Sunday, July 26, 2009

Staycation 2009

We usually take a beach vacation in the summer. We don't have big bucks and we live in Texas, so the beach is a logical, affordable vacation. This year, however, we opted for a different venue since we didn't think sand and a 10 month old would mix too well. We decided to crash my brother's gorgeous, largely empty home in Austin, and then spend some time in our very own city. So, we left two Wednesdays ago after Ed got home from work. Wednesday night we settled into my brother's house - which is just fabulous. He lives in a fairly new community in Austin that is just gorgeous. We got to visit with our beautiful and sweet niece, Lizzie, and catch up a little with my brother.Thursday morning we headed to the capitol. It was a little above the kids' heads, but they had a good time just the same. They spent a little time looking for the president and wondering why he wasn't there. ;o) We came back to my brother's and went swimming in his pool. I wish I had taken pictures of the pool (Ed napped instead of going with us which is why there are no pictures!) because it was really nice. The kids, of course, had a great time. They have turned into fish, and as long as there is a pool they are pretty much happy anywhere in the summer! We swam most of the afternoon away. Thursday evening we headed downtown. We took a little driving tour of downtown Austin and then settled in to watch the bats under Congress St. bridge. This is a spectacular sight and the kids enjoyed watching from both below the bridge and on top of the bridge. After watching the bats, we walked around downtown so that the kids could experience a little nightlife in downtown Austin (which is an adventure - like no other - in and of itself). My brother drives a cab at night and they were determined to see his cab (he already knew where we were going to be). Malcolm's vacation was made when completely joking around he yelled out "TAXI" from the bridge and lo and behold up drove my brother. It was pretty funny - even for an adult - and Malcolm is still telling the story to anyone that will listen. ;o)

We ended the day with ice cream all around.

Friday morning it was a sad good-bye to Uncle Ray and Austin. Uncle Ray took the kids to the various parks that are in his neighborhood. They loved all the cool structures and got a kick out of helping Uncle Ray walk his dog, Penny. My brother's neighborhood has some wonderful areas to enjoy nature and play.From Austin, we headed home briefly to catch a ride to our hotel in downtown San Antonio. We arrived at the Crockett hotel which is across the street from the Alamo in the afternoon. We immediately got into our suits and headed for the pool. We swam until it started RAINING - of all things! (We are in Stage 1001 of the drought, so rain is always highly unexpected). It was perfect timing for us. We'd had enough water and headed to our rooms to get ready to find some dinner. We walked across the street to eat at the mall's foodcourt, played at a downtown park, and caught a great magic show on the way back to the hotel.

Our second day downtown we toured the Alamo, swam, went to eat, took a trolley back to our hotel, had fabulous fun in front of the Magic Mirror, and toured Ripley's Believe It Or Not. It was great fun. We ate late night burgers at Fudrucker's and spent our last night of staycation full and happy. Sunday we ended the day by going to Fiesta Texas with friends. Who knew vacation at home could be so much fun???

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Post Until the Post I Want to Write

I have a long post to write soon about our staycation - which was wonderful in every way. But, that is going to take some organization on my part which is nowhere to be found in these dog days of summer. the meantime I am sharing this. A friend posted the template for this activity on FB and I really like my result. In a nutshell - You don't know where you are going until you know where you come from. Thanks for the read!

Where I Am From

I am from a hot comal, from Breck shampoo and Noxema. I am from the white and green house with a huge basement that smells like roasting chiles. I am from the tall corn plant, the red rose in spring, and the apple tree with a tree house in it, the weeping willow tree on the corner, the lillies of the valley, and the smell of fresh cut grass. I am from a huge family that gathered every Christmas, with their hugs and kisses, and "Roman" noses, Aunt Juanita, Grandma Sofie, and Uncle Larry. I am from the unconditional love and teasing unmercifullly. From "ai que muchacha" and "se te va a sacar la lengua." I am from la Virgen de Guadalupe and Juan Diego. I am from CCD, CYO, and see you every Sunday at church. I'm from Midland, Michigan and a long line of Sanchez's and Silva's, a pile of hot tortillas and a bowl of freshly cooked beans. From the the beach in Puerto Vallarta drinking coconut juice straight from a coconut with my wonderful ma and dad, the Mexican sun beating down on us and the smiles on our faces brighter than the day itself, mom's sitting right on the sand and she looks so happy in my picture. I am from the box of really old snapshots that sits on a dusty shelf on my bookcase upstairs in my small, house. I am from the fancy, wooden box on my dresser that contains four fragile elephants from my grandma Sofie's collection. Tiny items worth no monetary value, but nonetheless worth the world to me and waiting to be passed down to my children so that they will know where I am from.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hot Dogs, High Dives, and Happy Fourth of July

Well, I knew about hot dogs and the fourth, but who knew that Sofia would turn out to have more of her daddy's daredevil blood in her than I ever would have thought??? Our wonderful July 4th day started with the annual parade in Comfort, Texas. You ask, where is that? Never heard of it? And I answer, I am not surprised. It's a town of about 20 and grows to about 220 on the Fourth of July because of a sweet little down home Texas parade. It is quickly becoming a family tradition for us. It was about 810 degrees straight off the concrete, but we didn't melt and actually had a very good time.

Then it was a yummy BBQ at mom and dad's house. That was fun and of course I am so grateful for another July 4th with mom and dad! We had a very relaxing and great dinner. It is always great to spend time with mom and dad and to have the kids spend time with them and each time get to know and love them more. :o) Then we headed out to the pool for a swim. That's when things really got strange. Mom and dad graciously agreed to stay with Lainey so that Ed and I could actually swim with the big kids. We all had a great time swimming together. The kids were doing their usual thing - Malcolm being very cautious, Sofia mostly throwing caution to the wind, and Corina floating around in her tube.

Sofia since birth has always been the risk taker. When she started to walk she didn't care how many times she fell. She just wanted to try. But when it came to water and swimming it was a different thing. She was always brave, but never really a risk taker. Lately she had been saying that she wanted to jump in the "deep end". So, when we got to the pool I casually asked her at the pool if she wanted to jump in the deep end. She immediately said yes and was jumping in. Then she said she wanted to jump off the diving board. I was a little surprised but happy that she was being so brave. So, it was off to the diving board. Not to be outdone by his sister, Malcolm and Sofia both mastered the low dive.

The shock came when, after a few times off the low dive, Sofia said she wanted to try the high dive. (Too high even for mom.) I was shocked and speechless. Ed quickly shot me a "holy cow" look as Sofia scooted off to get in line for the high dive. I said to Ed rightfully panicked, "You better get down there with her if she's going off." Before her ascent, Ed explained to her that it's a one way ladder, and the only way down is through the water. This did not
faze her in the least. Up she went and down she came. She was ecstatic. And we were PROUD! :o) Our awesome day ended with a fireworks show seen from a parking lot off the highway close to our house. I am not looking forward to the day when the kids realize that you can actually plan to see the fireworks and GO to see them rather than catch them on the highway driving home. Although, that is so much more spontaneous and fun. :o) Thank you mom and dad for a GREAT day and Happy birthday USA!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Five healthy lessons learned at the public pool

1. Breast enhancements remain upright long after the rest of the body begins to sag making for a totally unnatural and rather comical look.
2. Tats on young skin look MUCH different than tats on old skin (I hope. As in - I HOPE they didn't actually pay someone to do that to their skin). I am reassured in my decision to not ever get a tatoo.....anywhere.....saw a lot in a LOT of different places. ;o)
3. Cursing from an adult for no good reason in a public place is never attractive.
4. Sometimes less is less and more is more.
And Number 5....I saved the healthiest for last.....
5. I have spent WAY too much time obsessing about how unattractive I look in a bathing suit, and I will now stop. :o))))