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In pre-COVID times, calling the Hoke family "busy" would be an understatement.
Hyper-social and community-oriented, Laura and Michael Hoke and their two children barreled daily through club meetings, social lunches, farmers markets, volunteer projects and more. In Austin, regularly ranked the best place in the U.S. to live by various magazines, it was easy to fill their calendar.
But after a month of staying home to help stop community spread of the virus, a different Hoke family is emerging.
They're home together every night. They eat their meals outside. There's extra cookie-baking. There are more family movie nights. Daily bike rides. Longer bedtime routines. Fewer plans.
"We do so much less than we did a month ago, but somehow life feels richer than ever," said Laura Stromberg Hoke, whose job in the nonprofit sector allows her to work from home. "I don't want this crisis to go on forever, but I desperately want our future as a family to look more like this."
Amid outbreak fears in mid-March, Austin's schools shuttered, and museums and social venues shut down. Families found themselves with little choice but to stay home together.
It's a stark change for Austin, where families like Melissa Huebsch-Stroud's often trade extra square footage in a suburban home and yard for a more compact house near downtown. They avoid traffic but rely on school, playscapes and museums for activity and to keep toys to a minimum at home.
"That's all out the window," said Huebsch-Stroud, whose family just installed a playscape in their minuscule backyard "to ensure physical activity and therefore sanity."
Families like hers say they are lucky to have the opportunity to stay safe at home with their jobs and families, even as financial, emotional or logistical challenges take their toll.
Working and parenting full time, at the same time, often feels like an impossible task. Huebsch-Stroud was even inspired to create a family life spreadsheet to process her feelings of being overwhelmed (see below).
Melissa Huebsch-Stroud made this spreadsheet to try and figure out why it felt so draining to work and parent full time every day. (Courtsey: Melissa Huebsch-Stroud)Melissa Huebsch-Stroud
Jobs are cut, electric bills are up, dishwashing is constant, bandwidth is strained, food bills are high.
"They eat like seven times a day," local mother Evelyn Escamilla says, almost incredulously, of her three teenagers.
But they find comfort in the new habits they've built around home life—daily walks, a stocked kitchen—after staying there, for a change.
"The benefit is having this more 20th century family life, like the kind that I grew up in," said Anthony Haley, whose two kids are ages 9 and 6.
Jimmy Stewart, owner and co-founder of Do512, built his livelihood on people going out and doing stuff. Earlier this week, he and the three kids built a campfire and pitched tents in the backyard.
"I'm already thinking about how when this is all over, I'm definitely going to miss parts of it," Stewart said. "I'd say these are definitely traditions that we will try to carry on."
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Now’s your chance to see a Spurs game without a trip to San Antonio.
The 2022-23 NBA schedule has been released and it includes the “I-35 Series,” with two games at The Moody Center April 6 and April 8. For the first game, the Spurs will be playing the Portland Trail Blazers and the next will be against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Season ticket holders can secure their seats on Sept. 21 and all other tickets will go on sale Sept. 28.
It's here y'all! Our #Spurs50 anniversary season is set 🗓
MORE: https://t.co/1FJbFOmVpx pic.twitter.com/5Ic8gu1cx4
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 17, 2022
The Spurs already have a significant Austin presence both through their minor league affiliate, the G-League Austin Spurs, and its ownership, which announced Austin billionaire Michael Dell as a new “strategic partner" in June 2021. You'll also see a new logo on this season's jersey: Austin-based fin-tech company Self Financial.
During a May Bexar County commissioner's meeting, The San Antonio Spurs were approved in a 3-2 vote to move some of its games out of San Antonio and its current home stadium, the AT&T Center. The plan came as a way to boost revenue and cater to its far-reaching fan base.
By the 2023-2024 season, two games will be allowed within 100 miles of AT&T Center as part of the two-year "pilot program.” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said those games could take place in the Alamodome or San Marcos but that Austin would likely be the top contender.
The multi-purpose stadium in San Antonio has a 65,000 capacity, which the team says could allow them to break an attendance record for an NBA regular season game.
While some have taken their coming Austin games as a sign of a future move for the Spurs, the team was quick to shut down those rumors.
The team, which is celebrating 50 years in San Antonio after relocating from Dallas, said it is not looking for an exit but made the plans for games in other cities after stumbling sales amid the pandemic.
While average home attendance plummeted to 27th among the 30 NBA teams this season, the team has a pricey non-relocation agreement through the 2031-2032 season and has recently embarked on a $500 million mixed-use facility in San Antonio's La Cantera area.
The Spurs will also have a game in Mexico City on Dec. 17 and a Jan. 13 game at the Alamodome. Tickets for those go on sale Sept. 10 and Sept. 1, respectively.
You’ve found your dream home. Now it’s time to design your space.
Let eggersmann make your dreams come true. Not only are their products custom-crafted to last a lifetime, but their team of professional designers, installers, and care specialists are there to assist you from the ideation to the implementation of your gorgeous and highly functional space.
A family-owned business, eggersmann offers modern design solutions for every room in your home and they’ve had a hand in the design of many of the most beautiful homes in Texas, including right here in ATX.
A downtown condo. A house on the lake. South Austin style. All are perfect for eggersmann’s design solutions.
If you’re not sure where to begin, eggersmann has plenty of inspiration to get you started.
Kitchens are living spaces that invite us to indulge our senses; places that help us bond and are the heart of the modern home.
Eggersmann’s modern German kitchens and home living solutions are distinguished not only by unique stone cabinet fronts and exotic veneers, but also technological feats in cabinetry composition and ergonomics like handleless cabinets and motion sliding countertops.
Their ideas spring from over 100 years of experience. Ever since Wilhelm Eggersmann founded this company in 1908, the now global team insists only the best will do and that every kitchen should be as individual as its owner.
Beyond the closet, eggersmann brings soul to your wardrobe.
Tailor made in every aspect, personalize your space to make dressing and attire a special occasion. With innovative design solutions like hidden safes, watch-winders, and other accessory storage that will make the organizationally-obsessed squeal with delight, eggersmann’s team of designers can help you to create a closet you’ll want to spend all day in.
Create modern, beautiful spaces that motivate you to play and socialize. Host the next grand celebration or relax and relieve the tensions of your day. Eggersmann’s entertainment solutions focus on how you live and how you entertain.
Need a TV for a family movie night but prefer something besides a black screen when you’re entertaining? Eggersmann’s remote-controlled lifting technology allows you to do just that. What about design solutions that keep a bustling household organized? Eggersmann makes it all possible.
Working with eggersmann
To learn more about the exceptional luxury cabinetry, exotic durable finishes, and innovative solutions, you may visit one of 6 eggersmann showrooms in the US, one of its retail locations in Canada, Mexico, or the US including Hawaii, or call to make an appointment with the satellite design service here in Austin where a knowledgeable representative will meet you at your home, office, or location of your choice.
The eggersmann team works directly with homeowners to bring their dream spaces into reality or with your interior designer, architect, or builder. They also have extensive experience working with high-rise/multi-unit developers or condo owners.Find the nearest eggersmann location.