literally) a huge hole in the wall next to our table. Appearance aside, though, we liked it, and I'm sure we'll go back soon. The food was pretty good. We split fajitas for one, and there was more than enough for both of us to fill up and take some home (which Luke ate about 2 hours later and the next day for lunch). The chicken was better than the beef, but it was all a bit salty, which makes sense because the waiter told us they use soy sauce in the preparation. We had a bit of a miscommunication with the waiter (or more like he just thought we were dumb). I begged Luke to ask them to not put butter on the fajitas, and for some reason it turned about to be a little bit complicated and the term "non-sizzling" was used a time or two. But I think it turned out the way I wanted because the peppers and onions were most definitely not cooked in butter. (Thanks, Lukas, for always doing the talking for me.)

On to the good stuff. They have all day happy hour on Monday and Tuesday, which meant $1.50 margaritas and draft beer. Luke went for the margarita. I stuck with Bud Light. And the best part. Our entire bill was $21. Pretty super cheap for fajitas and a couple of drinks each. I plan to stock up on Tex Mex in the next few months because it's going to be pretty hard to come by on the other side of the pond. :)

Weekends Galore

Well, apparently I only blog on Fridays. I guess it's better than nothing for the time being. I seriously cannot believe that it's (nearly) August. The summer has flown by, and our time left in the US is dwindling down. When we first found out we were moving to Spain, October 1 seemed so far away. Now, we've only got about 8 (give or take a couple) weekends left before we'll be boarding the plane with a one way ticket to Madrid. (I wonder if we'll be red flagged due to our one way tickets???) Our weekends left, especially in August, are quickly filling up.

Next weekend, we're heading to New Orleans to celebrate our 2nd anniversary! We had been planning to just stay in Dallas and go to a nice dinner or something, but yesterday I discovered that we had enough AA miles to get us to NOLA for free. I told Luke about it, and we decided to do a price line bid for a hotel. If our bid was accepted, we'd go. Well, we're going! At first I had a little regret thinking that we might want a quiet weekend at home blah-blah-blah, but I've gotten over that. (Side note: I'm not sure I've ever made a decision without at least a tiny bit of regret.) We like to go places, and if we're able to right now before we have a family, we might as well go when and where we please. (Hopefully, that theory won't send us straight to the poor house.) So I'm super excited and have spent the whole morning researching restaurants and things to do! There's a huge, free Jazz festival while we're there, and a bunch of the restaurants are participating in Coolinary, which is basically NOLA's version of Restaurant week, so we shouldn't have a problem keeping ourselves entertained or nourished. (Not that I was ever really worried about that. :))

The following weekend we're headed to Norman to hang out with Luke's family and hometown friends. This most likely we'll be our last chance to see everybody before we ship out. The last 2 weekends in August are currently free, but I'm hoping we'll be packing and moving out of our house. We're meeting with our realtor tomorrow and officially putting our house up for lease. I'm crossing my fingers that it goes sooner rather than later. Number 1: I don't want to have to worry about whether or not it will lease before we move and Number 2: I want a good excuse to move home with my padres for our last month in Texas. That way, we'll all be good and sick of each other and won't even be sad when we move 5,000 miles away. :)

That brings us to Labor Day weekend, and we'll be going to Chicago with Adam, where he will meet up with his homegirl. The next weekend falls right before my birthday. We've tossed around the idea of going to Little Rock for a Razorback game, but no for sure plans have been made yet. The rest of September, I'm sure we'll be packing, finalizing details for the move, and soaking up all the time with family that we can get.

This weekend, we're meeting with the realtor, finishing the final touches on our new fence that our family so graciously helped us with last week and enjoying date night on Saturday to use up a groupon before it expires next week. Happy weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Work Out Wrap-Up #2

This week I wanted to focus on getting back in the habit of morning work-outs. While Luke was working late during busy season, I started excercising in the evenings since I wasn't in such a rush to get home to an empty house. Now that it's so hot and we have more going on in the evenings, I really want to amp up the AM workouts. I did good in the mornings Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was a rest day, and Friday I ended up working out during lunch because we stayed up cleaning way too late the night before and couldn't make it out of bed. Here's what the week looked like:

We have family coming into town this weekend to celebrate Luke's birthday on Sunday, but I'm planning on getting one more workout in to make it 5 total for the week. I'm thinking I'll get up early on Saturday morning and try to get a run in before everyone else is up and going. Cheers to a wonderful weekend, and happy birthday to my sweet husband, Luke! Hopefully, I'll be back next week with a birthday recap!

Aunt Jan

I hate reading/subscribing to a blog, and then the only time it's updated is for the writer to say, "Sorry! I've been so busy. I haven't had time to blog!" Unfortunately, it looks like I'm that type of blogger (at least for now while I'm working). I hope that during my 18 month sabatical I really keep this thing consistently updated to document all of our experiences in Espana. But anyway, I've been so busy I haven't had time to blog. This was actually my first week back to work after three weeks, and I think we all know that I'm not going to take time away from my free time to blog. :)

Why was I away for 3 whole weeks? First, we went to NY for the GEP orientation, which was really helpful. Maybe I'll talk more about that in my next "Just Another Madrid Monday" post. (Sooner than later, I hope). We came home from that trip late on a Friday night and left early Sunday morning for a week in Outer Banks, NC with Luke's extended family. What a great week we had! The beach and beach house were beautiful, and there really is nothing better than waking up whenever you want, leisurely enjoying breakfast and coffee, and then heading down to the beach for the rest of the day. We got back from that trip on July 2nd, and unfortunately, on the 4th, we learned that our family had lost my mom's youngest sister, my Aunt Jan. So we all packed up and headed to Arkansas to be with our family.

Fortunately, I've been blessed enough to not have had to say good-bye to very many family members. In fact, this is the first close family member we've lost that I'm actually old enough to really remember and truly understand. It's not easy. For anybody. So many people are affected. I love my Aunt Jan so very much and will always miss her, but my heart deeply hurts for her husband, who will have to find his way through this world on his own now; for my Nana, who had to bury her youngest daughter; and for my mom and her siblings, who lost their baby sister. Pray for those people and for our other family and Jan's friends who have been affected by her unexpected passing. She will be so very missed for so long.

Everyone who knew my Aunt Jan knew that she was full of life and lived every minute to the fullest, and you could go on and on about how care free and always ready for a party she was. But, instead of doing that, I want to share my most favorite memory of Aunt Jan. She was a teacher, and while we were growing up, she got her first classroom at Beard Elementary in Ft. Smith, AR. Everytime we went to visit, she'd take us up to her classroom, and let us write on the chalkboards and projector, help decorate for the first day of school, and play teacher for as long as we wanted. This may not sound like much, but for a little girl who was literally OBSESSED with becoming a teacher, it was a dream come true. Then for one of my birthdays (I can't remember which one exactly), she got me the teacher's edition of a 3rd grade English book. Are you kidding me??? It was awesome! It had the answers and everything, and I sure did use the heck out of it, right along with my grade book that was filled with the names and grades of 24 fake students. I think that is one of the most memorable gifts from my childhood.

Last week in Arkansas, everyone talked about how much Aunt Jan loved teaching, and it made me wish that I had followed my heart and done that instead. Hopefully, when we come back from Spain, the education budget drama will have turned around, and I can pay honor to Aunt Jan by making a career change and hopefully continue in her legacy of loving those children, loving learning and forever making an impact on young,needy lives through teaching.

Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers.