Thursday, February 28, 2008

You're Off My List!

Aaah. Peace and quiet. No noise in the house except for the steady coughing coming from each of the little Indians' rooms. Yes, they've all got it--for the umpteenth time since November. I suspect I'll have it, too, before the weekend is over. But, I just can't stop lovin' on those babies--even when they're spewing their germ-infested sneeze-spray all over me.

So, I felt like blogging. Not really about anything in particular. Just found myself wanting to pound on the keyboard a little bit...since the other entertainment options weren't nearly as appealing (folding clothes, doing the dishes, making my training calendar for the triathlon). I'm sipping a delicious wine beverage that was sent to me for my birthday in the most delectable, chocolate-filled basket by my sweet friend, Catherine. I'm relishing the alone time...Animesh is out of town on business...and the computer and remote control are all mine.

A couple weekends ago I flew to Dallas for the day for my sister-in-law's baby shower. I'm going to be an aunt again in a few weeks. Can't wait. On the plane ride up and back that day I started and finished one of the wisest works on motherhood that I have ever read. The book was given to me by Vanessa for Christmas, and, judging by the title, I was certain it was just another hilarious take on what it means to be a mother. Yes, it was certainly that, but it was also filled with SO MUCH MORE! "The Three Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting" offers wickedly funny (yet remarkably refreshing) viewpoints on such topics as play dates, children's music (why?) and bedtimes, just to name a few. I regularly woke up my sleeping neighbor on the plane with my "I'm-trying-hard-to-stifle-them" chuckles.

Perhaps my fave "helpful hint" (and their are many sprinkled throughout the book) is how to help your child with school projects.

"Start saving your empty shoe boxes now. Empty shoe boxes fill a wide variety of project needs, from a smart "California Mission" to a clever Story-Time Diorama to a Valentine's Day mailbox. The best way to secure enough shoeboxes is to continue to buy dozens of pairs of shoes. (AMEN! says the honorary Indian). I know this may be difficult for some of you, but we all have to make sacrifices to ensure that our children are project-ready."

Heee-larious. But some of my own child-rearing tactics that I used to deem "old-fashioned" were re-affirmed as being ok after I read this book. It may not be right for someone else's family, but it's right for us. I highly recommend this fast and easy read--especially for a parent. Of any age.

And, a side note. Tonight Deven did something that wasn't naughty but that Trevor didn't like. 2 1/2 year old Trevor says to almost 5-year-old Deven, "I don't like you. You're off my list."

WHAT?! First of all, I hadn't heard any of the Indians say this before. Now, my 2 year old was declaring that his older brother was OFF HIS LIST? Holy cow. Priya was in speech therapy and NOT EVEN TALKING AT THIS AGE!!!!

One of the many benefits of being the youngest. Not only does Trevor inherit all of Deven's clothes, but he also gets to use Deven's own original comebacks. The tables are turned. And, I'm betting that this won't be the last time one of Deven's clever sayings returns to haunt him.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Things

Don't you sometimes dread getting the mail? Most of the time we find crammed into our teeny-tiny community box nothing but bills, junk mail, more catalogs than we could possibly order from, and now the frequent political solicitation telling me WHY I should vote for their candidate. A couple weeks ago I had quite a few nice birthday cards...but no letters from anyone like I used to receive. Email has replaced that...and, truth be told, I'm a little sad this has happened. Back in the day I was quite the letter writer. My grandma can attest to that.

So, imagine my glee when today I discovered not one, but TWO non-junk, non-catalog tiny packages waiting for me in my mailbox. The first happy thing was this precious camera strap. Have you visited ETSY yet? If not, you should. Darling hand-made, unique items--you can find just about anything. Melody gave me a pretty necklace from Etsy for my birthday. Isn't the camera strap cheery? You can find it here. I just know it will make me happy when I pull out my camera and wear this cute, pink thing as I snap my shots. So fun.

And, then THIS adorable piece of artistry arrived today, too! I have been admiring this rustic cross cuff here for a month now. I've followed her blog, and she just seems like such a cool mom! I finally decided to order the cuff...and I'm so glad I did.

But, it wasn't just the cuff bracelet that was so spectacular in person (although it IS!). It's the way it was packaged. The cuff was wrapped in tissue with such great care...and placed perfectly into a craft bag. Then, she tied it so creatively with a turquoise leather cord with her card attached. The hand-written note added the final and pleasing personal touch. HER thanking ME for the order! It should be the other way around.

So, Brown-Eyed Fox...thank you for my adorable creation. It was made with the utmost of care, I can tell, and every time I place it on my wrist it will make me smile.

Here's to happy things!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Just some shots from my wonderful birthday...enjoyed an "oh-so-appropriate" sermon at church, a lovely lunch by the river, and then a "hike" on the nature trail we have never explored in all our 4 years of living out here. In the past we've always had a child who needed a stroller or wagon...but this year...on this simply gorgeous afternoon...the little Indians walked the entire way. I felt bittersweet about how much they've grown since we moved to the country...especially baby Trevor.

Deven is all boy...walking with his stick.

On and off since I was 16 years old I have been treated to a Paesano's (yummy Italian-ish food) birthday dinner by my parents. The new one has a great fish pond on the patio. The little Indians love to watch & feed the fish (and act silly). Helps pass the time for restless young'uns who are hungry.

It took a lot of convincing for Trevor to join his siblings for a group shot...

...but it was worth the wait.

It's also tradition for the kids to choose the cake theme for Mommy & Daddy's birthday. This year, in honor of one of our new fave movies, I was treated to an Enchanted cake. Perfect for my enchanted birthday.

Excited for what the year has in store for me/us...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Uncommonly Unique

This was the title of my Mac Lucado devotional this morning. Completely cool...since today is my birthday. Praise God that I was "sculpted from nothing into something" (Ps. 139:15 MSG) 38 years ago today.

This picture was taken at about a year of age...I haven't changed much, have I? Smile. I was born on February 17, 1970 at 11:17am. For years I carried around the notion that 7 was my lucky number. I wasn't sure how that was going to play out, but whenever anyone would ask what my lucky number was, well, I sure had an answer. Of course, in my teenage years, I thought I had an answer for everything!

Now, I don't have so many answers. Of course I'm older and wiser concerning some things, but there are still situations that occur in my life that I simply do not understand. But, ya know what the great thing is? I don't have to. Because God gets it, and he's in the driver's seat. I just need to trust Him.

Sometimes, though, that is REALLY hard to do.

So, I take comfort in the fact that God made me--and ALL OF US-- in a unique and wonderful way. Complete with flaws, insecurities, quirks, and gifts. I love what Max Lucado wrote in this morning's devotional:

"Don't dull your life by missing this point: You are more than statistical chance, more than a marriage of heredity and society, more than a confluence of inherited chromosomes and childhood trauma. More than a walking weather vane whipped about by the cold winds of fate."

No matter what we feel about ourselves--good or bad--, we must remember who made us. Suddenly, I don't feel so down on myself when I recall who my Creator is. I mean, I don't wanna be the one to diss God's handiwork!!!

While I already have a beautiful family, my health, my friends, and numerous other blessings to celebrate as I begin my new year of life on this earth...I can be extra joyful celebrating my uncommon uniqueness in the eyes of the One who made me.

And, an extra large piece of cake won't hurt, either.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Commitment. Some shudder at the mere mention of the word. Guys, in particular, have gotten a bad rap in the past for their stereotypical disdain for any sort of love commitment. Then there's the commitments that you aren't so committed to, such as a play date, a dinner party, etc. where you SAY you'll be there, but at the last minute something comes up or you just don't feel like making an appearance. Whatever the reason.

So. There's this triathlon thing I've mentioned on occasion. It sounded really, in fact, when I would write about training for a triathlon. Wow, I would think to myself. I sound like all that and a bag of chips. I'm going to be a tri-athlete.

To make this commitment a ton more real, I finally (after months of procrastination) bought a bike. This was not a simple "drive to my nearest Sears and pick out the prettiest pink Huffy I could find with a matching Powder Puff helmet" excursion. This took 2 1/2 hours. With a VERY patient, knowledgeable, kind, polite young man who eats, sleeps, and breathes bikes. He measured my thigh bones, watched me pedal for what seemed like an eternity (my bladder was full so the time dragged on), and patiently taught me some basic bike lingo. He was so gung-ho I left the store believing I could actually compete and WIN the Iron Man triathlon...this guy had that much faith in me. I hope I have that much faith in myself when I attempt to complete a tri that is on a much smaller scale come this spring. He also suggested the fine reading material above...something that is sure to keep me on the edge of my seat as I read about cadence and swim strokes, how to prevent blisters and chaffing down there while riding the bike, and how exhilarating it will be when I run across the finish line. If I make it that far. Priya couldn't resist taking a few shots of her mommy zipping up and down the street.

I wasn't attempting to be a fashionista, but it just so happened that the bike (that fit me and was in my price range) and shoes were blue. Mr. Bike Expert told me they matched my eyes. What a sales man. Then, while I was trying on the padded bike shorts that resembled lycra panties with a Huggies diaper inside of them, he found me a matching white and blue helmet. What a guy. With an eye for fashion. Sold to the rookie triathlete.

And, if I don't complete the race, at least I'll be color coordinated when they haul me off in the ambulance.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

All You Need Is Love

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yee Haw

Sunday we visited the San Antonio Rodeo with our friends, the Hip Family. A good time was had by all.

Just love the western duds. Deven was dressed at 6:30 that morning...ready to go in his Wiggles cowboy outfit. As usual, Trevor declined participation in the group shot.

It's just not a rodeo till you ride a horse--or a pony. This is Deven saying, "Howdy, pardner." Complete with a hat tilt.

Future rodeo queens.

The petting zoo was a big hit.

Free samples. Yum.


Love this alternative to a stop sign.

A fun (expensive) time was had by all--at the fairgrounds and food stands. Maybe next year we'll actually get to see the real rodeo.

Domestic Goddesses

Last week I hosted our monthly craft day...with ulterior motives. I bought a sewing machine, yet I don't sew. I wanted seamstress expert, Melody, to teach me. Angelia bought a machine, too, so we could learn together.

Melody was a patient teacher, bouncing back and forth from one side of the table to the other.

Amy stuck to the scrap booking. I wish I had, too. Read on.

Angelia was a sewing natural...

Angelia completed her project in no time...a two-sided lovey for her son for Valentine's day. Complete with fringe detail.

My project was relatively simple...sewing purple eyelash fringe onto the bottoms of aprons for an upcoming church retreat. I had all sorts of problems. Sweet Melody was kind enough to try and work them out...and insisted it was the machine--and not me. She messed with that machine forever.

The verdict? My machine is possessed. The sewing expert said so. One look at Melody's face (as Amy looks on) proves it.

Amy's face is priceless. It depicts the face of someone who was glad she left her sewing machine at home.

The saga continues...will the Honorary Indian complete the church retreat aprons in time? Will the sewing bug hit her and prompt her to make matching outfits for her children and all her girlfriends? Or, will she become entangled in a mess of purple thread, only to frustrate her so much that she hurls her sewing machine across the room...causing it to smash into smithereens?

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I found a quote by an unknown author that said this:

"I believe that friends are quiet angels who sit on our shoulders and lift
our wings when we forget how to fly."

Dawn, Vanessa (who REALLY needs to start a blog), and I have known each other for over 20 years. It struck me how very cool it is that, while we have each evolved, grown, developed our own interests, and taken different life paths, we still find each other enjoyable to be around, trustworthy enough to confide in, and highly respectable in each other's eyes. That is a very rare thing. And, I treasure these two more than they probably realize.

Vanessa was in town last, of course, a GNO (Girls Night Out) was inevitable. We got a little crazy with our cameras--at the bar.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Way Back Wednesday

So. To help hoist ourselves over hump day, Brene invited us to play along with her the first Wednesday of every month. It's called Way Back Wednesday, and this fun game is right up my alley. I'm not sure I'm getting the rules right because I'm not posting just ONE picture...but, I'm never one to follow the rules to a T anyway.

In honor of my upcoming 20th High School reunion, I'm sharing with the world my inaugural scrapbook...this, ladies and gents, is where it all started. A project for my English class. Forever the procrastinator, I threw this masterpiece together in about an hour...the night before it was due. Earned me "95." Sweet.

I'm loving the dot matrix printing on this bad boy.

Here's proof that I did, at one time, actually go by the name Jenny. Two people still call me Jenny to this day. Dawn and Vanessa--both friends from high school. And, both my dinner dates tonight for a girls night out. WHOO HOO!

Yes, folks, this is a 20-year-old wish bone. Cool, huh? Note the bug that affixed itself to my scrapbook page at some unknown later date.

I journaled in the scrapbook with such thrilling excitement. Truthfully? I barely even paid attention to the football games when we were in the stadium. I made for a poor drum major who had to be TOLD to get the band to play the fight song when we scored a touchdown. I was always too busy trying to learn the newest cheers from the girls (Melody) in the pep squad.

A close-up of me...with some bad "hat hair."

So, Dawn? Melody? Shawn? Did you all play today? Check 'em out and see...and join the fun while you're at it.

And, thanks for the invite, Brene!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Divine Miss M

OK. I've snapped out of it. I've crawled out of the slump. Could be the gorgeous sunny skies today...could be that killer work-out this morning...could be that it is now FEBRUARY which means Valentine's Day and my birthday. I'm not like most (women) I know who dread turning a year older. I actually look FORWARD to celebrating each year. Wierd, I know.

Awhile back I posted something about giving "shout outs" to those who deserve it. For months I have been meaning to raise the roof in honor of Maile, photographer extraordinnaire. She visited us back in October to take some family shots around our home and to commemorate Priya's 6th birthday.

In a word--spectacular.

You can click on any of these to make them larger and see the exquisite photo quality.

Then, of course, there are these pictures. And, this has to be my all-time fave shot of yours truly. People have told me that I smile with my whole I believe it.

Not only is Maile talented beyond measure, she is insightful, honest, and hilariously funny. I'm not exaggerating. Just visit her blog on any given day.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a photo shoot with Maile is unlike any other photo shoot I've ever experienced. And, just look at the finished product. Simply divine, just like the divine Miss M herself.