June 30, 2012


I am big picture kind of gal. Though with that, I think I have been forgetting to stop and enjoy the little things. The details. I am going to work on that. Can you tell by huzzah posts of late?

Since we got back home, I find myself just watching the girls a little bit more and savoring. Not that I am just staring at them and doing nothing, but still doing things that need to get done but really taking note of them and watching. Trying to memorize them in my heart. Then late last night when all was quiet, Ben had fallen asleep, I was thinking of all of them (Ben included) and prayed for them. I honestly feel frantic all the time. It may not look like it and may not seem like it in this space, but I do feel it. I want to be more still, in my heart and not actually physically, and just savor this time God's given me.

Learned and links...

Melody is so smart. Justice who?! I think I better start educating myself on this stuff more.

I love this house. This will be on the must make this summer list.

A pink lake?!! Adding Lac Rose on my list to visit... one day.

Glow yells. For food at least. She jumps, scream, attacks the minute she sees that baby food come out. Sometimes, I even call her my little glanimal.

There will be some blog changes in the coming future. It's being worked on and I am pretty excited about it.

My friend Helen's wedding photos are amazing. This one... so good!

The ipad is i-mazing!

Behind in emails, if you're waiting for one. Getting to it soon.

I love all the color in this home. I love neutral palette homes and wish I could do it because it seems so clean, but I am really much more drawn to homes that have pops of color.

Ben goes back to work Monday, but is off on Wednesday... yay! Then we celebrate our anniversary next weekend. Have a jolly weekend friends!

June 29, 2012


This is the extra stuff we brought home from our road trip that got jam packed into our already full car. That chair has actually been sitting at my MIL's house for a year and a half now. I saw it for sale on a blog based near San Antonio, so I emailed to find out if they could drop it off in San Antonio (or meet my MIL somewhere to make the exchange), the seller happily obliged. It was $25 and a happy color, so I thought that was a pretty good deal. 

We've done some tiny house fixing up since we've been home. Knobs are up in the kitchen now and we've got some new curtains hung, but once everything is settled, there will be a house tour. Promise. Until then, I still have a couple lights fixtures to buy and add.

June 28, 2012


This post is sponsored by Dreyer’s/Edy’s® Slow Churned Light Ice Cream: all the taste of regular ice cream, but with half the fat and 1/3 fewer calories. Now that’s a reason to smile. Give a smile here.

Road trips definitely make me smile.
Whew! After 10 days of being gone, we are finally home safe and sound. Road trips are fun, but definitely intense. Though based on the number of smiles I got from my girls while trekking along, it was definitely all worth it. There were 3 major stops on the agenda (AbernathySan Antonio, and South Texas) and over 4,000 miles now added to our car. 

We really love road trips. The thought of planning another brings a smile to my face and gets me excited! Flying with all the kids can rack up some bucks quick, so getting in the car and going is pretty much our MO. This was the first time with all 4 and it wasn't bad at all. I think the girls do really well on road trips. There were just 2 fights between the big girls, though there were several tantrums from #3. I think it's just that when it comes to nap time, Soul doesn't know what to do with herself, so she kind of combusts. And the baby, well, she did fantastic! Ben and I take turns driving, we had our special road trip playlist, so we did a whole lot of singing and I did a whole lot of dancing. Not to mention, I just love seeing all the different terrains we pass and simply admiring how beautiful nature is. All of these things combined make for lots of good memories and lots of smiles.

So tell me, what has been making you smile lately?

June 27, 2012


Not only did we get to see the town and farms of Abernathy, but we also got to spend time on a ranch in South Texas. I guess we were pretty much were all over Texas. The annual Castilleja Family Reunion, his mom's side of the family, was at Ben's cousin's ranch and it was a pretty amazing place. During our drive in North Texas and in South Texas, we would talk about how nice it would be to have a house on some land where your neighbor can't peer straight into your house to see all your business. This is kind of a funny thing because when Ben's dad passed, he left us some land (Ben shared it with his sister and his aunt) in North Texas that we sold and was pretty much the only reason we were able to ever buy anything in Southern California, so the fact that we talk about wanting land in Texas is kind of ironic. For now, we will just keep the wide open space dreaming conversations happening every time we drive through Texas. I think Ben and I are such homebodies and pretty much do all our shopping online that we could pretty much move to the middle of nowhere.

The reunion was so much fun and it was especially wonderful to see the girls running around everywhere and playing with their cousins. They don't have any cousins here, so it is so great that they were able to spend time to with some over there. In addition to little cousins, there were horses, chickens, roosters, cats (and kittens), dogs (and puppies), oh and lots of mosquitos (I look like a spotted leopard now). There were family meals, games, hay rides, horse rides, auctions, picture taking, swimming, eating again, and basically just a whole lot of family bonding. The fun this past weekend was pretty endless.

Ben's cousin and her husband, the owners of the ranch, would tell us all about ranch life and particularly the horses and we really loved hearing all the stories. We really just love hearing stories. You could tell they were so proud of this place they have built and the beautiful family along with it. We were in such awe at all of it. It is also evident that a lot, I mean a whole lot, of hard work goes into maintaining it, but it's what they love, so it makes it all worth it.

I am so happy that we were able to go to the reunion this year, especially since the last time we went was 10 years ago when we barely started dating. I would look at my girls throughout the day and smile because they were having so much fun being free and spending time with animals. Well, True and Brave were, but Soul doesn't care about animals so much, at least not yet. When we first got the email that the reunion was on the ranch, Ben and I knew we had to go because the girls would be all about it... and boy were we right!


Abernathy is a small town in North Texas and there is a family there that makes this particular town quite special... the King family. Ben's dad passed away a year before we got married, therefore he never ever met his grandchildren. We tell the girls stories about their grandfather and show them pictures from time to time, but it just isn't the same. Besides Ben, his mom, and sister, his father is survived by his sister and her family.

The last time we had visited Abernathy was the summer that his father passed away. Since the girls never got a chance to get to know their grandfather, we wanted to make sure they would get to know his family and so when we were planning our summer road trip, we made sure Abernathy was on our road map. It had been 8 years since we had seen any of them, so it was definitely about time!

We met everyone at the town pharmacy, which is run by Ben's cousins Mark and Laurie. Laurie knew exactly what the girls liked and had the perfect gifts waiting for them. Anyone who gives them My Little Pony is pretty unforgettable in their book. We chatted a bit, then had lunch at a little restaurant down the street, then went back to the pharmacy to spend more time together.

It was really cute to see the girls with them. There is part of them in my girls and I think that bond is really special. Family is just really special. Besides seeing the girls with their Grandma Mayna, Grandpa JD, Aunt Laurie, and Uncle Mark, Ben and I really enjoyed spending time with them and hearing old stories. I love hearing old stories.

One of my favorite things of the visit was seeing how cute Aunt Mayna and Uncle JD were with each other. It was a playful sarcasm and teasing, but you can definitely see how they have grown to love and appreciate each other through the years. And Aunt Mayna kept raving about how good Uncle JD is with this or that and that reminded me of how I am a bit biased with Ben and that I think he is best at everything too.

They live on a farm so we also loved hearing the farm stories. At 78, Uncle JD still tends the cattle and there is pretty much no such thing as retiring. Ben and I have dreams of a farm, but we can only imagine the real intense work that goes into having one and we don't think we are ready for that. It sounds ideal, but really to have one there is a lot of labor and love that is involved. Having a farm isn't for the faint of heart or fickle minded for sure. Maybe we'll stick to dreams of a blueberry farm or maybe a tomato farm, we get better at tomatoes every year after all.

We were only a few short hours in Abernathy, but there are for sure plans to go back. We are so glad to reconnect with them and can't wait for all of us to spend more time together. Life is busy and family who live faraway can easily get forgotten, but it is important to always stay connected. Ben and I will both be working on that. We both tend to be bad at that.

Dear King family, Thank you for sharing your afternoon with us and we love you guys and hope to see you again soon! Love, the CA Bratchers.

June 26, 2012


Thanks to the bravery of my mother-in-law and sister--in-law to watch the 4 girls, Ben and I were able to have a full day to ourselves. San Antonio is only about 1.5 hours away from Austin and we were behind in celebrating a couple milestones in our lives, so we took the day to do so. However, we did also meet with an old buddy of his for lunch at Garrido's (Oyster tacos?! Yes! Please!), but spent the rest of the day together exploring. We had been to Austin before, but it is a city you never tire of and it was good to visit familiar places like Uncommon Objects and discover new ones. 

We did find a couple uncommon objects to bring home, one of which is that 1960's carnival bear cutout that will be a quirky little piece hanging in our home (and sometimes maybe for playing too). We grabbed cupcakes thanks to the suggestion one of you gave me on instagram! Mostly we spent time going in and out of vintage shops looking for clothes for Ben. I was a good girl and didn't get anything (there was one dress that was really tempting me though), but I really could cry from joy of Ben finding stuff. Five shirts to be exact. He rarely does, so when he does, I get so giddy! 

We ended the day trip and did our celebrating at La Condesa. Gosh oh gosh. That food was yum. We debated between that place or Uchiko, but since we aren't so fond of the Mexican food options in the L.A. area, we went with Tex-Mex over sushi. We indulged in ceviche, fish, and maybe I had a little bit of fun with my margarita! And their beet cake... oh yeah, definitely trying to recreate that at home. That was the best dish to end the celebration dinner.

It's so strange to be without the girls for a full day, but it was a much needed break and good time to reconnect and just laugh and chillax with Ben. I may or may not have tried to get fresh with him all day long, but seriously, I just couldn't resist. I think that boy is pretty darn hot. Like real hot. And before I make you gag with all this lovey dovey stuff, don't worry, we really do have spats too. We get on each other's nerves just like any other couple. That's what makes the choice of staying together and working on our marriage even more meaningful. We both choose to be here despite our ugly sides... and boy do we have them!

All in all, the day was just grand. We came home to girls already sleeping in bed, a box full of cupcakes, Grandmama and Auntia with loads of funny stories about the girls, and a bit more rejuvenated from just having some time off to focus on each other. We pretty much love Austin and will make sure to take another day trip when we come back to San Antonio for Christmas!

on me: shirt, vintage via ms. tips. shorts, vintage thrifted and altered. shoes, madewell. necklace, homako. purse, anthropologie. sunglasses, c/o sunglasses shop.
on ben: shirt, vintage. jeans, diesel. shoes, nikes.
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