Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Saturday we visited Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, TX. Normally a water park, it was transformed into a winter wonderland filled with a gazillion lights and snow-like activities.

Everyone had a blast. Ice skating was voted as being the most fun part of the outing. Hands down. The 2 little Indians did spite of never having ice skated before in their lives. Trevor chose to sit it out with Daddy.

Most of my pictures turned out quite blurry. But, you get the idea.

This was a sledding ride (off to the right). The lines were incredibly long, so Deven was very disappointed he didn't get his chance to fly down like an Olympic bob sledder. Next year, he informed me, it will be the first thing we visit.

We're headed someplace special the day after Christmas, and there are a lot of things to accomplish before then--the least of which is blogging.

So, I will take this opportunity now to wish all of you a blessed holiday filled with magic, wonder, and love. May all the joy you spread to your family and friends be returned to you tenfold. And, may you make the time to remember the reason for the season.

I'll be back online
In 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Man's Best Friend

We long for an affection altogether
ignorant of our faults.

Heaven has accorded this to us
in the uncritical canine attachment.
~George Eliot

These days if ever we are looking for our beagle (who is not a full-blooded beagle, apparently, as we were told by our vet, but I still call him a beagle), we can find him lying next to the Christmas tree. The lights are inevitably turned on...the kids do that first thing in the morning. Animesh's favorite cartoon is Speedracer, and Speedracer has a mischievous little brother for whom our dog was named after.

Unfortunately, we did not investigate the proper spelling of the name.

Oh, well. After 11 years, we ain't changin' it.

We found our hyperactive dog in a pet store in Ohio when we were living there for the first year we were married...Animesh and I have never had a Christmas as a married couple without Spridle.

This is Spridle's mopey face. But so darn cute. And, I believe he's still quite lonely...missing his annoying little sidekick more than he can communicate to us. As a result, we're feeling pretty badly that the last few Christmases our pups have seen little to no treats from Santa. Yep, it's been all I can do to get my act together to buy presents for humans...let alone the beagle/pseudo-beagle. So, this year I bought quite a few delicacies for Spridle's stocking, and both Priya and Deven purchased on their own some doggie treats at their school business fair this week. So sweet.

A few months ago Spridle pushed open a back door and ventured out for his own canine expedition. We're so happy that he was returned to us. We hope he's glad, too.

This will be our first Christmas in 10 years without our beloved little Kirby...and we're all feeling pretty sad. His stocking was hung with a lot of sentimentality this year, and Kirby is still included in every family prayer we say. I want to cry when I think about the loving legacy Kirby has left behind.

Spridle will undoubtedly do the same.

Monday, December 15, 2008

All She Wants for Christmas

Friday, December 12, 2008

Elf Yourself

If you have never done this gotta.
It's hilarious.
And free.
I laugh until I cry every time I watch
the three little Indians in their "elf" debut.
Good, clean fun.

Hope you're enjoying the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let It Snow

It doesn't happen often in this neck of the woods. I remember an all-out blizzard in freshman year in high school...inches and inches and INCHES of snow. The entire city shut down. No work. No school. But lots of snowman-building. And, even a little sledding. Having just moved back from Germany...well, I was in heaven. I heart snow.

We didn't get inches last night here in the hill country...but enough "dusting" of the white stuff to delight the children and make me yearn for the snow-skiing I so dearly love.

This is the beautiful river I pass every single day in Boerne (sometimes 3 and 4 times a day). The snow flanking the river is gorgeous. The low level of the river is less than appealing. Definitely emphasizing the severe drought we are in. Ironic how the moisture we so desperately need visits us in the form of snow instead of rain.

That same river where we feed ducks regularly. The city decorates yearly. Love these lights celebrating the season.

Weather forcast calls for even colder temps tonight here in Boerne, but no moisture is expected. And, the high will be in the 60s. Sunday we'll be back up to 74.

Moral of the story? Flexibility in the wardrobe. Always dress in layers.

And, now, honestly, I have to go and breathe into a paper bag. Because as I type this, my 5 1/2-year-old son, Deven has come to me and asked how babies get into tummies.

I am totally not kidding.

OMG. I am so not ready for this. I thought I had a few years to think about my careful response.

Any help out there besides ignoring him and changing the subject??????

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I'm a tad freaked out that the first week of December is over. In fact, I'm freaked out that the year is almost over. Time is whizzing by. At warp speed. No longer can I think about putting things off or putting things on the back burner. If I do...I may never get to it again.

And, as if I needed a reminder that the days are passing us by in a flash...there's the Advent calendar tradition that is always a hit. This year, however, I thought I'd be clever and put scavenger hunt clues inside the individual days--rather than trying to find 3 tiny treats that would fit. Yes, it's one more thing I have to do...find 3 small gifts...hide them where the clue says it will be...and remember to do it the night before so that when our children awaken at o'dark-thirty I won't be scrambling to get it done.

But, the kids love it. And, watching them gives me pure joy.

Last Saturday we had friends over for an afternoon/evening of visiting. This is a new band in the making. They sing. They dance. And, they play their own instruments. When they're famous and doing charitable work all over the world as a result of their fame...well, you can praise Dawn and I for their fabulous upbringing.

Later, Dawn's hubby Shaun grabbed the kids' attention and told a scary story. We heard screaming from Trevor's room...and after careful investigation we determined that nope, no one was hurt. They were just shrieks of pure delight.

Sunday Animesh and I were blessed enough to go Christmas shopping for the kids...without the kids. Thanks to our dear friends for entertaining the 3 little Indians with so much love and care.

Three little Indians sporting their advent calendar goodies.

This week we've also built gingerbread houses...using kits I bought last year at Costco but had forgotten about. The icing was a bit tricky to work is a year old, mind you...but overall the kids loved it. And, I adore these homemade Christmas decorations gracing my counter top. if your home hasn't got one of should find one (word has it that Hallmark is busting at the seams with them...). This is the cutest new family tradition. Our elf, affectionately named "Fred," is the first thing the kids hunt for in the morning. And, the book that comes with it has been enjoyed almost nightly since he joined our family for the month. much fun to see the delight in the eyes of our children.

Last but certainly not's been a fulfilling week for Mommy, as well. Quality time with friends, rehearsing for the church Christmas Cantata (come hear us on Sunday, December 14th at 11:10am...), and doing lots and lots and LOTS of planning for this. I'm honored and humbled to be leading it in March.

I'm also trying to make time for personal reflection...goals I would like to accomplish in 2009...ways I hope to better myself...ways I would like to better our world.

And, things I need to embrace about myself that I'm not too crazy about.

Because at the rate that life is whooshing by us...I don't think I have any time to waste.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Thankful...

Following Brown Eyed Fox's wonderful lead...our family made our own Grateful Tree a couple of evenings ago. Daddy collected some branches from outside, I stuck them in a vase, and off we went.

The kids really got into it...even asking me to punch out more circles...and then having to write on the backs of the circles to make room for all that they are thankful for.

Yes, Daddy wrote he was thankful for golfing. Yes, I wrote that I was thankful for Peppermint Mocha Creamer. But, most of those wonderful things we are so incredibly grateful for touched me deeply.

Daddy always underlines what he write. ALWAYS!

Deven had to mark his circles with a "D."

Priya's contribution.

Trevor's attempt.

And, I'm most thankful for the above...
for HE has given us all of the
tremendously incredible
blessings we have.

Especially these Three Little Indians---
both figuratively and literally. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Day After...

It's been over a week since the 1/2 marathon, but my friend sent this video to me, and I couldn't help but post it. It is EXACTLY how I was movin' the day after the race. All you running friends out there--I know you can totally relate.

Hilarious. So true. And, yet, why do I have this feeling I'll be doing it again next year???

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Kissing Hand

Since the day I discovered this book as a parent, it has been my all-time favorite story. My heart melted when Priya's kinder teacher read it to the class at Kinder Orientation last year, and then Deven's teacher did the same this year. I often kiss the palm of my kids' remind them that although I'm not always around them physically, we are close in spirit and in our hearts.

So, imagine our delight/surprise when we discovered our very own "Chester" (the character in the book) in the garage last Saturday morning on our way to Priya's swim lesson. It was the day before the race, and I was anticipating a relaxing day at home (after swim lessons) to prepare my mind and body for this test of endurance.

Apparently, when you live in the boondocks and leave the garage door open all night long--critters come-a-calling. Factor in a tantalizing bag of bird seed, and you've got yourself one huge mess. And, a trapped raccoon.

The poor thing wouldn't come down. I tried and tried. Turns out I must have injured him when I opened the garage door the first time. He was as stubborn as the rest of our family members, and there was only so much I could do with my own two hands.

With my own hub out of town...and the kids shrieking in and out of the car with a mixture of excitement and fear...I had only one option.

It was time to call in a reinforcement.

After establishing with HipMomma what exactly I wanted to borrow her husband for (ha!)...she agreed and sent him over. The HipHub arrived with a cool gadget that eventually coaxed the injured Chester (named by Deven) off the top of the garage. Bloody paw and all.

Sadly, he didn't run for freedom. He decided to go and cower in a corner. Thanks to the HibHub for his snake-grabber-poker-thingy.

Eventually, HipHub captured Chester in a garbage can and set him free in the vacant lot next to our house. Chester ran off okay...we're thinking his injured paw will be just fine.

As for the rest of our Saturday? Well, we missed Priya's swim lesson, but we still went to Denny's for a yummy breakfast. And, then to Home Depot for a super broom that would sweep up all the bird seed. Sweeping and cleaning/bleaching blood spots on the garage floor were my pre-race activities.

Not exactly how I planned to spend that day...but I was able to run the entire 13.1 miles...AND I have a cleaner garage than I've had in a long time. So, I can't really complain.

LESSON LEARNED: Always check the garage door at night when the hubby is out of town. And, I need to get myself one of those snake-grabber-poker-thingys.

I'll be sure to add that to my Christmas list.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tell Me How You REALLY Feel...

This is how I am feeling today...
how about you?

I bet HipMomma
would feel great, too,
if you stopped by
and wished her a
"happy birthday!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


**Click on any photo to make it bigger.**

Unlike the Danskin Triathlon, I'm in complete shock that I actually completed the half marathon. I'm not sure why...I guess because the thought of running 13.1 miles sounds absolutely insane. Yes, even more insane than swimming half a mile,
biking 14 miles, and running a 5K. Consecutively.

But, I did it. WE did it...Tonja and I. She truly motivated me and stuck by me...sore calf, overactive bladder, and all. She even stopped with me at the 3 mile mark so I could visit another Porta-Potty. Love her for that. The above picture is she and I at the starting line before we got up and "running."
Brrrrr. It was chilly.

I'm so glad that Dawn and I saw each other before the race got started.
I'm so proud of her. She's a humble one, that Dawn.
But I'm gonna brag on her a bit and tell you
that she actually WALKED the FULL MARATHON (26.2 MILES!)
a few years ago.
She rocks.

I'm not sure if this guy is an athlete or someone hired to entertain,
but he was at the starting line when Dawn
grabbed my camera and told me to go
stand with him for a photo op.

So...I did.

On your mark...
Get set...

I don't remember much about the race. Just bits and pieces...
here are some things that come to mind:

--shaking my head in disbelief when my car
thermostat read 27 degrees as I was picking
Tonja up at 5am

--peeing in the porta-potty at mile 3

--hearing one of the bands playing
"867-5309/Jenny" at mile 5

--listening to Aretha Franklin's "Respect"
on my Ipod at mile 7

--rockin' out to Joan Jett's
"I Love Rock-n-Roll at mile 9

--and pulling out my camera at mile 12.
Almost to the finish line.

Here's what I got as I ran.

Shadows of Tonja and I.

And, the home stretch cheering crowd with the
Alamodome in the background.


Tonja and I show off our medals.

I wore my "13.1" pendant for good luck
and my pink breast cancer bracelet
to inspire me to keep going.

It was especially exciting to share my accomplishment
with my blogging buddies who also ran the half marathon.
You girls ROCK!

Oh, yeah, the relief of not having to be
hauled away in one of these.

With the crowds and the freezing temps,
I felt better having la familia at home
while they cheered me on.
We went out to dinner that night to celebrate.

Priya called me a champion.

Oh, and that strained calf muscle I suffered a week ago?
It only reared its ugly head about mile 11 1/2...
I was able to push through it and run the whole way.
But, once I stopped, the soreness set in.

This is Mommy's idea of pain medicine.

So, who is gonna join me next year??????
Peace Love Run 13.1 Keepsake Box