23 June 2009

Father's Day Follow-Up

Father's Day turned out to be a blast. My mom cooked a great meal for us (the hamburgers were delicious!) and we were able to spend some time just hanging out as a family.

Since the post for my Dad was his present I had to think of a creative way to get him to the site (he had never viewed it before). I pulled the tiles to spell out "cookin up trouble" from our Scrabble game and put them in an envelope. He had to unjumble them to get the first part of the URL.

I had no idea so many different words and phrases could be made from those letters. My favorite solution he came up with was "cookin up butrole" What the heck is a butrole???? We had a good laugh about that one! He did end up figuring it all out and I think he really enjoyed/appreciated the post.

After lunch we (L, R, Dad and I) headed out to George Bush Park (on Westheimer Pkwy) to go for a bike ride... hey, that's what he wanted to do so we said we would. Now remember, it's June. It's 1 pm. It's almost 100 degrees outside. L was only in town until 4 or 5 so we had a limited time frame to work within. Let's just say we were all EXHAUSTED afterwards, but had a really great time. I also got a beautiful "farmer's tan" to remember the day by.

Luckily L had cut up a watermelon earlier in the day and it was nice and cold by the time we got back to my parents' house. After recovering a bit we headed home where both R and I proceeded to CRASH. It was one of the best naps I have ever taken.

Later that evening we headed over to R's parents' house and took Double Dave's pizza with us (gotta love those pepperoni rolls!). We had a blast just shooting the breeze with them. Very relaxing and so great to see everyone in such good health!
I had so much to be thankful for on this Father's Day!

21 June 2009

For My Dad on Father's Day

If there were a contest to find the very best Dad in the entire world, I'm pretty sure you would win. No, scratch that. I know you would win. You are one of a kind, that's for sure... but the best in every single way. I know of very few people who have the kind of patience, focus and drive you do, but then on top of that one of the best senses of humor. It makes for a delightful mix.

There is a selfish part of me that is so glad there are no sons in our family. Otherwise, I'm not sure I would have gotten so much Father-Daughter time. You know, we went a lot of places together. I know I wore Mom out at home and the idea behind you taking me somewhere was just to give her a break, but I always ended up having so much fun with you!

As shy as I was and as often as I just hid behind or between your legs when you talked to people, I loved going to all of those job sites with you. I started learning about the construction business from a young age. I remember riding with you in the little Cessna airplane when you were finishing up your pilot's license and you would practice "touch and go-es" over and over. I would be sitting in the back seat, just looking out my window, feeling my stomach go up and down with the rhythm of the plane absolutely having a ball! We always stopped at the gas station when we were out and magically a piece of "Bit O' Honey" would appear from somewhere in my ear. It took me forever to figure out how you did that trick! I was so confused as to why I couldn't ever pull candy out of my own ear...

Also because of my shyness you thought it was really important for me to be involved in team sports and instead of just signing me up for a team, you took time out of your own schedule to help coach. You knew I wouldn't be brave enough to go out there by myself if I did not know anyone. As nervous as I was, I ended up having a terrific time and made all sorts of new friends along the way. Thank you! No matter what sport I was involved in (gymnastics, swimming, softball, or volleyball) you did your best to be involved in some way, shape or form. That made me feel so important! My goodness did you ever put some time in at volleyball games especially...so much time in fact, that I'm surprised your rear end is not permanently molded into the shape of bleachers.

The experiences you provided us really shaped who I am today. Because of you I have this crazy love of maps and geography! All of those trips to the airport on Saturdays with lot of time to play with the huge wall map really paid off - maps fascinate me. Tied in to that is my love of travel. You took us places from Day One... lots of places... foreign and domestic. Having little kids along didn't phase you and Mom - y'all were so brave. As a result I learned to respect and appreciate other cultures from a very young age - a very important trait for a Geography teacher.

Thank you for having us stay in little family-run hotels in the non-touristy parts of town and making us eat in restaurants where no one spoke English and there was not an English menu in sight! Two eating rules you instilled in me: 1) McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut are not options in another country (besides the one obligatory visit just to see the differences) and 2) If you like it, don't ask what it is, just eat it. And because you taught us to not be afraid to travel anywhere or ask questions I was able to break out of my "shell". It was painful and tough (and I'm lucky my sister didn't just leave me on the side of the street), but it was such a necessary experience. I never would have even been in Budapest if it weren't for you!

You taught me the value of a dollar, from both the earning and spending side. From a young age you showed me how a business was run and that money didn't just magically appear. I know I gave you a hard time growing up about being frugal, but now I see the wisdom in your financial decisions. You and Mom made me into the bargain shopping, coupon cutting, deal seeking woman I am today. Also, I really appreciate the lessons you lived out for us about travel being accessible to everyone. That is a lesson a lot of people miss out on and it's to their own detriment.

Your passion for life and "go-getter" attitude constantly astound me. You just don't know how blessed I was by you taking us to Russia last summer. Seriously, that was a trip of a lifetime in so many ways! I really appreciate the financial aspect (we never could have afforded to do a trip like that on our own right now) but also the time you spent planning, preparing and traveling with us. You truly are the Energizer Bunny... you keep going and going and going and going. I certainly hope I have half the energy that you do when I'm your age ...hopefully I got those good genes!

Wise. Outgoing. People-loving. Those are the three words I think best describe you.

I have really enjoyed the way our relationship has evolved over the years. In addition to you being my Dad, I consider you my friend. I love you and Happy Father's Day.



18 June 2009

10 Things to LOVE About Summer...

It took two weeks, but I have finally adjusted to the slowed-down pace of summer. As a teacher I see summers as a time for relaxing, traveling, and enjoying friends and family...a time away from the craziness of the school year. However, it's always such a struggle for me to slow down and accept the fact that my self-worth isn't tied to how many items on a to-do list I can accomplish in one day (although there is an addictive "high" I really love that comes from crossing off that last item on the to-do list!).

So in honor of my internal switch having been flipped, here is a list of things I love about summer:

* Snowcones (Laura, that one is for you!)

* Time to go to the gym without feeling rushed

* Fresh produce - the possibilities in the kitchen are limitless!

* Having the time to read the newspaper, check email and enjoy at least 2 cups of coffee all while eating a really good breakfast (not one that came from a package)

*The fun, free activities around town all summer long!

*Being able to grocery shop at my leisure... and at the venues I choose - Farmer's Markets, Central Market, Whole Foods, etc.

* Reading ... especially FREE books from the library

* Time to try out new recipes or just play around in the kitchen. Oops, can't forget the grill... LOVE to grill in the summer!

*The fact that my house actually stays CLEAN during the summer and laundry gets done before it backs up too much

*Staying up really late when the mood strikes and not feeling guilty about it because I know I can just sleep in the next morning

Although teaching isn't the highest paid profession out there, the benefits are pretty great!!! It's a relatively stable job, offers quite a bit of flexibility, and what could be better than 2 weeks at Christmas, a week for Spring Break and 9 weeks off during the Summer?!?!

All of this time to relax is nice and is definitely something I look forward to each year, but truth be told, when August hits I will be recharged and ready for a whole new group of little Fishies!

12 June 2009

So, here I go...

I've been thinking of starting a blog for a while now and just haven't gotten around to it. I used the excuses of no time, too tired or uninspired for months. Well, those don't hold water anymore. Summer is here, school is out and I have time on my hands.

I was reading one of my dear friend's blogs tonight and so enjoyed the glimpse into her everyday life her blog provides me. She has been on me for months to start one and even took time out of her busy schedule to show me how to set one up... so here we go!

About me - I've been married to R for 3 and a half years now. We were set up by a principal at the school at which we work 5 years ago and the rest is history. He's a wonderful man and I love him very much. They say opposites attract and that seems to be the case with us. He has a great eye and is a fabulous artist and photographer, as well as web designer. He is a night owl who prefers to not be on a schedule! Me - not so much. I am a planner to the "Nth" degree and freak out a bit if there is not a set schedule. I love the early morning hours and the tranquility and clarity they offer. I am a very linear thinker and a bit of a control freak. In our partnership I provide structure and R provides the beauty and spontenaity.

I hope to post multiple times a week and be good about adding pictures as well! R will have to help me with that one. We'll see how it all goes. I'm excited but a little overwhelmed...