Wednesday, March 25, 2009

T&M in Oz

Well, here we are, finally somewhere about 1,000 times more interesting than Dallas, and not even a whisper of a post from us on the blog. Sorry about that! It's just that we have actually been busy with fun stuff, without a minute to spare for such indoor activities as blogging. I know, you all feel so sorry for us. I don't have a lot of time, as my battery is down to 30% and the charger doesn't seem to be working right now. But just wanted to let you all know (if you didn't already) that we are in Sydney, spending time with the family and then some! Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, Mum, Dad, brothers (in law) and sisters (in law), to name just a few.

As for what's been keeping us so busy ... walks to the beach, swims at the beach, trips to the dentist (good times!), shopping excursions, dining out, dining in, dining in but out on the patio, playing in the pool, visiting with Mark's family from South Africa, catching up with Aussie friends we haven't seen in more than 7 years, taking the occasional nap and squeezing in a bit of work here and there, and even playing a round of golf on a course overlooking the ocean. Gorgeous. Pictures to come! But for now, it's time to clean up so we can head off to the beach again. Yes, it's a rough life ... Wish you were here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Nana on Her 90th

I spent last Saturday with family and friends to celebrate Nana's 90th birthday party. It was a fabulous party for a wonderful woman. I wouldn't have missed it for the world (though the airline gods--and my own ditzy-ness--certainly had it in for me).

Nana, you are a beautiful, incredibly talented, classy, and gracious woman. You prove all those Hollywood types wrong--woman can and do age gracefully and beautifully, without one stitch of plastic surgery (or do you have a little something going on the side that we don't know about?!).

But more than that, it is what is inside. Mom gave me a book for Christmas, and in it, she mentions that your name, Lottie, means "petite/feminine/strong." How did your parents know that this name would suit you to a T?! You are generous and kind, but you are also honest and will tell us what you think if you think it is good for us (and though we sometimes hate to admit it, you are usually right). You have been able to do just about anything you put your mind to--from refinishing and restoring what looked to be useless furniture to designing and sewing an entire line of teddy bear clothes, from hosting incredibly fantastic parties to beating us all at basketball.

I'd like to think that because you and Grandpa helped raise me that first year (and many years in between) that I might have inherited many of these qualities. I'm still working on a lot of it, but it is definitely something to aspire to. However, I am the first to admit that no matter how hard I try, I will never inherit your sense of style! You have never, ever looked bad, even when you would be the first one up making us all fruit salad and toasting up bagels for breakfast. How do you do it?

I love you so much and I thank you for everything throughout the years.

And thanks to Charlie and Debbie for the great photo (which I "borrowed" from Snapfish)!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

I know ... long time, no post. But other than the weather (after the ice storm, we had tornado warnings and now it's springtime in Texas), there really has not been much to discuss. Until now!

Last week I took a whirlwind trip back to Denver for a little bit of much-needed Get Out of Texas time. Although I was only there for two full days (plus an evening before and half a day after), it felt like at least a week. Perhaps that is because of how much I crammed into such a short time. Of course, although I brought my camera with me, it never made it out of the bag, and not even my photography friends Glenn or Paul took a shot or two. So there is no record or proof that I was there, though I'm sure some people's ears are just now recovering from all the moaning I did about living in Texas. Sorry for the mini tirades ... I just couldn't help myself (the wine didn't help prevent the whine either).

Thank you to everyone for making it all such a great trip: Michelle, for carting me around everywhere and providing so much delicious food, tasty drinks, and fabulous company. Susan and Sam, for hosting a wonderful gathering of friends on Thursday night (sorry about the burnt cookies!!), with more delicious food and drinks and fabulous company. And everyone else, for making their way down to Lakewood for the party. I'm also thrilled that I got a chance to get out into the dry, chilly Colorado air for a walk with Heidi and little Will, Renee and big girl Isabella (and, of course, Gus), and Susan and not-so-little-but-very-adorable Ryan. I miss all our outings together!

A sad point of the trip was the memorial for our neighbor Nel, who passed away last month. She was a wonderful woman, and Mark and I both thought of her as our mom away from home. I can't count the number of times we met up for breakfast, coffee, chats on the front porch, or just a quick visit on the way out to the mailbox. She was always ready with a smile and a laugh and had the most amazing attitude through everything. I strive to reach even an iota of her warmth and generosity in my life. I am so sad to think that she is no longer here with us. But she will always, always be in our hearts, and I am thankful that she is no longer in pain.

So it was quite the emotional trip with tears and laughter and wonderful memories recalled and made. I can't wait to get back there to create more memories!

I got home in time for Mark's birthday, which was a mellow day, just like he wanted it. A little walk with Kai, some grocery shopping for the cake ingredients (a chocolate caramel turtle cake that tasted MUCH better than it looked), some squash-playing for Mark while I baked said cake, and then a fantastic dinner at Dave and Donielle's to celebrate both Mark's and Donielle's birthdays. An absolutely wonderful day to end an absolutely wonderful week.