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.