Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It's been one day since our return from Dallas, Texas. I think we have finally recovered from what I would call a whirlwind, extremely hot, family excursion.
Thanks to my Aunt Mary, my entire family was able to gather together in Dallas to honor my cousin James and his new family for their one year wedding anniversary. I saw some cousins for the first time in 11 years. Too long! The trip was packed with family events from a barbecue, a formal reception, to a baptism then brunch. I don't feel like I was able to talk with and enjoy any of these people enough. But I'm not sure if any amount of time would be enough. I absolutely LOVE being with my Kansas and Texas clan!

Some highlights include an evening walk with the kids in 100+ degree weather. You can tell by the red faces how hot it was!

The roof top pool at the Hilton provided hours of entertainment for everyone. The adults especially enjoyed the phone you picked up and magically drinks would arrive. Here is Luke and Thomas enjoying a shade break by the window. You can see how high up the pool is.

Serious cousin bonding time for my and Mark's kids. So much so that tears were shed by one 7 year old who shall remain nameless. I watched Andrew sulk down the hallway with his head bowed upon saying good bye. Ugh! Heartbreaking!

We got to dress up for the occasion. Something my family almost never does. In fact, my boys wore ties for the first time! Highlight of this evening was the dance show our kids put on. Zac and Andrew paired up, Thomas and Claire did some sort of slam dance routine, and Luke just wanted to feel the music alone. And wow did he feel it! You had to be there. It was hysterical! We (Susan and I) were also smart enough to cut it short and call it a night so perhaps the adults could enjoy the live music and the dance floor as well!

We managed a quick tour of Dallas that included a stroll through Dealey Plaza where JFK was shot, a drive through Butch's Alma Mater, SMU, and a hilarious glass elevator ride for the kids. Eric took this pic when we thought we were going to go up in this building. But for security reasons we couldn't. The elevator wasn't quite as high, but I assure you I am not complaining!

It's hard to pick a favorite part of the trip, but seeing my twin cousin, lovingly nick-named MC (Middle Claire), takes a top spot!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Zac and I had a play date the other day with a small group of his friends from school and their moms. I too have become friends with these women and enjoy them all so much. That night I lay awake "solving the problems of the world" as my mom would say. It was then that it occurred to me how rich, unique, and special these relationships are. We all have the obvious in common: our kids, their siblings, school, soccer, etc. We talk about our husbands, clothes, and the T.V. shows we watch. The usual girlie chit chat. But what's even more obvious that I never quite realized before is how different we are. The host is Peruvian and speaks Spanish. Another is Chinese, speaks Mandarin, and was raised in New Zealand. My closest friend of the group is Hawaiian and married to a Japanese man. Then the other woman is middle eastern who speaks Arabic. Then there's me! (Wow I need to learn another language.) I have gotten to know these women over a 2 year period and not once have I thought about how amazingly cool this mosaic is.

Now I have made other connections with moms and dads at Zac's school that will always remain what I call "surface" friendships. On the 4th of July I had this conversation with a fellow school mom during Claremont's Memorial Park celebration. After small talk about how our summer has been going I asked if they were going to the 4th of July parade?

Mom: No. It just keeps getting weirder and weirder every year.

Me: (Head tilted with a quizzical look.) Really? (Knowing what was coming but hoping to not hear it.)

Mom: Yeah. Those liberals you know, they just...(eyes rolling and a giggle).

Me: (A smart ass giggle) Yeah. Those liberals!

Surface relationship sealed!

Now those of you who know me well are thinking, "Maria! Just because she isn't a liberal doesn't mean you can't be friends." And I agree. (Although admittedly I really like a good progressive. ;)) It's just that it was assumed that I would jump on board with her bigoted comment. We may look alike, but that doesn't mean we think alike!

Friday, July 1, 2011

So Far

Quick summer catch up...

Father's day was spent at Peterson Automotive Museum. Dad and Eric were in heaven. I chased Luke.

We saw an advanced screening of Car's 2. Here is what Luke did until dad picked him up. Guess he wasn't quite ready for his first movie.

Swimming lessons commenced. Zac was the youngest in his class with kids up to 11 and 12 years old. I am so proud of him. He worked so hard! They had to swim for 30 minutes without stopping, do all of the various strokes including butterfly, and perform some life saving tasks. It was a little painful to watch. But he was a champ. Claire passed level 2...again. We don't need to push Claire. She is happy taking things slow! I must say, her teacher was especially amazing this session! ;)

A little inside joke among the poolside moms. She even lied about her age. She told him she was 6!

This picture I had to post because Zac is standing over my shoulder and asked me too. It is pretty cute.

Every summer I am reminded how hard it is to be a stay at home parent. I so admire all of the mom's who can do it without complete emotional break downs on a daily basis. Although I appreciate this time with my kids and I am doing my best to savor each moment, I am struggling to hold on to what little sanity I have left. And it's only July 1st. Ugh!