Monday, December 28, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

It's hard to come to grips with the fact that Christmas is over. Heck, the YEAR is almost over. I shake my head in amazement at how quickly the time has passed since we rang in 2009.

Our Christmas holiday was relaxing and delightful. I sometimes get discouraged when I think we're not establishing any family traditions of our own...but I realized this year that we have MANY traditions that have stuck with us for the last several years. Our advent calendar scavenger hunt and then hunting for Fred (our Elf on the Shelf) every December morning....

....and our Mickey Mouse Christmas pajamas the we all wear each Christmas eve. Kids got new ones this year. Thank the Lord mine and Animesh's still fit! :-)

This is Christmas Eve before our church service.
I wonder how long the boys will let me dress them alike???

Our new family member was a real challenge to keep away from the Christmas tree and those tempting ornaments dangling from the branches. One too many times we found him perched on a gift trying to reach for a "chew toy" of his choice.

But he's just too cute to stay mad at for long.

Christmas Eve after church we came home to sprinkle
the traditional "reindeer food" on the lawn.
Last year we were sweating.
This year we were freezing cold!
Crazy Texas weather.

Letters to Santa were hung by the cookie plate with care.
I was impressed with the kids' concern about
Santa's safety. :-)

The kids marked the note for "Santa only."

This was to ensure that Grandpa (aka the COOKIE MONSTER)
didn't partake of Santa's treats before he got to our house.

Proof of Santa's arrival.

The big fella was good to all of us. The grandparents spoiled the big surprise. And, I have to say that this year was the most magical of them all...with all 3 little Indians bubbling with excitement and anticipation Christmas Eve. I couldn't get Priya to go to sleep!

We're looking forward to a fun-filled New Year's Eve
doing one of the things our family loves to do most...
cheer on the the Spurs at a home game...
just the 5 of us (and thousands of our closest fan-friends!).

I love ringing in the new year...even if most of the time I'm fast asleep come midnight. The notion of fresh beginnings and new starts is exciting to me. I'm looking forward to this year, in particular, with several big events in store for our family: a milestone birthday for me, our first ski trip with the kids, our baby going off to Kindergarten, my first big public guitar performance,
and only the good Lord knows what else.
Pretty exciting stuff.

May the richest of blessings be yours now and in 2010.
We have so much to be grateful for!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Howl-adays

We begged. We pleaded. "We" meaning Priya and I. We have wanted a Yorkshire Terrier for months now. And for months Animesh has been defiant and told us "no way, no how." That we don't have time for another dog. That we're never home. That Spridle is enough.

Well, Animesh had us all fooled. Because on Saturday he surprised ALL OF US by arriving home that afternoon with the most adorable little puppy we could have ever imagined.

Introducing our new little family member, Buddy. He is a 3 month old Yorkshire Terrier, and every single one of us is so in love with this little creature we cannot even stand it. Okay....not every single one of us...our beagle is less than thrilled with what he would call (if he could talk) a very annoying little brother. But we're optimistic that Spridle will come around. Eventually.

There's been a real void since Kirby went to heaven almost 2 years ago. I've even found myself calling Buddy "Kirby" on several occasions. It's so ironic how playful and mischievous Buddy is...exactly how Kirby's personality displayed itself on a daily basis.

Hmmm. Seems Animesh did pretty darn well in surprising all of us this weekend with the little guy. He has fit right into the family.

Well, not according to Spridle. But we know our old, stubborn beagle will come around.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Feliz Navidad

(Click on any image to enlarge...and don't forget to jam out to the tune....)




Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad from Boerne (San Antonio), Texas.
And all the best for 2010.

Photos taken from our Hawaiian vacation in July.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Savvy Mommas and Giving Thanks

SavvyMommas - The Latest Scoop Around Town

Just wanted to inform my area friends about this awesome website started by a friend and neighbor here in Boerne. It's an awesome go-to site for all things related to San Antonio and surrounding areas...whether its family activities, shopping, eating out, or whatever! Jamie is a great gal who would love to hear from you by way of comments, so stop by and check out her web site often. She updates it regularly, and its so informative.

We're making our Thanksgiving tree again today. We made one last year, and it actually remained a fixture in our family room for 6 months after Thanksgiving. I tried to take it down once, but Priya asked me why we had to throw it away when we were still thankful for all these things...and not just at Thanksgiving. Good point, sweet girl. Good point.

May you and yours enjoy a peace-filled Thanksgiving, and may your hearts be filled with gratitude for the multitude of blessings in your lives. I know my heart is certainly overflowing with thanks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#1 Spurs Fan

Monday, November 9, 2009


Can you believe that I've lived in Boerne for almost 6 years now, and I've never, ever attended Boerne Market Days?

Shocking, I know. I can hear the gasps clear across the Texas Hill Country (or at least in my neighborhood).

Well, I'm pleased to announce that after nearly 6 years I am finally going to make it to Market Days this Saturday, November 14th. I'll be there because I am volunteering at a fantastic event that my friends, Nicole and Amy, organized. It's a bake sale booth that will benefit the Cookies for Kids' Cancer Organization. Nicole and her family have been touched very personally by pediatric cancer...and I'm betting that each of us has had our own experiences with cancer at one time or another. I am excited to do my small part by baking and working the booth. And maybe even get a little Christmas shopping done in the process.

So, this weekend come on out to Boerne, the charming little town we call home. You can enjoy the Holiday Market Days in Main Plaza and stop by the Cookies for Cancer booth to indulge your sweet tooth or to simply make a donation to a worthy cause.

We'll save a cookie for you.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Yes, I've been MIA for awhile. Time flies when you're living life in the fast lane. Well, not exactly the fast lane, but you know what I mean. Once school started and we became immersed in homework and activities blogging took a back seat to everything else. Kind of.

Honestly in the past I would make time for blogging. Just haven't felt like it much lately. I had some painful realizations about a situation that kept me from wanting to blog. But, now that I've emerged from that (and now that I've been given the gift of time...more about that later...), here I am. If anyone is reading.

Where did we leave off? Oh, yes. The Austin Triathlon. My absolute favorite race to date. Loved every single minute of it. Swimming in Town Lake was surreal. And flying down South Congress on my bike...headed straight for the one word...awesome.

Priya high-fived me during the run. Love this picture.

Got to do Jeanne's 20th triathlon with her...
just weeks before she turned 50.
She rocks.

The last month has been filled with ups and downs...ebbs and flows...highs and lows. Perhaps the lowest was the death of a dear friend's father. I attended the military funeral and couldn't help thinking about my own retired Air Force father. And the cycle of life. And how important it is to make the most of each day. Each hour. Each minute. And to spend time with those who you love...and those who love you and take the time to show it.

We've been busy with lots of fun stuff, too, such as attending a fundraiser BBQ dinner for our local volunteer fire department.

Deven began his first soccer season. He absolutely loves it.
And looks cute in his uniform, too.

Then there's swim lessons, Brownie Scouts, homework, laundry, volunteering, multiple visits to the allergist (already...even though allergy season hasn't even officially started!), trying to squeeze in guitar lessons, and mommy play dates (I live for those!). We live a full life, but it's an amazing life. Amen, and AMEN!

Yes, I can even say our life is amazing when one of my children is diagnosed with the dreaded H1N1 virus (you know the slang term for it...). AND OF COURSE THE HUBBY IS OUT OF TOWN (doesn't it always happen that way???). Remember in the Spring when the words swine flu brought such fear to us all? It seems to be a household name now. At least in our hometown. And definitely at the kids' school. Bummer.

Priya has been a trooper, though, sanitizing her hands every 30 minutes and wearing her mask when she comes out of her room (which isn't very often since she seems to have everything she needs at her fingertips).

I think she's watched 17 movies in 36 hours. And, she's loved every minute of it (except when she's fevering). And she loves that I allow her to eat in her room. She really hasn't complained at all about the quarantine especially since it keeps her brothers out!

Day 3 of the illness...and no fever to speak of. Tamiflu is a great thing.

So, if Priya's quarantined, so am I. Thought it might drive me a little stir crazy, but it hasn't. Like a good friend pointed out to me yesterday when she called to check on us and I told her I was being lazy, she said to me pointedly, "YOU NEED TO BE LAZY! YOU ARE ALWAYS SO BUSY!" I love it when our friends affirm our actions. Even if those actions are really us being inactive. :-)

Today is cool and rainy. I love it. It finally feels like fall...even if it's only for a few days.

The rain is supposed to pass today...leaving us with a beautiful weekend day tomorrow. Full of sunshine. Seems appropriate for me to strum the new guitar song I've been working on....

Priya's quarantine will be over tomorrow, so she'll join us for Deven's soccer game. The rest of the day we'll spend being lazy (again), enjoying the weather on our back patio, and maybe even having a meal or two outside. Fall has arrived in the Hill Country. For a few days anyway. But, I'll take what I can get.

Who knows how long it'll be before I blog again. So----


Friday, September 4, 2009

Onward and Upward

My car hit 100,000 miles this morning. We've only had it 4 years. But, since we live in the takes awhile to get anywhere. Still, it's a reliable mommy-mobile, and I'm planning on keeping it for as long as I can...chicken-nugget-embedded car mats and all.

It was a challenging week for me emotionally. Still trying to find the balance between taking care of my family's needs and taking care of me. But, at least I'm aware of the changes that must be made. That's a start. So it's onward and upward we go.

We're heading to Austin this afternoon for a fun holiday-weekend adventure. Two nights here where tomorrow Animesh will hit the greens, I will hit the spa, and the kids will enjoy the kids club activities. Tomorrow evening the 3 boys are going to the first UT football game--hook 'em, Horns! Priya and I will undoubtedly find something fun to do at this great resort while they're gone. :-)

Sunday afternoon we'll move to this hotel...which happens to be the starting point for the Austin Triathlon (only the SPRINT distance, thank you very much) I'm racing in Monday morning. How nice it will be to get off the hotel elevator and be at the starting point for the race.

My friend, Jeanne, is doing the tri with me...she has this goal of doing 20 triathlons before she turns 50...which is at the end of this month. She's been a busy beaver this summer...doing 4 other races in order to complete her mission. I'm honored to be able to do her 20th triathlon with her on Monday.

It's shaping up to be a great weekend...provided my husband recovers from the emergency root canal he's having at this exact moment.

Never a dull moment around here.

P.S. This song is for my friends who found me on Facebook...friends I haven't seen or talked to in about 27 years...from our days back in Germany. Journey will forever remind me of you and our days at Patch Barracks. :-)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Time for Me to Fly

I am kicking myself. How I let the school year start this way I just don't know. I keep thinking that it's ME who is creating this crazy, constantly busy life. I keep thinking that it's ME who is cramming our lives full of activities and commitments. I keep thinking it's ME who has done this to myself. To all of us.

Yes, I am partly to blame. I cannot help wanting to be involved in every child's classroom. I cannot help wanting to be social and to hang with my closest girlfriends...confiding in them, crying with them, being encouragers to them...and letting them encourage me. I cannot help wanting to work out feverishly so that I do not drown in Town Lake next Monday at the Austin Triathlon. I cannot help wanting to buy the perfect gift for a teacher. I cannot help wanting to give, give, give to others.

But, all of these wonderful and fulfilling things take time. And, that's the one thing I haven't been giving myself (besides the exercising, but like I said, I'm doing that more for survival than for health-related reasons). I have been giving and giving and giving. To others. And sadly neglecting myself.

I emailed a friend yesterday telling her I'm having a mini-breakdown. Not a full-blown-need-to-be-committed kind of breakdown. But a breakdown nonetheless. I have got to create time for myself. Every. Single. Day.

Yesterday I snuck away to a private room in the house to read and write a letter (yes, I still love sending...and receiving... handwritten notes!). I sat in the glider rocker I used to nurse my children in...and I stared off into space. I snoozed a little. I read some more.

I was only in the room for about 30 minutes. But it was heaven.

The thing is that my mini-retreat was possible because my husband was home to entertain children and tend to their needs. When I told him what I was doing...he looked at me kind of funny...but he didn't question it. I think he understood when I emerged from my little silent sanctuary a little less harried and stressed.

When he's NOT here...which is about 80 percent of the time...gone regularly 6 nights a month...travels a lot during the am I supposed to carve out that time just for me? At 4:30 am when my youngest senses the moment I awaken? At 8pm when all I want to do is crawl in bed and sleep but still have dishes to do, lunches to make, papers to sign, laundry to fold, and an endless list of "to-dos" that weigh me down?

Don't get me wrong. I'm so incredibly grateful for my husband's job and his job security. Especially during these incredibly rough times. But I don't believe that job security means peace and serenity in one's lives...or the lives of their families.

Yes, I have 3 days a week to myself...when all the kids are in school. But, it seems as though most of that time is spent tending to the household chores, preparing dinner, or running family-related errands.

I know from experience that I need my alone time. I desire it. I crave it. I need it. I also know that I need to become more selfish in acquiring some of that time I designate just for me. Thanks to the amazing Brene....I know longer feel selfish about making time just for me. She's helped me realize that it's necessary. That it's okay. That in order to pour out the love and attention on everyone else, I need to fill myself up first.

It's time for me to fly. And stop feeling weighed down by little stuff that doesn't need to be weighing me down.

So. I've moved me to the top of my to-do list. I will undoubtedly give and give and give to my family and friends because that is my nature. But I'm going to try and say "no" to more invitations and requests that are small and not life-dependent---and that do not fill up my soul. Even if friends are the ones asking me.

Because my real, true friends will understand when I say no.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A, B, C and 1, 2, 3

Back to school and back to waking up early. Ugh. So early. It's only Tuesday and Deven is already exhibiting signs of sheer exhaustion. It's gonna take awhile til we're all accustomed to the routines and the schedules. But, so far so good. According to Priya and Deven...first and second grade are "awesome." Priya especially loves the class pet...Mr. Froggie. Yes, a real, live frog. And you get to feed the frog crickets if you have good behavior. Cool.

Not to be left out...Trevor squeezes in for a picture on the older kids' first day of school. He stays home with me Mondays and Fridays. And, boy, does he ever enjoy his "mommy" time. I hope he does. Because it's his last year of preschool. I'm gonna soak in every last moment we have to share together alone. He's so much fun to hang out with. As my dad would say...he's a real hoot.

Today was Trevor's first day of preschool. Not a tear. Not a moment of anxiety. He said he "loved" school. And his teachers. And his teachers said that in all their years of teaching they have never, ever had such a wonderful "first day of school" class.

Think it's gonna be a fabulous year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You've Got a Friend

Please don't faint. Two posts in one week. I know...shocking. But today was too special not to post about it.

Priya got a new 'do yesterday. This is not the first time she's "bobbed" her hair right before school started, but it's the first time I've taken her to my fab stylist, Tonie. Priya loved the shampoo the most. And having her hair flat-ironed. I do believe our early morning hair routine just got a little more complicated. A simple brushing just won't do.

My friend Lisa and I met back in 1999 when she and I returned to nursing school to get our Bachelor of Science in Nursing. At the time she only had her 2 year old son. Animesh and I had no children at all.

Lisa and I hit it off right away. It was one of those "kindred spirit" experiences. When I had Priya, our first-born, she was there to share in the joy. What was even more special is that when Priya was born, Lisa was due to deliver her own daughter just a few months later.

Here are Priya and Brooke...illustrating that famous baby "parallel play" at not even a year old...

Lisa's daughter, Brooke, and Priya became friends because their mommies were friends. But, the interesting thing is that I believe they would be friends even if Lisa and I were NOT so close.

Today we had a wonderful "girls day out" in preparation of the first day of school Monday. Lunch, manis and pedis, and ice cream. Perfect. We had the most wonderful time. Especially since we were with the most wonderful of friends. The kind of friends we can pick up right where we left off...even if it's been a few months.

I don't ever remember being pampered like this at almost 8 years old....boy, how times have changed.

Lisa and I have been through a lot together in the 10 years we've been friends. And I feel so blessed to have her in my life for all that we'll experience together in the future.

There's a good chance that Priya and Brooke might develop that same kind of friendship, too. How awesome that would be.

"Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."

--Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, August 17, 2009

We Are Family

Hi. Been awhile since I've been here...the last 3 weeks have been filled with time spent with family. Two weeks with my family here in town. One week with Animesh's family in Dallas. Family, family, family. And while family can certainly drive you up a wall at times---in my older, wiser years I'm realizing how just how important it is to make the time to spend with extended family. To bond, chill, and just be. Because it's really, really important for my children.'s important for all of us.

Time spent with my family was also time spent without my camera. We did have a professional family photo shoot, so when Melody is finished with our gallery I'll have more to share with you. My sister and I bonded more than we have before. Our kids (a.k.a. "The Cousins") had a phenomenal time laughing, playing, swimming, eating, and, yes, occasionally bickering. But, I wouldn't change a minute of it. It was awesome.

Last week we drove to Dallas to spend time with my inlaws. I drove the kids by myself...and Animesh joined us for the weekend so we could attend a family Indian wedding reception Saturday night. For the first time ever I truly enjoyed the visit. My in-laws and the kids entertained each other incessantly. I got lots of mommy time to visit my dear, dear friend, Amanda, in a nearby town and to get a manicure. My in-laws...who traditionally sleep till noon...even woke up early to feed the kids so I could go for my morning runs (another triathlon awaits me on Labor Day). It was a fun week. So much so that I don't think we'll wait another year before returning.

Pics from our Dallas adventure.....

The kids swim with "Dadu" (a.k.a. "crazy grandpa").
He really is so incredibly youthful at heart.
Even at nearly 70 years old.

My absolutely wonderful, dear, awesome friend, Amanda.
She lives near Dallas. And I miss her.
We had a great visit.
Here's our self-portrait
(because you know how much I love a self-portrait).

All dressed up with someplace to go.
The Indian princess...and her mommy, Honorary Indian.

Handsome boys.

Our beautiful girl. Love that smile.

Grandma and granddaughter.

So much fun with cousins....

...and more cousins.

School begins one week from today. I thought I was ready. But, now that it's almost here...I have mixed emotions. I will miss having the 3 little Indians around all day long. Sure, I undoubtedly will find things to keep me busy, but early wake-up calls, schedules, routines, and activities will take some getting used to after the laziness of summer.

But, what a heck of a summer it's been.