Sunday, December 30, 2007

2 years and many more to go...

My love, I love you more every day that I spend with you and you truly make me the happiest woman ever! Here's to the 2 years we have been together and to the 50+ we have ahead of us. te amo mi amor!

Happy Anniversary!

Always,
S.P.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

As my Christmas gift this year, Jesse got us tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We finally went to the long awaited concert last night, and it was amazing! The lights, the music the guitar playing, and the inspiration of it all were electrifying. It definitely makes you feel like a child looking at the lights with awe. What we thought would be a 2 hour concert ended up being a 3 and a half hour show. We had great seats and got to see real snow (which doesn't happen often in Texas or indoors for that matter). They come once a year and perform 2 shows. If you get a chance next year, don't miss it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Check this out!

My bro and sis in law showed me this really cool, which goes to show that anything is possible when you have a lot of time on your hands!!!

Check it out!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

33 years and counting!

There are two people that have impacted the lives of many but most the lives of three. They trained them, scolded them, hugged them, and then let them go to live their lives and always were our #1 fan. 33 years after they cemented their love in the Sacrament of Marriage, they have three grown, married children who adore them. My parents, today, celebrate their anniversary of 33 years. In a world plagued by divorce, they have managed to get through ups and down lovingly. I can not imagine life without these two (and I wouldn't exist hehe ). May the Lord continue to bless you with his Love and give you many more years together. Los queremos mucho!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You know you are working in a school

when the teacher bathroom door has a sign that says "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." with a sun happy face. A little weird but cute.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas time memories

Christmas will be a bit different this year. Now that I think about it, Christmas is usually a bit different every year. I guess that is what happens when Life happens. I remember the days that the Gonzalez family would gather at our home at Woods End in San Antonio. We would get a group together, along with our tennis rackets and act as though we were in a TImbiriche video. Years passed and the scene changed to our lovely Shady Winds home where the Gonzalez family gathered and played Spoons while Tio Raul would hide spoons before playing and make us all laugh at him when we realized he was cheating. We then played a game where we would slap our legs and then snap our fingers and try to remember each persons number as well as keep rhythm. The Garcia family would gather at Tia Sonia's house and we would go around the table saying what we were thankful. Christian would dance on the table and the little ones (me included) fumbled for the perfect words that usually included hoping everyone gets what they wanted for Christmas. Before the family feuding began we all got together and listened to Papa Grande as he retold one of his poems. I wish I hadn't been so young and could remember more of them, although who could forget the "ensalada de nietos" poem we all loved because it included all of us. The scene changed as did the years and the festivities moved to Laredo. We all got together at Tio Poncho's house for either Christmas or New Year's and played games, counted down, and offered a family prayer. We played dice/white elephant games, played charades, and got up to speed on life's experiences. The Garcia family slowly fell apart although I have to admit the two girls of the family Adriana and Hilda, have worked hard to keep us all together. Papa Grande passed away as well as our strong desire to get together every year. Recently, more attempts have been made to re-establish this connection. Years passed by and we had new additions to the family. Vero joined our family and we had one more to join in the festivities! Lorena began the famous primada posada every year and has kept pretty strong about it. New Year's had a new spin as we had a little red head blood attend the festivities for 6 years and counting. Every one practiced their English with him except for Mama Moncha who keeps making Jesse blush as she asks him questions in Spanish. He eventually became part of the family and now have him on a permanent basis (YAY). We don't see him every Christmas since he is usually hard at work making money for his wife and future family but we at least see him for some of the festivities. Then came the inevitable....Life...the Garcia Saenz will celebrate Christmas and New Year's from afar in Doha. We won't get to hear Enrique's famous laugh that makes us all smile. We won't get to see Vero's ever smiling face as she cares for her ever growing family (as well as tummy). We won't get to see our nephews this year...not in real life at least. This year we do have one more addition to the Garcia Gonzalez permanent family. Our youngest adult...Roxy baby who we all love because her dear heart melted the heart of Gerardo's. As with most marriages, you not only acquire a spouse but an entire family as well. So for the first time, I won't see Gerardo's smiling face during Christmas but fortunately....we got the Garcia Ibarrola's for New Year's Eve. This year will be a bit different although the spirit remains the same. I take it as a foreshadowing of the future. At the Christmas table, it will be Mama, Papa, Jesse and me. I think God is preparing us for next year when we finally move home and we will have a lot of just 'Mama, Papa, Jesse and me's' at the dinner table. Someday I hope to invite our Step-mother Joyce, for our Christmas or New Year Celebration (or both)...maybe next year. New Year's will also be a bit different this year. For over 15 years we have spent this holiday in Laredo. This year will be a bit different. It will be hosted by the Kuhns' in good ol' Houston. And thankfully, we will have Mama, Papa, Gerardo, Roxy, Jesse and me (and maybe a few others) at the dinner table. Life happens, and my parents and siblings have adapted. Jesse has to possibly work on New Year's Eve. Neither of the couples batted an eyelash when I asked to celebrate over here. They agreed without hesitation. So, in summary...life happens and we have to adapt but we can't lose the spirit of togetherness even though it is not as often as we would like. Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!! Love you all!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

GOP Debate last night

I watched most of the debate last night and am still on the fence on some of the candidates. Personally, I really like Thompson and Huckabee is not so bad. To my conservative peeps....any of you dislike either of these candidates? If so...why?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quoting Santa on the Radio this Morning

"Keep the twinkle in your eye and the spirit of giving in your heart"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Catch up...

Okay I need to catch up with everyone since it has been a while since I have written....

Jesse and his friend Brandon went flounder gigging a couple of months ago...it didn't go so bad-well except for the fact they didn't catch any flounder. However, they did catch this little guy:



Then Jesse's Birthday rolled around and we did some butterfly watching at the Museum and passed by St. Arnold's Brewery for tour:




And played squabble (a modified super cool version of scrabble):



And they I went to the premiere of Bella in Houston, where I got to briefly see the famous Eduardo Verastegui.


AND then.....
more recently...
a week and a half ago, I went to College Station for a dissertation meeting. After the meeting was over, I went to a friend's house. As I was leaving, there was a small black kitten sitting outside. He was TINY. We knocked around to see if anyone had lost it to no avail. I then walked to my truck which was about 45 steps away (not that close) and got in my truck. I turned to the passenger's side to sit my purse down and when I turned around...the kitty had jumped in my truck and onto my lap and fell asleep.

Let me stop right here to let everyone know how much I was NOT a cat person. Especially one from the streets. This baby was too hard to pass up. So I took it to the small animal clinic at Texas A&M and they wouldn't take it without an appointment. I finally went to Lovan Care Clinic where they took it in and checked it out.

It turned out IT was a HIM and HE was 8 WEEKS OLD and weighed about 2 pounds. I decided to take it home and show it to Jesse. I stopped by Target and got a pretty cheap litter box, some cat litter and some food.

I got home, and he already knew what to do in the litter box. I still can't believe how cats are born with the ability to go to the bathroom in the litter box!!!!

His name was originally Bruce Lee. But if you say, "Come here Bruce Lee" it turns out more like "Brusli" and it doesn't flow. His name switched to "Sashimi" (Jesse's choice) to "Chop sticks" to .....drumroll please.... "St. Francis." It kinda sounds long but it flows great.

(Note: notice the Wine Spectator magazine, my husband is an avid reader. Questions about wine? Jesse knows the answer!)



He is cutie and a great companion. He wakes up with me and will sit on the sink counter in my bathroom while I brush my teeth and wash my face. He follows me around and has NO ACCIDENTS!!! As a previous diabetic dog owner....that has to be the best part. He doesn't shed, nor smell, and the loudest thing he does is meow... The best part of this is that Jesse fell in love with it. He even wakes up extra early to play with it.

He even agrees with me about how I feel about my dissertation:




That is it for now...Sorry it took me a while to post. I have had trouble uploading pictures for the past couple of days. Love you all....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Employee of the Month!

Muchas felicidades Jesse!!!! I love you!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ahh...the pleasures of living in Houston!

So... my truck got broken into last night. My previous truck got broken into about 3 or 4 times. Stereo was stolen each time. Not this time. Nope...factory stereo...can't really steal... What they did steal was a laptop that was in the back. My work laptop. Wonderful. And...they stole my wonderful...life saving...time saving...headache preventing...gps system. Excellent. And.... they stole my wonderful Canon Powershot camera...Yay. Worse part? I had been taking my Garmin GPS and laptop out everytime when I got home at night. On Friday...I knew I wasn't going to work on reports that day...and so I left my stuff in my car. Not to mention my a million test kits in the backseat of my truck. And about 10 books. The considerate thieves left all my test kits. i assume they won't be testing kids' intelligence or emotional problems. Nope. They will be working on my (not even my) laptop and getting to places using my gps. Someone will have a fabulous Christmas. At my expense. No fun. Now I have a hole in the door of my truck where the nice thief jammed his screwdriver and opened my truck and somehow the alarm did not go off. What a nice ending to my weekend.

At least I will go watch Bella tonight at the movies. Not sure how to get there, but I guess I will go back to Google map printouts. Life goes on...at least I have my health and my husband.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brrrrrrr....

It's coming!! WINTER that is! and the Kuhns' are not too happy about it. I woke up and went to work in beautiful 75 degree weather. I stopped at one school, did my thing, and got back in my car. About 3 miles later, I got down at another school and it was freeeeeezing outside. Okay...maybe not freezing, but it was 65 degrees!!!!! I did my thing at that school, and got into my car and it was 60 degrees and raining. It didn't get much better than that. The funny thing is that every teacher that talked to me about the weather was like "yay winter is finally here" and I was like "noooooo winter is here...where did summer go?" Thankfully my hubby is exactly like me and enjoys our apartment at about 80 degrees (75 when we have company). I am not ready for sweaters yet.....

On a happy note, my hubby decided to light incense in our home and when I arrived from work, it smelled like CHRISTMAS!!!!! I love that smell.

Stay warm!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shooter in Cleveland

As anyone can see (if you turn to any news channel), there has been another shooting in a high school in Cleveland. Another teen who has been "pushed to far" and then took his own life. I pray for his family and those who were wounded. Thankfully, no one else had their life taken. My advice? Report the necessary....but don't repeat the Virginia Tech incident. Please, I don't want to hear about the shooting for the next three weeks. Media, please don't give this so much attention that we send the wrong message that an atrocious act like this gets 2 or 3 weeks worth of attention.

Monday, October 8, 2007

If I was Queen of the Universe...

I would require every child and adolescent to wear a uniform to school. If I ruled the world, the boys would have to wear their shirts tucked in and a belt that can be seen. Pants would have to be worn at the waist and if anyone questioned or dared to come to school dressed otherwis, I would ziptie their pants nice and snug at their waist. Girls would have the ability to wear ONE pair of earrings and hair color would have to stay a natural color. Boys would not be able to wear earrings and their hair could not touch their shoulders. Detention would be handed out like candy to all students who don't answer "yes ma'am" or "yes sir" to any adult. There would be a mandatory girls and boys etiquette class that would teach girls how to be ladies and boys how to be gentlemen. There would be absolutely NO PDA on school grounds or any school related function. Parents would be required to be involved in their children's education - no excuses.

All this if I were queen of the universe...

Until then....pants will sag, men will look like girls, respect will go out the window, and teachers will continue to complain about how the TAKS tests and Bush's No Child Left Behind are ruining our schools and our futures.... believe me, THAT is the least of our worries.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Attention Mothers of Teen Girls & Romantics at Heart!

I bought a book that I had seen reviewed many times and did not have an idea what it was about. The book is called The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman. It is a story about two sisters in New York who meet this incredible man with a secret. This isn't like any other Sweet Valley High book. The main characters are Catholic and the story is told from a Catholic point of view with a good ending. It covers relationships, vocation searching, coming of age, popularity and sexual intimacy. I would definitely have my teenage daughter read this book because it brings up great conversation topics and is a fun read unlike Steinbeck's The Pearl. Okay, so maybe it's not a classic, but it is worth reading. Check it out!!

Here is a quote:
"'Oh, and by the way. That kind of love is sacred-something for real men who have the guts to make a lifelong commitment, not for short-sighted idiots like you guys.' None of the them could meet her gaze. 'I pity you. I really do.' Slowly, she turned away, and walked down the hall, head high, the blood still going dizzily through her brain. Yeah, she was scared. She didn't know what type of mess they'd make of their reputation now. But she didn't care. Man, I live for moments like these, she thought, pushing down the smile that kept creeping onto her face."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Winding down...

Today was an especially hard day of work. I got home, ate some leftovers, plopped on the couch and turned the tv to my Law and Order routine show. A couple of minutes later I heard the soothing voice of my father. When I hung up, I turned off the tv and turned on some Christian music instead.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Walking by...

I saw the greatest sign. It read:

Santa Clause

Easter Bunny

Tooth Fairy

Daddy

Eventually kids stop believing in what they never see.

If I could pass this out to all Daddies, I would.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Results are in!!

Well, partially, I sent my results to my advisor last night, yay! Just one step closer to getting the dissertation done. Jesse and his friend Brandon went gigging this morning at 5am and caught one crab :). At least they had a great time! Jesse had been talking about going gigging for some time now and this morning was his chance. For me, this weekend has been very relaxing, staying up late, sleeping in...goodness! I put in about 8 hours on my disseration last night which is great. We got some great rain last night which allowed me to sleep like a baby. Life is good!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Justice didn't prevail this time...

Unfortunately, things didn't go well. Personally I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the defendant had a lawyer and well....we didn't. I was astounded by the proceedings. Have you all seen Judge Judy? Have you noticed that she is very rude to both the plaintiff and the defendant? Well it was JUST like that. The judge was very rude and didn't let us defend our points. He told the defendant's lawyer to stop talking at one point and to sit down. He also told one of the witnesses "Don't use the word Um in my courtroom". I had more faith in our justice system. Judge Judy isn't like that for television; that is really what it is like in real life. Jesse was portrayed as an unethical bad person (which we all know was untrue) who had many character flaws, and the defendant as a model citizen who follows the tenets of TaeKwonDo in his life as he teaches his students. This couldn't be further from the truth. Oh well.. life goes on. I still feel like we stood up for what was right. But we don't always win. As long as we win the Final Judgement, right? That is all that counts.

Thank you for all of your prayers. We really appreciate your support.
I ask all of you to please say an Our Father and a Hail Mary for the Pejo family. May they find Truth in their lives.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Long distance relationship while living together

Another weekend has come and gone...and my dissertation is on the same shelf it was last week. Ugh...Jesse has been working 4 days straight and this has been taxing on both of us so we have resorted back to our original means of communication-email. When I get home at about 5, I write to Jesse telling him of my day, the ups and the downs. When Jesse gets home at midnight, he responds about his day. By the time Jesse gets home, I am usually switching from dream 4 to dream 5. Texting each other when we have a free chance at work helps as well. This morning, we just talked for about 3 hours without getting up from bed. Most of all, we talked about how much we missed each other's company. It is in times like these that of all the things I miss about marriage, I mostly miss be able to talk to my best friend. But in order to pay the bills and put food on the table, we go to work and follow the discipline and look forward to the 2 minute conversations we have during the day. I have to admit, when Jesse and I get to spend time together, we talk, we laugh, and we talk some more. If we watch tv, we talk about what is going on on tv, and chances are we don't answer our phones (sorry, guys). Jesse is off at work again, so I can write a bit. As much as I dislike our current situation, I love my marriage more and more every day. And THAT is a blessing...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

As if the plumbing wasn't enough...

now the washer doesn't work...As many of you know, we have suffered the woes of defective apartments. Unfortunately, not all the parts are fixed. Two weeks ago, the breaker went out..and our dryer didn't work more than 10 minutes. Now.....the washer doesn't spin or drain...I will keep you posted....

In other news, I ask for all of your prayers... As many of you know, we will be taking our former TKD instructor to court on Tuesday at 1:30pm. I will spare you the details. However, in order for the Kuhns' to open up a credible martial arts school in Laredo, it is imperative that we win. If we do win, Jesse will be testing for his 4th Dan (making him a Master, finally) shortly thereafter. I desperately ask for your prayers from now until Tuesday. Fortunately, we have a good chance of winning since the Truth is on our side. Other than securing our future, it will prevent him to take advantage of others which we know has been happening for some time now. Again, I ask for your prayers, specifically to St. Paul, the patron saint of Truth.

I will update you and give a bit more details on Tuesday

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Roll somewhere else

A common problem in our children, teens and co-workers is the tendency to "roll our eyes". Yes, it may seem trivial but this tidbit of body language says so much and hurts so easily. There really is no reason for rolling our eyes. It never helps, it never solves anything. I would venture to say that rolling one's eyes is only done in a feeble attempt to show our disagreement and frustration. Are there other ways of showing this? Sure. "I don't agree" "I am very frustrated" and even the infamous "whatever." Rolling your eyes is a rude way of making a demonstration of your disgust. Please don't roll your eyes. It's not very nice.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesse!


Jesse,
You are my strength and my rock. May the Lord continue to bestow on you His blessings for many years to come. You are a wonderful man who is respected and admired by many. You are my hero and I look up to you and all you have accomplished. I know God has great plans for you and i am honored that I can be by your side as you pursue them!


I love you!!!

S.P.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

More than 17

stones were in my gallbladder... How all those stones fit in my little gallbladder?? I have no idea but they sure caused pain. Thankfully, I am out of surgery and much better. I walk like I am 80 and have everyone pass me up in the hallway, but at least I am getting better. I have to admit the post-surgery pain was more than I thought, but it is slowly going away. It has offivially been 72 hours post-surgery, and I walk a little straighter, but I still hate coughing and laughing. My coughing spasms have gotten so painful, that I automatically start saying Hail Mary's as I start feeling the cough coming and in between coughs. But this is nothing compared to the years of pain that I could swear up an ddown was stress related. First surgery in my life....not so bad. Don't really want to do that again. One thing that was incredible, was how much support I had. I had no time to get nervous, as family members continuously dropped by the hospital. Not to mention, by courageous husband and parents who stood by me the whole time. I never had the chance to fear going under the knife. There are two people who I would love to thank. Chances are they will never see this, but I still owe them many thanks. My Tio Jesus Armenta and his father Tio Raul Armenta for operating on me. I couldn't have been in better hands. Plus, I got the compliment of having strong abdominal muscles and no fat . What girl wouldn't love to hear that from a doctor who actually saw under the skin? That, my dear people is the silver lining. So for you eager people who would love to see my stone infested gall bladder....here ya go.
What you see here is my gallbladder (the little bag looking thing) and 17 stones that were in it. The crazy part of all of this, is that there are more stones in the gallbladder still. 17 are the only ones that didn't fall out. How did they fit in there for so many years?? PAINFULLY! :)

If you want to see a huge version of this pic, just click on it....
I would show you the video of Jesse shaking them, but I am going to guess you will take my word that stones are rock solid.

Praise God that it is all better and getting better all day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I have some bad news...

I will be undergoing surgery on Saturday in Laredo, to remove my gall bladder. As many of you know, I have been battling some crazy pains in the side of my stomach under my ribs. After consulting with a doctor and looking at an ultrasound, it has been determined that I have many small stones in my gall. Lately, however, the pains have increased to the point of not sleeping. The pains are sharp and happen after I eat anything (especially fatty foods). So its salad for the next 3 days. The upside is that I will be PAIN FREE afterwards!! I will keep you updated on what goes on. Please keep me in your prayers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I feel much better now...

that I have gone to confession. It is incredible how the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation can make Mass so much more beautiful. Thank God I'm Catholic!! Have a Blessed Week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A decision well made

For a long time, I felt a lot of guilt because I was pursuing a post-bacclaurate degree. I felt like that as a wife and future mother, my role was to stay at home and attend to my "obligations" as such. Every morning, when I would go to work or school, I asked myself if I was "wrong" in my steps. I didn't know whether the reasons I had for continuing my education were selfish or motivated for the wrong reasons. Would I be a bad mother if I continued? Did it mean I didn't love my family enough? Day in and day out I had all these questions and I ventured off to ask many people for their advice from priests, friends, advisors, and family. Although everyone's advice was quite appreciated, no ones answer filled my doubts. I was a modern Catholic girl in a Modern Liberal world. Well, I read a post by Katie Rose that led me to learn about St. Gianna, a wife, mother and doctor (and now saint!!) I realized that I may be answering a call from above that is a bit different. Maybe I could be a wife, mother, and psychologist. Over the last two months, I felt my 5 years of praying beng answered. My dear Mother from Above & Her Son have blessed me with an inner peace for which I longed. I no longer feel guilty. I no longer feel less because of my decision to pursue this career. I know I was placed on this earth to be a Wife, future Mother, and a child psychologist. No longer will I only have children that bear our last name, but I will have hundreds (if not thousands) of young minds in my care as well. What a feeling! What responsibility!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Weekly update of the Kuhns'

Howdy ugys and gals! I was witing to post to get soem pictures from our Galveston trip, but they will have to wait. Jesse and our friend Marucs and I went to Galveston last weekend for some camping and fishing. We didn't catch anything by rod, but Jesse has some good catches with his net. We then found out it was illegal to catch fish by net ad eat it, so we used the fish as bait. That night, we setup tent at Galveston State Park. We were stuck on the bay side which was very, very, very humid. We were not only stuck in horrible weather, but the mosquitos and biting flies were on the loose as well. After dousing (sp?) ourselves in OFF! we headed off to the tent. The boys went to sleep very fast, while I was wide awake and uber uncomfortable. So I did as any girl, and headed off to the truck at 4am and turned on the air and went to sleep. I have to say, I slept wonderfully. We ate breakfast at Waffe House (yummm!) and drove home. I love fishing and the beach, but I hate mosquitos, soooo... I think that was my last time in a tent in Galveston.

In other news, my first day of work was on Wednesday! So far, I am loving the job. We haven't done much but orientation and a bit training, but the professionals here are great! My cohort are 5 other people, one from A&M, one from Prarieview A&M, one from U of H, one from Indiana, and the last from Arizona. We have gotten along great these last couple of days which bodes well for the future. We really don't know much about which region of Houston ISD we will be getting this semester, but all in due time. Well my day has begun, so I will let you all know how it all goes later! Take care!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I guess this blog is good for everyone!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter Book 7 My Review : SPOILERS AHEAD!

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS SO PLEASE DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK AND PLAN TO READ IT IN THE FUTURE!!!

After 9 years, 6 books, and 5 movies, I was ready to buy the final installment of the Harry Potter series. I had my book reserved along with thousands of other people at Barnes & Noble in Houston. Jesse, Ben, Abby, and I walked into Barnes & Noble Midnight Release Party at about 10:30pm. It was crazy. There were people everywhere. People of all ages were dressed up, wearing Harry Potter shirts extremely excited to get the new book. Thankfully we were one of the first 100 so we were able to get our book within 10 of midnight. Jesse and I arrived home and begun to read. I read for about one hour and decided it was time to sleep. The next morning, after getting my diet coke ready and getting into some comfy clothes, I sat down to read with a blanket in our living room. 9 hours later...I was done. How was it? Let me tell you.

All in all, it was definitely the best of the series. It didn't leave too many loose ends but enough to keep your imagination going years after the book was over. here are some points that I think deserve special attention:

1. The story carried well. There were ups as well as downs, but the downs never made me think I could put the book down. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride with some tunnels that left you wondering where you were going to turn up at the end. At no point in time, did I tell myself "Oh, I know the rest of the story". I guessed many parts but other ones I was surprised. There was a definite theme of Love that surfaced throughout the book and it wasn't as cheesy as it could have been.

2. The bloodbath wasn't too bad. There were I think 17 deaths in all (good and bad guys). I cried when Dobby and Fred died because there were two characters I felt dearly about throughout the series (especially because Fred left his twin, George, alive and with only one ear). I wasn't too fond of Lupin and Tonks dying because they left their newborn son, alone with his Grandmother. At least the newly married couple died together. The point was very clear...good guys have to die sometimes.

3. The Malfoy parents as horrible as they were in previous books (namely Lucius and Draco) turned out not so bad. They certainly did not do a 180 and become angels all of a sudden, but they did redeem themselves by making their priority to keep their family alive and together, even if it meant lying to the Dark Lord. I felt that Rowling did well in keeping Narcissa Malfoy almost good in the last two books. She was obviously following Voldemort because of her husband and always made sure someone (namely Snape) was keeping her son safe. Her biggest part in the book was definitely when she saved Harry when she found out her son was still alive.

4. Although only the last few chapters were at Hogwarts, the students were well covered in the end. Some old faces resurface to come to the aid of Harry and ultimately the world. Nevell made all proud by standing up to Voldemort in front of everybody and killing the last Horcrux even when all hope was gone. Ron and Hermione played their part well,, they stuck with harry (mostly) until the end. I have to admit, ron was the funniest in the book. His quick with and sarcastic humor added a lot to the stoyline. He made the slow parts enjoyable to read.

4. As I guessed (and hoped) Snape was good and the bravest of them all. He did what was right even thuogh noone could know about his innocence until after he died. He became one of my favorite characters in the whole series. His love saved everyone while they called him coward, traitor and a million other things. All for the woman he loved and lost, first to another man, and then to death. The love he carried until his last breath when he asked Harry to look at him so that Lily's eyes were the last he saw before dying. It just doesn't get any better.

5. Rowling did something that I didn't think she would do, but now that I think about it (and discussed it with Jesse) I am glad she did. In the first 6 books, Dumbledore was made out to be perfect. He was an all-wise, all-powerful wizard that unfortunately died in Book 6. He was almost perfect, one could say. In book 7, Rowling reveals Dumbledore as a power hungry teen that had neglected his family growing up. His need for power increased as he desired to collect the Hallows to keep himself alive by beating Death. He makes a mistake while collecting the Hallows which costs him his life. However, although he made mistakes and had a desire for power, his heart always remained in the right place. He does his best to protect the Potter family (who were betrayed by Pettigrew) and train Harry to be able to beat Voldemort in the end. In every book, he always has a talk with Harry about what has happened as well as offer his wise advice. I enjoyed hearing that talk at the end when he talks to Harry while he is "dead". Why tarnish the good reputation Dumbledore had with the readers? Because if he was all powerful, all wise, and perfect, why didn't he beat Voldemort himself? There had to be more to him then what we knew before the last book.

6. Many of the characters stood out in this book. Albus Dumbledore's supposed bad brother Aberforth comes back and helps out the team at the end of the book. Mrs. Weasely gets angry and kills Bellatrix when she almost kills her daughter (although I would have left the curse word out due to the children). I can understand why she included it, but it could have been left out. She definitely gets Mom of the Year (or 7) Award. Her purpose in life is to keep her kids and husband safe from harm, and she does well in doing so. I enjoyed the part where Lupin becomes troubled about leaving his son and joining Harry in his fight to get the Horcruxes. Harry puts him in his place about the responsibility of a father, and Lupin goes back to his family and ultimately makes Harry the Godfather of Teddy Lupin. Way to go on the family values Rowling!

7. After Book 6 and in the 2 years afterward, I was troubled whether or not I wanted Harry to die. Not that I WANTED him to die, but I had the feeling he should. I think part of that came from the fact that he was an annoying brat when he was 15 and 16. I guess that is what really happens to teenagers. I KNOW I was a brat back then, why would Harry skip that stage in life? Harry did a lot of growing up in the past 7 Hogwarts years. He finally became a man. He did what had to be done, and in the end he had the choice of dying and taking the easy way out, or living and fighting for the world's safety. I liked not knowing whether or not he was going to die until the second to last chapter. I had no clue, and for a large part, I thought he was going to die. I even cried when he talks to his parents about being with him until the end. He didn't have to die. He just had to be willing to die for all those he loved. In the end Harry is a wonderful person who turns out to be a wonderful dad. Way to go Harry!

8. The epilogue was about 19 years after Voldemort dies. Harry (age 36) and Ginny (35) have three kids, and Ron (36) and Hermione (36) have two. Not much is known about the other characters (except for Neville who is teaching Herbology at Hogwarts, Percy still working for the Ministry of Magic, and Teddy who visits the Potters often). I feel that i would have liked to know a little more about everyone else, but I guess that is left up to my imagination. Rowling made sure that the Potters and Weasely's seemed genuinely happy. She especially made sure Harry was a good father (based on his last conversation with his middle son Albus Severus, named after Dumbledore and Snape, of course)

This was a bittersweet experience. I can't believe there is no more waiting for the "next book". I was a junior in high school when the first came out, and now I am a year from getting my doctorate. Harry brought my imagination back to life and gave my friends, my husband and I something wholesome and fun to talk about for the past 8 years. I will eventually read them again, more slowly to be able to grasp the many things I probably missed. I hope to one day share these books with my children. (This way I can tell them how their father jumped up and down like he was 5 when he recieved the last book). Well. this is it. No more Harry Potter. Not for now, at least. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What about the best time to write your dissertation?

The Best Time of Day to Do Just About Anything according to this cool new website a good friend reccommended!!!

The Best Time of Day to Clean the House
4 p.m.
You’re more likely to whistle while you window wash (and not kick over the bucket) if you do it in the late afternoon. That’s when hand-eye coordination is at its peak and mood levels are high, says Michael Smolensky, a professor of environmental physiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston and author of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health (Owl Books, $11, www.amazon.com).

The Best Time of Day to Take a Nap
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Doctors used to think afternoon sleepiness was the result of a big lunch. “But we’ve found that in the early afternoon there’s a dip in body temperature, which causes sleepiness,” says Smolensky. Just as a similar decrease encourages you to shut down at bedtime, this midday dip can make you crave a siesta. An ideal nap, he says, should last 15 to 20 minutes. More than 30 and you may end up with sleep inertia — and feel even more groggy when the nap’s over.

The Best Time of Day to Go to the Doctor
8 a.m. to 9 a.m., or 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
You’ll spend less time in the waiting room if you book the first appointment of the morning or the first after lunch, says Patricia Carroll, R.N., author of What Nurses Know and Doctors Don’t Have Time to Tell You (Perigee, $15, www.amazon.com): “Doctors start fresh in the morning and catch up when the office is ‘closed’ for lunch.”

The Best Time of Day to Take a Multivitamin
Breakfast time
Taking your supplements with a meal is important because “vitamins are components of food, and whether water soluble or fat soluble, they are absorbed better with food,” says Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., a New York City and Hillsboro Beach, Florida, nutrition scientist and a coauthor of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery Publishing, $13, www.amazon.com). Breakfast is the meal of choice. Because most people have it at home (whereas lunch and dinner are often eaten elsewhere), making the morning meal your time for vitamin-popping will help you stick with the habit.

The Best Time of Day to Take the Dog for a Walk
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To you, walking the dog may be about exercise and, well, poop. To him, it’s all about the social life, explains Jean Donaldson, author of Dogs Are From Neptune (Lasar Multimedia, $17, www.amazon.com) and director of the San Francisco SPCA’s dog-training academy. Because owners have more time to stroll in the evening and to let their pets linger over exciting smells and sounds missed on the morning-rush walk, this is when Fido is happiest being out with pals.

The Best Time of Day to Exercise
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“For increasing fitness, decreasing the chance of injury, and improving sleep, the best time to exercise is late afternoon or early evening,” says Matthew Edlund, M.D., author of The Body Clock Advantage (Circadian Press, $15, www.amazon.com) and head of the Center for Circadian Medicine, in Sarasota, Florida. At these times, he says, your lungs use oxygen more efficiently, you’re more coordinated, and your muscles are warmed up, so you’re less likely to suffer a sprain or strain.

The Best Time of Day to Go to the Post Office
7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The U.S. Postal Service may have more than 700,000 employees, yet there never seem to be enough of them when you’re waiting in line to mail that birthday present. Your best chance, according to USPS spokesperson Monica Suraci: Find out when your post office opens (generally between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.) and arrive a half hour or so later. You’ll hit a midmorning lull, missing the rush of early birds lined up at the door (as well as distracted window personnel chatting with carriers sorting the day’s mail). Heavy traffic is more likely at lunch, at the end of the workday, and just before closing, so those are excellent times to avoid. Suraci’s tip: Look for USPS “contract stations,” which offer services in locations like supermarkets and drugstores, and for new machines being installed in some post-office lobbies that weigh and stamp packages most any time.

The Best Time of Day to Return Merchandise
10 a.m.
Arrive with your what-was-I-thinking sweater within the first hour a store is open. Workforces are leaner these days, but “retailers still need enough staff to open up, so that may be when they have the best ratio of staff to customers,” says Edward Fox, director of Southern Methodist University’s JCPenney Center for Retail Excellence, in Dallas. It may also be the only time all day when staff are at assigned posts, “so you can usually get someone to help,” notes former fashion stylist Linda Arroz, who spent years returning things she didn’t end up using for movies and TV shows. Fox adds that “the most experienced people get the best hours, so they” — not clueless newbies — “will be working the day shift.” Finally, consider customer flow. “A city store may be busier during weekday lunch hours, a suburban store on weekend afternoons,” says Target spokesperson Lena Michaud.

The Best Time of Day to Ask for a Raise
5 p.m.
"The key is finding a moment when your boss is not rushed and has time to truly listen," and that's most likely to be the end of the day, says Lynn Ellis, a career coach in Austin, Texas, who has worked with employees and bosses at global companies like Unilever. “That’s when I’m getting ready for the next day or looking ahead to the next week, and I’m in a good mood because I’m going home soon,” says Amy Holloway, a vice president at AngelouEconomics, in Austin. And you’ll have a biological edge then, since, as Body Clock Advantage (www.amazon.com) author Matthew Edlund, M.D., points out, your elevated body temperature makes you more alert in the late afternoon. But asking for a raise is not an exact science. Ellis advises tracking your boss’s daily habits to find the ideal, low-key time for him or her. And, in the end, if you’re at your best in the a.m., just go for it.

The Best Time of Day to Get a Haircut
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Booking the first appointment of the day will help you ease into the shampoo bowl on time. That’s because no latecomers will have thrown off the schedule, says Serena Chreky, co-owner of the Andre Chreky salon, in Washington, D.C. Saturday mornings (after busy workweeks or late Fridays) are usually the least frantic, says Allen Ruiz of the Jackson Ruiz Salon Spa, in Austin. However, some salons fill up then with bridal parties, Chreky cautions, so ask when you book. An early appointment may also get you the best cut. “Stress levels are at their lowest,” says Michelle Breyer, cofounder of NaturallyCurly.com, which deals with salons across the country. “Even if you’re only the third or fourth client of the day, your stylist may not look at your hair with the same enthusiasm.” For the very best service, Breyer and Ruiz both suggest asking your stylist, “What’s your favorite time of day to do hair?”

The Best Time of Day to Fly
Noon
Although U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that flights taking off between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. have the best on-time record (95.4 percent), those numbers are sometimes misleading, says Rally Caparas, an Atlanta-based air-traffic controller and a Travelocity "Eye on the Sky" correspondent for CNN. "On time" refers to when the plane pushes back from the gate. You can wait on the tarmac for an hour because of weather problems, which cause the vast majority of air delays. Scheduling arrivals and departures between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time, Caparas says, will help you avoid most delay-causing weather patterns. This will also help you avoid airport rush hours, "which mostly coincide with workday rush hours," says Robert Baron, president of the Aviation Consulting Group, in Fort Lauderdale. But for best results, check your guidebook for regional weather patterns and schedule accordingly. For example, for the West Coast, fly in or out after noon Pacific Standard Time, when marine-level fog has dissipated, says Caparas. For southeastern and Gulf Coast hops, steer clear of the thunderstorms that kick up around 3 p.m. "Airline schedules are based on perfect weather conditions," he says. You're more likely to be punctual if you follow Mother Nature's schedule.

The Best Time of Day to Read (and Retain)
8 a.m. or 10 p.m.:
If you're going over notes for today's presentation or memorizing the names of your child's classmates' parents before the school open house tonight, do it early in the morning, when your immediate recall is highest. For longer retention (the book club meets in three weeks, but this weekend's your only chance to finish The Good Nanny), evening is better. "This is just the way the brain is organized," says Michael Smolensky, a professor of environmental physiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston and author of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health (Owl Books, $11, www.amazon.com). "Memory depends on nucleic acids, and those show circadian rhythms." In other words, your brain doesn't store information with the same efficiency all day; there are peaks and valleys. "College students often unknowingly take advantage of the dual circadian rhythm by staying up late studying, then doing a quick review the morning of the exam," says Smolensky.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Movies & More

The plumber came, saw, & fixed everything......hahaha not really but most of it. Everything works except.......drumroll please.....the shower. Yep, they have to replace the whole thing, and they won't get to it until next week. What a surprise. In other news, all of our faucets work yay!!!!! Its the small things, people!!

The other day I watched the movie Karol for the 3rd time and I cried my eyes out. What a surprise! Great movie! I ca't wait until my Padre Pio movie comes in!

Jesse, I am proud to say, is no longer a trainee!! He is officially a professional waiter at Mark's. I had a meeting with my advisor about my disseration and if I don't watch it, I think I may end up with Trichotillomania. I had a minor meltdown, but thankfully my husband gave me the "it's all going to be okay" speech which come think of it, is very potent. It's actually an antidote for any anxiety, depressive down in the dumps feeling.

Soooooo....want to hear the happy news?? Well, I have now discovered an UBER cheap movie theatre in Pearland!!! Pearland is this little town right outside of Houston. The theatre is exactly 20 minutes away. It costs......another drumroll please.......$2 before six and $4 after six. Yipeee! Jesse and I saw Ratatouille (sp) on Sunday and Transformers today. Both great movies!!!! Ratatouille is great for all kids!! Transformers has (that I can remember) about 2 or 3 curse words and a reference to some male adolescent sexuality. But all in all, its jam-packed with action, and the graphics are amazing.

What is even more exciting is that My good friend Laura Chapa will be coming tonight and at 3am Wednesday (tonight) we will be watching Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix in Imax 3-D. It just gets better and better. At this rate,when our shower downstairs works....I may go into crazy dancing mode. maybe not.

Have a Blessed Tuesday!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Good Times

This week is definitely getting better every day. I have successfully gotten myself lost and found twice in Houston :). We finally have cable (although, I really haven't watched tv) and I have gotten myself out of bed early enough to get stuff done during the day. Although I tried to get some writing done at Barnes & Noble, the lack of internet access and freezing temperatures didn't help at all so I didn't last more than 3 or 4 hours. After searching on the internet for free internet, I found a café in the Village, and was set to got to it this morning with my trusty, beat up, laptop and books. I got there to find out it was getting renovated. hmpf. It wasn't too much wasted time, because I found New York & Company Store there. Yayyy. I drove myself down to Borders in their littler Meyerland Plaza that I have been going to for whatever I need. It has the bare essentials...except for a grocery store. There is a Target, Circuit City, Ross, Bed Bath & Beyond, GNC, Bank of America, JC Penney, Office Max all in one convenient location which is about 10 minutes from our place. I signed up fo rT-mobile HotSpots for the month so that I could have access to the world during my "breaks". Sadly, they don't have any diet sodas here, but they do have some good hand-made flavored sodas that are very tasty. So, now I can get to work, and keep on coming here for my daily writing.

As for other news, Gerardo and Roxy came down to Houston for the 4th of July. We had some crazy fun watching the astros game and playing the wii afterward. You should check these out!!!!

Last night I got to catch up with my good friend Gaby about her increasingly successful real estate career as well as having good ol' girl talk.

Life is good in the neighborhood and only 4 more days for the Harry Potter movie and 14 days for the Harry Potter book to come out!!!!!


Have a blessed Friday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A bit better every day

is how I feel about living in Houston. The third plumber showedup today and fixed my kitchen faucet in about 10 minutes, which makes me a bit scared. It turns out that the first plumber put the wrong hose on the faucet. Well, I was really happy until I noticed that when I left the water running for more than 10 seconds it would get stuck. So....I panicked a bit, partially because he had JUST left, and partially because I am tired of this condo breaking apart and called the plumber. Pretty much I was told that it was the holiday weekend and noone was going to come and fix my shower or any of the other things until next Tuesday. Hmmmm, they MUST have working showers and sinks at THEIR home so why should they worry about me having it at mine. Yes, I know I am slightly overreacting but I have definitely learned patience. Next, I got dressed and headed out to Barnes & Noble to go write my dissertation a bit because I really have to get it done. Well about 2 hours later, I couldn't feel my toes anymore (it was freezing) so I came home. I finally gave in to my pride and the disgusting downstairs tub that had oxidized water (is that how you call the gross orange stuff?) and got on my hands and knees to begin the scrubbing. I hadn't done it earlier, because it was SUPPOSED to have been clean when we got here and you can ask my parents, it was DISGUSTING. Anyway, half a bottle of Ajax and this cool bathroom bar clean-it-all product it got much better. I really hope the owner was okay, 'cause Lord knows no happy thoughts were going through my mind. Well, I was really angry that the water in the sink wouldn't go away, and just so happened to have Drano. So I figured it couldn't hurt. I poured a whole bottle of dranno down the sink and said a little prayer. At first, it didn't showing promising results, but after a while the water went bye bye into the sink hole thingy. Yay!!! I put some clothes in the wash and then the dryer, which come to think of it, I hope the breaker hasn't flipped because it did last time... and now I am attacking the fan in our room. This fan is SOOOOO noisy. I can't go to bed at night because it is so loud. I can hear it from the kitchen downstairs OVER the radio playing. Yeah...its that bad. Anyway, I have tried taping nails to each of the blades to try to figure out which one is off....but to no avail. Maybe Jesse can help when he gets home. I am officially tired...and I wish the owner would return my million phone calls, but no luck.

I did receive a DVD of Jesse when he was about 2 years old which is adorable. I would put a clip on here, but don't know how to transfer it from the dvd. It made me smile. Ah, the little things.....

Monday, July 2, 2007

24 hour move in!

Thanks to my wonderful parents, we were able to get this apartment going.

We went from this:







To this 24 HOURS, blood, sweat and tears later:







Crazy huh? I didn't think it would be possible... but with the help of parents, there is nothing that can't be done. By the way, we Do have an extra bedroom and (eventually) an extra working bathroom. So if you are ever in town, feel free to give us a call!

We do have some minor mishaps. This complex was built in 1978 and much has not been replaced. The shower in the bathroom downstairs doesn't work. We have no water in the kitchen except in the dishwasher (Thankfully). The sink in the wet bar doesn't work. The shower upstairs leaks and I can't get a hold of the owner. Not to mention that the dryer makes the breaker flip. My Dad and Jesse did an awesome job fixing the closet shelf thingies....that had obviously broken many times prior to us moving in. I guess the main problem is that the place was vacant for a year, and they didn't even check or inspect anything before we moved in.... at least we don't have to pay for it and this place is much nicer than our old one.

On a lighter note, Jesse and I have eaten on the inexpensive side since I am not working right now and he is starting his new job at Mark's American Cuisine . He went to his first training session today and said he loved it. Everyone is very nice and the waitstaff are all considered Professionals. No women are hired. I am not sure why, but I am guessing to avoid conflicts and I have heard that women are not usually good at waiting tables...hmm who knows. Jesse is the youngest and newest waiter there, the oldes being 57 and the longest lasting has been 10 years (since the opening of the restaurant). We probably won't be eating there soon, since lunch costs about $50 per person and dinner is about $100 per person with no employee discount, go figure. :)

I haven't been out too much although, I have to say that I was smazed at how expensive goin gto the movies can be. Jesse and I went to see the final Die Hard movie on Saturday. We paid $3 to park and 19.50 for two tickets. Ahh Crazy! I guess we will either go to Tomball to watch movies or wait until they come out on DVD at the Kroger (they are $1). Last night, I got to see fireworks from outside our condo which was very pretty although it was very muggy outside. Jesse and I are very excited that the Garcia Ibarrola's are coming to town on the 4th of July to go to an Astros game!!! Yippeee!

That is my news for now... I will keep you posted on how the plumbing goes... have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Movie Review - Evan Almighty

I did something I have never done before. For the first time, I went to the movies by myself. I have to admit, it did seem wierd sitting by myself before the movie began while couples and families filed in one by one to get ready to see the movie. Having said that, it wasn't so bad once the movie started. I was very pleasantly surprised with Evan Almighty. It is a movie about a man asked by God Himself to build an ark to be saved from the flood. I am very specific about comedies I find funny. As all my friends know, I dislike dumb humor, and I absolutely despise crude humor. Evan Amighty was good-natured comedy. There were some parts I laughed so hard I cried. Its a great movie. You should go see it. Really.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

10 commandments for the Road

I read this article today online, It seems like the Pope is cracking down on road ragers!! :)

From The Times
June 20, 2007
The Pope’s ten motoring commandments

Richard Owen in Rome
Drivers wanting to steer clear of the road to perdition should abide by ten new commandments handed down by the Vatican.

Speeding and dangerous overtaking are forbidden, as are rude hand signals. And as for kerb crawling, forget it.

Pope Benedict XVI’s choice of wheels is the sluggish Pope-mobile, and in the Vatican City there are hardly any cars and the speed limit is barely 30mph.

But the pontiff is so concerned about road rage that he has asked his staff to draw up a list of rules for the highway, including thou shalt not use a car “for sinful purposes”.

Related Internet Links
The Holy See (Vatican web site)
A 58-page Vatican document, entitled Guidelines for Pastoral Care of the Road, urges drivers to avoid road rage, to respect the rights of pedestrians, and to make the sign of the cross before setting off.

Road users must not make “rude gestures” at other drivers, or use cars to show off and “arouse envy” – a tough call in Italy, where aspiring to own a Ferrari to demonstrate power and affluence (and impress women) is considered a male birthright.

Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Office for Migrants and Itinerant People, said that the Vatican felt it necessary to address “the pastoral needs of motorists” because cars formed such a central part of modern life. “Cars tend to bring out the primitive side of human beings, thereby producing rather unpleasant results,” the document said. It appealed instead to the “nobler tendencies” in the human spirit.

The fifth commandment – “Cars shall not be an expression of power and domination or an occasion for sin” – referred, Cardinal Martino said, in part to motorists who used their cars to pick up prostitutes, which was “an offence to human dignity”.

Some drivers behaved in an “unsatisfactory and even barely human manner”, the Vatican document said. They should avoid “unbalanced behaviour” such as “impoliteness, rude gestures, cursing, or blasphemy” and would do better to use the time spent in a car for prayer, which would “immerse them in the presence of God so that they remain under His protection”.

While earthly concerns have tended to focus on careless use of mobile phones, the Vatican suggests that passengers can safely recite the rosary because “the rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver’s attention”.

The document urges dioceses to help to set up chapels along motorways, with priests holding Mass or offering spiritual comfort at service stations.

The highway to heaven

1 You shall not kill

2 The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm

3 Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you to deal with unforeseen events

4 Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents

5 Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination or an occasion for sin

6 Charitably convince the young and not-so-young not to drive when they are not in a fit condition

7 Support the families of accident victims

8 Bring guilty motorists and their victims together so they can experience forgiveness

9 On the road, protect the more vulnerable party

10 Feel responsible towards others

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Man I call Father

Happy Father's Day to all Daddy's out there. Especially my own!!!




Papi, usted es la estrella en mi vida. Usted me ha enseñado como se debe tratar a una mujer y es por eso que econtre un caballero como mi esposo. Su corazon siempre ha sido muy tierno y su compacion, admirable. Le doy gracias por ser la persona que es. Nunca fue muy brusco pero la disiplina nunca le falto. Siempre me enseñaba el camino correcto con una corazon abierto. Como decía un cuadro que estaba en el cuarto de Papa Grande cuando vivía en frente del Dairy Queen, "Mi Padre lo sabe todo". Lo mas probable es que pensé eso de chiquita y no lo creí en la adolesencia. Pero ahora lo sé. Mi papa lo sabe todo. Lo quiero mucho Papi!!!!!

Su princesa.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Felicidades Gerardo y Roxanna Garcia!

I have to apologize, it has taken me a while to post...but I am back.... I told myslef I would not post until I could get these pictures online, so here they are. I have to say the pics are mostly of Gerardo, Roxanna, and my table hehehe. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our newest accomplishment




2 months and 2000 pieces later.......the largest puzzle completed by Jesse and I (mostly Jesse). My husband was so sweet...he let me place the last piece.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

We found a home (for a year at least)!

Jesse and I went to Houston yesterday to look for a new apartment for the upcoming year. Thankfully, our good friend Gaby and her brother Hank, are realtors in Houston and set up a schedule for us to look around. We visited about 6 different places in the Medical District. We were looking for somehwere nice, and safe. Jesse and I really like this little 2 bed 2 bath condo on Cammbridge Street. It was only our second place in our schedule, but after visiting all others, our decision was made. We drove home and faxed our contract and lease application. We were both very happy with the place. It is much bigger than our current apartment and is in a very nice area. Our move in date is June 28th. So if anyone ever wants to visit, we'll have an extra bedroom :). Have a great weekend!
P.S. Please keep Jesse's co-worker in your prayers. She was 5 months pregnant with twins and just found out yesterday there was no heartbeat. May the Lord bless her and her family during this tough time.

Post Marriage Flirting

(on the phone)
Clarissa: Sweetheart its 10:30, are you still sleeping?

Jesse: (groggily) Yep...I need my beauty sleep. I am not as pretty as you.

:)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Babies all around!!!

I would like to send a Special SHOUTOUT to all my pregnant women!!!!!!

First time mommies:

Jacque Garza
Almita Vazquez
Katie Rose

Second Time mommy:

Melissa Garcia

Third time veterans:

Veronica Garcia
Blair Bailey

You girls make me soooo happy (and a bit jealous heehee......) I will God willingly...join you in pregnanthood (is that a word??) in a couple of months!!!!!

Love you all! And kudos to your husbands for choosing such lovely ladies!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Compliment from the Bride at her wedding

"Justin and I were like ' Jesse and Clarissa look so happy. We should look that happy. I hope we look that happy after being married."

Monday, April 30, 2007

He wins GOLD!

My ever-so-talented husband fought at the National Qualifier Tae Kwon Do tournament this past weekend in Kansas City, Missouri. Jesse never ceases to amaze me! Not only did he make weight again at 136.4 lbs, but he also fought like I have never seen him before. He was a bit nervous when he was about to fight, but as soon as he stepped in the ring...he was in his zone. He kicked incredibly well and scored 5 punches. It is very difficult to score punches in Olympic style Tae Kwon Do because there is the rule to score a punch is that it has to cause "trembling shock and displace the opponent". Most fighters can't do it even once and Jesse did it 5 times! All the spectators were saying "Man, that guy can REALLY punch!" And in my head I was thinking "That guy is MY husband" :)

Jesse was coached by the new Texas A&M Coach Chris Smith. I have to admit, I was impressed with his coaching skills. What I found impressive was not his ability to read Jesse's opponent (which was incredible) but his genuine warmth toward his athletes. He carried Jesse's bags so that he wouldn't have to worry about them before his fight. He made sure to scout Jesse's opponents in other fights to gather a game plan and then shared it with Jesse. During Jesse's fight, he continuously reinforced his moves with "Perfect" or "Beautiful, do it again!". Lastly, when Jesse won, I could see it in his eyes, that he was proud of Jesse, genuinely. He gave him a big hug and told him he was GREAT. Here is a man with a genius ability to coach, extensive knowledge of the sport, and a heart of gold. I am glad he is the new coach of Texas A&M Tae Kwon Do. Jesse has also decided to train with him in Houston next year. Chris Smith doesn't demand respect. He doesn't have to. He earns it by treating his athletes with that same respect.
And now....

...the Kuhns are off to San Jose, California July 10-13 to fight at Senior Nationals, World Class Division, where the top 2 fighters go to Olympic Qualifiers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Do you remember...

the first time your "crush" let you borrow their sweater/jacket because you were cold? Then when you slipped it on, you were surrounded by "his/her" smell? Well, as I was gathering my materials to head out to my usual coffee place to work on my dissertation, I stopped to pick up my sweatshirt. I love this sweatshirt. It was given to me by my brother Gerardo back when he was in college. Its one of those worn in a little-too-big but extra comfy sweatshirts. It's the one sweatshirt that never gets put away with the winter clothes because it follows me to those really cold movie theatres. Well....it just so happens, that Jesse LOVES this sweatshirt too. I don't know why, but I guess this sweatshirt has that "look" that is soooo comfy. Anyway, as I slipped it on before heading out, I got a huge fragrance of my "crush". It made me melt. Funny thing is, Jesse has the potential to make me swoon, even when he is not around. Ahhhhh....the power of married life....

Monday, April 23, 2007

Our new toy....



that we bought after waiting for 3 weeks to buy... I am not sure what is better, playing or watching him play!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dissertation Woes

I haven't posted in a while, due to my "little" paper called the DISSERTATION. I shudder at the word. Thankfully, I have been able to go to the sweet little coffee shop about 3 blocks from my apartment "Sweet Eugene's" every day from about 6 to about 1am and diligently work on this little obstacle. I keep on add the word "little" to anything that describes this paper because it helps me realize that its just a little hill in this life. Right now, its not a hill. Right now its the Mount Everst of my life and I don't have much more rope to hold to to keep me from saying "Geronimo!!!" Although I have to admit, it is kind of cute when Jesse out of sheer curiosity asks me over some brisket at Rudy's "So...tell me where you are on your disseration?" I begin to tell him how I am preparing my data for my analysis that involves comparing my complete data with my non complete data to make sure my data isn't missing at random. Somewhere in this sentence I get the "I don't get it look". So I respond with my "I am not sure how to explain it". And Jesse immediately looks down, disappointed. So, I try. And Jesse is such a good sport about it. I am sure that 99% of the time I end up talking to myself about what I should be doing, and why I should running one analysis over another until I realize that I've lost him again, to which he says, "No..keep going...I am interested in knowing what you do." Who really wants to hear about regression models and attrition analyses? I guess that is one of the million reasons I married the man. It doesn't matter what I am talking about. He likes to listen anyway. Well it is 4am. And should probably get some sleep. I have to work some more analyses early in the day, I have a wedding rehearsal at 6:30, a TaekwonDo Formal Sports Banquet at 7:00 and a wedding on Saturday. Busy weekend!! Oh and guess who is camping outside of Circuit City Sunday morning to get the new Nintendo Wii??? ;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Meaning to Stretch Jeans


So I saw these in another blog and thought they were the coolest thing!!I know Jesse will be dying to get his hands on some of these!!! Okay, maybe not...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Apologies

Spouse 1: I am sorry about what I said yesterday.

Spouse 2: Its okay, you already apologized yesterday.

Spouse 1: If still feel bad, can I apologize again?

Spouse 2: Sure.

Spouse 1: I am sorry.

Spouse 2: Its okay.....What did you do again?

Spouse 1: I don't remember. But I remember I feel bad.

Monday, April 9, 2007

My oldest brother, Enrique is now 31!


I want to extend a special shout out to my brother Enrique who turned 31 today. Unfortunately, he is now here to celebrate with us but I know he is well taken care of. Many of you have heard me talk of my brothers. I have the utmost respect for them, becuase they in part had a role in raising me. My brothers have been a veryspecial part of my life. They are the angels taht God placed on this Earth so that even when I stumble, they are there to help me up, dust me off and every once in a while look back to make sure I haven't fallen again. I could share a million stories of how they have been great people, bust most of you already know these stories and they don't do them justice anyway. Specifically, enrique has beena great guiding star for Gerardo and I. He led the way, and left directions for us to follow. he has been a great leader, and taught Gerardo and I how to lead in our lives as well. He is the example of the All-around great guy and I am honored and blessed to call him Brother.

Let me share a story that is very dear to Enrique and I. In the winter of 1994, I accompanied my brothers to a couple of days of hunting at our beloved ranch, Santa Rosa. It was December 31, probably around 4 or 5 in the morning. Enrique and I were dropped off to begin our walk hunting. It was perfect hunting weather: cold, a little wind, and enough light to see. We began to walk and walk, and walk – nothing. No deer, no movement. Like any normal bored child, I began to drag my feet. My brother scolded me so harshly that I started to tear. After about two hours of walking, he turned and asked me if I wanted to go home. “We started this, now we are going to finish it” was my response. We continued our walk. All of a sudden my brother hit the floor, so I kneeled down next to him. He said he had seen something move, so he checked with his binoculars, and there it was – a buck. My brother sighed and said it was too small, but we stayed on the floor to rest. Then, we looked at each other and he said, “ Clarissa would you like to kill your first buck?” I nodded not knowing what else to say. I had no clue on what to do, so he drew a rough diagram of a deer with his finger on the dirt and circled the target area. He handed me his .243 caliber Winchester bolt-action rifle and put the barrel on his shoulder and used one finger to cover his ear. I then aimed at the chest area, took a deep breath, and as I let it out I squeezed the trigger. Next thing I know, the deer was on the ground, and while I was crying of happiness, my brother instructed me to kneel next to the deer and thank God for this opportunity.

Enrique, never once doubted me. To this day, I can always count on him. He is a special guy. Kudos to him on his special day!!! Te queremos mucho Enrique!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Collegiates was a success and Baby Bug Continued!

I have partially regained my normal routine after last week. Thankfully, Collegiates was a success! We had athletes from over 35 schools and over 350 competitors. The Texas A&m TaeKwonDo Team took home 1st place for Color Belts, 2nd place for Black belts, and 2nd place Overall (Berkeley won First). Our team fought very well and I was very proud of all the members who kept volunteering even though they were hurting after their competition.

Jesse fought very well. First, I was very proud of him for making weight (He weighed in at 136.6 lbs.) He then coached most of the color belts. Jesse's first fight was against Dana Willoughby from Florida. I didn't seem Jesse or Dana move that much although Jesse came up with the win. Jesse's second fight was against Andrew Oh from New York. I may be biased, but I felt that the reffing was totally unfair, and even had the whole crowd calling her out. In TaeKwonDo it takes 4 full point deductions to get disqualified. Each minor infraction causes a half point deduction. Well to make a long story short, Andrew ended up with 3 full point deductions when he should have had 5 full point deductions and therefore disqualified. I was very upset after the fight and after making a comment about the guy cheating Jesse said to me with a smile, "It's only cheating if the ref says it is." True, but it still makes me mad ;). On the bright side, I saw Jesse fight like never before. I saw him get into the "zone" and fight wth his heart. Unfortunately, he didn't come up with the win and worse yet, some "friends/old teammates" of his thought it was appropriate to tease him about it, when it just wasn't funny. Some people just never grow up and we will keep them in our prayers. One thing is for sure. His team - the team that he trained was by the ring the whole time yelling and screaming his name because not only is he a Great athlete, but he is a great person, and everyone knows it. This is me cheering as loud as I can!!!

So now, Jesse goes to Portland in a week and a half to fight at another qualifying event. Unfortunately, these flights are expensive, and we can't both go.
Now....its back to the world of dissertation. Oh well....it had to come back. I will probably be at Sweet Eugene's tomorrow night.
And to continue on the Baby Bug....its still there....and we've been praying about it....and we ask for yours too! (Its kinda hard to wait when you see the cutest little redhead boy at Wings and More). Its also hard when there are babies EVERYWHERE hehe. Its the sweetest temptation. At least our future children now how much we longed for them!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Baby Bug

I shoudl totally be sleeping right now, but instead....I am posting. I totally have to admit to having the baby bug. It really "bugs" me day and night. :) Our hearts are totally ready. Our minds are totally ready. Our pockets....well...thats another story hehe. Anyway, a colleague (who has two beautiful girls) once told me "You'll never think you are financially ready....but you will realize one you have kids...you actually are..." So the money issue, I am not concerned with at all. Timing, well thats another story. We still have to wait about 7 months so that I can finish my schooling. Did I mention that my doctorate has less and less meaning to me??? Maybe its just that right now my body is telling me its baby time, I don't know. What I do know is that I am thankful everyday that we have decided to follow our faith and use Natural Family Planning. I am totally at peace with it and even sometimes wish....we weren't following it so well ;). Well...babies will have to wait, especially because once we start neither Jesse or I know when we'll stop.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crazy week

Next week begins one of the craziest weeks of the semester. The Texas A&M TaeKwonDo Team is hosting the 32nd annual National Collegiate TaeKwonDo Championship and yours truly is one of the ever-so-busy officers, and yours truly's husband is the head coach. What does this all mean? Well it is a huge even next Friday and Saturday and Jesse and I will be working our little tooshies to get it done. Jesse will be Sparring on Saturday and we will both be doing Forms on Friday. For those of you who don't know, Forms are the artistic side of TaeKwonDo where you do a series of techniques in a prescribed order according to your rank. You are then subjectively graded against all others of the same rank. Sparring is 3 2-minute rounds of non-stop fighting with a 30-second break in between. You may kick any area above the belt and punch above the belt, but below the head. You receive one point for a kick to the body that cause "trembling shock". You receive 2 point to a solid kick to the head. And finally, you receive an extra point if your opponent receives an 8-count. I will not be fighting, because I have been so busy with this whole officer/dissertation/work stuff, that I haven't gotten in into fighting shape and will postpone to a later time. My husband, however, will be fighting at the Bantam division ( which I have to mention he has to make weight at 136.7 lbs) I only mention it to descirbe my husband's devotion and discipline in the sport of TaeKwonDo. He weighed 184 lbs in May of last year. Today he weighed 145, and he will weigh 136.7 by Friday morning. Once he weighs in, he will have 24 hours to rehydrate and eat as much as he can. He has been running at least 6 miles every day, and when he is up to it, he extends it to 12. Crazy huh? I can't get myself to the student recreation center to run for 10 minutes!!! I ask for your prayers. He has a pretty big division and has to score first through 4th to move on to Team Trials. If you are in the area, I ask that you come and cheer on your fellow aggies. For the first time we will have a 38 member team and hopefully will take home the Collegiate First Place. Well it is off to bed for now my friends...but I will keep you posted. Kudos to our Godson, Gerardito for celebrating his first birthday yesterday and cousin Rafael and his lovely new wife Laura, who got married within the last 5 hours in Mexico City!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What I should vs. what I do

I should be writing my disseration.
I should be actively looking for apartments in Houston.
I should be vaccuming.
I should be washing dishes.
I should be beginning to pack.

Instead,

I am sitting on my couch.
I am watching my favorite show, "Lost".
I am wondering what I am going to eat later.
I am writing my new post.
I am surfing the internet every 5 minutes.
I am just relaxing.
I am just sitting waiting for Jesse to get home from work.

I just am.
...and this is fun.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Beautiful Wednesday

Today was a beautiful day! I went to work and then went swimming at the Student Rec Center for a short workout. Again, for the third time this week, I am sitting at Sweet Eugene's late at night. But tonight, I haven't done much dissertation work (except for programming my computer to automatically backup my flash drive, whenever I mount it) but I have spent time reflecting...

I am genuinely happy. Why? Let me tell you.

I have a wonderful God-given husband.
He gives me strength and carries my cross with me when I can't do it on my own.
He leads me to God.
We have a wonderful one-of-a-kind relationship that can only be understood between us.
We know each other's thoughts just by looking in each other's eyes.
We have a faith that not only bonds us, but solidifies out vision as a family.
I married my best friend.

I have a wonderful family.
They bring out the best in me while help me work on my weaknesses.
I would not be me, if it weren't for them.
Our family is about to be complete (June 9th) and each person adds a special necessary part to the family.
Our family could not be more complete (except for new little ones!).
My heritage allows me to have a close-knit relationship my extended family (16 Tios and Tias & 27 Primos and Primas).
It takes an excel sheet to figure exactly how many family members I have!!!
My heroes are all related to me!!

I have wonderful friends.
They stop what they are doing to have a talk.
They call me for lunch on a daily basis.
They are genuinely good people.
They make me laugh.
They are for a lifetime.

I am loved...by the ONE....by my spouse....by my family....by my friends.
Thank you Yeshua!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pedal to the metal!

Okay...so now is dissertation time! I would love to get this done before I venture off to my internship but its going to be hard work. I have to admit, that I am very proud of myself. Last night I arrived at Sweet Eugene's (a local cafe) and worked on my analyses until 1 in the morning and then continued intul 2 at my house. I then arrived at the lab this morning at 11 and stayed there through lunch until about 10 minutes ago (7:50pm). I finished one LARGE part of my preliminary analyses. I just feel so productive. In reality I have just chipped a small piece of the rock of things I have to get done soon. I came home because they closed the lab. I plan to take a short break and God-willingly get my little toosh back to Sweet Eugene's. I feel like I am on a roll and don't want to slow down. Although I really don't want ot burn out either. Oh well. Such is life.

On a sidenote, for those of you that have Ipods.....You should SERIOUSLY consider downloading the Dr. Ray Podcast called Dr. Ray & Friends. He is a Catholic psychologist who is WONDERFUL. I will eventually post on what he has to say but for now...you should look into listening to his podcasts.

Monday, February 26, 2007

WE ARE MOVING TO HOUSTON!!!!!!!!!!

So, about an hour ago I found out (per email below) that Jesse and I will be moving to our first choice HOUSTON!!!!!!!!!! The Lord has truly blessed us!!!! YAY!!!!!!

To: CLARISSA I. KUHNS - Applicant Code 10776

This message provides you with your Match result for the
APPIC Internship Matching Program for internship positions
beginning in 2007.

Congratulations! You have been matched to:

Training Site: HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DIST.

Program: PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP

Program Code: 157911

-------------------------------------------------------------

*** Please do NOT respond to this e-mail. ***

If you receive this message prior to checking the Matching
Program web site for your Match result, there is no need for
you to also check your Match result on the web site, as the
information provided on the web site is the same as in this
message.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Applicant 10776: APPIC Match Result

To: CLARISSA I. KUHNS - Applicant Code 10776

This message provides you with your Match result for the APPIC
Internship Matching Program for internship positions beginning
in 2007.

Congratulations! You have been matched to an internship position.

Information on the specific program to which you have been matched
will be available on the Matching Program web site beginning at
10:00 a.m. EST on Monday, February 26, 2007. This information will
also be sent to you by e-mail on Monday morning, February 26, 2007.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I thought this was interesting...

How to Forgive
Fr. Mike Sis
(published April 1999, Bryan Eagle)

One of the most crippling attitudes in the human heart is the refusal to forgive. When we say, "I cannot forgive," we hurt no one more than ourselves. When we refuse to forgive, we allow unresolved anger, hatred and bitterness to sap our emotional, mental and spiritual energy.
When we Christians pray to God, we say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." This means, of course, that if we refuse to forgive, we're asking for some serious trouble.
One of the main reasons we don't forgive is that we don't quite understand what it means to forgive. Forgiveness comes so much more easily when we realize what it is, and what it is not.
Forgiveness is not a denial that you have been hurt or harmed. It does not mean that it's OK what the offender did to you. If there had been no harm done, there would be nothing to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean tolerating wrongdoing or allowing an injustice to continue.
Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that you will totally forget the hurtful event, nor does it mean that you must continue to be the offender's friend. You might need to keep a safe distance.
Forgiveness does not mean that you have to have warm, fuzzy feelings toward the offender. To forgive is essentially an act of the will, not the emotions.
When the complex task of forgiveness seems too difficult, it will come much more easily if you follow a step-by-step process. Here is a basic model for a process of forgiveness, based on Sacred Scripture, Christian spirituality and the social sciences:
Ask for God's help and healing throughout the process. Never underestimate the power of God's grace.
Be willing eventually to let go of your unforgiving stance.
Recognize that you have been harmed.
Acknowledge and accept your feelings about what happened.
Think clearly about who in the situation bears responsibility for what. In fairness, you should not take the blame for someone else's wrongdoing.
Develop a more realistic view of yourself and the offender.
Make a decision of your will, to choose to forgive the offender. In some cases this is a decision that needs to be made repeatedly in order to become complete.
Don't expect the offender to respond in a particular way to your act of forgiveness.
Place the offender in the hands of God, trusting that God will ultimately deal with him or her according to God's justice and mercy. You yourself don't need to keep "punishing" him or her.
Allow plenty of time for your feelings to catch up with the decision of your will. Some hurts will require more time even for your decision to forgive to take place.
Let go of the past, choose to live in the present and go forward.
Choose what will now be the nature of your relationship with the offender.
By taking steps like these, you can resolve any bitterness or resentment. No matter how deeply you were hurt, you really can forgive.


So I was surfing the internet Instead of what I am supposed to do (looking at journal articles and running analyses on my data.....) and found this cool article.... I miss Fr. Mike.
During this new Lent Season, it is important to remember why Jesus dies for us. And how he forgives ALL of our sins. As such, we have no excuse to forgive others. It is the least we can do...