Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shot and Captured

I have done a photo fundraising sessions and I figured I'd share with you all here. First off, I met up with my friend who is quite skilled at all things yoga. She wanted yoga pictures of all of her incredibly bendy and strong poses and needless to say, I was more than impressed. Not so impressive was my lighting during the shoot. Oh well, I'm still a novice with this photography stuff and what better way to practice, right? This one is probably my favorite "artistic" shot of the day. You can see her flexibility, but I love how her arms, hands, feet, and shoulder make for wonderful windows, THEN the light coming from the doorway and wall sconce give it a dreamy fill. Or maybe that's just the crack I'm smoking.
Next up is this AMAZING family of soon-to-be six. We went out to one of my favorite venues: Prarie Creek Park to grab some photos. Of course, what photo session would be complete without the foot pose, right? Bare feet with jeans and hints of white make for an awesome photo.
Here's the proud family kissing the belly of the soon-to-be born baby B. How sweet. The mom confessed to me that she has a photo like this when she was pregnant with all of her kids. Too adorable! 'eh, and extra kudos to me for attempting to be supermom on this shot. Why, you ask? Well, due to some scheduling conflicts, I had Mari-moo with me and we'd just come straight from a wedding. I'm balancing on top of this park bench, with Mari safely tucked in my left arm, shooting with the Canon with my right arm, wearing one of my fancy black dresses (that oh, by the way, is now covered with baby spit up...who knew that my overpriced silk black dress would make for such an amazing burp rag?)
And lastly, you've probably seen this face on here before. She's a very dear friend of mine and one of my favorite models. She doesn't mind when I happily grab my camera while she poses away. Even better is that she readily takes direction and puts in her own flair. I think her personality really comes through the photos.

Anyway, I'm still available for photo sessions! I'm doing a kid's birthday party on September 6 and another maternity session the week after. Fundraising Update: I'm more than 10% of the way there to meet my goal. I received the first week status update and I was ecstatic to see that number!! Thanks to all of you who have sent something! Your prayers have meant a whole lot and your simple belief in me in this whole process is worth so much! Thank you!

Oh and a running update: I didn't make the full 20 miles on Saturday. However, I did get 15 miles under my belt in the incredibly thick, humid Saturday morning. If it wouldn't've been for the humidity, it actually would've been a nice running day. Surprisingly, the run went by really fast. I'm kicking myself for not being able to go further, though. The neat, thing, though is that I did run for just under 3 hours and that puts my average at 12 minute miles. Not to shabby considering I walked for about 2.5 of the 15 miles. That's especially exciting because my goal is to complete the marathon in under 5 hours, so I'm right on track. I'll be attempting another large run like that in the future. As it stands, though, from here on out, all Saturday runs will be no fewer than 12 miles. I'd like to do 13.1 miles because that would be a half and if I can regularly do those, then I know I'll totally be ready!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

first day recap


She had a very good first day. No real troubles, although her head was red. Her sitter told me that she'd bumped her noggin against the little plastic cottage, but Mari didn't cry. Of course she didn't. She typically only cries when she scares the bejeezus out of herself or she's really in pain. I could tell she wasn't in a whole lot of pain when I touched it. Then again, my daughter has a bit of a fair complexion, so that would explain the redness.

I don't think the sitter likes using our G Diapers. I can't figure out why. Maybe because she is old school and she thinks the G's will take too long. I'm really not certain. When we first interviewed her, she said she didn't have a problem, but now I'm thinking she does. What would you do? By the way, I've shown her how to use them. I think she's just intimidated that they won't hold a poopy diaper. I need to show her proof positive that they will, but I don't know how.

When I picked Mari up from school, she had a lethargic look on her face. I figured that maybe she was just tired and would probably do some major sleeping. Well, she did have about an hour nap last night, but when she was awake, she was AWAKE! She was so much fun. I had some things that I had to do around that house, but I put that off, because she was just a little gigglebox.

She's so fast at crawling, so she was chasing Guapo around the living room. She'd tried to sneak up on him, and if she heard me coming after her, she'd crawl really fast to get near him before I would scoop her up. The whole time she'd be laughing and laughing and laughing. We had about half an hour of belly laughs! I seriously almost wet myself because I was laughing so hard with her. Since she now grabs on tight and does her version of a hug, she would clutch my neck tightly and bury her head into my chest, laughing hysterically the whole time. I would nuzzle into her neck and she'd just laugh and laugh. And if I was holding her and not paying 100% attention to her (because yes, I was folding laundry and watching the Olympics!), she'd lean in and give me a big, wet Mari kiss on the cheek. So I'd grab her and again we'd go and have a laughfest.

My sides and cheeks hurt today and I LOVE IT!! So if her going to school means we get to have giggle-filled nights of some amazing quality time together, then it's not so bad! Oh and I bet her little buddy, William, from school. He is 14 months and from what I understand, he always wants to be where Mari is. If she's in a swing, he'll crawl into a swing. If she's playing with a ball, he wants a ball. If she's at the little play area, yep, you guessed it, he's at the playing area. While she's not a walker just yet, she can crawl to keep up with him and enjoys his interaction. I could see her tracking him with her little eyes. I'm certain she has a lot to learn from William and that is also a good thing.

Here's to a day full of learning for you too!

p.s. I received my orange laces in the mail yesterday! I need some new running shoes in the worst way, so when I get them, I'll be lacing them up with my orange laces.

Monday, August 18, 2008

letting go...

Thank God for a busy schedule. I've not had the idle time to obsess over my Mari-moo's first day of "school." I knew this day would come. I sincerely thought I was prepared for it. This is one of those moments people used to tell me that I someday I would understand when I had my own child, but until then, I wouldn't fully grasp what it was about.

Friday afternoon, her "principal" called and told us that it would probably be best for us to go by that day to drop off all of her supplies to make Monday morning easier. Actually, this is a very smart lady. She knew this was my first time taking her to a daycare and most moms go through this type of separation anxiety. I read and read that children would throw the fit and now want to be left by their parents, but never once did they mention that I would break down as well.

So there I was, in utter shock at the list of things she rattled off, when she finally asked: "Oh and be sure to bring a schedule of her typical day, too. She's six months old now, so she has more of a routine than the babies I watch and I'd like to keep to her routine for your sake." Right, I need to prepare the schedule, got it. I said my goodbyes and all of a sudden, traffic stopped. I sat there clutching my list and focused my stare on MARI SCHEDULE. Then it happened: ILOSTMYSHIT! What a crass way to put it, but I don't think I've cried that hard in years. I was stuck at 635 and Central bawling and sobbing uncontrollably. Fortunately, I hadn't eaten because I cried so long and so hard that I began to hyperventilate, triggering a massive coughing fit, that I began to dry heave. I nearly pulled off to the side of my road to finish. I reached for my phone and called Don. But he was in school training and couldn't answer. I called my mom, no answer. I was desperate and I needed emergency reassurance that I wasn't the absolute worst mother in the whole world. How could I, in my right mind, drop my daughter off at a stranger who didn't even know her schedule? What was I thinking??? I left a couple of sobbing voicemails, filled with a trembly voice, on people's machines. I'm utterly embarrassed thinking about it. I'm normally calm, composed, and confident. But this, well, I was in shock.

When I got home, I took a series of deep breaths, wiped my tears, and put on a happy face. Immediately, I went to work typing out her schedule. I took extra care to pretty it up, making it a document I'm proud of, since, after all, this is what I do for a living. I should PDF it and put it on here so you can see it. 5 pages later, complete with icons, colored headings and notes, and I was ready to pring. I loaded up all of her supplies, so as soon as Don would get home, we were off to her school. We went by and dropped everything off. There were still a few items to pick up, but for the most part, we were ready. We treated ourselves to Indian food and it quickly took my mind off of things. I love comfort food!

Last night, I was nervous like it was going to be my first day of school. I labeled all of her bottles with my lovely label maker. I took out some squash to thaw. We prepped all of her bottles for the day. I laid her clothes out. We took a shower together, and much, much later on I rocked her to sleep. It was midnight and I was tossing and turning. I slept horribly last night. Waking practically every hour thinking I would be late. She awoke at 5 and I nursed her and sang to her. The Lord blessed us with some tender rain, which was very, very calming. Afterwards, I gave her the paci and she slept for another hour when she got up and was ready for her big, big feeding. She took it in and immediately went right back to bed. I laid in bed with Don, praying for strength. I felt his warm arms around me and I knew that everything was ok.

I finally decided to get ready for the day. I reluctantly put on my work clothes and added a bit of extra makeup to pretty myself up since I was feeling extra emotional. I guess I had purple on my brain, b/c I'm wearing purple and black, and so is Mari. She had on a white onesie with a purple design, her black yoga pants, and her new purple sneakers. We loaded up her school bag with the bottles and food, and headed off to school. She was still sleeping the entire way there, but once we arrived, she woke up.

Her curious eyes darted around the room, taking it all in. She was familiar enough with her surroundings since we'd been there on a few occasions. She took it all in stride. Daddy signed her in. I unloaded the bottles into the fridge and organized her drawer with her items. We snapped some pictures and then it was time to go. (I'll post the one of me fighting back my tears. I only allowed myself 2 of them, and I made sure they were good ones.) I gave her one last hug and kiss and walked away. There weren't any cries from her. She just went on about her day and started playing.

So that was it. I left and I'm going to pick her up this evening after work. I'm much better, but it is still tough! But I'm totally excited for her and this will be a good thing. She'll be able to interact with a couple of other kids without being totally overwhelmed in a much larger environment. I love the lady who is watching her and I have a good feeling about the whole thing.

Last item of note: Last Thursday, I was off from work to hang out with Mari. I snapped photos of her all day long, recording her. Here is the slideshow from a day in the life of Mari:



Have a fabulous week!

Monday, August 11, 2008

NYC Marathon Fundraising

For as long as I can remember, I've been a daring girl. I'm actually quite a bit afraid of many things, but I know I have to dive right on in and conquer my fears.

The Race is Won by Running
When I learned to walk, it wasn't that long after that I was running. I remember running home from school and being so exhilarated when I saw my house. Never mind that I was lugging about 15lbs worth of books (and crayons) and my violin. I started running track in elementary school. I competed in quick sprints and even though I finished last in every race, I wasn't discouraged because my mother would be on the sidelines cheering me on. I could always hear her voice the best and her shrill whistle encouraged me to power on through. I continued to run track in middle school and high school. I loathed that nervous feeling of nausea that would overwhelm me before a race. Often times, I would have to go and excuse myself to a nearby bush just to get that nervousness out of my system. Thanks to my college volleyball coaches, I was further "encouraged" to put in many miles upon miles of (punishment) runs. After I graduated from Tech, I took a volleyball hiatus, but I would continue to run about a mile regularly. Even in my 6th month of pregnancy, I continued to run in quarter mile intervals. Waddle-jog a quarter mile, walk a half mile, waddle-jog another quarter mile, walk a half mile.

Community is About Fellowship
My parents always encouraged us to give back to the community wherever we could. I'll admit, some of those times I was less than enthusiastic to wake up at 6:30AM on a Saturday and miss my morning cartoons, but I do remember that incredible feeling after volunteering. I sang Christmas carols to the elderly and played bingo with them. We would raise money to buy toys for the less fortunate kids. I would go to schools and volunteer to read to kids and help them with reading.

Dreaming Big!
Fast forward many, many decades later and I finally have the chance to make a lifelong dream come true and help people along the way. My 4th highest goal in life was to run in and complete a marathon. After having my daughter, I knew I had the strength within me to achieve just that. Two months after she was born, I ran in a 5K and felt great. I figured, why stop there? So I kept running and many times, she'd be in tow as I pushed her along. Then, the opportunity to run in the NYC marathon came along and I knew I couldn't pass it up. With the strength of YOUR prayers and encouragement, I've been logging plenty of miles in preparation for this race. Now, I need your support to raise the funds (my goal is $5000...yeah, I know that's a lot, but it can be done!) for the charity in which I'm running. You can be directly involved with making my dream come true. On November 2, 2008, I'll be running with Team Maverick as a part of Team Robin Hood. When I cross that finish line, I'll raise my arms high in the air and that feeling of great accomplishment will overwhelm me and in large part because of your contribution.

Please give what you can, and if you can't give anything, I still ask for your prayers and support.Thank you all!

Robin Hood

Friday, August 8, 2008

653 Miles

We took a crazy roadtrip the past couple of days. Thursday night after my company party, we hit the open road with 3 kids: Mari, and our niece and nephew. A little over 11 hours later and we arrived at our final destination. Along the way, Don and I had amazing conversation. Than again, what else are you supposed to do on a road trip of that length.

It was really dark during the drive, but Don and I happily chatted along. We hit Abilene and we were both foaming at the mouth for some Starbucks. Unfortuately, there are only 2 Starbucks in Abilene, both of which were not off of the highway we were on. Not a big deal since SBUX was probably closed anyway. We ventured on. When we hit Sweetwater, there were all of these bright red lights glowing in the sky. It looked like a futuristic valley of radio towers. We speculated that they might be windmills, but we aren't really sure. It was pretty incredible to drive through such a black night with these tiny red lights floating all around. We hit Big Spring and I was immediately thinking about all of those bus trips I made in high school to all of the surrounding towns. I guess it really started in Abilene, but Big Spring seemed to really hit home. Then we passed through Midland/Odessa area. Again, I was reminded of all of the volleyball tournaments. Of course, it smelled like the Midland/Odessa area. To me, that's what money smells like, but to outsider unfamiliar with that pungent odor, they think it's just a mixture of sewage, fertilizer, with a bit of methane. Not pleasant. By Monahans, I was struggling. We stopped for gas and food at a Town and Country along the highway. I poorly attempted to make my own iced coffee, but when your coffee is stale it's just a recipe for disaster. The bathroom was clean, albeit frigid. Mari didn't enjoy laying on the changing table for her diaper change. We fed her and on the way out of town, we stopped by Whataburger for some breakfast taquitos. They were hands down the absolute worst taquitos ever! Thankfully, the guy in the window was friendly enough, so we weren't in a bad mood. Our bellies, on the otherhand, were angry. I lasted long enough to see Pecos and opted to have a short disco nap. By the time we reached Van Horn, Don had to stop to use the facilities. This time all of the kids stirred, but none of us really wanted to wake up. I fell in and out of sleep, fighting it as best as I could until we hit Ft. Hancock. I immeditely thought of my friends Jenna and Treva. I started to wake more and Don asked if I could drive. I did some random car calisthenics to get the blood pumping and to wake up for the last stretch. We started talking some more and laughing. Next thing I knew we were in El Paso. Local time: 6:30AM. Holy cow!


When we got there, Don and I both immediately wanted to crash. He slept for a few hours, had some breakfast and went back to sleep. I took about a two hour nap, ate some breakfast and ran to the store for some essentials for Mari. Poor baby was battling some serious congestion and had the beginnings of a nasty cough. El Paso is normally hot. We were lucky to experience some rain that day, so it wasn't as bad. But one of the favorite things to do while we're visiting is anxiously await the ice cream truck and enjoy some ice cream in the heat. We all sat on the porch enjoying our helado. We even bought an ice cream sandwich for Grandpa. While he couldn't go outside to eat it, he happily sat at the dining room table enjoying it while doing a word find.

During the mid-morning, I came out of my slumber to enjoy my cousin Donna's breakfast: eggs and sausage! Yum! Not too shabby of a breakfast for a 12 year old. She's been staying with my grandparents for the summer to help take care of them. What a trooper. After Mari ate, Grandpa had come to eat breakfast and she was able to meet him for the first time. She gave him a classic Mari smile and leaned in to give him a kiss. (She recently learned how to do that.) Here she is leaning in to say hello to her bisabuelo.


While there, she insisted on practicing her standing and pulling up. I like this picture because you can see her tiny leg muscles and you can get an idea of how big she is. That's a regular sized recliner. Yes, I know she's still pint-sized, but she's full of energy.

I can't tell you how happy I was that we made that journey to see my grandparents. It meant a lot to me that Mari was able to meet them. She probably won't remember this trip, but I did my best to capture it in pictures so someday she can look back on the pictures.

Then, the next day, we woke up early to head to Lubbock...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

6 Months Already

6 Months ago, my life changed in so many ways...so many more wonderful ways than I ever could have imagined. She's fantastic. I'm a proud parent beaming with pride! I can't believe the feeling I get every single day because of her.



Here are some updates so far:

  1. She's a full-on crawler. Loves to jet around the living room in search of whatever she can get her hands on. She especially loves going after remote controls, cell phones, or anything having to do with electronics.


  2. She's very analytical studying every detail. I know, I know, some of you are thinking that's a lot of hooey, but no really. In new places, she'll stare around at her surroundings taking it all in, surveying each detail before she gets comfortable enough to relax.


  3. We are in the beginning stages of cause and effect. She will drop her toy, I'll pick it up and hand it back to her. She'll do it again and again. I call it mommy fetch. More and more her smile will get bigger until she gets bored with it, which is usually after 4 times.


  4. She really likes to play peek-a-boo. We say, where's Mari, covering her with a blanket, and she'll either yank it off (doesn't happen immediately) or we take it off for her and say, "There she is!" She'll get all squealy with delight.


  5. Right before bedtime, she turns into super duper smiley happy baby. Seriously, we'll have about a 10 minute gigglefest. It's so adorable.


  6. But after the gigglefest is the slight fussiness b/c she's sleepy, but she's fighting it. Lately, though, she's just done about two fusses and she's out.


  7. She's quite the little foodie. I've mentioned that she loves avocado, but she also likes banana too. We've not fed her any food out of a jar, just fresh foods that we would eat.

  8. I first used her baby safe feeder last night and she went gang busters on it. I put in a bit of squash and a very small piece of tomato (minus the seed). I read that I wasn't supposed to feed her tomato yet, but so far no reaction. (Thank God!) She seemed to really like the tomato. There was no reaction to the squash, but the tomato yielded big eyes and the look of a focused mad scientist. (sidenote: have you guys seen Dr. Horrible?? LOL...It is horrible, but I think it is freakin' hilarious!)

  9. She's regularly pulls herself up to stand. Lately, she's been investigating ways to escape from her crib and to climb on top of the couch. Twice, she's let go and just stood there on her own for a couple of quick nanoseconds, only to hold back on for balance and take a step closer to the couch to try to climb after the remotes.

  10. I've had to take down her mobile for this reason. She liked reaching up to grab it, so it is now gone.

  11. She thoroughly loves pushing buttons. She's accidentally turned on the printer, the television, and typed on my computer.

  12. She's quite the little babbler too. She has her very own little language, but I love listening to it.

  13. She is sleeping solidly through the night. She will typically go down at 10 and will fuss for her paci around 5:30AM. I'll give it to her, nurse her around 6:45 - 7 before I head to work, then she'll go back to bed for another half an hour to an hour. Ahhh...I missed sleep. But I'm even more tired now than what I was before when I was only getting sleep in 3 hour intervals (at most), tell me, how does that work??

  14. One of the things I really like (and I'm afraid of too) is when her tiny hands explore my necklaces and bracelets. One of these days, I'm so afraid she'll yank hard and bust up the beads on the necklace. It is for this reason that I do my very best to only wear my silver circle necklace. She likes pulling on that and chewing on it too, which I don't mind.

  15. Her hair is getting longer and I'm putting little bows in it! She's so cute when she's all dressed up.

That's it. Happy 1/2 birthday beautiful, Marisabelle! We'll have some cake later!

Lush!





So on Tuesday I was having a not so great day. I was wearing my heart on my sleeve a little too much and got all flustered. I'm a part of a local mommies board and they were having a gathering of sorts at Lush in Northpark. I'd been wanting to go ever since I'd first seen their products ages ago. I'm one of those try-before-you-buy gals, so this was going to be a wonderful opportunity. I've been crazy busy at work this past week, so I didn't think I was going to be able to get away. However, when the time came, I was in some serious need of retail therapy and headed out for a brief mental getaway.



Oh boy did I have so much fun! Ike was the salesperson who explained every little thing to me and I wanted to buy it all. I have incredibly sensitive skin, so I was unsure how I would react to the products. Unlike Bath and Body Works that use some random crazily named chemicals and fragrances (which trigger the allergic reaction in me), Lush uses essential oils which I'm certain I'm not allergic to. Now, if you don't like to be touched or have someone in your personal space, then don't go see Ike at Lush. I normally don't like to be touched by people, but he had such a warm and gentile energy about him, plus, who doesn't like to be pampered! My arms were silky smooth, soft, and feeling oh-so-luscious!! Woo-hoo!



I bought a couple of bath bombs, marathon bubble bar, and split a massage bar & buffy with a friend. It's fantastic!! I left there feeling better and even though I've blown my allowance for the month (yeah, I well aware of what day it is) it was worth it. I'm feeling shiny and brand new.



I used the HARD shampoo bar and was amazed that a bar could get my hair so squeaky clean. The only reason I bought it is because I have a tendency to get a lot of crazy buildup on my scalp (and yes, I scrub the heck out of my hair and scalp). Ike said all of them would work, but really recommended this one since it is a good all-around shampoo. I had to get used to bits of natural things that fell out of the soap like bits of petals and such. Anyway, my head and hair smelled so good! I must admit, I did want to put a little bit of conditioner in my hair because it literally felt stripped of everything, but I resisted. I wanted to see how my hair reacted. I think it liked it. For the first time in a long time, my curls weren't a frizzy mess. I knew I should've grabbed a picture before I ran my curling iron through it. Plus, it wasn't tangly at all. WHAT IS THAT?? No conditioner in my hair and I don't have tangles? I ran to the window to see if pigs were flying...they were not. But wow!

I'm already in love with the massage bar and with Buffy. I feel so fresh and so clean. I can see why people are addicted to this stuff. It actually inspires me to want to make my own stuff. I've already done bath salts, so why not my own bath bombs, right?

Have you tried Lush?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

First Baseball Game


We braved the ridiculously hot weather yesterday and headed out to the ballpark in Arlington. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this moment. I know Mari is too young to remember this day, but for me it was incredible.
Growing up with baseball is a sort of family tradition. My father always made it a priority that we catch at least one ballgame when we would go on vacation to California. My great uncle once played for the Dodgers, so for my father, baseball is one of his childhood memories as well (he saw Willie Mays play).
When we were a little older and we moved to the Metroplex, we would frequently go to Ranger Stadium in Arlington to catch games. One year, my parents bought me a whole slew of tickets so I could invite my friends. We were in the outfield heckling Bo Jackson even though I really liked him as a ballplayer. But hey, that's what you do when you are the home team, you MUST heckle the visiting team. I'm certain he probably appreciated the taunts of a bunch of giggly 13 year old girls. Anyway, the ballgames were always fun. The smell of the grass, the hot, hot sun beating down, cheap hot dogs, and vendors hollering out CooooottonNNN CAAAANNNDEEEE! Cooooooooooooooooold Beer, Getchercoldbeerhere! I couldn't wait until I was older where I could have a cold beer, even though I knew then that I didn't like beer, it just seemed like the thing you HAD to do, especially as an American: eat turkey on Thanksgiving, have BBQ on the 4th of July, drink cold beer at a ballgame.
For those of you who have seen Finding Forrester, he talks of the summers he spent at a ballpark and how it was about family gathering. That's what it is about for me. Ballparks are fun filled memories of cheering for my team, giving high fives when they score a home run...you kinda swell with a little bit of pride when those fireworks go off and they play the song from The Natural. As an athlete, you can relate to the player when they achieve something like that. The thwack-crack of the wooden bats fill me with glee. The first time I walked through the gates at the Ballpark in Arlington, I had a tingly feeling overcome my entire body. Little did I know that many years later, I'd be getting engaged to my Beloved in that very stadium.
So many, many wonderful memories. Like that one 4th of July weekend where we saw the Temptations peform My Girl after the game. Or other times where we stayed late after the games to watch the fun fireworks. Or the time where I went with my friend and she and I bought some cheap tickets from a scalper and it was a total whim for us to go and we did and it was fun! Or the other time I locked my keys in the car and I realized it when we went inside, but I didn't care because the game was really amazing and long and the Rangers came back from losing and it went to 12 innings. Ahhh....good stuff.
So last night, in the 101 degree weather (at 8PM), we sat there 13 rows up from the field, just barely on the 1st base line (thanks Camille!)...more like behind homeplate...and I had my program and scorecard, hot dog, and cold beer, and lemon chill, and cold water, and cherry icee, and my Beloved, and my darling daughter. We were cozily settled in making new memories at the Ballpark. I can't wait to find a small ballcap for her to wear next year!
Oh, and even though she was spooked by her first soccer game experience, when Gerald Laird launched his two homeruns, she wasn't spooked at all by the music or the fireworks. Yep, that's my girl...already lovin' the game.

Baby Feeding

I ordered these 2 oz baby food cubes from One Step Ahead. We're still doing our last of the summer sporadic traveling, but i went ahead and put the order out on these with the hopes that we'll have them by the time Mari starts school in a couple of weeks.

OMG...I can't believe it's right around the corner. Our little one seems so different, so grown.


This past weekend, we were bad and had Sonic for lunch. She literally crawled from across the room, up my lap, and up me, reaching out for my burger. I gently nudged her hand away, trying to reason with her that she couldn't have it b/c she still doesn't have any teeth. Didn't matter much to her, though. She wanted the burger and she was gonna have a bite. It was hilarious!
When we were in San Diego, we ate at this incredible taco stand in Hillcrest called La Posta. Wowzers! It was really good food for not a whole lot of money either. We LOVED it!! Mari kept reaching out for our food, even after giving her a bottle, so we decided to share the guacamole. She adored it. Plunged her little fist into the heap and kept licking her hands. It seemed like we couldn't feed it to her fast enough. So yeah, she's a huge, huge fan of all things avocado! I call this photo Guacamonster because you can see in her eyes the awsesome anticipation of getting another serving of the guacamole.
So for you mommas out there, what are some of your kids favorite foods that they can't get enough of?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Habitat House Dedication

I was fortunate enough to be granted the opportunity to speak at the Habitat for Humanity house dedication on behalf of my company (the house that I helped to build the roof). I was really, really nervous, but I do like public speaking so the nerves subsided soon after I agreed to give a speech.


Anyway, on the actual day, we were running late, as usual these days. I was so afraid I was going to miss it all together, but luckily, time decided to tick-tock a little slower and we were right on time! Hooray!

Here's the speech:


Jones Family Dedication – August 2, 2008

Home ownership opens up new doors of responsibility, as well as possibility. As a child, my parents instilled in me a desire to strive higher, constantly building goals for myself so I could live the life they imagined for me. Both of my parents came from
humble beginnings. My father helped his family build their own house when he was
nine. My mother worked equally as hard, not knowing that one day she too would
own a home of her own. My parents have grown to be very successful, but they’ve
never forgotten where they’ve come from. Because of that, they’ve really
encouraged us to give back to the community in any way possible through
philanthropic works. It is equally important to give monetarily as it is to
donate of your time and talent. Many of us here take for granted simple luxuries
like owning a home, owning a car, or not worrying about how we’re going to feed
our kids. I know that my parents experienced such struggles as children and
wanted to work that much harder to provide for a better life for us. I know this
is exactly the same thing Camelia has tried to accomplish for her own children.

As I glance over at the Jones family, I know that they may not remember the exact names of the people who worked to build their home. I, myself, worked hard on the roof simultaneously overcoming my fear of heights; alongside me, worked our CFO Keith Hennington, as well as the Dawson family, ensuring the structural integrity of the home. Many, many others from our organization came out on that hot Texas day to help build your home and to us it was a small price to pay to grant you your lifelong dream.

Today, this dedication is about your family. It is the beginning of your new journey,
where in this very living room, you’ll have many Super Bowl Sundays. Friends and
family gathered around the television cheering on their favorite teams. You will
cook your Thanksgiving meals in your kitchen over there. In the Spring, you’ll
gather around in your backyard enjoying BBQs with friends and family. I know
your home will be filled with an infinite amount of love and laughter.

I look to you and I’m humbled by this experience. I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of something so special. I’m honored to be a part of this dedication ceremony and am grateful that Maverick allowed me to share a few words with you all. Not many people can say they had a direct hand in building their home, but each of you can proudly say you did. Camelia, your children are young enough that they will create many, many happy memories here. One day they will grow up and move away, making lives of their own, but always know that THIS house, your house, will be the one they will forever call their home. I wish you all the best.

Congratulations Jones Family

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