December 28, 2007

Letting Go

After a long battle with Mike (and myself), I'm finally letting my teaching supplies go. All of them. I'm clearing away the boxes. It has taken 2 years for me to finally be at this point, but I'm finally there. It's hard -- but I'm there.

I felt like Whoopi Goldberg in the movie "Ghost". You know, when she had to hand over the check for 1 million dollars to the nun and she had a death grip on the check. It was like that with my unit files. You have to understand these unit files are a teacher's bible. The soon-to-be teacher who bought them kept saying, "I know this must be hard..." but she got those boxes in her car speedy quick before I changed my mind. What has kept me from having a panic attack each time I've watched my items (that took years to collect) being carried away, is knowing that every person they have gone to, will use them. They aren't getting used here and well, what's the point in that. It all needs a new home.
And the hubby will finally have his beloved garage back.

December 26, 2007

A Simple Christmas with Midnight Mass

In keeping with our fairly new tradition of 'keeping things simple' for Christmas (and prepping for my husband's impending change in employment), we decided to continue this new tradition which we launched last year.

And it was very very VERY simple.

Tested was the saying, "The true meaning of Christmas is not what you find under your tree." I suppose I can say we passed, but barely. It wasn't easy because I love to gift-give...moreso than receiving gifts, but we had a plan and we stuck to it. The good news is that we will not have buyers remorse next month when the credit card bill comes in.

After the boys opened their few gifts and Sophia hers, at Domi's pleading, we went to midnight mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral in downtown Austin. We were joined by my lovely Aunts, Marjorie and Jeanne, and Yvonne and Doug accompanied us as well. Even though we arrived at 11:10, the cathedral was packed and we were lucky that we even got seats. Folks were lined up around the church and stood throughout the entire mass.

It had been years since I attended a midnight mass. Believe it was as a young child with my Mama Blanca in El Paso, and it was such a treat for a child to be able to stay up so late, which is why it excited me. However, I did not recall midnight mass being this incredibly beautiful. The sacred music, the enchanting choir (I don't think I've heard Joy to the World resonate so strongly...the, is all I can say), the golden altar decorated with poinsettias, the candles, the heavy incense. All very beautiful.

Saint Mary's Cathedral

Ok, so even though this is the church we had Sophia baptized at, for those of you who know me well, know I'm not big into 'organized' religion, or I guess I should say the 'religious right', but for whatever reason, Domi is incredibly drawn to learning about religions (in particular the history of different religions), and he's especially drawn to Cathedrals. Almost obsessed. He goes on and on about the architectural designs whenever he sees one, and even has the inside of Notre Dame as his background on his MySpace. He must have been a priest or a Gothic architect in his past life or something. His newest goal is to one day be one of the musicians playing his horn during midnight mass.

On Christmas Day we hosted a dinner. My favorite part of hosting dinners is decorating my table. I must not have had enough tea parties as a young girl, cause I get all Marth Stewart crazy about my table. And yes, I'm aware that the table setting is incorrect in the photo above. Domi set the flatware out and promised he remembered the correct placement, but after I saw the photo, realized it was wrong. So he got a tutorial in how to properly set a table.

Kidding! I'm not Mommy Dearest.
But I don't do wire hangers ;)

Anyhow, my brother in law David, and our dear friend Marco (and his super duper nice buddy, Todd) joined us for the feast. It was the easiest dinner we've ever hosted. All I had to do was set my dining room table and David and Marco brought all the food. We also enjoyed a couple loud rounds of Tabboo. Fun times.

This is the only shot I have of Sophia in her Christmas dress and Mary Jane shoes.
And of course, it's blurry.

But the best gifts were received on our doorstep Christmas morning in 5 individually wrapped boxes. A scarf for each one of us that my mother had made during the last couple years of her life. It's amazing how the scarves still have the smell of her casita.

Of nag-champa and sage.

December 23, 2007

Happy 14th!

We had a relaxed, laid back day for Jay's 14th.

The boys and I spent the early afternoon at the Drafthouse and watched The Golden Compass, then went to Terra Toys to pick up Sophia's Christmas gift, came home to eat dinner prepared by Mike, followed with some scrumptious cake from Le Madeleine.

Time flies too fast.

To go from here...

To here (6 years later)...

Facial Hair, Muscles, Girlfriends, and other that other 'stuff' that comes along with growing into a young man. It's inevidable.

No matter what though... Jay will always be my baby boy!

Happy Birthday, My Love.

December 22, 2007

Going out of Business Party

Yep, that's right.
A going-out-of-business holiday party.

For those of you who haven't heard, CompUSA is shutting its doors, thus, my husband (and thousands of others) will be seeking new employment after the holidays. So, to keep morale up and give thanks to the employees, Mike and GM, Aaron, decided to throw a holiday party at the terrific Riata. Lots of gift giving, eating, drinking, and dancing went down. Everybody had a terrific time and apparently let off some much needed steam.

My camera was on incorrect settings, and after unsuccesful attempts to fix it, gave up, and unfortunately do not have a photo of each guest. :-(

Many thanks to Neha and Eva for coordinating, and also to David for hooking us up with this terrific venue.

Can you believe this hooch showed up at the party with the same shoes AND jeans that I had on?!

Ha! Love ya Mandy.

December 20, 2007

My *Why*

December 19, 2007

Mommy's Time Out - Playgroup's Holiday Party

What us stay at home moms do after the kiddos go to bed.

oh, and these hookah heels don't belong to me..


We had a renew/regifting exchange party and some poor soul ended up with a bag full o' holiday crap that I received from my days of being a teacher, which a note attached explaining, "what NOT to give a teacher for a holiday gift."

Yes, yes, I know it's the thought that counts, but a simple $5 gift card to a coffee shop will suffice. There are only so many stuffed bears, snowmen pens, and santa earrings a person can deal with.

The party was an incredibly fun time. There was another Momma taking photographs there, so I'm hoping she posts them on our message board so I can add those.

*Editing to add new photos*

Here are some photos courtesy of the amazing Bonnie Berry, a fellow O'Mama.

I am officially in love with her work.

One of my favorite shots. Seductive Mama Tanya.

No wonder she has a husband 10 years younger!

There were even a few nurslings at the party

I *heart* my playgroup.