Friday, May 29, 2009


You may remember that we left our Christmas tree up (and fully decorated) in our living room until way after the holiday had passed. In fact, while I don't think I blogged about it, the tree stayed up until last month when we had our hard wood floors installed.

Ready for another admission? Our Christmas lights are still up on our back patio. Ya know, the icicle-looking ones that dangle off the roof. I asked Animesh to hang them for a Christmas gathering, and there they have remained. He said they were a challenge to get them up there, so I told him to leave them there. They're actually quite festive, and I've grown accustomed to these twinkling lights when evening rolls around. They haven't kept the deer from eating my plants (darn you, deer!), but they make me so happy. Every night is like a party waiting to happen on our back patio.

These twinkling lights make me even happier when I think about them in reference to the above quote by the amazing Brene Brown. They really are a metaphor for joy...that a joyful life is not a floodlight of joy...for that would be too overwhelming. At least for me. Joy is like twinkling lights..."strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration." Very, very cool.

Today is the last day of school. The kids get out early, and we're going to celebrate with ice cream. Summer is here. Bring on the sunshine, sunscreen, and sleeping in. Bring on the laziness, the laughter, and the lolly-gagging. And, bring on the joy. I don't want to miss a moment of it this summer.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What I Know For Sure

What Do You Know for Sure?

My head is spinning. I have two very important events this weekend...with lots of responsibilities at both. I have a talk to write that I'm giving tomorrow. I have many things to buy for both events. Next week is the last week of school...and that's a whole other ball of wax with end-of-year parties, teacher gifts, and my final week of triathlon training.

Lately it's all I can do to keep from running away and hiding.

So. I'll blog. It's therapeutic for write things down, list my "to-do" items, get things off my chest. That's kind of what this blog has become for me. A release. Not merely an avenue for sharing cute pictures of my kids or things we've done together. Throughout this blogging experience I've had this great epiphany that I actually like to write. No, I LOVE to write. And, lately, my life has not afforded me the time to indulge in this hobby I enjoy so much.

I've thought a lot about "life" in general lately...and my mind kept returning to a column in Oprah's magazine. "What I Know For Sure" is usually the last column on the last page in her mag, and while I don't subscribe to it or read it monthly, I do find myself picking it up in a salon or doctor's office if only to flip to the back and read this column where Oprah shares life lessons It has inspired me to do the same. Right here. Read on if you wish.

What I Know For Sure:

1. Saying "no" when people ask me to volunteer when I'm feeling overwhelmed makes me feel empowered.

2. No one makes me laugh like my children do.

3. Summers spent poolside are my idea of a little slice of heaven.

4. Seeing my children beam with pride makes my heart swell.

5. Having girlfriends whom you can share ANYTHING with is one of God's greatest gifts.

6. I am a pretty good judge of character after one encounter with that person.

7. Time spent alone is essential for my well-being and mental health.

8. A good song on the radio can change my mood instantly...for the rest of the day.

9. Chips and guacamole are soul food for me.

10. Showing appreciation for someone makes my heart smile. Trying to do that more often.

11. You don't really know someone based solely on their blog.

12. Good, quality teachers are angels sent from heaven.

13. Exercise is the best therapy for me. A glass of cabernet with friends is a close second.

14. I'm now having to schedule time on my calendar to do nothing at all. Sad.

15. Listening to someone requires eye contact. With my children, I try to remember to kneel to their level so that they know I'm giving them my full attention.

16. While Animesh and I are no longer the sole influences in our children's lives, we are still building and solidifying the foundation at home. It's a daily effort and one we must not give up on.

17. I am still too sensitive. Not sure that will ever change. Not sure that I want it to.

18. Quiet time with God strengthens me.

19. Time spent with true friends also strengthens me.

20. I cannot do small talk. I'm a "lay it all on the table" kind of person. To know me is to know that you'll hear a lot about me. I like to be real, open, and honest. And, I appreciate the same openness in return.

21.It's okay if the house isn't perfect or the kids are wearing mismatched clothes. What's more important is that the home is full of love and laughter and that the kids picked out and put on the clothes themselves.

22. Family dinners ground us after a busy day.

23. Unconditional canine love is something I should strive for more in my life.

24. A phone call from a friend at just the right moment is God sending us an earthly angel when we need encouragement or a good laugh.

25. Watching my children love on each other gives me a warm fuzzy feeling I cannot put into words.

26. Picking my battles with the kids has enhanced and strengthened my bond with them. Some things I just need to let go.

27. On the other hand, disciplining when it is hurting me deeply has also strengthened my bond with them. The boundaries they don't think they need are what they crave the most.

28. Deep breaths really do help calm me down.

29. It is necessary to make time for the people and things that really matter.

30. Healthy relationships require work, forgiveness, patience, communication, and unconditional (canine) love.

31. Coffee on the back patio as the sun rises gives me peace.

32. Entertaining in our home brings me joy.

33. Fresh flowers in the house also bring me joy.

34. I am not the same person I was before having children. And, I'm glad.

35. I've discovered that having goals to strive for is an important part of who I am.

36. Whatever I do and whatever I say, my children are always watching me as an example.

37. Animesh watching the kids while I'm gone does not mean he is "babysitting" them. He's their father, for cryin' out loud.

38. I feel some degree of "mommy guilt" at least once every single day.

39. I hate that I feel "mommy guilt" at least once every single day.

40. Practice really does make perfect (or at least "better" in my guitar-playing quest).

41. I could listen to Jason Mraz sing and play guitar all day and night. *deep sigh*

This list is longer than I intended it to be. And, I'm not even finished. But, I've got to run to Costco for many an item needed for the big weekend.

These things I know for sure. How about you?

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Word to your Mother

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new. "

I have this quote in my blog header. I just love it. Because it applies to me. I am not the same person I was before I had kids. Sure, there are parts of me that are the same. I still love chocolate. I am still an annoyingly cheerful morning person. I still wait too long to do the laundry. But, the deepest, most inner parts of my being have been transformed since I gave birth to each of the 3 little Indians.

And, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Mother's Day this year was perfect. Church, brunch, and swimming. We even got to share it with my mom and my mother-in-law. And, I surprised myself at how much I didn't mind sharing it. Because if it weren't for my mom or Animesh's mom...he and I wouldn't be here. And, we wouldn't have these amazing children that have been entrusted to us.

Favorite Mother's Day moments?

--Trevor-ism: "Mom! Priya said I wasn't cute anymore but I really am cute!"

--Deven-ism while listening to Taylor Swift on the radio: "Taylor Swift is such a beautiful woman!"

--Priya belly-laughing so hard she fell off the sofa. Where she continued to belly-laugh.

--Deven-ism when I walked into the kitchen: "Wassup, mama dude?"

--sipping a margarita pool-side while listening to the kids laugh and swim with friends.

--hearing a sermon in church that reminded me no matter how much I love my kids...and, oh, how I do love them...God loves us even more than that.

Hope your Mother's Day was special in every way.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

But Now I Am Six

(You can click to enlarge).

Welcome to the world, Deven.
May 5, 2003

I remember listening to this song
time and time again
when he was a baby in my arms...
Godspeed, little man. Sweet dreams, little man...

Thanks to Aunt Lisa and her family,
you'll always be
"Baby Deven" to us.
Happy 6th birthday, sweet boy.
We love you
to the moon and back...
to infinite and beyond...
forever and ever.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Peace, Love, & Rock-n-Roll

I don't know about you, but this weekend flew by. Worrying about Priya coupled with already previously scheduled commitments resulted in an emotional and physical shutdown this evening---Sunday evening. I'm not sure if I've recovered yet. What I am sure of is that I've got a doozy of a week ahead of me.

Saturday Animesh and I left our sick daughter and her brothers with the only people we didn't feel guilty about doing so--the grandparents. Priya was still fevering on and off, but we felt comfortable jetting off to nearby Comfort for my guitar teacher's annual "jam" (an informal recital) for his students.

Now, I've been taking lessons (if you could call it that) for 2 1/2 years. But, I'm not really that good. I could be if I practiced. Thank goodness Richard is patient with me. And, I told him it was gonna take a LOT of beers for me to get on the stage. I only had one beer, therefore I did not perform. I told Richard that I would do it next year...if he provides a wind and smoke machine so I could get the full effect of being a rock star. He agreed.

Animesh couldn't resist
face-booking during the event.

And reaching for a beer.

The carport stage.
This year's theme was "Woodstock." Tie dye attire encouraged.

A student prepares to "jam."

I love Richard's tie-dye guitar t-shirt.

There were even party favors...
because I'm always losing
guitar picks when I play at gigs.


It was a laid back fun afternoon filled with some great music (the younger students knocked our socks off) and awesome food. I'm already planning my performance for next year's "Jammin' in Comfort." Wind machine and all. And you're all invited.

PRIYA UPDATE: Animesh took her to the ER this morning. Actually, they visited TWO ERs (the first ER wasn't interested in doing any kind of testing after 5 days of running a fever). So, Daddy pulled some strings and got her in where he works...where they ran a gammat of tests that all came back negative. Thank the Lord. So, the unofficial diagnosis is sinusitis. Which is what the doctors diagnosis you with when they don't know exactly what's going on.

Good thing is that she's been fever-free all day. But still needs to stay home tomorrow from school since she had a fever this morning and needs to have a normal temperature for 24 hours before going back. Now, if only she could breathe through her nose. Poor baby.

But , hopefully--with the help of some good antibiotics--she's finally on the mend after 5 long days.

Many thanks for all your caring and concern.