Last weekend we celebrated Johnny’s third birthday with a big birthday party at Austin’s kids’ museum, The Thinkery. For a couple hundred bucks you can rent out one of their party rooms and their staff organizes some fun activities and helps with all the setup and stuff. Heckuva deal, and no worrying about cleanup! Johnny has quite a few kid friends we can invite locally. I believe the guest list consisted of little classmates Ephie Belew, Mikel Segal, and Minh Trung, as well as non-school friends Lexi Mego, Hank Thompson, Leo and Alaina Anderson, Adelaide Vivirito, Braxton Thomas, and Sebastien Hernandez.

Johnny received presents from all of his guests as well as stuff from family. We had a custom Ravensberger “Johnny Ephie Minh” puzzle made which he has always wanted and been disappointed has not been readily available at Toys R Us. We also got him a Zuma toy to complete his Paw Patrol collection, some Minion dolls, and all the Toy Story movies. The Glanzers sent him a whole bunch of Toy Story stuff–a doll, plastic figures, and books. The Chicago Poulters sent some outfits, as did the Rosoks. Great Grandma Bell sent a card and money. Probably forgetting a few but he got a lot of good stuff (and I understand even more is on the way)!

Johnny and friends check out story-time at his Thinkery b-day bash.
The kids pounced pigs on a parachute.
Ephie, Johnny, and Minh reunited! Ephie recently changed schools and these 3 used to be inseparable.
Johnny marks the official birthday by having 3 fingers pried up!

All of this was happening the same time Hurricane Harvey was blasting coastal Texas, just 2.5 hours southeast of us. Of course it was historically disastrous and we have many friends in cities up and down the coast, from Friendswood to Pearland to Beaumont who were all hit very hard. Quite the ordeal! We offered up our house as a place of refuge but everyone we knew decided not to evacuate, at least not at first.

We weren’t fully sure what to expect here in Austin. Some reports made it sound like we’d get ravaged, and others sounded like we’d miss out totally. In the end we had roughly 36 hours of steady rain and wind which started Friday night and pretty much completely ended by noon Sunday. I heard we got around 7 inches in Austin over that period, but it never seemed to me like it was raining particularly hard; only that it was non-stop. I encountered a big transformer pole that tipped over at the neighborhood pool, and there were a few branches down, but overall we pretty much were just on the outer edge of things. I’m glad we didn’t get destroyed like the coast, but also was secretly a little disappointed it moved out of here so quick. It was completely sunny and warm again by Monday.

I was the first person to realize this big light pole had collapsed and alerted the neighborhood association.
A little minor flooding at the park. Bax and I walked through that without issue.

That’s one thing I’ve never understood about many people here. It was rainy for barely two days and when the sun came back out it seemed like everyone I knew was rejoicing. “Oh thank GOD, blue skies again!” “Oh that was awful, so glad it’s nice and warm again!” Come on, don’t you ever want any variance to the weather?! Apparently not. Anything less than 365 days of 100º and blazing sun seems to be the worst thing imaginable!

Although it was quite belated, Brian Mego and I celebrated our joint birthday this past Saturday with a private karaoke room at the Common Interest.  I put myself in a bit of a bind with the guest list. The room rules are no more than 10 people. We already had four with us and the Megos. Brian had invited a couple friends, Lauren had mentioned it to some co-workers, and I invited a few people in passing. But I was afraid we’d go over the limit and some people would be left out, so I never made a real formal invitation to anyone. In the end, virtually everyone invited bailed. Only two other people showed up–a work associate of Lauren’s and her boyfriend, and they only stayed briefly. So really it was just the four of us in the room for four hours. I can’t begin to tell you how many songs each of must have sung, but by the end some in the room had lost their voice. We had some fun by playing “kamikaze karaoke” where you pick each other’s songs and the person is forced to blindly perform it. Some of the artists whose works I performed included Janet Jackson, Creed, Clint Black, B-52s, Gin Blossoms, and Bon Jovi. So, yeah, all over the place. And with that it looks like my 35th birthday is officially a thing of the past!