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December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015/2016

schuster christmas holiday card 2015


T'was the week before Christmas...

This week was filled with Holiday parties and performances. 

merry beary christmas eanes 2015

My mom made #2 son a Teddy Bear costume for the school Beary Merry Christmas song and dance performance. They all put in an amazing effort.

merry beary christmas 

merry beary christmas eane 2015 


merry beary christmas 2015


margarita machine and law books

Kat's Christmas party was in the office this year, they provided a margarita machine.  

orange fox cookie jar 

My mom has left for Christmas with my sister in Nebraska, we had our first round of gifts on the eve of her departure, just after watching Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens. She once gain received an orange fox cookie jar, and she was able to keep it this time.

star wars christmas 2015 

2015 will surely go down in history as the Star Wars Christmas.  

star wars christmas 2015 

#2 son is in love with his multi-tool.  

Kylo Ren at Chinatown Westlak dim sum austin chicken feet 

Kylo Ren went to Dim Sum at Chinatown with us, he took all the chicken feet.  

December 13, 2015

Seemless backdrop day...

It's the time of year we gather to make a Christmas card picture. It's not easy getting everybody in the shot, especially when we're using the self timer function. But while I was adjusting the lighting, they just get to be themselves. Sometimes that's really the best picture.

franklin bbq shirt pose  


Quiet Company Holiday Party 2015

We hosted the Quiet Company Christmas party for the fourth year. We didn't urge friends to buy tickets this year. We found that some friends were confused by the event. Some people figured we had a party, and charged them to attend... This party is all about Quiet Company and their fans. We just let them gather in our home. It was a good event and fun was had by all. A few drinks were spilled, some people enjoyed beverages but brought few or none. Subsequently some were disappointed when they found what they'd brought had been shared up by others. I felt bad when a girl asked me what happened to all the beer she'd left on the counter (it wasn't me, I didn't drink much this year). But in whole, everybody was well behaved with no real complaints.

The party has also become more of a family event. The band is comfortable bringing their kids and family along. We've all been doing this long enough it's almost like an extended family party.

It was a house full of people and plenty of food was shared this year.  

quiet company austin house party 

Another Ugly Sweater/Festive attire contest

ugly sweater contest quiet company    

There was the white elephant gift exchange. This was the first year #2 son was home for the party, my mom was here as well.

quiet company white elephant exchange 

The key to winning at White Elephant is in the stealing. We made a deal with #2 son that he'd not cry if somebody stole his gift. He did good, but he refused to steal from anybody else.

orange fox cookie jar 

Cute fox, but it was stolen away from her after I took this photo. That's how it goes... 

The highlight of the evening, Quiet Company played a mixture of songs from their catalog with some holiday standards fused into the middle. It was big fun and they sounded great. The audience joined in with kazoos... really.

quiet company holiday house party austin 2015 

taylor muse quiet company austin  


December 07, 2015

Lost Maples State Park late fall colors

We enjoyed a quick cold weather camping trip to Lost Maples.

airstream camping at lost maples state park texas fall dec 2015 

lost maples december 2015 



lost maples dec 2015 

lost maples camp fire dec 2015 

lost maples texas campfire dec 2015 



Santa, if you read this blog... the daughter could use some real hiking shoes/boots this year. 

dork with wife and daughter at lost maples state park  


lost maples state park december 2015 

lost maples state park pond december 2015 texas vanderpool 


lost maples state park texas dec 2015 

lost maples state park fall 2015 

lost maples state park fall 2015 

lost maples state park fall colors 2015 dec 

betty in the water at lost maples state park tx 

kat on rock at lost maples texas state park dec 2015 


lost maples vanderpool texas 

...She needs proper footwear Santa.

lost maples state park texas fall 2015 colors december 


We came home and quickly washed a couple days of dirt off and ran to PHP for some of those $3 afternoon pints and to try their pizza. 

pint house pizza php austin craft beer  

I know, you've seen enough pictures of my beers... but a golden light came in and lit it just so perfectly. Thank you universe for showing me the light, and I'll gladly share it with you.  

pinthouse pizza php craft beer golden hour 



Star Student Award

#1 son was happy to receive his Star Student Award


HCMS star student  


Hotel Granduca Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

christmas cookie buffet hotel granduca austin 

We have a new Hotel in the neighborhood, the Granduca. They invited us to a tree lighting ceremony.  

hotel granduca santa visit austin westlake 2015 

Santa was there and #2 son had plenty to tell him. 

santa clause at hotel granduca austin  

$15 cabernet at hotel granduca

The hotel was valet parking only, it costs $16. You can get complimentary valet if you make a bar or restaurant purchase. That glass of cab was $15 but my valet was free (still winning). 

granduca westlake austin

Baloon artist led to epic sword battles.  

epic sword battle hotel granduca

Jimmie Vaughn and family hotel granduca christmas 2015 

Jimmie Vaughn and family were there to light the tree. 

hotel granduca austin westlake christmas tree