Saturday, December 30, 2006

One Year and Looking Good!!

Today Jesse and I are celebrating our first anniversary! We were at a party last night with all the cousins from my Dad's side (the Garcia's). At about 9:00 pm my cousin asks Jesse and I to go pick up her husband's cousin at the Hampton Inn. So' we left the party and went to the Hampton to find out that Jesse and my parents had reserved a room for our first anniversary!!! There was a dozen roses intermingled within a dozen stargazer lilies!!! There were candles and strawberries and the whole nine yards. Unfortuantely we were at 10KL so we decided to take up the sacrifoce and give it up for Someone Up There. We invited my brothers and sisters to come over and chit chat for a while. Even though Enrique and Veronica were tired from putting the babies to sleep, Gerardo and Roxy came over and we talked for about an hour. When they left, Jesse and I said a little prayer; of thanks and went to bed. So its been a great start to a wonderful day!!!!

God has definitely blessed us with a wonderful marriage un until now and we pray that he will continue to bestow his blessings!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Its time to go home....

for some familia time. Jesse and i have been preparing ourselves for this wonderful trip home and are about ready to go. We are not totally packed, but the suitcase is out ready to be filled. One of the many great fantabulous things we look forward to are all the family reunions of the week. Soemtimes I do wish it was over a two week period instead of one...I'll take what I can get. First, we have the 24th at Tio Pocho's place where my mom's side of the family parties it up. Nest we have the 25th with the good ol' family. The 26th we have Gerardo and Roxy's pedida, which is the huge dinner where my parents ask Roxy's parents for her hand. The 27th is the primada, which is a party with all the cousins and significant others on my mom's side (that 26 ranging from ages 16ish to 32ish) where we play games (last year we had Kareoke), eat and have a good ol' time. The 28th is a day of rest where hopefully Jesse and I will go to a concert where an ol' friend of mine is playing. The 29th is the Party with the Garcia side of the family where we eat tamales and other yummy stuff. The 30th is a huge couples shower for my brother and his fiance and Rafa (my cousin) and his fiance. The 30th is ALSO the Kuhns' FIRST YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!! The deserves a blog entry to itself, but Ii will write about it later. The 31st is our annual New Year's Party which Jesse has been a part of for the past 4 years!!! This party is a huge family tradition where my mom's side of the family comes together and we give eachother the "abrazo" (which means the hug for the new year. Everyone gets all dolled up and we have a great time as we count down to the new year. Well that is our Holiday Extravaganza week. Sadly Jesse has to work on the 26th and will have to drive back to College Station for a day. Oh well, my kicking and complaining won't get the day back (I already tried ;) ) . Well off to packing I go! Have I mentioned that it is very hard to type with 8 fingers???

Friday, December 15, 2006

Clarissa Kuhns is now a Black Belt! WHOOP!

So I did it!!!!! Blood, sweat, and tears got me through it, courage and faith kept me from quitting. Its all over and I have a million cuts and bruises and one broken hand (or so I think, I will go check it tomorrow). Wow, i can't believe it's finished. The best part is that Enrique, my bro and Vero and my nephews, as well as Jesse and Brent made it when all ofthem said they weren't going to be able to make it!! How awesome!!. I will post up pics and video later, when I can move better. Until then, I will pos the second part of my essay which was my final speech before I got my black belt. I can't thank everyone enough that got me through this!

TaeKwonDo’s Impact.

I began TaeKwonDo in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas 12 years ago as a way to learn to defend myself and begin a cool new sport. Little did I know where this cool new sport was going to lead me. I practiced traditional TaeKwonDo for about 2 years and then stopped because crossing the border every other day became a big hassle. Four years later, I found myself looking at a brochure for the Texas A&M TaeKwonDo Team. I remember walking in the first day of practice feeling very insecure. This placed a damper on my self efficacy. My first practice at the The Martial Arts Center was very similar. Sparring was a new concept that I was not ready to fully commit too. I attended a couple practices and figured I needed to talk to Master Pejo to see what he thought of my progress. I stayed late after practice one day and he showed genuine interest in helping me become the best fighter I could be as long as I was willing to commit. I was hooked. That night, I bought my first set of pads, and my trusty yellow bag and was on my way.

I stayed away from tournaments for a while for fear of getting hurt. Gradually, TaeKwonDo instilled in me the indomitable spirit and courage that would help me turn the fear into fuel. Finally, after about three months I attended my first tournament in Dallas. Little by little, I became comfortable with the team and the team became comfortable with me. I began working at the TaeKwonDo school to help pay for tuition and spent every afternoon teaching, cleaning, and practicing. I was recognized by my strong values and outspoken personality. My time in TaeKwonDo was facilitated by Master Pejo’s support. I clearly remember him sitting in his office and saying something which solidified my view on his commitment toward my success. “Stick with me, and I will take care of you.” He wasn’t lying. Through ups and downs he never turned his back on me. Even when I decided to return to TaeKwonDo after many “breaks”, he was always willing to help me get back in as easily as possible.

I went to my first Collegiate National Championships in Austin in 2001. I remember feeling my heart pulsating in my throat. Master Pejo coached my first two fights. My last fight was against a girl from New York. I was dead tired and couldn’t lift my legs. Master Pejo had to coach someone else so I had to rely on Mr. Brent and Mr. Jesse’s skills to get me through. I remember Mr. Brent yelling “Wait on the back leg”. He kept on repeating those words louder and louder. I thought to myself, “That’s weird, I have my weight on the back leg. Why is he still yelling at me?” Towards the end of the fight, my lead prompted Mr. Jesse and Mr. Brent to yell in unison, “Run away!” So what did I do? I turned my back and started to run in circles. Well, they then yelled “No...don’t turn your back to her!” Eventually the fight ended and I was pronounced the winner. I turned to look at my coaches and they both had a huge smile on their faces. This was hard work paid off. This is what dedication meant. I had won my division. Better yet, I had done that at t.u.’s house. It didn’t get better than that. Or so I thought.

A couple of weeks prior I had made an acquaintance on the team. He was a black belt and a great athlete. He was also practically Master Pejo’s son. There is a lot to say about this relationship. However, there isn’t enough space to cover such an extensive topic. In Master Pejo’s life, he has been and will always be (in my opinion) his most challenging, rewarding, and inspirational student. Master Pejo had grown to care for me in a way that was much stronger than many of his other students. It is only this way, that he would mention me to his most cherished student. Of all the relationships that have budded from this school, only one has he truly not discouraged. It is through this relationship that TaeKwonDo has made its greatest impact on my life.

I know in my heart that Master Pejo knew before anyone else where this relationship was going. As a son must do, Mr. Jesse and I left the school for a year. Let me present a pragmatic paradigm to explain further. Leaving my home to go to college gave me wings to venture off into the real world. Those same wings brought me back home to a relationship with my parents that had grown exponentially stronger. Similarly, Mr. Jesse and I left TaeKwonDo for a year to do our venturing off. It was just enough to solidify the seeds that had been planted. After a year, the TaeKwonDo way of life, called to us and beckoned our return. Our relationship with Master Pejo was a distinct one. We were family.

TaeKwonDo has taught me essential qualities that have led to my personal growth in and outside of the school. First, it taught me to have the indomitable spirit to walk into a ring and put up the best fight in me. This spirit followed me from TaeKwonDo into many other “rings” of life that through perseverance and strength of character I have put up my best fight and succeeded. I have learned courtesy. In a world where abuse of power occurs very often, I have learned to recognize power governed by respect and courtesy as well as one governed by the need of domination and control which in reality is just a lack of self esteem and respect for others. Not only have I learned to identify it but I learned to recognize the temptations of craving of one over the other and using self control to subdue them. This, I believe, is a vital part of learning the true spirit of TaeKwonDo and only a person with true integrity can experience it.

There is a side of TaeKwonDo that most people do not see because it happens rarely or maybe just talked about infrequently. Not only did I find confidence in TaeKwonDo but also my better half. Few remaining were around when this began and even fewer saw it flourish. Although I have learned a lot from Sabumnim, there is even more I have learned from my other half. I have learned that two people can be totally opposite from another and have the same passion and Faith, can become stronger than any human relationship. I have learned that Love transcends rank. However, Love drives respect, and thus I submit to his authority as my senior, but more so because he is the head of my family.

Before TaeKwonDo there was a group of five people that molded me to the woman I am today. They have taught me the fundamental morals and values that have developed into the character traits I am most known for. Sin el amor de mi familia, ni un obstaculo fuera posible y es por eso que les digo que los quiero y les agradesco el apoyo que siempre me han dado. There are many other people who have helped encourage me the entire way from white to black. Most have remained very dear to my heart and deserve my gratitude. First, Master Pejo has always supported my endeavors and has stuck with me in this long road. Secondly, Mr. Brent was the first person I truly befriended on the team and showed me through kindness and encouragement how it is possible to have someone believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. Lastly, my husband, Jesse, who has been my mentor, coach, and best friend through it all. It would have been impossible to get this far without him.

I also wish to thank Mr. Marcus, Mr. Nick, and Mr. E.J. for helping me this past week as well as the Texas A&M TaeKwonDo Team for getting mr through these 6 years.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

32 years and counting...

Feliz aniversario a mis papas!!!!!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

End of the semester happenings....

Well, it has been a while since I have posted because I have been a bit busy. The semester is coming to an end and there are a million things going on. Okay maybe not a million, but enough to keep the Kuhns' busy. I have one final this semester and it lands on the last day of finals, Wednesday. I am not looking forward to the upcoming test because it is a comprehensive final on the history of psychology which means it is loaded with dates and names I will soon forget, probably never refer to again. Secondly, I have my black belt test on Thursday. It has been 6 years since I reentered the world of TaeKwonDo and except for a a year break from the sport, Jesse and I have been pretty involved. Now that I am testing, I have to review many things, that I have forgotten or have gotten a little dusty. Thank God for friends though. For the past two weeks, Jesse and Marcus (a TaeKwonDo friend) have been helping me in every way they can. Today, Jesse and I arrived at the TKD school at 10 am and allowed me to throw him around for many hours. After lunch and some work duties, we went back to it. Marcus reviewed forms with me (which I know can be difficult because I am not very coordinated) and never lost his patience. We arrived back to our home at 8:30 and not one of them complained, just said they were happy to help. Talk about wonderful people, huh? Well, I still have some brushing up to do, but if any of you all are interested, the test is Thursday at 6:30 at The Martial Arts Center in the Albertson's shopping center on University. I have to admit I am a bit nervous, but my friends have done well in convincing me that I am ready. Extra Kudos goes out to my loving husband, who let me twist, torture, and throw him over and over, until I got my self defense down. What a trooper!!! He would just yell in pain, and slowly get back up and say "Okay, let's do it again." Man, can you imagine what a wonderful father and instructor he'll be someday??? Well, I am signing off until Friday....I will hopefully have some video to share. Please pray for me!!!
Lastly, I have gotten interviews from Lewisville, Dallas, Houston, and Nebraska. Someone Up There likes me! Amen!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Life is good.

So everything has been going well in the life of the Kuhns'. We are at the end of the semester which means we get a bit to relax and have some time to spend. Not to mention our FIRST YEAR anniversary!!! How cool is that!

Okay. So I have a new advent wreath that I am very excited about.
Laura Chapa and I (who I will refer to as Chapa from here on out) bought mini trees at target with mini lights, and mini ornaments and made our own little Christmas tree.

And of course I have my beautiful nativity set to add to the holiday spirit and remind us of the reason for the season!

As far as graduate school goes, I have one more final next Wednesday and then its hard core preparing for my black belt test, which should be pretty soon. It has been a long time coming and has taken 5 years in the making but hopefully I will finally complete this portion of the road. Although many would argue (especially black belts) that a belt is just a belt and not much more, to me its much more than that. TaeKwonDo didn't just offer a way to keep me in shape, and a discipline to keep me focused, it found me a husband. TaeKwonDo instilled in me a confidence that I wouldn't say I lacked but was definitely not in abundance. Jesse had a lot to do with that and for that I am thankful. TaeKwonDo, God willingly, will be a great part in the rest of our lives and I am glad to finally take the next step.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Young uplifters

I was wondering this evening why I was in such a good mood. Everything at work went as usual. My meeting in the afternoon was nothing out of the ordinary. My TaeKwonDo meeting was the same as always. Then, I smile split my lips as I remembered spending the afternoon with my sis and my nephews. Wuchis (a.k.a Enrique III) talked to me and played with as if I was his favoritist (in child's talk). He named every color in sight and showed me his red truck 20 times. He galloped and jumped with me. I felt so young and happy. As we went into the doctor's office he lifted his arms so that I would pick him up. Then his arm was wrapped around me for the next 45 minutes. His laugh and conversation made me remember howmany blessings we have in this life. He softened my heart and made me feel gooey inside. Although I don't think he'd understand all of this right now (he's 2) he definitely stole my heart. Now I just want to get out of school so I can start my own bundle of joys... ;) All in due time, Clarissa, all in due time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I passed!

Well, for those of you I spoke to earlier, you know that I passed my proposal defense/meeting. Sad to say however, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. My advisor confided that it was the toughest proposal meeting she had ever been in. Wow! That says a lot, especially if you know her. It is difficult for me to say how it went without disclosing too much that is better left unsaid. As a friend of mine noted, you would be surprised who would cause you the most trouble and who would go up to bat for you in times of need. I definitely had it tough, but as my mom said, if I get through this, I can get through anything. I really hope that my dissertation defense doesn't take 4 or 5 hours considering this one took over 2. I truly thank you for all of your prayers, believe me when I say if it wasn't for the Man Upstairs, I would have been in serious trouble. On a lighter note, I totally aced my stats questions which I was more stressed out about. So now I am officially a doctoral candidate. I would like to mention the level of stress that surrounded this meeting result in my most wonderful husband waiting for me at Cheddar's with my traditional Diet Coke and a Watermelon Martini waiting for me. What more could I ask for? And I have to mention that watching my nephew dance to Curious George early in the morning did bring a smile to my face. Thanks wuchis!
A special thanks goes out to all of you that talked to me right after and consoled my frustrations! You guys rock!
I can do all things through God who strengthens me. Whoever said that was smart... ;)

Well this is it...

Alright guys and gals...this is it. A few more hours and I God willingingly will be a doctoral candidate. My proposal meeting is in T minus 90 minutes. I have to say...I am a bit nervous...but when this is all said and done, I will be happier because of it. If by chance you read this before noon today, I ask for your prayers, it doesn't have to be long, just an Our Father or Hail Mary should do the trick. Love you guys!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Coming back to the world

Thanksgiving was blissful for the Kuhns' this year. This is the first time Jesse and I have been able to spend it together since he used to always work Thursday brunch at the restaurant. We had a lovely Thanksgiving lunch at the Stephenson's place. We hadn't seen them in a long time and it was refreshing to see old faces. Jesse and I then drove about an hour to Enrique and Vero's (my bro's and sis' in law's) to meet the entire family waiting for us (although Roxanna was missing). We both love spending time with family and this gave us a perfect break from the world in College Station. My mom and I woke up at 2:00 a.m. on Black Friday to go to Best Buy and hopefully buy 2 camcorders (one for my brother and one for us) a camera, and accessories. It was craaaazzy! There were 230 people ahead of us already! We did get our camcorders and camera, but missed some of our accessories for they were all sold out. Kudos to my mom for being the courageous one to go with me.

We also witnessed the glorious win of the Aggies over the t-sips. Whoop! I can't explain the Kodak moment when the Aggies scored, and my brothers and Jesse stood up very excitedly and gave each other a group hug so as to not wake up my napping nephew and mom. Vero and I just giggled as the boys rejoiced.

My wonderful husband drove into College Station on Saturday to go to work and drove back to Houston when he was done. After some Hacky Sack Championships, we sat around and told old stories of growing up. Jesse and I had planned on driving back to College Station that night, but as we were about to leave, we decided to postpone our return until Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. because he was due at work at 9:00 a.m. What a hard working man! He even came home at 4 and brought me a rose right before we went to mass together. What a perfect way to end a wonderful weekend!

Well now the weekend is over....back to the real world of homework, jobs, and responsibilities. I have my proposal meeting on Tuesday at 10 am...wish me luck. I have to present my dissertation proposal in front of four professors so they can critique me. Fun. After Tuesday, i will feel much more relieved. I am currently awaiting phone calls from internship sites for interviews. They have until the 15th of December to notify me. It is now time for me to go to sleep. It has been a long day and will be an even longer day tomorrow as I have to polish my presentation and know my stats for Tuesday. Please pray for with everything...only with god can I pull this through.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I opened my email today and I received this email:

Your mark for the written prelim from me is PASS. Please forward to your chair(s).

Ahhhhhh!!! Thanks be to God!!!! My dad has some very special gifts. His prayers are and have always been very powerful! Thanks to all those who prayed for me! God knows, how difficult this was!

Monday, November 20, 2006

One to go!!!!

So i finished my stats test today...whoop! How did I do on it? Uhhhhh. not too sure, I guess we'll find out. But I finally can rest at night at a time earlier than 4:30 am. I have a couple of days before it is crunch time once again and I have to work on my proposal powerr point and practice so that I can deliver my presentation next week. I have had to welcome my stomach pains once again whoch for those who know me, mean trouble. Oh well...I am almost done for the semester and now I sit and wait for phone calls of internship sites offering interview.
I just got a stylish black shoe for my broken toe. See pics!!! Well I am off to see happy feet and see the new Harry Potter Review!!!!!!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I should have listened

My husband is pretty smart...I guess I forget that at times. I taught the forms class today at the The Martial Arts Center (The Taekwondo school I work at) and afterward, I asked Jesse to hold a paddle for me to see if I could kick without hurting my toe. For those of you who don't know, Jesse and I went to Cleveland for Senior National Championships a week and a half ago. After my fight, I began limping and then found out I had fractured by pinkie toe. A little boo boo with a lot of pain. Well, I figured I could kick through the pain after not kicking for a week. Jesse's first reaction was, "Amor [that is what he always calls me] you can't kick with a broken toe". And I replied "Oh yes I can. It won't hurt too bad". Jesse's second response "Amor, you shouldn't be kicking." My response, "Oh I will be fine." *I kick and I feel a sharp pain in my toe* My response "yep I can't kick". Jesse's response, "You should trust me, I am your coach and husband." What was I thinking? I know a married him 'cause he was smart... :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rennaisance fun and Church

Jesse and I went to the Renaissance Festival today and had a great time. From eating Turkey Legs to seeing a renaissance wedding procession we had a great time. By the way, if you have never tasted chocolate covered frozen bananas, they are WONDERFUL! This was also a great time to spend alone. Sometimes in the craziness of life, we forget that we need to recharge our batteries. Each person has their own way of doing so.
I recharge spending some alone time with Jesse. We talked, laughed, and joked for a couple of hours. It was wonderful! How blessed am I to find such a fantabulous person to spend my life's journey with.
We then took a short drive to Tomball, where we went to church with my brother Enrique and his family. The priest gave a wonderful talk about letting God take care of your future. He told two great analogies. The first, was elderly woman being carried up and down the stairs by her son. She wasn't stong enough to walk by herself, so he helped by carrying her. Well she found it diffiuclt to place her entire trust in him, and would grip the handrail as hard as she could afraid that she would fall. Well this made it more difficult for her son who would try to convince her to let go and to trust that he wouldn't drop her. She would let him carry her for a couple of steps, and upon feeling scared, the woman would grip the handrail again. There are many times that I am too scared to just let God take care of things completely, and try to grab the handrail for fear of falling. I ignore the voice telling me that although I can't walk the steps alone, He will carry me the whole way through. Good food for thought!
The second story I related to very easily. The priest spoke of a little girl sitting on her father's lap helping to drive a tractor at the ranch. She tried hard to keep the steering wheel straight, so that she may not drive the tractor into a ditch. She held on to the steering wheel with a death grip and concentrated so that she could keep the tractor from veering. In the little girl's eyes, she was focused on the wheel and the road and couldn't see the bigger picture. As the camara zooms out, the father has a huge smile on his face with one hand around his daughter, and the other hand on the wheel, knowing without a shadow of a doubt, there is no way this tractor will get out of control. As a girl who used to sit on my dad's lap at our ranch, Santa Rosa, and drive the old beat up pick up truck very carefully with fear of totally wrecking it, I see now that I was never in any danger. Now that I am all grown up, I know still that I am in my Father's lap and He has one hand on the wheel, and He knows beyond a shadow of doubt, that my Tractor will never go into the ditch, no matter how much I fear that I will.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Finally at home...

Welcome to our space!!! Jesse and I have been married for almost 11 months and have been writing on different blogs on myspace and xanga. We have decided to join forces and write together, so that the people we care about can know what is going on in our life. Being married has allowed us to share many things...and now, a blog. So...let the writing begin!